The Blessing Power of Shankh

April 18, 2018


 The Blessing Power of Shankh


Shankh is an Indian name for Lord’s Vishnu’s powerful shell. Sankha is the Sanskrit term to define it, and it is an object that we can also find in the Hindu and in the Buddhist (Tibetan) tradition and culture. The shell is usually used as an instrument for rituals, and for this reason, it is often decorated with the most significant religious icons.


Shankh is a very powerful and auspicious symbol, a revered object in culture and mythology. It is also a name of an object that is touched when any auspicious activity is about to begin. Usually, religious event or opening of a door is marked by the shankh breath.


Similarly, a shankh mudra is marked by the opening of a good health system in your regular routine life.

It is Marvelous Conch, an exciting object typical of the Buddhist tradition, considered one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.


In Buddhism, Shankh is the Symbol of the Divine in its feminine form, regal and superior. It represents the broad and victorious sound that spreads the teaching of the Dharma, reaching and transmitting to the different natures, passions, and religious aspirations, awakening from the abyss of ignorance and suffering all the beings, to achieve and obtain freedom.



Why the Shankh blown?


When the shell is blown, the primordial sound of OM is emanated. The OM is an auspicious sound that was produced by the Lord before creating the world. He represents the world and the Truth behind it.


In the Hindu tradition, the story goes that the demon Shankhaasura defeated the Devas in the Vedas and went down to the bottom of the ocean to live.


The Devas sought the Lord Vishnu for help. He incarnated as Matsya Avataara, the incarnation of the fish, and killed Shankhaasura.


Lord Vishnu blew the shell-shaped bone out of his ear and head. The OM sound emanated from which the Vedas emerged. All the knowledge eternalized in the Vedas is an elaboration of OM sound that came from Shankh. Thus, the shell is known as shankha because of Shankaasua. The shell blown by the Lord Vishnu is called Paanchajanya, He carries it all the time in one of His four hands. As a Symbol associated with Vishnu, its sharp and prolonged sound is a sign of spreading and revealing the glory of the Devas.

The Conch represents the dharma or the path of righteousness, which is one of the four goals (purushaarthas) of life.


The sound of the shell is, consequently, the cry of victory of good over evil.

Another well-known purpose of blowing the shell traditionally known for producing auspicious sounds is to drown or mask negative comments and noises that can eventually disrupt or disturb the environment or the minds of worshipers.


In Ancient India, the people lived in their villages. Each village was presided over by a primary temple and a series of smaller temples. During the aarati rituals held after essential poojas and on sacred occasions, the Shankh shell used to be blown. Formerly, in India, it was also used as a trumpet during battles.


Since the villages were initially small, the sound of the shell could be heard throughout the community. Those who could not go to the temple were reminded to stop whatever they were doing, at least for a few seconds, and mentally revere the Lord. The sound of the shell served to quickly raise people's awareness to a moment of prayer, without necessarily disturbing their daily routines.


The shell is placed on the altar in temples and homes next to the Lord Vishnu as a symbol of Naada Brahma (Truth), Vedas, OM, dharma, victory, and festivity. It is generally used to offer thirtha (sanctified water) to devotees to raise their consciousness to the highest Truth. It is worshiped with the following verse: 


Panchjanyanamostu te


Salutations to Panchajanya
The Conch born of the Ocean
From the hands of Lord Vishnu
And Loved by all the devaas



The White Shell


The ancient ritual object of Hindu origin, the white shell is usually expressed with a spiral that winds to the right and ends with a tip.

The white shell with its clockwise spiral symbolizes the melodious sound of the dharma that reaches enormous distances. The practitioners with their open hearts, are willing to receive the call,  to listen to it from afar and they are guided to the source. The Call from Shankh also motivates them to bring benefit to all beings.


This type of shell, the Turbinella Pyrum common name Xancus or also divine conch, is generally found and natural from the Indian Ocean.


In addition to the carved decorations, they are also decorated with applications in silver alloy chiseled with traditional motives and stones, or pastes, such as turquoise and coral






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