Perfume Simile in Hindu Literature (Post No.3639)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 15 FEBRUARY 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 19-19

 

Post No. 3639

 

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Many of you would have read the famous quote of Shakespeare in Macbeth:

 

“Here is the smell of blood still. All perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”

 

But the art of perfume making spread to various parts of the world from India. I have already written about the art of perfume making from Brhat Samhita of Varaha Mihira and Kamasutra of Vatsyayana. It is considered one of the 64 arts prescribed to all the women of ancient India. So there is no wonder we have some quotations and similes in our epics. here is one form Mahabharata:

As the perfume of flowers (in contact with them) scents clothing, water, sesame seed, or the ground, so qualities are born from contact (with the good or evil)

vastram aapas tilaan bhuumim gandho vaasayate yathaa

puspaanaam adhivaasena tathaa samsargajaa gunaah (Mbh 3-1-22)

 

In the olden days we mixed perfume with water, oil and used them.

In Tamil we have a proverb (Puuvoodu serntha naarum manam perum). Even the string that is used to make garlands gets the fragrance of the flowers. We use this to say that anyone who hasthe company of scholars will shine like the scholars.

 

There is another proverb saying that even the weaving tools in Kamban’s house will sing Ramayana!

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that if anyone has done good or bad that lingering smell will still be there. So one must be careful not to join the same group:-

 

“The cup in which garlic juice is kept retains the odour, though washed several times. Egotism is such an obstinate aspect of  ignorance that it never disappears completely, however hard you may try to get rid of it.”

 

Once a Marwari gentle man, approached Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and said, “How is it, Sir, that I do not see God although I have renounced everything?”

The Master: “Well, haven’t you seen leather jars for keeping oil? If one of them is emptied of its contents, still it retains something of the oil as well as its smell. In the same way there is still some worldliness left in you, and its odour persists.”

 

–Subham–

 

 

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