The use of incense in Buddhist temples is a significant aspect of their culture. However, many may wonder what type of incense is used in these temples.
There are actually a wide variety of incenses used in Buddhism. This blog post will delve into the various types of incense commonly found in Buddhist temples and the ingredients used in traditional Buddhist incense.
The use of incense or perfume is found in every Buddhist school or branch. There are some herb incenses that are burned for purification, but incense is mostly used for creating a meditative and prayerful environment.
The burning of incense not only creates a solemn atmosphere, but also boosts awareness.
Which Type of Incense Do Buddhist Temples Use?
In Buddhist countries, the burning of incense sticks is a centuries-old tradition. Most of the Buddhist temples use sandalwood for incense. On the other hand, Agarwood/aloeswood is the primary incense used in Japan.
Buddhists in western countries are probably most likely to use
incense sticks or incense cones, as they are common in Buddhist temples there.
A coreless/solid incense stick can burn continuously for a long time, but the bamboo-cored incense stick is usually most widely used.
Among the incense sticks commonly used in western countries are those from
Japan, Tibet, and India. Based on their smell and quality, they are priced differently.
Japanese incense sticks produce less smoke, while Tibetan incense sticks emit more smoke and last longer.
In terms of quality, Tibetan incense sticks are considered the best. In Tibetan incense sticks, natural herbs, flowers and seeds are used as ingredients.
There are about 28 ingredients that can be used to create these incense sticks. Various ingredients such as agarwood, sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, amber, pine, and cedar are commonly used, along with snow lotus, saffron, and borneol etc.
Their main component, however, is wood, as in other incense sticks. The wood is first cut into small pieces. In the next stage, they are ground up into a powdery mixture to which the rest of the ingredients are added.
Typically, incense sticks used in Tibetan temples come from
Nepal and India. Tibetan medicine practitioners consider these to be especially effective in relieving stress.
Also, these incense sticks are often used during meditation.
In a previous blog post I compiled a list of the best incense sets. You can find it here:
The 9 Best Incense Gift Sets (Plus 2 You Should Avoid)
Incense is most commonly used in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and churches as well as many other religious institutions.
Buddhists use it to make an atmosphere that transcends the mundane environment and elevates it into something sacred, similar to the way Christians light incense and candles for a sense of reverence before God or at times of death.
However, certain types of incense can be offensive to people if used improperly or if they cannot tolerate strong scents.
Consideration should be taken into account when using any type of fragrance or chemical substances that might cause harmful effects as well as consideration for those who have more sensitive noses than others do, whether they know about it or not.
Video: Traditions Explained: The History of Incense
Basically, the use of incense in Buddhist temples is one way to create a sense of peace and sanctity.
These scents have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress levels. Buddhist temples mainly use scented wood and herbs to offer a pleasant smelling smoke that is also aesthetically pleasing.
In the following video, you will learn more about the history behind the use of incense in traditional Asian cultures:
There are many different types of incense that can be used in a temple, and some are more common than others.
They are often used for prayer ceremonies as well as purification rituals due to their pleasant aroma that has been said to bring tranquility to those who inhale it deeply.
While historically the purpose of these aromatic blends were to create a pleasing environment, they also served a medicinal purpose in that they purify the air and promote good health by eliminating bacteria and germs.
Today many people use this type of incense for their own personal spiritual practices or other healing rituals such as meditation or yoga.