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Pheena

Philosophy of Hindu Symbols

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Bells are rung in temples and while doing Puja to shut out the external sounds and to make the mind inward and concentrated.

Lights are waved before the Deity. This denotes that the Lord is Jyoti Svarupa. He is all-light. The devotee says, “O Lord! Thou art the self-effulgent Light of the universe. Thou art the light in the sun, moon and fire. Remove the darkness in me by bestowing your divine Light. May my intellect be illumined.” This is the significance of waving lights.

Dhoop or scented sticks are burnt before the Deity. The smoke spreads in the whole room. It acts as a disinfectant. Burning of Dhoop denotes that the Lord is all-pervading, that He fills the whole universe by His living presence. It is to remind this fact that Dhoop is burnt. The devotee prays, “O Lord! Let the Vasanas and Samskaras dormant in me vanish like the smoke of this Dhoop and become ashes. Let me become stainless.”

Burning of camphor denotes that the individual ego melts like the camphor and the Jivatman becomes one with the supreme Light of lights.

The pasting of sandal reminds the devotee that he should, in his difficulties, be as patient as the sandal. Sandal emanates sweet odour when it is pasted. So also the devotee should not murmur when difficulties arise, but on the other hand, remain cheerful and happy and emanates sweetness and gentleness like the sandal. He should not hate even his enemy. This is another precept we learn from this. Though the sandalwood is crushed and pasted, it silently wears out emanating only very sweet odour. One should not wish evil even to his enemy.

By

SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

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