Come October-November and there are festivities in the air!
Navratras, Durga Pooja, Dussehra, Karva Chauth, Deepawali, and Bhai Dooj, there are celebrations all around. All these occasions necessitate pooja (prayer) ceremonies to bestow prosperity and good luck on the household.
Today, let us discover about Camphor (kapoor) tablets and know what makes them so important in pooja ceremonies.
What is camphor?
Camphor is a translucent solid, white in color. It is derived from the bark of the tree Cinnamomum camphora, hence the name. The tree is found in India, Borneo, and Indonesia. Camphor has a typical menthol-like smell.
Why do Indians use camphor?
Multifaceted Camphor has both therapeutic and ritualistic importance.
- According to Hindu belief, the use of camphor appeases Gods and Goddesses. It is believed that camphor removes evil and bestows positivity. Camphor is lit and used in hawan ceremonies, aarti, and other forms of worship. The importance of Camphor is summated in the following shloka, which is sung many times after aarti- Karapura Gauram Karuna Vataram Samsara Saram Bhuja Gendra Haram Sada Vasantam Hridaya Ravinde Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami. According to this Shloka, the power of Lord Shiva is equated with the purity of Camphor. The pious flame of camphor symbolizes the virtuous and everlasting flame of Lord Shiva. At the end of the aarti, people pirouette cupped hands around the camphor flame and touch their eyes and the top of the head. This symbolizes the enlightenment of thought and chastity of soul.
- People also swear by its medicinal properties. It is a good antioxidant. Massaging with Camphor oil topically alleviates swelling and pain. Its soothing properties relax the body and mind. Rubbing a drop of camphor oil into your pillow has a rejuvenating effect. Many people soak 1 to 2 camphor tablets in a bucket of water for taking bath in summer.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of camphor help fight cold and reduce respiratory troubles. Rubbing camphor oil into chest or camphor steam inhalation is helpful.
- Camphor is believed to treat dry scalp. A combination of warm mustard oil with camphor, when rubbed into the scalp, is also known to treat dandruff.
- It is also a good germicide and disinfectant. The strong nose-tingling aroma of camphor is said to kill microbes and harmful pollutants in the air.
- Indians believe that lighting camphor brings good luck and prosperity. It helps get rid of certain hindrances thus, bringing in wealth and financial security.
Precautions while using Camphor
- Camphor should always be used in moderation. An overdose can be toxic and cause a host of problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, convulsions, and even seizures.
- Keep camphor away from the reach of children.
- The fragrance of camphor can be addictive
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