The Importance and Impact of Fragrance in Life

Rekha Pandey (Lipi)

The fragrance of the earth, the aroma of flowers, and the delightful smell of freshly baked bread hold significant importance in life. The entire nature is filled with fragrance. Every particle of nature is known and recognized by its unique composition, form, color, taste, and scent, which bestow the earth with unparalleled beauty.

When beauty and fragrance combine, creatures of the world are attracted to this beauty and fragrance, establishing a direct connection with nature, making that fragrance a part of their lives, and experiencing mental peace. The combination of beauty and fragrance greatly enhances the beauty, giving it a higher place.

All creatures have a close relationship with nature. The effect of fragrance on the body’s senses awakens desires and aversions, likes and dislikes. A fragrant environment frees the mind from stress and makes the body healthy and cheerful, thereby increasing a person’s efficiency.

In Hinduism, fragrance or scent is considered very important. This is because while pure food nourishes the body, fragrance nourishes the subtle body. This body is composed of five sheaths: physical, vital, mental, intellectual, and blissful. Fragrance nourishes the vital and mental sheaths. Therefore, a person whose life lacks fragrance also lacks peace. Without peace, there is no happiness or prosperity.

Speaking of fragrance, the earthy scent of soil naturally attracts every creature, creating a desire to taste it. Drinking cool water from an earthen pot quenches thirst and provides deep satisfaction to the soul with the taste of soil.

Various plants, flowers, fruits, and other natural food items have their natural fragrances. The lush crops in the fields, the greenery and colors of fruits and flowers in the orchards, and the cool gentle breeze make the entire environment fragrant, filling the minds and hearts of creatures with freshness and energy.

The effect of fragrance not only activates the olfactory sense but also the gustatory sense, leading to a spontaneous experience of the related food items.
Since ancient times, fragrance has been used in human life. People are familiar with various types of fragrances like sandalwood, saffron, vetiver, rose, lotus, jasmine, etc. The taste and aroma of the spices used in food are unique, making the food delicious and fragrant.

The materials used in religious rituals have a distinctive fragrance. This fragrance not only purifies and perfumes the environment but also gives a sense of the rituals being performed from a distance.

The specialty of fragrance is that it identifies the specific object without seeing it. For example, the intoxicating fragrance of Mahua or the sugarcane fields attract a herd of elephants to that place.
The effect of fragrance is not only seen on humans but also on animals and birds. Humans, being wise, can distinguish between good and bad, leading to decisions. However, animals and birds have a very strong sense of smell, making them particularly attracted to certain fragrances, which is also mentioned in literature.

Musk deer have a fragrant substance in their navel. The devotional poet Kabir Das has written in his couplet:
kasturi kundli base mrig dhundhe ban mahi
Ase ghat ghat ram hain, duniya jane nahi
कस्तूरी कुंडल बसे मृग ढूंढे बन माहि।
ऐसे घट-घट राम हैं दुनियां जाने नाहि।।
“The musk is in the deer’s own navel, yet he searches for it in the forest. Similarly, God is within everyone, but the world does not know it.”
Similarly, Kabir Das has emphasized the importance of association with good people using the fragrance of sandalwood:

Kabir chandan ka bida, baithya aak palash
Aap sarikhe kara liye, je hot na un paas
कबीर चन्दन का बिड़ा, बैठ्या आक पलास।
आप सरीखे करि लिए जे होत उन पास॥
“Kabir, sandalwood tree surrounded by thorns, Turns those near it into fragrant sandalwood.”

The importance of fragrance has also been acknowledged in literature. The natural fragrances are unique. Inhaling these fragrances through the breath instills new energy and strength in the body. Therefore, humans have given significant importance to these fragrances by incorporating them into daily life.

Nothing is produced without fragrance. Artificial fragrances are created from natural elements to produce items that are beautifully designed according to their shape and form, encouraging consumers to buy them from the market influenced by their fragrance.

Whether it is the fragrance of a manufactured item or natural substances, fragrance has its place and importance. Speaking of humans, their personality also has a fragrance. A person’s excellent conduct, behavior, and a disciplined life of high ideals and good deeds also have a fragrance that spreads their fame for generations.

Objects may perish, but fragrance maintains its existence for a long time. Just as creatures are drawn to food by its aroma, people are influenced by the fragrance of good character and virtues, adopting them to give their life meaning.

The fragrance of good character and influential personality always maintains their existence, serving as a guide for future generations.

The author is a literary figure and regularly writes on contemporary topics.

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