Buddhist temple and Thurible
Why are incense sticks lit in Buddhist temples?
Buddhist philosophy prescribes a person to cultivate, to develop all the good that is in his soul, in order to bring benefit to the world and free himself
Associated with various rites, traditions encourage offerings in Buddhism. To acquire something - skill, quality, or material things - in order to achieve this, you must first invest your own energy and other resources. To become rich, to be able to give, share. What can develop such a beautiful character trait as generosity? What can bring joy to the buddhas to take care of the welfare of all life in our world? Buddhists decided that the habit of gratitude in bringing gifts to deities would contribute best to this. Tibetans call it "chodpa", Buryats - "tahil", experts in Sanskrit - "puja", and in fact all these words mean "offering".
The offerings became traditional thanks to ancient India and the rule of hospitality that existed there. Seven components were the items offered to guests: drinking water, water for washing, flower garlands or bouquets, incense, light source, fragrant water, food. Buddhism borrowed this good tradition, especially its Tibetan direction. Here, in the monasteries near the statues and images of the Master, seven or nine cups with corresponding contents are placed on the altar. Sometimes all the cups are simply filled with water and regularly changed.
In ancient times, incense recipes were handed down from generation to generation and carefully guarded from outsiders. These recipes included fragrant wood, some plant and spice species, essential oils, aromatic substances of animal origin (for example, musk, which is produced by the glands of some animals, and amber, a waxy aromatic substance formed in the digestive tract of sperm whales).
The peculiarity of all these recipes is that their usual smell almost does not look like the smell formed during burning. Connoisseurs of incense divide the odor generated by burning them into initial (it may not be very pleasant), central (a smell that has some effect on the body) and final (it fixes the main central smell and allows it to remain for some time after the end of exposure).
Incense is an echo of ancient rituals
Incense is a substance that emits a pleasant odor when burned. Incense began to be used since the person learned how to make fire. People noticed that different types of wood when burning have a different smell, which positively or negatively affects the state and mood of a person. The ability of incense to influence the state of man since ancient times was used for religious purposes in order to tune a person to a certain way.
The composition of incense used in religious ceremonies includes plants that have antibacterial action - this is also important, because crowds in temples can contribute to the spread of infectious diseases. In Buddhism, incense is used during meditation. Since ancient times, incense has been used in the East for medicinal purposes. There was this practice in Russia in the period of paganism.
Ancient healers knew that the heat is relieved by burning pine needles, and the pain in the abdomen, by burning a mixture of pine needles and the grass of wormwood, can soothe the burning of plum blossoms. During epidemics of various diseases that were not uncommon in those times, incense with antibacterial action was used, which fumigated both the sick and the healthy.
Since ancient times, two forms of incense have been used: in the form of powders or balls made from them, which were then burned in special burners on hot stones, and in the form of sticks or cones, which included combustible substances and therefore burned sticks could burn, spreading around them smell.
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