15. Incense stick
The Deities contain the five Cosmic elements. Of these, the Absolute Earth element emits fragrance. As this fragrance is very subtle an average embodied soul is unable to imbibe it. The incense sticks have the ability to imbibe the subtle fragrance emitted by the Deities. Hence, when incense sticks are lit, the subtle fragrance attracted from the Deities (in the incense sticks) is also emitted along with its own fragrance. For example, when the incense stick with sandalwood fragrance is lit, the subtle sandalwood fragrance attracted from the Deities is also emitted along with the fragrance of the incense stick. Another characteristic of the incense sticks is that, they imbibe and emit the Principle of the required Deities in the form of fragrance, for example some seekers have the spiritual experience of subtle fragrance of sandalwood from the incense stick of kevada.
16. Frankincense (dhoop)
Frankincense has a strong fragrance. This functions as the destroyer form. The Principle of the specific Deity gets activated through the fragrance of the frankincense. It acquires the form of the subtle weapons and combats the raja-tama in the environment. Consequently, the sattva component in the environment increases. Naturally the environment and premises are purified. The environment imbibes the subtle-most frequencies emitted by the Deities to a large extent and the distress due to negative energies, if any, is reduced by 30%. Thus, obstacles posed by negative energies are reduced. Hence, frankincense is lit before ritualistic worship and Arati.
Frankincense completely eliminates the distressing frequencies in the atmosphere around the site of ritualistic worship and facilitates removal of the obstacle in the transmission of sattva predominant Chaitanya by the Deity towards the embodied soul. This Chaitanya is imbibed by the embodied soul in a shorter time.
The odour of the subtle air generated by burning camphor has the ability to attract messengers of Deity Shiva to a greater extent. These messengers keep the inferior negative energies in the premises under control. Their presence also helps in obtaining the blessings of Deities of a place and premises. The atmosphere created by the subtle fragrant frequencies emitted by the odour of camphor is similar to the atmosphere of Deity Shiva’s region. The atmosphere enriched with these fragrant frequencies attracts frequencies of the Shiva Principle from the Universe, which in turn control the activity of the negative energies in the premises. As the hindrance of distressing frequencies to the sattva frequencies transmitted by the ritualistic worship is prevented, the environment becomes pure and enriched with Chaitanya.
Camphor has fragrance, that is, the Absolute Earth element. When camphor is ignited, the Absolute Fire element in it manifests. The Shiva Principle in it through the medium of fragrance and fire is activated to a large extent. Consequently, the sattva predominance in the environment increases. Due to the fragrance of camphor, the Shiva Principle enters the body through the breath and destroys the black energy and black air in the respiratory tract. The fragrance of camphor also helps in alleviating the disorders of respiration.
18. Offering Naivedya
The food items to be offered to each Deity is predetermined. It is said that every Deity has some favourite food item which is offered as Naivedya to Him / Her, for example, kheer or shira for Vishnu, modak for Ganapati, payas for Goddess. The specific food item offered to a specific Deity attracts more frequencies of that Deity. When this Naivedya is partaken as prasad, we benefit from the energy of that Deity in it.
19. Ritual of offering dakshin?a
What is the Science in the ritual of offering dakshin?a in ritualistic worship? : By offering dakshin?a, a value of sacrifice develops in the embodied soul. From sacrifice, detachment develops and this in turn gives rise to vairagya (ascetic-like detachment). Once Vairagya develops, the embodied soul remains in constant communion with God, even though in the Maya (the Great Illusion). The foundation of Hinduism is in sacrifice. That is why learning to sacrifice (by offering money), is the first step in Karmakand form of spiritual practice. Hence, the ritual of dakshin?a has inordinate importance. Dakshin?a is looked upon as Divine energy, meaning Goddess Lakshmi, and worshipped. Hence, every act performed is complemented with Divine energy and it becomes an act without doership (akarma-karma). Consequently, its fruit does not create a give and take account; but it is added in the merits (punya-karma).
20. Bhasma, cowdung and water
Bhasma : This is related to the Fire element. In Hindu Dharma, bhasma is considered to be a symbol of detachment and is therefore sacred.
Cowdung : This is related to the Earth and Water elements. In Hindu Dharma, the cow is considered very Holy, because it can absorb the frequencies of all Deities and bestow divinity.
Water : This is considered to be a symbol of the stream of Nirgun (Non-materialised) Chaitanya. Since water has the capacity to imbibe raja, tama and sattva frequencies, it is thought to be a medium of destroying all sins. W. Rangoli (Holy designs made on the ground from white crushed powder)
The importance of drawing rangoli and applying turmeric and vermilion around a wooden platform or altar : Drawing a rangoli in a sattvik pattern around a wooden platform or altar before commencing any ritualistic worship helps form a protective sheath around them, of rapidly moving frequencies emanating from that pattern. The earth frequencies are attracted towards the frequencies emanating from the rangoli and are conjoined within its pattern. Through the said pattern, essential sattvik frequencies are projected towards the embodied soul, which also help in creating a subtle sheath on the floor and protecting the embodied soul from those projected by the black energies from hell or the premise. Due to the different patterns of the rangoli, the accumulated frequencies of different Deities scare the black energies away. The frequencies of superior Deities in the Universe get easily attracted towards the colour particles related to the Tej (Absolute Fire Principle)
Principle projected from the turmeric-vermilion offered at the centre of the rangoli. As a result, the capacity to act, the speed and the outcome of the frequencies projected from the rangoli is enhanced. Hence, to avoid any possible obstruction from black energies, rangoli is drawn in front of a house, at the place of worship or around a platform at the time of any ritual.
The Panchgavya creates a protective sheath around the seeker and this restrains negative energies from posing obstacles in spiritual practice: With the help of the five Cosmic elements, the Panchagavya attracts frequencies of superior and inferior Deities; it forms a protective sheath (which is composed of upward and downward mobile frequencies of Chaitanya on earth and in the atmosphere). This ensures that the worshipper gets maximum benefit of the Chaitanya emitted from the rituals and restrains the negative energies from posing obstacles in this process of emission of Chaitanya during the ritualistic worship. Since a seeker in the initial stages has less bhav for God, the Panchagavya serves as a medium of ensuring benefits, by being conducive to his protection.