Lord Shiva has three eyes. One special eye of power at his anga Chakra. Rudra eyes are compared with rudraksha. Rudraksha word if gramatically divided then it becomes Rudraksha = rudra + aksha. Rudra = Lord Shiva himselft. Aksha = eyes. So Rudraksha is equally compared with the eyes of lord shiva.
There are epic history stories on the birth of rudaksha . It is believed that Mahadev once made meditation for very long time. He sat on his asana for years together doing his meditation and Tapasya. His long austerity was for the betterness of the whole society or mankind. After long time he felt much satisfaction and joy. He was happy and content. He opened his netra or eyes to see the happy world. He was happy and his eyes was full of water after seeing goodness in the world. The water or tear from his eyes fell down the earth. Whereever it fell, there his powers of austerity grown as tree and the fruit was rudraksha. The beads of the rudraksha tree was so powerful that it was soon used by people for getting blessings of the lord. Hence the rudraksha tree was born.
Botanically rudaksha is called elaecarpus ganitrus roxb. They are known to be existing in the himalayan rocks. They also grow in Java, Indonesia and other places in the world. Rudraksha bead is in the size of berry. The size of rudraksha bead varies from 3-40 mm. They have outer pulp covering the bead. They look green initially. After the fruit is ripen, it falls down the earth. Later the outer layer becomes black and hard. Rudraksha bead is taken out by removing the outer fleshy pulp. The outer side of rudraksha bead is throny and has small projections that like thrones. After the bead is dried, the bead becomes smooth with throne like projections.
When the fruit is properly ripen, then it slowly falls on the earth. The fruits are gathered together and kept in bags. It is sometimes kept in hot water for making the outer pulp soft. For all those fruits for whom the outside skin and layer becomes soft, are then rubbed and cleaned. Then the bead comes out from the fruit. Generally it is one bead in one fruit. The outer layer or skin and the pulp is used for making many types of ayurvedic medicines.The wooden beads of rudraksha are collected together and kept for drying. The beads that come out will have thin lines of groove running top to botton which are called mukh. There used to be one natural hole at the center of the bead. This hole is used to make mala with thread.