history of incense sticks in different religions

January 7, 20210
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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.

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