Located at the foot of Sankassa, a Buddhist pilgrimage site, is Kannauj, the “Ittra Nagri” (the Perfume capital of India). The city falls forty-five miles away from Sankassa that holds great importance in Buddhism. It is believed that Gautam Buddha spent three months in Tusita Heaven, preaching the Abhidhamma, and then he descended to earth at Sankassa (or Sankissa). The people of Kannauj have been manufacturing scents, attars, and fragrance oils for hundreds of years using the traditional steaming method which gives you the raw fragrance of nature. Kannauj is to India what Grasse is to France. The fragrance oils from the region have garnered global acclaim for their quality and we have compiled some fragrances for you in BuddhaHome Aroma Oils. The mentions of quality and usage of aroma or diffuser oils can be spotted in Mughal history and Buddhist folk tales. They are believed to have medicinal value and have benefitted generations. The manufacturers in Kannauj have been producing oils for centuries. The citing and historic events related to the fragrance oil have made space in the textbooks too.
History of Aroma oils and Perfumes
The aromatic or essential oils have been used over thousands of years for the therapeutic and psychological effects they had on the mind and body. Egyptians were the first to use aroma oils in perfumes and medicines. In India, the use of plant oils dates back to 3000 years. Ayurveda essentially used plant substances in their healing potions. However, the use of aroma oil for perfume and relaxation became prevalent in India during the rule of the Mughals. India was ruled by the Mughals for a substantial period in history. There are mentions about fragrance oils and their abundant usage during the Mughal history. Bathing in perfumed waters was a common practice for the royal. Many historians from the times of Akbar to Jahangir, have disclosed the use of flower extracts in bathing water, enhancing the aura of the palaces as well as for religious practices. A very prominent story comes from Jahangir’s wife Noorjahan whose mother is known to accidentally discover rose essential oil. Noorjahan used to bathe in water filled with roses.
Buddhism and Aroma Oils
Buddhist scriptures have many citings that mention aroma treatment. There have been many occasions where Buddha himself was treated by the potent power of aroma oils. Tripitaka, one of the Buddhist scripture, mentions that aromatherapy was a way of treating ailments. Jivaka, a physician who treated Gautam Buddha, used to apply aromatherapy. He was the prince of Rajagriha, son of Abhaya, and grandson of Bimbisara. He gained knowledge about medicine in Taxila for almost about seven years. The prince was admired for his knowledge of medicinal herbs and skills. Legend says that Buddha was once suffering from intestinal congestion and was in a very critical condition. Jivika used aromatherapy and handed him over three lotuses for inhaling which helped him recover. Buddha himself is known for recommending aromatic treatments for curing ailments. Scriptures have it that he used to suggest his followers suffering from aches and bodily pains to take steam of the cannabis leaves, after boiling them in hot water.
Another story that proves the history of aromatherapy and Buddhism is about emperor Ashoka. Once, Ashoka was badly injured during his battle in Ujjain. He was kept in hiding and was treated by the Buddhist monks. Historic mention has it that Ashoka’s bathing arrangements involved scented flowers. The same made the bath more energizing and relaxing for the mind and body.
Aromatherapy and Meditation for a Healthy Lifestyle
Aromatherapy has been passed on from generation to generation. It is proven scientifically that fragrance oils can cure diseases and calm the mind. Many mindfulness activities like breathing exercises, focusing on the body parts while lying still (body scan meditation), and focusing on visual sense for calming the mind (guided imagery) use aromatherapy. In this blog, we will disclose one of the most potent ways of practicing mindfulness to combat anxiety and stress by using aromatherapy and fragrance oils.
Why are fragrance oils so effective over stress and anxiety? The brain is directly connected to only one of the senses, and that is the sense of smell. The scents can make us nostalgic, happy, fresh, or could transport instantly to different time and place. When we breathe and sense a smell, it gets attached to the receptor cells. It sends electrical signals to the brain, and thus activates memory and emotion. The unified power of fragrance oils on one’s mood and behavior along with the practice of mindfulness can help in relaxing and healing the mind.
Depression, anxiety, hypertension, and pain can be cured by practicing Mindfulness meditation. The practice involves using senses and focusing energy and attention on meditation. The myths concerning meditation have made many believe that it is hard to practice, whereas the truth states meditation is as simple as breathing. Studies have proven that meditation can help in relieving stress, negativity, and other chronic illnesses that are gifted by the busy modern lifestyle.
Practitioners believe that Buddha discussed mindfulness meditation in his teachings. The Buddhist teachings focus on overcoming negative emotions. Feeling unsatisfied, depressed, and disappointed because of the happenings around us develop negativity. By collecting all feelings and then concentrating completely on the present moment, one can dispel negative emotions and make you feel positive.
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere and anytime. There is no need for specialized guidance or knowledge. The only thing important is to deviate oneself from the distractions.
Aroma oils in Everyday Life
While aroma oils work great for meditation, their pleasant fragrance can help uplift your mood and surroundings in general. Not only monks or meditation practitioners but common people also find the fragrance of aroma oils rich and soothing that helps in relaxing. Thanks to the fast pace of today, stress and anxiety are common. As such, you can use BuddhaHome Aroma oils to overcome daily stress and make your surroundings pleasant. These comforting oils are known not only to freshen the environment but also positively affect your mind and body. Aroma oils have become an essential part of today’s lifestyle. The naturally processed fragrances have therapeutic properties that are far more healing and soothing than the chemically generated room fresheners. These connect you with nature and its potent properties.