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Postby Wesley1982 » Tue May 15, 2012 9:21 pm

Incense is used in some Christian traditions - what is the Buddhist use for it? . .

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Re: Incense

Postby gingercatni » Wed May 16, 2012 12:02 am

it is primarily used as one of the offerings when a shrine is opened. But it also helps stimulate the practitioner during meditation. Sandalwood incense is featured heavily through many sutras.

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Re: Incense

Postby plwk » Wed May 16, 2012 2:36 am ... ncense.htm
(Buddhist value: Incense symbolises the fragrance of pure moral conduct and reminds us to cultivate good conduct)

Imagine that you are a stick of incense. Someone comes along and light up a matchstick. The person then uses the lighted matchstick and lit you up. Immediately, you are burning away.

As you are burning, your body gives off a lovely fragrant smell. This fragrance spreads through the air and brings joy and happiness to people's heart.

The person then offers you to the Buddha. You are being put into an incense pot. You stand happily in the incense pot because you know that you have an important role to play. Your fragrance symbolises the fragrance of pure moral conduct. And this reminds people to cultivate good conduct. This fragrance spreads in all directions throughout the world.

As you are burning away, you also remind people to try and burn away their bad, unkind or selfish thoughts. They should try to be like you, burning away their selfish acts and bringing fragrance and happiness to the world. Let every breath everyone breath out into the world be full of sweetness and love. Continue to spread your fragrance in all directions.
The fragrance of the incense is symbolic of ethics and morality. These are the virtues of the Bodhisattva spirit of benefiting others and self. If we do not practise ethics and live immorally, then the offering of incense does not serve any purpose. Offering of incense is only meaningful if our conduct befits the correct standard and principle of ethics and morality.
Lighting or burning incense is a gesture of paying one’s highest respects to the Buddha. The lit incense prompts us to follow the Buddha’s practices and teachings, and trains our minds to focus on one single object during meditation. The act of lighting incense reminds us to free ourselves from the samsara of life and death, from mental afflictions, reincarnation, and attachment to material desires. This practice guides us on our journey of spiritual development
Incense (sugandhadhūpa) is a substance that produces fragrant-smelling smoke when burned. In ancient India incense was usually made from extracts of various flowers or from the aromatic gums produced by certain trees. The Buddha often metaphorically equated virtue with a sweet smell. For example, he said: ‘Of all fragrances – sandalwood, tagara, lotus or jasmine – the fragrance of virtue is by far the sweetest.’ (Dhp.55). And again: ‘The smell of flowers does not go against the wind ... but the perfume of the good person pervades all directions.’ (Dhp.54). When informed Buddhists light incense and place it before the Buddha statue, they silently reflect on the importance of virtue and resolves to practise the Precepts more faithfully.
In English, sticks of incense are sometimes called ‘joss sticks.’ The word joss is derived form the Portuguese deos meaning ‘god’ and thus to call incense ‘god sticks’ within the Buddhist context is inappropriate.

From a Theravada chanting handbook
gandha sambhara yuttena With this incense sweetly scented
dhupe naham sugandhina made from fragrant substances
pujaye pujaneyyantam I venerate the One worthy of reverance
puja bhajana mutammam the Supreme Receipient of offerings

From the Chinese Mahayana liturgy:
Incense Praise
Incense burning in the Censer,
All Dharma Realms permeates its Fragrance,
Oceanwide Buddhas perceives it from afar,
Auspicious clouds appearing everywhere,
Our utmost sincerity fulfilled,
All Buddhas manifesting Their Perfect Body,
Homage to the Incense Cloud Canopy Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas (Thrice & Bowing Prostration)

Precious Tripod Incense Praise
The Precious Tripod, with burning famed Incense,
Pervading in Tenfold Directions,
Piously offered to the King of Dharma,
With Aspirations for World Peace,
As lasting as Heaven & Earth,
With Aspirations for World Peace,
As lasting as Heaven & Earth,
Homage to the Incense Cloud Canopy Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas (Thrice & Bowing Prostration)

Precepts & Samadhi Incense Praise
The True Incense of Precepts and Samadhi,
Burning and Pervading the Heavens,
As devout and sincere Disciples,
Offering in a Golden Censer,
Instantly permeating the Tenfold Directions,
As previously, Yasodhara avoided calamity and averted disasters,
Homage to the Incense Cloud Canopy Bodhisattva Mahasattva (Thrice & Bowing Prostration)

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Re: Incense

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed May 30, 2012 2:19 am

Thanks plwk.

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