Importance of the substances used in ritualistic worship

Some religious rituals are incomplete without the help of other components, for example, specific substances are necessary in ritualistic worship of God. These components aiding the religious rituals are an important link in seeking the grace of God through the medium of religious rituals. Understanding the spiritual importance of each of these components enhances the bhav (Spiritual emotion) towards them, thereby making the religious ritual rich in bhav. In this article information of how the substances placed in ritualistic platter should be arranged is given.

How should the substances be arranged in ritualistic platter ?

Before we commence any ritualistic worship, it is important to arrange the implements and other substances, that are part of ritualistic worship in a platter. As per the science of Spirituality, it is considered appropriate, to arrange them in accordance with the level of Panchtattva (The five Cosmic Principles). The Panchtattvas are Pruthvitattva (Absolute Earth Principle), Apatattva (Absolute Water Principle), Tejtattva (Absolute Fire Principle), Vayutattva (Absolute Air Principle) and Akashtattva (Absolute Ether Principle). The tattva becomes more and more subtle and expansive from Pruthvitattva to Akashtattva. Suchan arrangement balances and coordinates with the ‘five Absolute Principles’ which are active in the Universe. This helps the individual to derive maximum benefit of the sagun (Materialised) and nirgun (Non-materialised) waves emitted by theDeity. This arrangement indicates the journey of the individualfrom Maya (the Great Illusion) to Brahma (The God Principle) that is associated with the five Absolute Principles. An important component of the first level is the ritualistic platter.

The arrangement of the components in the ritualistic platter is explained ahead.

Arrangement of substances in a ritualistic platter
Arrangement of substances in a ritualistic platter

A. ‘In the ritualistic platter, place turmeric and vermilion to the right side and bukka, gulal and shendur to the left side of the individual.

B. The fragrance bottle, gandha, flowers, durva and patri should be placed at the forefront in the platter. This is because the subtle waves of the Deities are activated by the fragrant particles in the perfume, gandha, flowers and also by the colour particles in the durva and patri.

C. The betel leaves, betel nut and dakshina (Offering in cash or kind, especially one given to a Brahman after a ritual) should be placed at the other end of the platter because they are an effective medium of transmission of waves of the Deities.

D. In the center, place the all encompassing akshata. As akshata becomes the central portion in the platter, the waves of the five superior Deities namely Deity Shiva, Durgadevi, Shriram,Shrikrushna and Shri Ganapati are attracted to them and are then transmitted as per the requirement to the other components like vermilion, turmeric etc. placed around them in a circular manner.

(Divine knowledge received through the medium of Mrs. Anjali Gadgil, 6th January 2005, 11.20 a.m.)

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘What is the Importance of the Substances used in Ritualistic Worship ?’