Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fire and fragrance, sacred wood and flowers

The relation between incense and havan fire is qualified by Ameeta Mehra of the Gnostic Center, India, thus: "Incense purifies the atmosphere like havan fire. But it works through the power of fragrance which is not so much the mainstay of Vedic ritual as the domain of flowers that have deep spiritual connotations in Hindu philosophy." Incense brands are often named after flowers.
"Incense sticks," says Mehra, "are made by extracting the perfume of sacred wood and flowers. Their aim is to make the atmosphere congenial for spiritual contemplation."
"When I light an incense stick and offer it to God," states Mehra. "I symbolize my aspiration to burn with that fire and fragrance. I am, in effect, offering my Self to the Divine." [ Excerpts from "Wisps of Worship" By Saurabh Bhattacharya] Posted by Michelle at 10:54 PM

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