Why do we apply gandha to deity?

a. Gulal

The divine Energy (Shakti) principle in the universe is attracted to the fragrance particles in the subtle air generated by the gulal. Also the dormant frequencies enriched with divine consciousness in the aerial atmosphere become mobile because of the gulal. Thus the worshipper benefits from them.’

b. Fragrant paste (Gandha)

‘When fragrant paste (gandha) is applied to the midbrow region of the deity in the picture or idol, due to the qualities of the substance from which the paste is made (e.g. sandalwood) and the subtle scent and specific colour of the paste, the Sun channel of the deity is activated. Consequently the principle of the deity is attracted to the picture or idol. As a result the picture or idol of the deity becomes enhanced in divine consciousness.

Among the various fragrant pastes applied to deities ashtagandha and sandalwood paste are the most Sattva predominant.’

1. What is the significance behind rubbing the sandalwood stick on the stone slate with both hands when obtaining a paste for deities but with only one hand when making paste for a corpse ?

(Activation of the Central channel in the body when rubbing sandalwood with both hands to obtain paste for application to deities and protection from distress by negative energies as the Sun channel is activated when rubbing to obtain paste for corpse) ‘Holding the sandalwood stick with both hands is indicative of devotion with expectation stemming from duality. When done with both hands the posture (mudra) activates the Central channel (Sushumna nadi). The Central channel is conducive to spiritual progress. That is why when doing spiritual practice with expectation (sakam sadhana) with the physical body (karmakand) importance is given to making paste with both hands. When performing any action, to take it to completion it is necessary to complement it with Lord Shiva and Divine Energy (Shakti). The left hand signifies Lord Shiva, while the right hand signifies divine Energy.

Contrary to this when obtaining sandalwood paste for application unto a corpse only the right hand should be used. This is because using the right hand signifies the Energy of Action, the act of directly performing an action with the help of the right channel i.e. Sun channel (Pingala). Obtaining paste for a corpse, is performing the actions required for the subtle body and lending it motion with the help of the Energy of Action made functional through the medium of the right hand. It also includes praying for the further advancement of the subtle body by the Energy of Action of these frequencies of action. Because of this posture (mudra) as the Sun channel is activated in the body of the embodied soul (worshipper) of the one preparing the paste, the raja frequencies emitted by the paste strike the corpse. The sub units of vital energy (upapran) dormant to some extent in the corpse are thereby activated and thrown out of it or their disintegration to some extent is facilitated. Otherwise making use of these sub units of vital energy dormant to some extent in the corpse, negative energies can take control of the subtle body.’

2. Why is turmeric and vermilion not added when making sandalwood paste ?

When turmeric and vermilion are added to the sandalwood paste, due to the raja frequencies emitted by the turmeric and vermilion, also due to the particles of the absolute fire element emitted by the vermilion, the Sattva particles in the sandalwood paste disintegrate. This destroys its Sattva predominance. When rubbing sandalwood on the stone slate to make paste, due to the friction, the raja particles in the turmeric and vermilion gain momentum. Consequently the residual Sattva particles in the paste can also undergo disintegration. Thus the sandalwood paste becomes raja predominant because of turmeric and vermilion. That is why when making sandalwood paste, turmeric and vermilion are not added to it.

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