Rudraksha, born from Lord Shiva's tears, is a potent healing wood renowned for its transformative properties. To harness its blessings, one must adhere to meticulous guidelines before and after wearing.

Pre-Wearing Rituals:

1. Morning Wear: Chant Rudraksha and origin mantras nine times during morning wear.
2. Cleanliness: Wear clean clothes and avoid black; opt for red, pink, or yellow.
3. Offerings: Present milk, dhatura flowers, sandalwood, yoghurt, belpatra, ghee, honey, and sugar to Lord Shiva.
4. Pronunciation: Articulate 'OM Namah Shivaya' several times.
5. Dietary Restrictions: Consume easily digestible foods like fruits, Kheer, or Halwa. Avoid non-vegetarian, garlic, onion, and tamasic items.

Post-Wearing Rituals:

1. Evening Ritual: Repeat mantras before bedtime and after removing Rudraksha.
2. Storage: Keep removed Rudraksha at your place of worship.
3. Ideal Timing: Wear during the morning after bathing.
4. Mantra Chanting: Utter the mantra while wearing, worshiping, and offering incense and ghee diya.
5. Abstain: Avoid wearing before bathing or with unclean hands.

Behavioural Guidelines:

1. Honesty: Speak the truth.
2. Temple Visits: Frequent Lord Shiva's temple for blessings.
3. Abstinence: Refrain from non-vegetarian and alcohol consumption.
4. Avoid Specific Offerings: Restrict offerings like Kumkumam and coconut water to the Shiva Lingam.
5. Specific Parikrama: Follow the Shiva purana's advice of a half-parikrama for the Shiva Linga.

How to maintain Rudraksh?

1. Cleanliness: Regularly clean Rudraksha to prevent dust settling in its pores.
2. Washing: Wash with blessed pure holy water or milk.
3. Oiling: Keep Rudraksha oiled, especially after cleaning.
4. Thread Maintenance: Change dirty or damaged threads promptly.

Choosing and Wearing:

1. Purchase: Buy well-defined, crack-free Rudraksha from genuine vendors.
2. Skin Compatibility: Ensure compatibility; avoid if skin shows allergy.
3. Compatibility with Other Items: Keep Rudraksha away during cremations, childbirth, or newborn arrivals.
4. Size Variations: Natural variations in size and color do not affect effectiveness.

Mala Guidelines:

1. Strung Together: Traditionally, Rudraksha malas comprise 108 beads plus 1 bindu/meru.
2. Children's Wear: Children may wear Rudraksha, responding faster to its benefits.

Long-Term Care:

1. Continuous Wear: Wear Rudraksha 24/7 for optimal benefits.
2. Activation Period: Allow 7-8 days of continual body contact for activation.
3. Slumber Mode: Avoid exceeding 10 hours without body contact to prevent slumber mode.

Family Rituals:

1. Non-Exchangeable: Never exchange Rudraksha malas between family members.
2. Energy Bond: The energy bond formed with the wearer should not be shared.

Rituals Before Wearing:

1. Auspicious Day: Choose Monday of Shukla Paksha for wearing Rudraksha.
2. Energizing Rituals: Rinse in ghee for 5-7 days, bathe in Ganga water or cow's milk, dip in Panchamrita, and chant 'Om Namah Shivaay.'

Some advices:

1. Spiritual Practices: Enhance Rudraksha benefits with meditation.
2. Gold or Copper: Use gold, silver, or red/black thread for Rudraksha.
3. Expert Opinion: Seek guidance if unsure about wearing during night hours.
4. Thread Choice: Opt for silk or cotton for Rudraksha malas.
5. Jeweler Caution: Ensure Rudraksha is loosely tied if using gold wire.
6. Bathing: Remove Rudraksha during baths to preserve natural oils.

Wearing Rudraksha is a sacred practice, requiring adherence to rituals and guidelines. Following these protocols ensures maximum benefits and a harmonious spiritual journey.

Source / Image Credit : Rudrayahya, ISHA Life, YouTube