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The Aksha Malika Upanishad is also known as “The Upanishad of Rosary Beads” and is one of the minor Upanishads associated to the Rig Veda. This article contains The Aksha Malika Upanishad in English.

The Aksha Malika Upanishad describes about akshamala or rosaries, and, their importance in doing a japa or repetitive chanting of a mantra. This particular Upanishad mentions the various types of rosaries and their significance, the relevant mantras pertaining to them, and their symbolism. 

The inner thread of the Japa Mala, as per The Aksha Malika Upanishad, signifies the ultimate reality above all else, the silver thread on its right symbolizes Shiva, the copper thread on left of Vishnu, the face is Sarasvati, the bottom is Gayatri, the hole of each bead a reminder of Jnana or knowledge, and the knot is Prakriti or nature.

The Aksha Malika Upanishad in English

Om ! May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind;
May my mind be based on speech.
O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me.
May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me.
May not all that I have heard depart from me.
I shall join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day
And night through this study.
I shall utter what is verbally true;
I shall utter what is mentally true.
May that (Brahman) protect me;
May That protect the speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me;
May that protect the speaker – may That protect the speaker.
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

1. Then the Prajapàti (Creator) asked Guha: “Oh Sir, (please) tell me
the rules regarding the rosary of beads. What is its characteristic ? How
many varieties of rosaries are there ? How many threads (does a
rosary) contain ? How should it be made ? What are its colours ? How is
it consecrated ? Who is its presiding deity ? And what is the benefit (of
using it) ?”

2. Guha replied: “(It is made of any one of the following 10 materials)
Coral, Pearl, Crystal, Conch, Silver, Gold, Sandal, Putra-Jìvikà, Lotus or
Rudràksha. Each head must be devoted and thought of as presided
over by the deities of Akàra to Kshakàra. Golden thread should bind
the beads through the holes. On its right silver (caps) and left copper.
The face of a bead should face, the face of another head and tail, the
tail. Thus a circular formation must be made.

3. The internal thread must be thought of as Brahma (the Supreme
Being). The right side silver cap must be considered to be the place of
Shiva and Copper caps belonging to Vishnu. The face must be thought
of as Sarasvati and the tail as Gayatri. The hole is Knowledge. The knot
must be thought of as nature. The Beads representing vowels must be
white (since they represent Sàttvika Guna). Those which represent
mutes-consonants must be yellowish (since they are the result of
mixture of Sattva and Tamas). The balance must be red in complexion
(since they are Ràjasic).

4. Then (after thus meditating the presiding deities in different part of
the rosary) bathe it (or clean it) in the milk got from 5 types of cows
(like Nanda); and then in Pancha-gavya (a sanctified liquid prepared
from the cow-dung, cow’s urine, ghee, curd and milk) and darbha grass
immersed in water and then in the individual Pancha-gavya (in the
aforesaid 5 things separately) and in sandal water. Then sprinkle water
with darbha grass uttering Omkàra. Besmear it with eight fragrant
(pastes) of eight (sweet-smelling substances like Sandal, Kasturi etc.,).
Place it on flowers. Meditate (all) the letters in the rosary (or each
letter in each bead).

