Key Incense Scents in Buddhism – Their Significance and Uses

Key Incense Scents in Buddhism Their Significance and Uses

Incense is often used in Buddhist temples as an offering or to purify a space. It can also help create a tranquil mood.

Each school of Buddhism has their own rituals but generally speaking, burning incense is a symbolic act. Three sticks burned together signify the Buddha, his teaching and the community of Buddhists, known as the Sangha.

1. Sandalwood

In Buddhism, sandalwood is one of the three essential incenses to help clear the mind during meditation. It also has spiritual significance because it represents the purification of negative energy and opens a gateway between heaven and earth.

Sandalwood is a tree that naturally grows in India, China, Indonesia, and Australia. The tree’s heartwood contains the aromatic oil that gives it its distinctive fragrance. It is a fragrant and hard wood, and it has long been associated with divinity. Ancient Egyptians used it for embalming and religious rituals, and Indian Muslims burned it in funerals.

Today, sandalwood is one of the most popular incense scents because it calms the mind during meditation, helps with concentration, and promotes mental clarity. It also reduces melancholy, soothes irritability, and subdues aggression. Its aroma can also lift depression and promote restful sleep. It is also good for the skin and helps with inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and Molluscum contagiosum.

2. Myrrh

Myrrh is a thick resin, similar to frankincense, that instills spiritual energy. It raises the vibration of a space to clear out lower energies and infuses it with high ones in alignment with Christ Consciousness or Buddha Consciousness.

It is best known as one of the gifts – along with gold and frankincense – brought to baby Jesus by the Wise Men in the Bible. However, it is also a key ingredient in the incense blend called Ketoret, which was used in the early temples of Jerusalem.

In addition to creating an atmosphere of sanctity and peace, myrh incense can be used to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and more. It can also be used to enhance the practice of mindfulness and meditation by triggering a deeper, more regular breathing pattern, normalising your blood pressure and heart rate. This is why myrh incense is often referred to as a natural sedative. It is also used to arouse an intense sense of devotion and commitment.

3. Jasmine

The scent of jasmine is one of the most recognizable fragrances on Earth, and it’s held in high regard for its beauty and purity. Its spiritual significance extends across several religions and traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. The plant is known as the flower of love, and its fragrance has a powerful effect on the human heart. It’s a symbol of sensuality, modesty, and inspiration.

The plant’s beautiful white flowers also represent motherhood. In Indonesia, it is woven into wedding garlands to bring good luck to the new couple. In Thailand, sons and daughters give their mothers a jasmine bouquet on Mother’s Day. And many holistic healers use the plant to help alleviate menstrual symptoms and help during childbirth.

In addition to its calming, relaxing, and balancing effects, the scent of jasmine can help purify negative energy in a space and attract positive spirits. It’s also said to clear the seventh chakra, which is associated with spiritual enlightenment.

4. Frankincense

Incense is a ritual in Buddhism, and like other spiritual traditions it creates a sacred space that promotes contemplation. It also purifies the air and can be used to help with concentration and meditation.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) is a resin extracted from the bark of a tree that can grow in desert conditions without much water. Farmers make incisions in the tree to release a milky liquid that hardens into frankincense, which looks a bit like small pebbles or irregular gummy candy. The frankincense can be burned as incense or processed into essential oil.

The ancient Egyptians were big users of frankincense for their religious offerings, and small traces have been found on the mummies. The Three Wise Men brought frankincense as a gift to Jesus, and it is used by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists for their spiritual rituals.