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Why is shankh blown before start of puja?

According to our ancient scriptures that is Purānas, the shankh was originated during the churning of ocean by the Deities and Shrīvishnu held it in the form of weapon. As per a Holy verse which is regularly chanted during the pūjā ritual it is mentioned that by the command of Shrivishnu the Deities Moon, Sun and Varun are stationed at the base of the shankh, the Deity Prajāpati on its surface and all the places of pilgrimage like Ganga and Saraswati in its front portion. Yet another speciality of shankh is that the vibrations emanating on blowing it destroys the disease causing germs in the atmosphere. That is the reason it has a important place in Āyurvēda and medicine.

Let us see a subtle drawing which explains us the importance of shankh.

In this subtle drawing we can see that the yellow coloured circles of Chaitanya are being emitted from shankh in the atmosphere. The subtle blue coloured dots depicting devotion are projected like rays in straight line. The pink circles are formed of particles of bliss (Ānand) and they are constantly active.

The direction of the space within the shankh divides it into two types. When the space is towards your right when you hold the shankh with its tip facing in frontal direction and with the space facing upwards then it is right sided shankh and if the space faces to left then it is a left sided shankh. Generally a left sided shankh is preferred for the puja ritual. Now days so many shanks of different shapes are available in the market. There are some figured works also on their surface. Thus one gets confused as to how a genuine shankh be identified? The simple test is that without blowing the shankh if you hear pleasant sound when you bring it near to your ear then it is a genuine one.

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