A Ghanta is an Indian bell used in Hindu rituals. Hindu temples generally have one metal bell hanging at the entrance and devotees ring the bell while entering the temple. Priests and devotees ring bells during the puja. There are bells specially made to produce the long strains of the sound OM. The word “Ghanta” is also used to describe Buddhist bells.
Invariably in almost all Hindu temples there are one or more bells hung from the top near the entrance to the garbha griha. Hindus go to the temple to have “Darshan” (vision) of the Lord first before starting the worship or prayer. The purpose of Darshan is to establish communication between ones own “Aatman” (the divinity within you) and the “Paramaatman” (the Supreme Divinity). Darshan of the Lord is an essential and primary part of the Hindu faith, even before any form of worship is started. The devotee rings the bell as soon as he enters, thereafter proceeds to have Darshan of the Lord, following it with prayer or worship.

The Bell, known in Sanskrit as the Ghanta/Ghanti is used in all poojas for invoking the Gods.The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It produces the sound of “OM” the Universal name of the Lord. Most Mantraas (prayers) and vedic chants start with OM. All auspicious actions begin with OM. It fills the mind with peace, makes it focussed and replete with subtle sounds.. The ringing of the bell drowns any irrelevant or inauspicious sound, and pervades the whole atmosphere.This reminds us of all pervasive nature of the supreme (Sarva-vyaapi). Even while doing the ritualistic “Aarathi” the bell is rung. It is sometimes accompanied by conch blowing, beating drums, clashing of cymbals and other musical instruments. Hindus chant the following prayer while ringing the bell to start their daily worship.

According to the Skandpuran, the ringing of temple bells absolves man from sins committed over hundred births. Let us now see how the energy is emitted from the bell and what exactly happens with the help of a subtle drawing.

The dome shaped body of the bell and the clapper when strike with each other create circles of chaitanya which are projected in the atmosphere. The sound generated simultaneously also emits frequencies of chaitanya predominant in Akash tattva (absolute ether element). We can see them in yellow colour. The stroke of clapper emits red coloured divine energy rays. The particles of divine energy which spread in the atmosphere and are of red colour are also seen here. The divine energy and chaitanya generated by the sound of bell drives away the negative energies.

Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam

gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam

Kurve ghantaaravam tatra

devataahvaahna lakshanam

Means: I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.

Why do Hindu temples have Bells?

It is believed that deities remain manifest in mandirs in which bells (ghanta) are rung. In Hindu mandirs, bells are usually hung in the area or porch preceding the inner sanctum. Devotees ring them as an invocation to the deity to listen to their prãrthnã and be blessed.

There is an art and science of making bells to produce the requisite sounds. There are bells specially made to produce the long strains of the sound OM. The handle of a ghantadi signifies prãna – the vital force in the form of Hanumanji, Garud, Nandi or Chakra. During Garud sthãpanvidhi, the handle is offered pujan. A bell without a handle in one of these forms is forbidden in rituals, since it may augur misfortune. The body of the bell is said to represent the divinity of time

People who are visiting the temple should and will Ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum (Garbhagudi or Garbha Gruha or womb-chamber) where the main idol is placed. According to Agama Sastra, the bell is used to give sound for keeping evil forces away and the ring of the bell is pleasant to God. However, the scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind and helps us stay sharp and keep our full concentration on devotional purpose. These bells are made in such a way that when they produce a sound it creates a unity in the Left and Right parts of our brains. The moment we ring the bell, it produces a sharp and enduring sound which lasts for minimum of 7 seconds in echo mode. The duration of echo is good enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. This results in emptying our brain from all negative thoughts.

In Hinduism, music is considered a way of worship… In-fact, so much so, it is associated completelywith worship.

A bell is just another musical instrument. It is used for worship because of this reason. It also creates sounds which create a mythical environment. It can be experienced with day to day life. Go to a temple, hammer a bell, and you will feel more close to the temple, and in a more soothing, sacred world! They create positive vibrations as well.

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