Why do we use water, sandal, flowers, agarbathi and lamp in puja ?

Ramaswamy Sastry

The whole material world around us and our body itself is made up of five elements – Earth ( prthvi ), Water ( jalam ), Fire ( agni ), Air ( vayu ) and Ether ( akasha ) in their various permutations and combinations.

The primary quality of Earth is smell. Quality of water is rasa or taste and that of fire is vision. Likewise, the quality associated with air is touch and that of Ether is sound.

In the ritual science, water is offered directly. Lamp represents fire. Agarbathi by its fumes represents air. Sandal by its quality of smell represents earth and flowers represent ether.

Flowers are known to act as a medium of sound like ether. When you hold a flower and chant a mantra / stotra,  it acts as a vehicle between yourself and the divinity. When the flower is offered at the lotus feet, it is like joining the mantra with the divinity and also thereby imparting more chaitanya to the murthy.

Is there anything else left when you are offering with devotion all the five elements themselves ? It is equivalent offering all your possessions and yourself in entirety.

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