February 15, 2021

According to history, the burning of incense can be dated back to 3700 BC, about 5700 years ago, and owes its origin to India. Records suggest that during the reign of Oink Dynasty, a Buddhist  monk traveled to China and introduced the country with the fragrant world  of incense , a love which later spread to all neighboring countries and cultures. Across beliefs incense became a symbol of peace, tranquility, spirituality and a medium to connect with the divine form. Though available in several forms like cones, packs and powder, the sticks became the most popular form of incense. Most of the religions deemed burning incense sticks as a mandatory ritual in any religious ceremony. Yet interestingly every religion had a different view on the number of sticks to be burnt.

Fengshui : the ages old belief of Fengshui advocates burning only odd number of incense sticks. The odd number, as per it, are lucky numbers evoking prosperity, luck and happiness. 1 stick or single stick is a symbol of dedication towards God and submission of heart and soul in the feet of the almighty and the ancestors. 3 sticks in Fengshui denotes human, heaven and earth, and are burnt to offer special prayers. Number 5 in Fengshui represents 5 crucial life elements namely, metal, earth, wood, water and fire, and also represent 5 directions of heaven and earth, and 5 directions of God, thus bearing a cluster of 5 incense sticks as holy and spiritual. Number 7 and number 9 are deemed as symbol of people’s spirit when they wish for personal favors.

Hinduism: according to Hinduism the number of incense sticks or agarbattis, to be burnt depends on the ritual to be performed and the deity to be worshipped. While Lord Shiva is appeased with 3 agarbattis, Godess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu are said to favor 1 incense stick to be burnt in front of them. Mother Godess Durga and Lod Ganesha are worshipped by lighting 5 agarbattis and Lord Kartikeya or Muruga is said to be happy with 6 incense sticks burning.  The great lord Kaal Bhairava and Goddess Mahakali are worshipped by burning 8 agar battis and also the God of the family, Kul Devta or Family Deity is prayed by burning 8 agarbattis. Even the black magic calls for minimum 8 agarbattis to be burnt in the process.

Budhhism: 1 insence stick in Buddhism denotes unity, a fusion of male and female and an emancipation of ‘incense of the heart’, breaking free of all taboos and achieving mental freedom from all negativities. In an upheaval in life Buddhism suggests to light 3 agar battis to promote a journey from instability to equilibrium and peace. 5 insence sticks are offered to the Mother Goddess of Forest seeking protection. every year on the 15th day of the seventh moon, 7 incense sticks are supposed to be burnt for the harmony of the wandering souls. These sticks are offer in front of any big banyan tree as a symbol of peace to the spirits.

Burning incense sticks is though a small act but is deemed to beckon the blessing of lord, ancestors and evokes prosperity. Across the world incense is a symbol of holiness and peace and all rituals are considered incomplete without lighting these fragrant sticks.

January 7, 2021

Factually speaking, incense is a substance smoldered to emit exquisite fragrance. The word “incense” owes its roots to the Latin word “to burn”. Since ages burning incense has been an integral part of religious rituals in different countries like ancient Egypt, Greece and Babylon. Over the years and till the present day, religions across the world have different philosophies about incense sticks and use them for diverse reasons.

