“Head down the road from the Kadavul Temple, turn left seven tenths of a mile. You will see a gravel parking area where you can leave your car. Step through the gate into the Rudraksha Forest. You will enter a grove of sacred trees called Blue Marble by the Hawaiians. If you ever thought yourself to be a tree hugger, this is where you actually will be moved to do so.” The aged woman at the Kauai Hindu Monastery shared this story with us. “The Hindu faith is built on thousands of stories”, she said through a smile. “Shiva is the name for God,” she began. “In the beginning of time, Lord Shiva gave full control of all things on Earth to man. He then went into deep meditation. When Lord Shiva awoke, He saw what a mess man had made of everything. Big surprise,” she paused for effect before continuing. “Tear drops fell on the Earth. These tear drops were blue berries which took the form of seeds that later grew into the Rudraksha tree. When you hug the tree, the pain and discord you feel in your heart and mind will be released. Spiritual healing and good health will replace it.” Her face brightened with a ray of hope. “From that time forward, the seeds became known as The Tears of Shiva. The tree grows very fast and produces tiny blue-beaded fruit whose shells cover the ground before drying into Rudrakshas.” She took a deep breath, “A natural hole appears drilled through the seed. It’s as though nature intended man to thread it on a chain and wear it.” No other bead is considered to be as auspicious and powerful as a Rudraksha. It is a symbol of God’s compassion for all living things.