Incense: 2 definitions


Incense means something in Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (mahayana)

Incense is used as a material in the performance of a sacred bathing ritual dedicated to Goddess Sarasvatī, according to the seventh chapter of the Suvarṇaprabhāsottamasūtra.—In chapter 7, the Sarasvatīparivarta, the goddess Sarasvatī grants her support to the Dharma preacher through the gift of eloquence, and presents a bathing ritual with enchanted herbs for him and his audience in order to appease all disturbances. It is promised that, invoked by praise, Sarasvatī herself will appear and remove all diseases and difficulties. The ritual instructions prescribe that one should pound herbs and consecrate the powder with mantras at the time of the Puṣya constellation. A maṇḍala should be drawn with cow-dung, flowers should be scattered and gold and silver vessels filled. Four armed men and four well-adorned maidens should be placed there holding pots in their hands, thus accomplishing the protective sealing of the boundaries (sīmābandha). One should use incense, music, umbrellas, flags, banners, mirrors, arrows, spears and dhāraṇī-spells, and in due course bathe behind an image of the Buddha.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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India history and geography

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha (history)

Incense pots were burned, as part of the tasks performed to beautify the Sleeping chamber (of young ladies) in Ancient India, as depicted in the Kathās (narrative poems) such as Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—The Kuvalayamala (779 A.D.) is full of cultural material which gains in value because of the firm date of its composition. [...] Page 83.3-9: Here is the description of the house or the sleeping chambers of young ladies which were beautified for the reception of their husbands. The select items in this list are as follows: [e.g., burning of incense pots;] [...]

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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