5. Om Aëkàra, the conqueror of death, Omnipresent, be established in
the 1st head !
Om Àëkàra, He who of the nature of attracting, found everywhere, be
established in the 2nd head !
Om Iëkàra, the giver of wealth and firmness, be established in the 3rd
head !
Om Ìëkàra, the maker of clarity in speech and clear One, be
established in the 4th head!
Om Uëkàra, the giver of strength, the essence of everything, be
established in the 5th head!
Om Ùëkàra, One who drives away evil spirits, the intolerable, be
established in the 6th head !
Om Äëkàra, One who disturbs the (the dis-order), the moving One, be
established in the 7th head !
Om Íëkàra, the deluding one, the effulgent and shining, be established
in the 8th head !
Om Îëkàra, the hater, the devourer of everything else (or one who
conceals everything), be established in the 9th head !
Om Îëkàra, the deluding one, be established in the 10th head !
Om Eëkàra, One who attracts everyone, Suddha-sattva, be established
in the 11th head!
Om Aiëkàra, the Pure and Noble (Suddha-sattvika), attracting human
beings, be established in the 12th head !
Om Oëkàra, the (base) of entire speech, eternally pure, be established
in the 13th head !
Om Auëkàra, of the nature of speech, capable of attracting the
peaceful, be established in the 14th head !
Om Aëkàra, capable of attracting elephants etc., attracting, be
established in the 15th head!
Om Aãkàra, capable of destroying death terrible, be established in the
16th head !
Om Kaëkàra, the remover of all poison, giver of auspiciousness, be
established in the 17th head !
Om Khaëkàra, the tormentor (or disturber) spreading everywhere, be
established in the 18th head !
Om Gaëkàra, He who puts dows all obstacles, the greatest, be
established in the 19th head !
Om Ghaëkàra, the giver of ………. (sanbhasya), stupefier, be
established in the 20th head!
Om Ñaëkàra, the destroyer of all poisons, the sharp, be established in
the 21st head !
Om Caëkàra, the destroyer of ……… (abhichara), cruel, be established
in the 22nd head !
Om Chaëkàra, the destroyer of goblins, terrifying, be established in the
23rd head !
Om Jaëkàra, the destroyer of …….. (krityas – abhichara), unstoppable,
be established in the 24th head !
Om Jhaëkàra, the destroyer of ……. (bhutas), be established in the
25th head !
Om Ñaëkàra, the churner of ……… (mrityu), be established in the 26th
head !
Om Âaëkàra, the remover of all diseases, the good One, be established
in the 27th head !
Om Âhaëkàra, of the nature of moon, be established in the 28th head !
Om Áaëkàra, the soul of Garuda, remover of poisons, be established in
the 29th head !
Om Áhaëkàra, the giver of all wealth, the good One, be established in
the 30th head !
Om Åaëkàra, the giver of all successes (siddhis), the deluder, be
established in the 31st head !
Om Taëkàra, the giver of wealth and grains, who pleases one, be
established in the 32nd head!
Om Thaëkàra, One who yokes with dharma, faultless one, be
established in the 33rd head!
Om Daëkàra, the developer of growth, with pleasing looks, be
established in the 34th head!
Om Dhaëkàra, the destroyer of mundane suffering (visajvara), the
expansive One, be established in the 35th head !
Om Naëkàra, the giver of enjoyment and liberation, the peaceful One,
be established in the 36th head !
Om Paëkàra, the destroyer of poison and obstructions, the Evolved
One, be established in the 37th head !
Om Phaëkàra, the giver of eight siddhis, like atomic form, taking
capacity, the effulgent nature etc., be established in the 38th head !
Om Baëkàra, the remover of all defects, the auspicious One, be
established in the 39th head !
Om Bhaëkàra, One who quietens the goblins, the terrifying One, be
established in the 40th head !
Om Maëkàra, the deluder of haters, be established in the 41st head !
Om Yaëkàra, the Omnipresent, the purifier, be established in the 42nd
head !
Om Raëkàra, the burning One, the odd shaped, be established in the
43rd head !
Om Laëkàra, the hearer of the world, the effulgent, be established in
the 44th head !
Om Vaëkàra, the all-pervading One, the noblest One, be established in
the 45th head !
Om Éaëkàra, the giver of all results, the sanctifier, be established in
the 46th head !
Om Çaëkàra, the giver of righteousness, wealth and pleasure, ………..,
be established in the 47th head !
Om Saëkàra, the cause of everything, the undercurrent of all letters, be
established in the 48th head !
Om Haëkàra, the base of all speech, the pure One, be established in
the 49th head !
Om Laëkàra, the giver of all power, the Supreme One, be established in
the 50th head !
Om Kçaëkàra, the One who instructs on the main and subsidiary
categories of the world, of the nature of Supreme effulgence, be firmly
established in the crest gem !
Mrityu not only means death but carelessness, non-alertness
consequent swerving from the path of spirituality.

