Sandalwood - spiritual
Religious ritualsLiturgies and sacred rites are accompanied by offerings which are composed of the five elements: earth symbolized with sandalwood paste or ash; water with water, milk or coconut milk; fire with oil lamps or camphor; wind with incense; and ether with auspicious sounds. Incense from sandalwood is supposed to be calming and conducive to clarity of mind and is therefore preferred for meditation and to promote spiritual practice. The paste is smeared on the foreheads of devotees of Vishnu and Shiva. It is particularly placed as a dot or tilak in the forehead between the eyebrows where Hindus believe power resides and can be awakened. The sandalwood dot is meant to cool and protect this spot.
|Sandalwood incense used at a religious ceremony in the Bhagavata Purana, c. 1760.|