An elderly farmer, an ex-serviceman, has nurtured his friend’s gift and has grown Rudraksha, a rare species in the region, at Halagaiahnahundi village under Varuna hobli of Mysuru taluk on Bannur Road.
Rudraksha, which has an important role in the Indian spirituality and wellness, is grown in Nepal, India, at the foot of the Himalayas, and in Indonesia. It is widely used in astrology and also in Ayurveda.
Among Rudraksha trees, the ones in Nepal, especially from Dingla region, are the best. The basic reason is the climatic condition that exists there. Rudrakshas grown in tropical climate are of not good quality.
In India, Rudrakshas are grown in Assam, Bihar and Haridwar. However, Indian variety of Rudrakshas has a natural hole. They are all manually drilled. By doing so one is desecrating (bhang) the bead. Such an act is regarded as inauspicious. Moreover, the Indian trees do not produce Rudrakshas over six mukhis or faces. Only the crescent moon shaped one mukhi Rudraksha has its origin in South India. It also has no natural hole.
Rudraksha or Elaeocarpus ganitrus is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree, whose seed is used for prayer beads in Hinduism and Buddhism. Rudraksha in Sanskrit means Rudra’s tear drops. Rudraksha may be produced by several species of Elaeocarpus, however, E ganitrus is the principal species used in making mala (organic jewellery).
Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer husk of blue colour when fully ripe. So, it is also known as blueberry beads. The blue colour is not derived from pigment, but it is structural. It is an evergreen tree that grows quickly. The rudraksha tree starts bearing fruits in the third to fourth years.
The chemical constituents in E ganitrus are: elaeocarpidine, isoelaeocarpine, epiisoelaeocarpiline, rudrakine, flavonoids, quercetin, phytosterols, fat, alkaloids, carbohydrates, ethanol, proteins, tannins, gallic acid and ellagic acid.
J T Somasekhar, a native of Jambur in Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district, is into farming since 1974 at Halagaiahnahundi, after he returned from the Indian Air Force as a Sergeant. From 1957 to 1974, he served the IAF. He was born and brought up in Mysuru, thus he inherited some farmlands from his father at Halagaiahnahundi. He also bought some lands, adjoining it, later. At present, he owns four acres and 20 guntas of lands.
Jambur Somasekhar said, “Since I returned from the IAF, I am into farming. I am residing on the farm itself, since 1995. I love experimenting and do mixed farming. I have earmarked around one acre and 20 guntas for natural farming and grow a variety of trees and plants.”
He said, “D Thippanna, my friend, who was also in the IAF, a resident of TK Layout in Mysuru, gave me a Rudraksha sapling in 2010, which I planted on my farm. Thippanna’s wife Dr L Vasantha, who served as a professor in the Government Ayurveda College, was supposed to celebrate her 60th birthday on December 23 in 2010. She had planned to distribute 60 saplings among friends and relatives to mark the occasion and prepared a list. Unfortunately, Dr Vasantha died on her 60th birthday. When I went to meet Thippanna, to express my condolences, he gave me the sapling of Rudraksha as his wife had wished.”
Jambur Somasekhar said, “The Rudraksha tree started bearing fruits last summer. This is the second yield. It has increased since last year. It is thri-mukhi Rudraksha. We do not have any commercial plans for them. We gift them to friends and relatives, who have regards for the Rudrakshas.”