- Notes accompanying object: 'Rosaries used by Indian devotees [of Hinduism].'
This necklace was bought from the holy city of Benares (now Varanasi) and regarded as very sacred. Varanasi is said to be one of the oldest living cities in the world and is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus. It is also just outside Varanasi that Lord Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon.
Rudraksha literally means 'Shiva's Eye'. They are worn either in a rosary, or 'Mala' and are counted in a Japa, as decoration, or as talismans to ward off pain. Shiva worshippers have used Rudraksha beads since the 11th century and believe that they must wear a necklace of the seeds in order to obtain the heaven where Shiva resides.
- Major Edward Madden of the Bengal Artillery.
- Record posted on March 28, 2009 and last updated March 28, 2009