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Importance of Chandan in Hinduism – Religious Significance of Sandalwood in Hindu Religion

Chandan or Sandalwood is of great importance in Hinduism. The most important religions significance of sandalwood is in using its paste to apply on forehead by Hindu devotees. This is believed to have a cooling effect and keeps the body calm. It is applied on an important nerve center. It is also seen as a Prasad given to the devotee from the temple. In some temples, the chandan that is offered is usually the one which was used to adorn the main murti worshipped in the shrine.

Sandalwood paste is used in all important Hindu pujas and rituals. It is used to anoint the murti of Gods and Goddesses. Anointing murtis completely with chandan is a practice in majority of temples in South India.

 In some Vishnu temples in Kerala, all the 10 Avatars of Vishnu is created using Sandalwood paste on the main murti in the temple. One can view this wonderful puja ritual at the famous Guruvayoor Temple.

Sandalwood paste is offered with haldi and kumkum to ladies during auspicious occasions by many Hindu communities.

During Hindu marriage ceremonies, sandalwood is used extensively. The bride and groom are anointed with sandalwood paste and turmeric as part of customary oil bath.

Sandalwood scented water is offered to the deity during Hindu pujas in home and in temples.

In funeral ceremonies, the body of the deceased in anointed with chandan. Earlier sandalwood used to be part the wood used in the cremation ceremony of kings, queens and rich people.

Chandan markings are a must for Vaishnavites on foreheads and in other part of the body.