Hence ajnana, nescience and the bodily perils like hunger etc., too are referred to as Mrityu ( or death).

Such invocation of sacred syllables (avaahana), their spirits and the
deity who confers a particular boon and of the nature of a particular
form must be invoked in the first head – right of central head.
Invocation must be done circularly and end in crest jewel.

6. Then one must say: “Salutations to those gods who are on and move
about in earth ! Be firmly established in this rosary and bless us and
forefathers too after getting established in Aksha-malika permit us for
auspiciousness and good !”

7. Then one must say: “Salutations to those gods who are in and move
about in atmosphere! Be firmly established in this rosary and bless us
and forefathers too after getting established in Aksha-malika permit us
for auspiciousness and good !”

8. Then one must say: “Salutations to those gods who are in and move
about in heaven ! Be firmly established in this rosary and bless us and
forefathers too after getting established in Aksha-malika permit us for
auspiciousness and good !”

9. Then one must say: “Salutations to seven crore mantras and 64
arts” and invoke their powers in rosary.

10. Then one must say: “Salutations to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva” and
invoke their powers in rosary.

11. Then one must say: “Salutations unto the 36 Tattvas (the
fundamental categories)” and invoke the presence of the best Tattvas
in it, praying to them to make the rosary capable of yielding the
desired fruit like a divine-cow (Kamadhenu).

12. Then one must say: “Salutations unto Hundreds of Thousands of
Saivites, Vaishnavites and Saktas (and seek their blessings and
permission to use the rosary); be pleased and permit me to use”.

13. Then one must say: “Salutations unto the powers of Mrityu; Let you
all make me happy, happy !”

14. Then meditating on the rosary as representing everything as the
form of God, should start touching eastwards, feeling grateful to its
help and touch the heads (beads) 108 times.

15. Then getting up, placing it (on flowers) circumambulating utter the
following incantation: “Om, Oh goddess, salutations, mother of all
mantras of the forms of letters, rosary of beads; He who attracts
everyone, Salutations ! Oh goddess mantra matrike, rosary of beads,
stupefier of everything, Salutations ! Oh goddess, the remover of
Abhicharas, Salutations ! Oh goddess, eternal One, conqueror of
nescience, the illuminator of everything, protector of the all world, life
giver for all world, creator of everything, ordainer of the day, ordainer
of the night, mover to the other rivers, mover to other places, mover to
other islands, mover to other worlds, shining everywhere always, she
who illumines all hearts !
Salutations to you of the form of Parà !
Salutations to you of the form of Paéyanti !
Salutations to you of the form of Madhyamà !
Salutations to you of the form of Vaikhari !
Salutations ! Salutations to you of the nature of all Tattvas, all
knowledge, of the nature of all powers, of the nature of all good,
worshiped by sage Vasistha, attended to by sage Viswamitra !

16. If one studies this in morning, the sins of night are destroyed. If one
studies this in evening twilight, sins done in day are destroyed. One
who reads this both in the morning and evening, even if a sinner,
becomes rid off sins. The mantras recited with rosary immediately
gives benefits.” Thus said Guha to Prajapati. Thus ends the Upanishad.
Om ! May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind;
May my mind be based on speech.

O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me.
May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me.
May not all that I have heard depart from me.
I shall join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day
And night through this study.
I shall utter what is verbally true;
I shall utter what is mentally true.
May that (Brahman) protect me;
May That protect the speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me;
May that protect the speaker – may That protect the speaker.

Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Aksha Malika Upanishad, as contained in the Rig-Veda and as translated in English by K. Srinivasan.

 

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Love, light and peace to all!

 

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The Aksha Malika Upanishad in English
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The Aksha Malika Upanishad is one of the minor Upanishads associated to the Rig Veda. This article contains the Aksha Malika Upanishad in English.
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