Why we blow Conch or Shankha?
When the conch (Shankha) is blown, the primal sound of Om emerges. Om is the sound that was emanated by God before creation of the universes.
The conch (sankha) is one of the attributes of Lord Vishnu. It is said that once a demon name Sankhasura harassed the Demigods and stole the Vedas and hid himself in an ocean. Lord Visnu incarnated as a huge golden fish ie Matsya Avatar and killed the demon. After this the Lord is supposed to have blown the conch- shaped bone of the ear of Sankhasura. From this, arose the sound Om and from this sound emerged the Vedas. The conch is therefore known as sankha after Sankhasura. The conch of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna is called the Pancajanya. It represents dharma or righteousness, which is one of the four objectives (purusarthas) of human life. The sound of the conch also symbolises the victory of the good over the evil.
During the ancient times, conches would be also blown before the start of a battle.There are two well-known verses in the first chapter of the Bhagvad Gita which describe the conches of Lord Krishna and the Pandavas on the battlefield of Kuruksetra-
- Lord Krishna (Hrisikesa) blew His conch shell, called Pancajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell, called Paundra’.
- King Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conch shell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kasi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conch shells.’
Conches also have been blown during aratis and important festivals in temples to serve as a reminder to those villagers or citizens who had missed the worship. The sound of the conch helps people to make their minds concentrate on God while praying and drive away other stray thoughts. The conch is placed in temples and even in domestic shrines as a symbol of Nada Brahma or the sound of Om, the Vedas, dharma, victory and auspiciousness. It is also at times used to give tirtha water (holy water) to devotees in a temple.
Because of its close association with Lord Vishnu, the blowing of the conch is an essential part of Vaishnavite ritual practices.
It is believed the blowing shankha destroys enemies and also pleases goddess Lakshmi.
Not just for religion, blowing shankha has scientific and ayurvedic benefits also. As per them, blowing shankha during puja has benefits on our lungs. This is because for blowing a shankha pure air reaches the lungs and impure air comes out. This makes the lungs strong.Blowing shankha also cures diseases of intestines.
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