Sunday, 3 February 2013

Incense sticks-Dhoop

Wonder why we light incense sticks during a religious ceremony? There is more than one reason to it. You must have noticed that among all the other things that you do during a religious ceremony, you have to light incense sticks in front of the God's idol. This is one of the Hindu customs that has been carried forward through ages. There are some definite and scientific reasons behind most of the Hindu rituals. Let us find out the reasons behind lighting incense sticks.

Origin of the  term dhoop

                   According to ancient history, the term dhoop  originates from the dhoop tree, found in eastern India—whose chips give out a rich fragrance when burnt. But the popular dhoop—black-colored putty—is essentially a mixture of ghee, herbs and wood chips.ord "dhoop".

 Philosophical moral:

          A philosophical moral of the burning incense stick is that, just as it burns away to ashes while simultaneously pervading the air with fragrance, an aspirant should sacrifice his life to serve others and mould it such that its fragrance inspires others.

Psychological Reasons:

                 Incense sticks are also used during several therapies. The aroma that is spread in the air after you light an incense stick has an immense healing and soothing effect on the mind. You become mentally relaxed and forget all other troubles and worries when you sit for a religious ceremony. 
This helps you concentrate and pray to the lord with all your heart and soul. When you offer a prayer with great devotion it acts like a meditative process that reduces stress and depression.

Creates Ambiance:

                As a part of traditional Hindu rituals when you light an incense it removes all foul smells from the air around. It creates the perfect ambiance for the performance of a religious ceremony or Hindu customs. The very smell of incense sticks can be related to religious rites and rituals. They are also used as natural disinfectant that drives way insects. 

Anti-septic in nature:

              Ayurveda prescribes the use of incense in room mainly due to its anti-septic nature which enables it to purify air as well as because of the curative properties. The smell imparts well being when inhaled by a sick person. 

Magical properties of different incenses:

   ALLSPICE:
Burned to attract both good luck and money.

 CARDAMOM:
Burn for mental clarity, concentration, confidence, courage, enthusiasm and motivation
 CINNAMON:
Burned for protection and to attract money, wealth, prosperity, business success, stimulate or strengthen the psychic powers, and aid in healing.
 COCONUT:
Burned for protection.
 EUCALYPTUS:
Burn for healing, purification and protection
FERN:
Burned in outdoor fires to magically produce rain. Also used to exorcise evil supernatural entities
  GINGER:
Burn for wealth, lust, love and magical power
 HIBISCUS FLOWERS:
Burned to attract love, lust and also for divination.
 JASMINE:
Burned to attract love and money, and also to induce dreams of a prophectic nature, purification, wisdom and astral projection.
LAVENDER:
  Burned to induce rest and sleep, and to attract love-especially of a man. Also burned for cleansing, healing, happiness and relaxation
LEMON:
Burn for healing, love and purification.
 LOTUS:
Burn to elevate mood, protection, spirituality, healing and meditation
 ORANGE:
Burned for divination, love, luck and money
ROSE:
 Burned to increase courage, induce prophetic dreams, house blessing, fertility, healing and attract love. Rose incense is used in all forms of love enchantment and possesses the strongest love vibration of any magickal incense.

Used to cure diseases:

       In ancient books we find that agarbatti's were used to cure many diseases. Medicinal herbs are used in incense to cure many nervous problems, sleeplessness,constipation, depression and stiffness.This is known as aromatherapy.The natural ingredients like saffron and sandal wood improves blood circulation, cure skin diseases, reduces fever and inflammation. It also soothes body aches and pain.

Others:

              Incense sticks are not only a part of Hindu rituals or customs; they have been used since centuries in Chinese, Egyptian, Tibetan and Japanese cultures.
 They use it not only as a part of their religious ceremonies but also for personal things like aromatherapy. So, next time whenever you light an incense stick, remember that it benefits you in more than one way.