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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shankha or Conch


Shankha or Conch

 Shankh or Conch shells possess cosmic vibrations that purify the environment, Each conch shell has a specific name from the Vishnu Sahasranamam(thousand names of Hindu deity Vishnu). Their vibrations are fixed and are used accordingly in the abhishek, ritual bathing of the deity.
According to Hindu mythology, Paanchajanya, the first Dakshinavrutha Sankham, emerged during the churning of the Ksheerasagara (ocean of milk) by the devas (gods) and asuras (demons). As it rose out of the ocean, its tremendous decibel frightened the asuras who appealed to Vishnu to save them. Lord Vishnu obliged, taking charge of the conch shell.” The primordial sound of creation, that is the Omkar or Pranavanadham, was thereby controlled. Hence forth, it became a part of Vishnu’s five weapons.
Conch shells have a significant place in Indian mythology. “Even in the great epic Mahabharata, these were given a lot of importance. Each conch shell had a specific name. Krishna’s conch shell was known as Paanchajanya, Arjuna’s Devdutta, Bhima’s Paundra, Yudhisthira’s Anantavijaya, Nakula’s Sughosa and Sahadeva’s was known asManipushpaka.” 
“Try holding a conch shell to your ear, the sound of the ocean humming gently can be heard. It is actually the natural vibration or cosmic energy of the earth that gets magnified on entering the conch shell. These unique whorls are directed clockwise in perfect synchronization with universal harmony. That is why a conch shell is blown during sacred rites to get rid of negative energy. The vibrations from these conch shells can dispel evil forces from the earth and also clear environmental pollution including healing the hole in the ozone layer which causes global warming!”
A conch should be blown when beginning any ritualistic worship and prior to the Arti. By blowing the conch 3 times before beginning any ritualistic worship, movement of negative energies in the enviroment is reduced .This helps in reducing the obstacle of distressing vibrations and allows the flows of Sattva predominant frequencies of the Deities. This further creates a protective sheath or armour of Chaitanya around the various items used in ritualistic worship.
Any ritualistic worship is concluded by performing the Arti. During Arti, the frequenceis of the principles of Deities functional in universe are attracted to the venue of the worship in large numbers.The Raja Tama frequencies can create obsatacles to the flow of these frequencies.By blowing the conch,the raha tama frequencies disintegreate, that is why it is blown prior to an Arti.This purifies the envioment and helps in preserving the Divine consicouness generated through the ritualistic worship for a longer period.Thus we derive maximum benefit from the Sattva pedominant frequencies of Deitis attractrd to the venue of the Arti..
How to blow a Conch?
Why a person blowing the conch raise his neck?
The person blowing the conch should raise his neck upwards and fully concentrate on the divine sound of the conch. When blowing the conch, the eyes should be closed and a spiritual emotion should be nurtured that one is beckoning the subtler frequencies of the unmanifest. The posture activites the Sushmna Nadi ( Central Channel ) I te body of the conch -blower. It also heps in maintaining a perfect balance between the Raja Tama particles in the frequenciies related to the absolute air and absolute fire elements that emanates from the mouh .Thus asper requrment – the saviour and the destoyer powers of the deity get activated.
In Hindu religion, Shankh, or Samkha, is of great importance and symbolizes luster, brilliance, purity and auspicious beginning. It is a pious article and is used in all religious rituals. The most famous Shankha is the Panchajanaya of Lord Vishnu. In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna and the five Pandavas had a separate conch shell and it is referred in the beginning of the Bhagavad Gita. In religious rituals, Shankh is used to announce the beginning of a prayer or arrival of deity and in some places sacred water is collected and distributed in it.
Shankh literally means ‘pacifying the inauspicious.’
There are two types of Shankh – left handed conch shell and right handed conch shell. Dakshinavarthy Shankh or Lakshmi Shankh is the right handed conch shell and is considered very auspicious.
Shankha is blown at every festival and auspicious beginning and the sound ushers in freshness and new hope. Right handed conch shell is kept at home by many people as it is believed to bring wealth and prosperity. It is also associated with Kubera, god of wealth. Many institutions and organizations employ conch shell as their symbol.
Shankha is closely associated with Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Image of Lord Vishnu always has him holding a conch shell. It is believed that during the Samdura Manthan, first conch shell appeared and it was followed by Goddess Lakshmi.
Usually, right handed conch shell is used for worship. The shell is thoroughly cleaned and is placed on a clean cloth, usually red cloth. Normal puja is performed. In some places, conch shell isplaced on a silver or clay pot. A cloth is used to cover the mouth of the pot and it is placed on it.
People usually collect and keep water in conch shell and is sprinkled while performing pujas.
While performing Lakshmi Puja, conch shell is filled with milk and then it is poured over the idol. Water collected in Shankh is offered while worshipping sun.
Shankh is also part of classical Indian musical instruments and there is also a mudra based on it in classical dance. There are also numerous legends and myths associated with the conch shell in the vast Hindu literature .
from hindu blog & hindu jagruthi