Rudraksha beads, are now popularly worn for self-empowerment by thousands of successful and accomplished people across the world. Though beads from Nepal and Indonesia (Java) are both equally popular, beads from Nepal have been found to be more effective. Typically, Java beads are smaller in size and the lines on them are not as predominant as on those that come from Nepal.
Nepal beads are more sought after due to larger surface area and due to the clear lines. Most of these beads are unique also because they come with a natural characteristic, a drill-like hole that makes it easier to make a garland, or mala and other jewelry. Rudraksha beads have a hard surface and are differentiated by their mukhas or faces.
Naturally occurring ring groves starting from the innate vertical or horizontal stalk point and reaching the opposite point, are termed as "mukhi". Internally these align with clefts that have separate compartments which hold one seed each. Depending on the number of the compartments, these beads are classified as "n mukhi". For example, a 5 mukhi bead will have 5 compartments and five seeds inside.
Externally, it will have 5 mukhas or faces. Typical Rudraksha beads range from 1 mukhi to 21 mukhis each capable of aligning our mind and the positive energies around us. Rudraksha having 1 - 14 mukhis are commonly available but those with 15 or more mukhis are rare. Of all the ones available, those with 4, 5, 6 mukhis are most abundantly obtainable. Beads with 15 or more mukhis are not as attainable. The effectiveness and prices too vary according to the rarity and the type of Rudraksha bead.
Shiv Puran, Srimad Devi Bhagwad, and Padma Puran, Rudraksha beads upto 14 mukhis have been described along with their effects and purposes for which they are useful.
In addition to the now popular beads from 1 mukhi to 21 mukhis , there are some more rare Rudraksha such as Gauri Shankar ( twin beads), Ganesha (having a trunk like protrusion), Savar (similar to Gauri Shankar in which one bead has only one line or mukhi), and Trijuti (three Rudraksha beads joined naturally). We have also seen the rarest beads which have more than 21 mukhas.