How to get rich by selling “homemade” rudraksha seeds

Prayer beads made of rudrakshas* (also spelled as rudrakshs) are very commonly used by Hindus. My grandfather had one which he used like rosary beads to count the number of times he had recited a mantra. TeleSkyShopping Network, a direct-to-home shopping outlet that sells various charms and amulets in North America for hundreds of dollars mentions the alleged “powers” of the one-faced or “ekmukhi rudraksha” in many of their television commercials.

First, it is useful to know what exactly a rudraksha is. The rudraksha seed comes from an eponymous broad-leaf evergreen found in South and Southeast Asia. The fruit is bright blue and generally of no interest, but the seeds are named according to shape and associated with various unsubstantiated divine powers. According to Indian mythology, when Shiva wept, his tears turned into the rudraksha.

She became an IAS officer by wearing a rudraksha

Still with me? Now TeleskyShopping Network claims to sort through rudrakshas of one particular shape, bless them, claim that they have divine electromagnetic properties, and sell to you for around 150 dollars per seed. And as with other televised commercials there are testimonials portrayed by actors: a partial list of problems that the seed allegedly remedies includes illness, legal problems, failure in competitive exams, the “evil eye”, impotence, evil spirits, and unemployment. I’m curious how anyone ever dies with one around their neck, but I’ll leave that point for the experts.

He made friends with female colleagues because of the rudraksha

They even have someone, presumably a paid actor, who plays a scientist in the commercial. This expert lets viewers know that the seed is “scientifically proven” to work. And because it is shaped like a brain, it is supposed to influence the brain by balancing the hormones. The argument that theย  shape of a remedy impacts a similarly-shaped organ in the body is not unique. In fact, a similar claim is made for the ability of the leaves of brahmi to improve memory and cognition. Proponents claim that because it is shaped like a brain, it exerts influence on the brain.

The commercial claims that Rudraksha influences the brain because the shape of the seed resembles the shape of the brain

How to get rich by selling rudrakshas.

I am eating this peach as I write

If you have access to the rudraksha tree then you do not need to read any further. You already have access to a goldmine that will provide for your children’s educationย  and your retirement since the devout will always believe in the powers of the seed.

If you live outside of South Asia then you have to be a bit creative. Fortunately, people are gullible and with a bit of convincing you can probably pass off a seed of roughly similar size and texture as a rudraksha. For those living in temperate climates, I recommend the seeds of fruits like peaches or apricots.

My rudrakshas are high in Vitamin C

For example, today I bought a pound of peaches from the grocery store. My idea is to wash and store the pits of the peaches after I’ve eaten the edible part of the fruit. Now, not only can I get my daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C, but I can also make some money on the side.

I encourage you to try it too. And if you don’t like peaches, then you can try cherries and claim that the seeds work just as well.

Do share your thoughts and if you have other ideas for passing off unwanted seeds for hundreds of dollars let me know!


*also spelled as rudraksh from Rudra (or Shiva) + aksha or (eye), though rude + rakshas (demon) sounds funnier.

This is the first installment of a new series of posts on schemes that will help you either get rich fast or get lynched by an angry South Asian mob.

Fair-use rationale for images: All images are low-resolution. Screenshots from commercial are used only for purposes of demonstration for no monetary gain where a free alternative does not exist. Copyright of original works resides with the original creators. Photos of peach was taken by me. The second photo of the peach is used with permission from SxC.


40 thoughts on “How to get rich by selling “homemade” rudraksha seeds

  1. Another classic.. and to think, I was about to write a post on how I missed out on a huge arbitrage opportunity on Suraksha Kavach selling ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll have to buck up and post that one !

  2. Hahahaha. ๐Ÿ˜€ This was pure genius.

    Though when I remember that these telemarketing services thrive on such absurdities, and some poor american is many dollars poorer… my amusement lessens.

    Good job anyhow.

    1. Thanks for reading Vaishnavi. Telemarketers have realized that there is a market for these items, essentially no production costs, and insanely high profit margins.

      My grandfather used them as beads for counting, which I am not objecting to. It is selling them for huge profit and attaching big claims that warrants attention.

    2. This is fake. People want something divine, to bless them and to feel loved by god. They donโ€™t want the seeds of a peach.

