The Art of Incense ~A Timeless Tradition
Incense burning has been a cherished tradition in Himalayan Buddhist culture for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to Indian Buddhist rituals of offering scent and the ancient Bon smoke-offering. With its deep cultural and religious significance, incense is considered not just as a source of pleasant fragrance, but as a symbol of purity and perfection personified in the form of the female goddess "Dugpoema".
Whether in a small village or grand state temple, the offering of incense is an essential and daily practice that holds great meaning and purpose. It not only stimulates the senses but is believed to bring physical pleasure and mental tranquillity to those who experience it. Join us in embracing this timeless tradition and enriching your life through the art of incense.
Use & Benefits of Incense
The Art of Incense-Making as a Ritual and Therapy
In Bhutanese culture, the burning of incense is both an offering and a therapeutic practice. Each day at sunrise, incense smoke can be seen drifting out of homes and temples as the incense is offered to enlightened beings, celestial deities, suffering sentient beings, and even malevolent spirits. The smoke, created through meditative visualisation, is believed to bring peace and happiness to all recipients.
In addition to its spiritual significance, incense is also used for fumigation purposes. Herbal ingredients in incense sticks and powder have cleansing properties, and the smoke is infused with blessings and powerful mantras for even greater potency. Incense is used to purify holy objects, heal the sick, and pacify malevolent spirits.
Finally, incense has therapeutic benefits for both the body and mind. Composed of a variety of herbs, incense has the power to unlock energy channels, stimulate the senses, and promote internal bliss through aromatherapy. It helps to relax the body and calm the mind, and its regular use can nourish and stabilise the psycho-somatic composition of a person.
Hand Rolled, Straightened and cut using age-old Traditional technique
The Art of Making INCENSE
Making incense involves a careful process that starts with cleaning, drying, and grinding the ingredients into powders. Juniper chips powder is used as the base ingredients. Special herbal powder mix including zangdrup (the great six), which determines the quality of the incense, are mixed with the base ingredient.
The mixed powder is then combined with a liquid/soup like mixture of sugarcane/sugar, honey, guggul, camphor, safflower to form a dough-like mixture. Color is added at this stage. The mixture is then left to ferment for weeks before being blended with a binder called Tse to form a perfect dough. This dough is then extruded to form a soft, spaghetti-like incense, which is straightened by hand using a board, cut to the desired size, and left to dry for five days.
Once dried, the incense sticks are bundled in the desired number and left to dry for weeks before being packaged.
Higher the quality of incense, higher the burn-time and heavier the weight and older the incense, finer the quality.
Incense Offerings: A Dedication to Ancient Buddhist Traditions
Our incense products are made with unwavering commitment to ancient Buddhist scriptures, ensuring the materials and methods of production align with the sacred teachings. Our incense comes in two forms: hand-made sticks and powder and follows two distinct categories of ingredients – Kriya tantra, made with no meat or alcohol, and Upa tantra, which allows for a wider range of ingredients.
Our incense recipes incorporate natural elements such as flowers, bark, wood, leaves, fruit, and roots, with some of our special incense blends containing up to 108 ingredients, a significant number to Buddhists. The majority of our ingredients are sourced from the remote Himalayan region, where they grow at elevations exceeding 4,000 meters. The collection process is done by yak herders, travelling with their herds, as well as families residing in the high Himalayas.
Our hand-made incense sticks come in two forms, Zur poe and Riwosangchoe, each serving different purposes. The Zur-Poi type comprises seven grades, used for offerings and meditation, while the Riwosangchoe incense is used for special ceremonial events.
The incense powder is available in two varieties – the fine herbal powder (ZANGDRUP) and the coarse plant leaf powder (SANG) from high altitude regions. Each type provides a unique fragrance experience for those seeking to create a peaceful, meditative atmosphere.