SOME STORIES BEHIND RUDRAKSHA
1st STORT – THE KING ‘DEVIDUTT’
During Satyug (The Golden Days) Brahma said to Naradji,
‘O Narada! regarding the glory stories behind Rudraksh, let me tell you a story, listen to it carefully – A Kshatriya king named Devidutt used to reign in the west of the Ganges. He did not take any instruction of Shiva-worship from anyone, but used to worship some deity situated on the bank of the well under a tree in the bush. A teller from his city had died and became distraught. One day the betel came near the bush and showed his form to the king. The king recognized him and was surprised to see the dead alive. He began to think that how did this dead man come to life? So, he asked Betal, ‘You were dead, then how did you come here?’ “Betal replied, ‘O king! Now I have become the gang of a eunuch by becoming distorted. I tell you the work by which I have come here. In a short time a Vaishya will come here, he will die by hitting the bull. That Vaishya is a great sinner. As soon as he dies, I will tie him up and take him to Yama.“On hearing this the king said, ‘Come near me. I will ask you something else. (want to talk.’)
“Betal accepted this point. He reached near the king. He was not able to talk to the king yet when a Vaishya came there. A bull was also with him. He tied the bull to the well and desire to take a bath. But when he reached near the bull wearing a turban, at the same time the bull killed the Vaishya by injuring him with his horns. As soon as Vaishya died, Betal wanted to tie him up and take him to Yamraj. But at the same time Shiva’s ganas reached there and started saying to Betal, ‘O Betal! You leave this Vaishya.’
“Betal, hearing the words of the Shivgans, Betal replied, ‘O Shivgano! He has not done any good deed in his life. So, I will tie it and take it to Yamraj.’
“Hearing this, the Shivaganas replied, ‘O disgraceful! Rudraksh is tied in the head of this Vaishya, so all its defects are burnt to ashes. It was not sinful. You leave it.’ Despite this, when Betal did not leave him, then Shiva’s ganas injured him by hitting him with a trident and freed Vaishya from his hand and took him to Shivpuri. Going there, by the orders of Shiva, that Vaishya became the Gana of Shiva. On the other hand, Betal became very sad after telling the whole story to the king. He then went to Yamraj. The king was very surprised to see this character. Then he himself left from there to get the Rudraksha.
SOURCE : SHIV PURANS
2nd STORY – THE KING ‘MADRASENA’
“Hearing the king’s prayer, Parashara Muni said, ‘O king! You listen to the account of the previous birth of your son and the minister’s son – in ancient times a prostitute named Mahananda lived in Nandigram. She was extremely beautiful and extremely wealthy. She taught him to dance by raising a monkey and a dog. She along with other women sang the praises of Shiva and made her monkey and dog dance wearing Rudraksha. Both of them danced in such a way that their dance was very dear to the audience. The prostitute used to engage in devotion to Shiva and take great pleasure in making the dog monkey dance. Coincidentally, one day the house of the prostitute caught fire. The prostitute quickly drove them both out. From that day on they did not return home again. And being sad he kept on roaming in the forest.When the time came, he died while wearing Rudraksha, due to which he attained Shivlok. Parashara Muni further said, ‘O king! The same monkey has been born as a son in your house and the same dog has taken birth as a son in the minister’s house. Both of them are friends of previous birth and remembering the glory of the same Rudraksh wear Rudraksh in this life also. By wearing both Rudraksha and worshiping Shiva, one will again reach Shivlok.
“Hearing this story, The king said to Parashara Muni, ‘O Lord! Would you kindly take the trouble of telling the future of my son as well?
“Parashara Muni then called that king’s son near him and after seeing him from head to toe said, ‘O king! The age of this child is only twelve years old. It will surely die on the seventh day from today, but we tell you a remedy, if you do it, its life can be saved. Lord Sada-Shiv is also the time of Kaal(Time). Death is always afraid of Shiva. If Lord Shiva pleases, your son can be saved from the face of death. therefore you should first worship Shiva and you yourself should also take measures to please him in many ways ” “The sage further said, ‘O king! There are many ways to increase life, but the simple of them is worshiping Shiva. Rudradhyay is very famous in protecting from death. Worshiping Shiva in many ways destroys all the sins of man. And he lives for a long time. Shivji is always pleased on such a person. The more times you get Shatrudri anointed, your son will live for the same number of years. So, it is appropriate that you recite ten thousand Shatrudri Make your son take a bath. By this method your son will live for ten thousand years and for the same time he will be fearless and will rule happily, conquering enemies.
“You have answered Raj, we have seen a great surprise at this time. This wonder is that death had come to bear your son, but Shiva sent Veerabhadra to protect him and ordered him to drink nectar. Let no tenth of death befall your son. Then Veerabhadra caught death and took him to Mount Kailas and got the result of doing your son. Now living for ten thousand years, he will reign flawlessly. Will enjoy a lot of happiness.They both are great devotees of Shiva and in the end they will get to Shivlok. you will become the ganas of Shiva. Saying this you returned to your destination. “O Narava! Those who say or listen to this story of Rudraksha Mahatmya related to Shiva, they get all kinds of happiness in both the worlds”, said Brahma.
SOURCE : SHIV PURANS