Is Agarbatti Really Harmful?


Agarbatti has been around for thousands of years. Waking up with a fragrance of Agarbatti or incense sticks would be in the memory of millions of Indians

Written By Professor Dr M.A. Khalid | Mumbai | Updated On:

Agarbatti has been around for thousands of years. Waking up with a fragrance of Agarbatti or incense sticks would be in the memory of millions of Indians. There are many many things and rituals which are passed on from generation to generation. Lighting Agarbatti is one of the most common rituals amongst Indians.

It has mainly been utilised in religious and spiritual practices but it has also been used to mask smells or add fragrance to the air.

Now, based on a 'confused' and 'improper' research, a piece of information is being circulated on social media that the bamboo used in the incense sticks is harmful and not recommended in Sana-tan Dharma. Some studies conducted in recent years are mooting that smoke coming out of Agarbatti as toxic. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll find that out of the 64 compounds found in Agarbatti smoke, only two are harmful.

One also needs to consider the fact that most of these tests conducted to study the effects of Agarbattis are done inside temple chambers or in other similar places of worship, where the occurrence and amount of lighting Agarbatti sticks are much higher than a normal household’s.

What also needs to be kept in mind is that any kind of artificial smoke requires ventilation, be it cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, burning fumes or Agarbatti’s fumes. Agarbattis lighted up in well-ventilated areas, and in a controlled number are not a health hazard.

Mine, yours and everyone's family would have members who would perform Aarti, chant mantras and lighting up Agarbatti. The sole idea is to worship God in a pure and aromatic atmosphere.

Moreover, the fragrance would spread positivity in the house so that you have a stress free day ahead. Being a writer is an exceptionally remedial practice for me, incense steps this up and improves everything.

And is Bamboo really not recommended as per Sanatan Dharma? Then why

- Do you keep bamboo made Gudhi at the entrance to your house?

- Do you use bamboo to erect Pandals under which most of the spiritual and religious activities are performed?

- Do you use the Bamboo made Bier?

There could be dozens of such examples which will make it very very clear that neither use nor burning of Bamboo is prohibited in Sanatan Dharma. Moreover, there is no relation between Bamboo and Pitrdosh. Incense Sticks and use of Bamboos

- Just like conch and Rudraksh, Even Bamboo is very pure, a natural grass, combustion of which results in almost zero negativity of any kind of pollution. Moreover, it generates benevolent energy in the form of holy smoke.

- Since bamboo has a void, Vayutattva and Akashtattva (Absolute Ether Principle) is active to a large extent in it, and Brahmatattva gets attracted to it

- The very Satvik energy which comes out of the Agarbatti triggers the brain of the individual immediately and reduces his or her stress to a significant level

It is a common belief in India and also in various other parts of the world that smoke which is generated from the burning of Agarbattis is filled with mystical healing power. Essential oils, aromatic chemicals, gums, and resins are used for making traditional Indian Agarbatti.

Many times, biotic materials like as tree barks, leaves, charcoal, seeds, roots, and flowers are also used. People have the option to choose from direct or indirect burning type or from masala and charcoal type of Agarbatti, and each of these different kinds of Agarbattis have their own medicinal or recreational properties.

As a result, Agarbattis have been used in Ayurveda, which is a world-renowned healing practice nowadays.

Where to use Agarbatti?

The custom of burning incense as an offering to God and holy deities is as old as the civilization itself. India, which is considered as the cradle of civilization, has all along nurtured this age-old custom and diligently developed it into a fully blossomed art of blending perfumery and aroma in the form of Agarbattis.

The use of agarbatti has not been restricted to places of worship or only to holy venues. Their uses have enhanced and diversified remarkably. People have started using Agarbattis as room fresheners in different rooms in their houses, as it provides a very cheap mode of keeping house feeling fresh and full of good and positive fragrance.

Also, Agarbatti is considered an excellent ally to enhance the effects of mediation. Hence students can use incense sticks in the study rooms which ultimately helps them in increasing concentration and studying better.

How to use Agarbatti?

Agarbatti sticks have assumed great importance in the daily life of most spiritual Indians and others too. The pleasant and sweet smoke emanating from Agarbattis has been carrying the enchanting perfume to the world since the dawn of time.

But with the changing times, people have adopted many new changes in their lifestyle and so the use of agarbatti has also changed over time. It is not only restricted to temples or puja ghars any-more but is also used at various places entirely based on personal preferences.

The aroma emanating from Agarbatti sticks helps to relax one’s mind and open one’s heart to love and positivity. Agarbattis have been a part of Indian tradition since time immemorial, and are still widely used. Their use has diversified in terms of the reasons people use them.

Worshipping is not the only way to use an Agarbatti anymore. It is seen as a tool to enhance concentration, to stimulate positive feelings, to feel better and also to help mediate and perform Yoga.

These many benefits of burning Agarbattis have been widely accepted all around the world, especially in this globalized economy, where healing practices such as Ayurveda are not just limited to India but are omnipresent and all-pervasive throughout the world. There is an emerging market with different flavors and variety of fragrances for different uses, employed in the daily lives of not just temple workers but of people from various walks of life, like Yogis, students, people suffering from insomnia, depression, anxiety and also high blood pressure.

India is defined by its culture and traditions, We as responsible human beings should learn and read about our past, Our ancestors and the values which define Indians.

(The views and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article needn't reflect the views of Republic TV/ Republic World/ ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd.)

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