  3. hehhe…this is so crazy and I have seen such ads.
    People really buy such stuff…

    These days you can sell anything on TV….I read somewhere about a TV reality show in which people were selling their Virginity..ughhhh

    1. LP, items like the rudraksha also have a money back guarantee though there must be some clause that makes it difficult to get your money back

  4. “presumably a paid actor, who plays a scientist in the commercial” —— this is the problem with you atheists.
    You watch those ads even if you’re possessed by the shoitan
    You rubbish any idea that doesn’t match your knowledge derived from some shady Science book
    You think you can do business with people’s faith
    Most irritating of all, you think you can ridicule something as divine as the rudrakshas and get away with it

    What’s wrong with you? Don’t you fear Lord Ganesha?

    1. uh, well actually …nope.. I dont fear any imaginary friend of anyone else’s actually… just saying…
      Every faith is a business, every single one of em.. a marketing strategy that worked so right now, besides the obvious moral obligation I see no harm in making some money off a couple of gullible people who were gonna lose their cash to other ‘miracle-men’ anyways…

  5. This and everything that preys upon our fears and insecurities will survive everything including recession.Like you said even the peach seed will do however since i do not know much i cannot comment upon the curative powers of the Rudraksha.
    Interesting as always your reasoning into the commercialisation of anything related to religion.When ordinary tap water can be sold to devouts as Holy Ganga water then can peach seeds be far behind?

    1. Thanks for reading Shivani. The brain influences not only emotional state but physical well-being. Both the placebo effect and the nocebo effect are very real (and I will elaborate in a future post).

      There may be no inherent power in Ganga water compared to tap water. But if you believe Ganga water is tap water it will not have any curative effects for you, whereas tap water sold as Ganga water might cause a boost in spirits and physical well-being.

      Of course, this is dishonest and it is the deception that you and I are concerned about.

    1. No litchis will not work. Neither will jackfruit. If people know what they are then you will get badly assaulted. Always try to find seeds that people in South Asia can’t accurately recognize.

  6. Good one Anirban. I’ve seen the rudraksh promos. I think Alok Nath comes in it. Have you seen the one with the ‘Nazar suraksha kavach’? If you haven’t you really must. And after that I BEG you to please write something about it. The first time I saw it, I howled with laughter. Its total entertainment I promise!

  7. This is the 1st time I am reading your post, I loved it and am deeply inspired. I would plant a Rudraksha tree in my apartment, though not sure I am allowed to. Anyways this week-end I will start the peach project. Right now I am cursing the Apple and Banana fruit for not bearing powerful seeds. I nominated Sarah Palin for the 1st seed, will assure her that she would become next president.

    1. rofl… ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I plan on making this a series like the two others I have running… “Pappu in America” and Bollywood Science.

      Hope I can keep you entertained. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Good call on the walnuts. Found this gem on the net

      “The thin, outer green cover that is taken out before the walnuts are sold is similar to the scalp. The hard shell of a walnut is like a skull. The thin sheet inside, with its paper-like partitions between the two halves of the walnut, is like the membrane. The shape of the walnut itself represents the human brainโ€™s two hemispheres.”

      I am going to eat more walnuts from now on.

  8. Brilliant!! As a kid I was always told that the rudraksha is not for everyone. Only and only if you are committed to the Almighty will you get one which you will not buy but will chance upon.You touched on a topic (as usual) which we have got used to knowing as a way of religion without questioning. This moment on…peach is all I shall eat … ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Even the commercial mentions this aspect. The rudraksha is not for everyone. It is a sign, however, that it is suitable for everyone who actually watches the commercial on television!

      Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

  9. I second the opinion and comments shared here about Rudraksha. Having learnt Rudraksha Science Therapy I know how amazing different mukhi Rudraksha are and wonders they yield.
    For all genuine Rudraksha from Nepal or Java (Please note Nepal Rudraksha work in 2-4 days whereas Java Rudraksha work in 20-40 days ) contact us at Also, we provide free consultation based on questionaire provided on on the same sitelink. Namah Shivaya.

  10. Wow, seriously, great work here.. I stumbled upon your blog through a post on the Indian Atheists forum on Facebook. Excellent work youve got going. Keep it up. Ive got a lot of reading to do now. I suspect Im gonna enjoy it, hehe… cheers

  11. Great to read it. We have a tree at home and we want to sell Holy Rudraksha. The tree can be seen at any time. All the proceeds from the tree will be spend for noble cause as this is Gods gifts please advise if any interest.

  12. This blog seems to be quite old. But the rudraksh marketing industry is still going strong. I was shocked to see unregulated advertisements in my newspaper and on television – making exactly the sort of claims you have caricatured ๐Ÿ˜€

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