Agarbatti - An Incense Stick

The chip of Agarwood was known as ‘Agarbatti’. The idea of Agarbatties was conceived hundreds of years back. Prior to Agarbatties, mixtures of different types of fragrant herbs were sprinkled on burning charcoal to spread the aroma. It was then that the inspiration of using bamboo and jigat to make convenient form of incense was born.

It was conceived as a “Miniature Yagna”, that everyone can have access to in their own homes, replicating an offering to the Gods in the form of a traditional “Homa” or a “sacrificial fire”, with the attendant properties and good effects, and resulting benefits. Thus the elaborate and expensive protocol of a collective “Yagna” were dispensed with, and a new form of offering, the Incense Sticks, took its place.

The materials used in them were quite similar to each other; both made us of fragrant ingredients like Jatamasi, Camphor, Agarwood, Kapoor Kachri, Nagar Motha, Saffron, Clove, Vetiver etc. It did not entirely replace the magnificent and magical effects of the “Yagnas” that we read in Indian Puranas but it certainly presented a brilliant and unique opportunity to the independent householder to offer worship symbolically, in an evolved format.Undoubtedly, it was a wonderful and divine concept and therefore readily and universally accepted and remained forever. It is such a simple and magnificent way in which you can share your favourite aromas with the almighty.

The term ‘incense’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘incendere’ which means ‘to burn’. It is unlikely, primitive man would have missed that certain woods had more pleasing aroma and indeed varying emotional effects. Incense artifacts, thousands of years old, have been found throughout the world, and appear to be a part of virtually every culture. The connection between incense, religions, and medicine and shaman practices is obvious, it would be impossible to separate them, or say which preceded the other. Historically, it is difficult to trace because it has always been largely an esoteric and oral tradition evolving in relation to both religion and medicine.Today, Incense Sticks are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from Air Fresheners to Aroma Therapy. The fragrant smoke from an Incense Stick, revitalizes the whole atmosphere with its fine, festive aroma.

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