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Rudraksha, also rudraksh, Rudra's eyes, is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree whose seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism. The seed is borne by several species with E. ganitrus being the principal species used in the making of a bead chain or mala. The word Rudraksha has its etymological beginnings in the two Sanskrit words Rudra and Aksha meaning Lord Shiva and Teardrops respectively. According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva once went into deep meditation for the well being of all living creatures. When he woke up, he opened his eyes and tear drops fell on the Earth. These tear drops took the form of seeds that later on became the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha therefore means 'The Tear of Lord Shiva'. The dry seed-capsules from the Rudraksha tree form the rudraksha beads, which are being used as a rosary and are also worn as a chain.
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