  1. Buddhism, Taoism and ShintoIncense sticks, also known as Joss sticks in East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia, play a crucial role in Eat Asian Buddhist ritual and services, and at the sacred worship places of Chinese Taoist and Japanese Shinto. Over two thousand years back incense were used first time in religious rituals in China. Ancestor veneration, warding off evils, religious ceremonies, and daily life, ancient Chinese culture had multiple uses of incense. Today also, people in China light these fragrant sticks in front of a deity or divine picture, or on threshold of doors and windows as a gift to God. Interestingly, incense sticks were used as a timer in ancient China, a practice which seeped in from Buddhist Monarchies to Chinese locals.
    The reverence for incense sticks gradually found way to Vietnam, Japan and Korea and was considered a way of purifying the environment, evoke the divine and receive blessings.In the long run, it shifted to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Incense burning is a typical Chinese religious custom in Chinese culture, along with Taoism and Buddhism. It is considered a technique for decontaminating the environment and delivering the Buddhist Alamkaraka (Realm of Adornment).
    In the long run, it shifted to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Incense burning is a typical Chinese religious custom in Chinese culture, along with Taoism and Buddhism. It is considered a technique for
    decontaminating the environment and delivering the Buddhist Alamkaraka (Realm of Adornment). In the long run, it shifted to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Incense burning is a typical Chinese religious custom in Chinese culture, along with Taoism and Buddhism. It is considered a technique for decontaminating the environment and delivering the Buddhist Alamkaraka (Realm of Adornment).
  2. Hinduism:
    Burning incense stick has great importance in Hinduism and is considered as an integral part of any ritual. From daily worships to last rites, no ceremony can be deemed complete without lighting the incense sticks. Also used to purify environment and improving focus, Incense sticks are a symbol of human virtue of self-sacrifice in front of God.
  3. Christianity:
    Christians are believed to be using the incense sticks since a very long time, though a few researches suggest Jews to adapt incense sticks burning even before the Christian community. According to a popular view during 1800 people burnt incense sticks to eliminate odors and prevent diseases, though the modern school advocates incense sticks to be used as a symbol of time of sacrifice, a religious expression for the purity of God.
  4. Islam:
    Though Islam does not favor luxurious life style, the fragrance of Incense has always been revered as part of religious rituals. It is claimed in the Hadiath of Prophet that angels rejoice in incense fragrance and are repelled by bad odors. All prophets used Bakhour, the Arabian incense, a practice still prevalent in Arabian Gulf and Middle East. The tradition which was born in Arabia, and has subsequently influenced in the entire Muslim world.

December 31, 2020

Incense has been around for a long time, and is deemed as an integral part of spiritual and religious rituals across different religions. Incense comes packaged as cone or powder, but the most popular are incense sticks. Around the world these fragrant sticks are believed to create an aura of good fortune and deliver prosperity and bliss. Japan, America, India, Tibet, to name a few countries and cultures, who nurture their own philosophies and reasons for smoldering the incense sticks. Here we bring for you 5 reasons why these fragrant sticks should be a part of your everyday life.

  1. Relax and unwind: nothing works better to relax your mind then curling up on a sofa with your favorite beverage in hand and an incense stick redolent in the room. A few fragrances work wonders to reduce anxiety and stress, besides soothing the brain from over stimulation. Soft fragrances elevate your “me times” and space you away from hassles of everyday life.
  2. Spirituality: for thousands of years several religions of the world like Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity have regarded lighting incense sticks as a doorway to spirituality and purity. Most of the auspicious rituals are commenced with burning incense. Thus beginning your day with lightening incense sticks is believed to bring luck and blessings.
  3. Meditation: meditation requires deep focus and oblivion from one’s surroundings, and incense fragrances not only heightens senses but also elevates ones spirit to an aura full of positivity. Lightening an incense stick is best to clear your mind, develop a positive attitude and begin your meditation and yoga with a fresh and focused mind.
  4. Blissful sleep: every day stress, fast life style and constant stimulation has made insomnia a common problem. People often struggle to fall asleep despite of a hectic day of work. Incense sticks have long been known for introducing drowsiness and therapeutic calmness. Since ancient times burning incense sticks have been considered the best treatment to induce sleep and control insomnia and stress. If you also wish to sleep naturally and blissfully, simply light a few incense sticks in your bedroom and feel the calm in the soft fragrance.
  5. Eliminate depression and Anxiety: according to a few researches a few incenses fragrances stimulates the less treaded ionic pathway within the brain, which helps in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. Since ages incense sticks have been smoldered as a theraputic and healing ritual to keep off the negative emotions, depressive thoughts, and anxieties bothering the mind.

Whether you indulge in yoga and meditation, or simply seek peaceful sleep, and calm mood, burning incense sticks ensures respite from anxiety and delivers positive vibrations and a feeling of peace and serenity.