about role of incense sticks


Many of the readers of this blog might have questions about the origin of incense sticks and its meaning.  Checking them up, I found out that the origin of incense stick goes back to the age of Buddha. It wan not like an artificially molded one like the present incense stick. It seems that there  been a custom in India of preventing body odor, keeping bugs off, and purifying a body with smoke of fragrant wood. There must be an effect of inducement of meditation as well.

  • origin 起源
  • incense stick 線香
  • meaning 意味
  • find out … …ということがわかる
  • go back to A  Aまで遡る
  • artificially 人口的に
  • molded 成型された
  • custom 慣習
  • prevent 防ぐ
  • body odor 体臭
  • keep A off Aを近寄らせない
  • bug 虫
  • purify 清める
  • fragrant wood 香木
  • effect 効果
  • inducement 導入
  • meditation 瞑想

In Taoism of China, smoke of incense sticks is very important. People offer them about 30cm long in increments of three without fail. Temples in China are all cloudy with smoke of incense sticks. At Senso-ji Temple(浅草寺)in Japan visitors put on the smoke, too, which scene has often been broadcast on TV.

  • Taoism 道教
  • offer 捧げる
  • in increments of A A単位で
  • without fail 必ず
  • be cloudy with A  Aで曇っている
  • put on A Aを身につける
  • scene 場面
  • broadcast 放映する

I think this customs has been influenced by Taoism. Taoism turned out many great psychics in its establishing process. I feel it is because the fundamental idea of Taoism stands to reason of the World of Gods.

  • influence 影響する
  • turn out A  Aを輩出する
  • psychic 霊能者
  • establishing process 成立過程
  • fundamental  根本的な
  • stand to reason 理にかなう

According to my spiritual reading, the World of Spirits didn’t exist at the beginning of the human race. There were only two dimensions —the World of Gods and the World of Reality. Gods and creatures, such as humans and animals etc, communicated with each other one on one. When humans died, they returned directly to the World of Gods.

  • according to A  Aによると
  • exist 存在する
  • the human race 人類
  • dimension 次元
  • creature 生物
  • communicate 意思伝達する
  • each other お互い
  • one on one 一対一で
  • return 戻る
  • directly 直接

Although going back and forth between the World of Gods and the World of Reality was repeated, in the course of time humans came to have selfish desires and it got difficult gradually for them to communicate with Gods. Humans came to be unable to go straight back to the World of Gods and they got to stay between the World of Gods and the World of Reality. And this space between the two turned into  the World of Spirits later.

  • go back and forth 往復する
  • in the course of time やがて
  • come to~ 〜するようになる
  • selfish desire 我良しの欲望
  • gradually 徐々に
  • be unable to~ 〜することができない
  • turn into A Aに変わる

In the time immemorial, when only the two worlds existed, it was “water” which mediated the two dimensions. When humans wanted to offer something to gods, they would put it into the river. This practice became the origin of various customs of the future.

  • the time immemorial 太古の昔
  • mediate 媒介となる
  • practice 習慣
  • various 様々な

And it is “smoke” which mediates between the World of Spirits and the World of Reality. It is because the appearance of a spiritual body is perceived as an aggregate of molecules (ectoplasm) like smoke in the World of Reality, and what is similar to a spiritual body in motion and form is smoke of fire. And smoke does have a spiritual influence. A spiritual body and smoke have an affinity to each other. Psychics of Taoism perceived this and enhanced spiritual manners.

  • appearance 見た目
  • perceive A as B AをBと知覚する
  • aggregate 集合体
  • molecule 分子
  • be similar to A  Aに似ている
  • motion 動き
  • form 形態
  • affinity 親和性
  • enhance 充実させる
  • manner 作法

I did spiritual readings about Taoism for the first time in the past few days. And as a result, now I understand well the reason why there was a sign from a deity that I should name this blog “Ise Hakusan Dou(伊勢白山道).”  Dou kyo (道教)and Shinto(神道)have relation to each other from ancient times.  

Note: Taoism is expressed “Dou Kyo”(道教)in Japanese.

  • for the first time 初めて
  • sign 神示
  • deity 神
  • name A B AをBと名付ける
  • relation 関係

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su