Use of Rudraksha Japa Mala:
A Japa Mala made of Rudraksha beads is known as Rudraksha Japa Mala. In Botany, Rudraksha comes from the Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb tree which is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree, found in the Genetic Plain to the foothills of the great The Himalayas and the middle area of Nepal. It takes 15 to16 years for a Rudraksha tree to completely grow and bear fruits. The fruit is kept in water for a couple of days and is peeled off. What we get is a pure Rudraksha bead.
When seen closely, the bead has faced or Mukhis. It comes from 1 to 21 Mukhi. The Five Mukhi Rudraksha beads are abundantly available. Therefore, the Japa Mala is usually made of Five Mukhi Rudraksha bead.
A Rudraksha Japa Mala Rosary is prepared from 5 Mukhi Rudraksha available most abundantly. The Devi Bhagavatam (Devi Bhagavat Purana) mentions the preparation of Rudraksha Japa Mala for counting beads while chanting Sanskrit mantras or a given mantra (initiation). The Mouth part of a Rudraksha bead is Brahma, the middle part Rudra (Shiva) and the hind part Vishnu. Thus, a single contains the divine energies of the three modes of material nature (three deities)
Power of Five Mukhi Rudraksha Bead:
The Shiva Purana mentions the powers and properties of all the Rudraksha bead. Every Rudraksha is ruled by a deity. Five Mukhi Rudraksha bead is ruled by Lord Rudra Kalagani who is also the ruling deity of Planet Jupiter. It is said in the Glorification of Rudraksha section of Shiva Purana that one who wears or chants on this bead attains the self-awareness, memory, fine speech and intellect. Also, chanting on this Rudraksha Mala Removes the malefic effects of Jupiter.
Types of Rudraksha Japa Malas:
Total number of Rudraksha beads in a mala depends on the goal of mantra recitations or chanting. The mala of 108 beads + 1 = 109 beads are regarded as the best to count mantras.
There are three types of Japa Malas.
1. One has 108 beads + 1 bead. This one bead is called Sumeru.
2. The second type has 54 beads + 1 Sumeru. Counting twice on this bead completes one round.
3. The third type is made of 27 beads + 1 sumeru. This one is known as Sumarni used as a counter for the japa performed on the above malas. Chanting four times on his mala completes one full Mala of 108 beads.
One may use either of the above Malas to do japa meditation. Doing a meditation without a Rudraksha Japa Mala can be troublesome as the nature of the mind is always flickering and unstable. When you sit in meditation, all other thoughts come rushing into your mind, holding you back from focusing on the sound of the mantra being chanted. Therefore, with a Japa Mala, those beads help you focus on the mantra sound or the sound vibrations of the mantra. Meditation with a Rudraksha Japa Mala meditation is the simplest method of mantra chanting.