Rudraksha and Bhadraksha: What is the difference?

12 February, 2021
Original Rudraksha online

Said to have originated from the tears of Lord Shiva, part of the supreme divinity-Trimurti, the Rudraksha  (Rudraksh or रुद्राक्ष) has been worn since time immemorial. 

It is mentioned in the Samaveda, Shiva Mahapurana, and almost 14 Upanishads. 

The auspicious beads have been worn by sages, saints, kings, queens, scholars, and commoners alike for growth, success, and well-being. 

The beads are primarily sourced from India, Indonesia, and Nepal. 

As the most potent manifestation of the cosmic force, the natural rudraksha is extremely powerful. It heals and re-energizes the body, mind, and soul. 

Even scientists have agreed that the natural rudraksha beads has a calming effect on the body. It heals the heart; prevents high blood pressure; removes waste, pain, illness; gives an anti-aging effect; offers the wearer more personality control; calms the mind; offers anti-inflammation benefits. 

Over the years, the beads have drawn in multiple myths, questions, and occurrences gaining extreme popularity. This has brought in many fakes of the beads in the market; bhadraksha being one of them. 


What is “bhadraksha”?

Bhadraksha, which is currently being sold as rudraksha, is a poisonous seed. It comes from a soft-wooded shrub or small tree which grows up to 24 ft. While the tree resembles a rudraksha tree, its fruits are shaped differently. 

It is sold abundantly all over India as rudraksha. It has none of the benefits and is sold cheap. The use of bhadrakshas increases the unfavourable waves. Not only that, but birds cannot eat the fruit because of its poisonous nature. 


How to differentiate between rudraksha and bhadraksha?

  • Rudrakshas are perfectly spherical; especially the high-quality ones. If you buy original rudraksha mala online, keep that in mind. The bhadrakshas, on the other hand, have a crescent moon shape. 

  • High-quality rudrakshas are primarily found in Nepal. Bhadrakshas are more abundant in India and Sri Lanka. However, that doesn't mean you cannot find good rudrakshas in India, it just means you have to find a trusted supplier like Brahma Gems, a certified seller of rudraksha online

  • Bhadraksh are lighter in weight when compared to rudrakshas. Why? Because of their lesser density. Real rudrakshas feel heavier than they look on inspection. The core carries the weight. Roll it around on your palm and you will be able to tell. 

  • Genuine rudraksha sink in water, bhadrakshas don't. However, some genuine rudrakshas may also float in water because they have been chemically treated. It is advisable not to buy such rudrakshas. 

  • The protrusions on the surface of the rudrakshas are sharper and rougher when compared to those on bhadrakshas. 

  • When put in a copper vessel with water, rudrakshas rotate automatically, bhadrakshas don't. 

  • Even if a bhadraksha looks exactly like a rudraksha, it will not have the natural opening that a rudraksha does. You can check if the opening is perfectly cylindrical; if it is, then it might be artificially created.

  • It is said that when you place a genuine rudraksha in your right palm and close it, you will feel certain healing vibrations. A bhadraksha doesn't produce any vibrations.

Bonus tip: If you cut open a rudraksha, a genuine bead will have the same number of locules/seeds inside as it's mukh. So, an ek mukhi rudraksha will have one while a 5 mukhi rudraksha will have 5. However, since the beads have immense value, it is not advisable to cut them open. 


Rudraksha or Bhadraksha-Which is better?

Bhadrakshas have medicinal importance. However, they are neither as potent nor have as many benefits as rudrakshas. Remember, bhadraksha is a poisonous seed while the rudraksha has been used for ages to heal, empower, and protect. 

Not only that, but the rudrakshas have also been proven scientifically to have multiple benefits. From pain relief to anxiety relief, different rudrakshas serve a different purpose but are equally useful. However, bhadrakshas do not have any such benefits. 

Now it can be clearly stated that rudrakshas are clearly better than bhadrakshas. 


Fake from real: How to tell if the rudraksha you bought is real or not?

We've already discussed above how you can determine whether the rudraksha you've bought is fake or real. Here's another look at it:

  • Drop it in water. If it's real it won't float.
  • Check for natural opening.
  • Check for harsher ridges.
  • Check its weight. The real deal is heavier.
  • Check its density. The real one is denser.

At the end of the journey

The trick to ensure you're getting your hands on genuine rudraksha whether you buy rudraksha mala online or offline or even if you're planning to buy one rudraksha is to only trust a reputed seller like Brahma Gems. 

Also, keep in mind that the rudraksha is available in many qualities; low, medium, high, and collector. There are also different types of beads. So buy accordingly. For example, you can buy gauri shankar rudraksha if you're looking for balance in your life.

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