A naked woman was standing on one leg in a fruit field. He had a golden crown on his head and a necklace of precious stones around his neck. He had a burning stick in his right hand.
Pointing to pictures of the deities on a screen in his office in the Bhutanese capital, Tempo, Ndu said, “These are the Buddhist goddess Dagpuima, who is called the goddess of perfume.”
It is said that the Buddha first created the perfume and then spread it around the world by his followers like Digpuma. I feel like one of his followers and that’s what I’m doing. “
Ndu has only one name because people in Bhutan do not put their family name with their name. Ndu offered me a workshop on making agarbatti and fragrant saffron, Nidu Poisoking.
In this kingdom of the Himalayas, where agarbatis and fragrant saffron are in demand in every house and monastery, Ndu’s workshop is the oldest and largest.
The king even invites incense and perfume from Nidu’s workshop in person to perfume the atmosphere of his palace.
Opening the door of his warehouse, which contained a large number of herbs, spices and dried plants, Nidu said that he thought the agarbatis and saffron he had made were very fragrant. Their fragrance is so strong because they are made from incredibly natural and pure ingredients.
Everything is 100 percent pure, from the extraction of flowers to the delicate mansi flowers. Other agarwood and powder manufacturers use unnatural ingredients such as chemicals and substandard ingredients to keep their costs low, which can reduce their healing effect and burn them can cause headaches. You may be upset but we use pure ingredients.
The plants and leaves that Nidu uses were grown on the heights of herdsmen’s mountains to protect them from toxic effects and epidemics. The gypsies lived a very difficult life, but these herbs and plants gave them extra income.
The tradition of burning incense and fragrant saffron is very common and old in Bhutan.
Planting time is very important. Ndu said the best time is after the Thor Bab, the month of mercy, which heralds the end of the monsoon.
In those days, the heat of the sun makes the flowers and leaves shine after long rains and they help me to make fragrant perfumes and this perfume is used to make the sticks and saffron of incense sticks so that they have the traditional magical effect. To be born. ‘
The traditions of Dhoni and perfume are very old in Bhutanese culture where they must be used twice a day.
In other countries, agarbatti is used only for religious and cultural ceremonies, but in Bhutan the day begins and ends with them. “It’s a must,” Nidu said.
Even today, agarbatiyan and safof are used in the same way as they were used centuries ago. Either their saffron is used or they are burned like incense sticks.
Fragrant saffron is burned in homes, monasteries and temples on burning coals, which emit smoke.
It is used as an offering to the gods and as a laundry to keep holy rooms and relics clean, to remove demons and evil spirits, but they are also burned for their medicinal properties.
The fragrant smoke from them opens the mind and calms the nerves, Nidu said.
He said that their agarbatti recipe is very effective which restores your energy and also protects you from many diseases.
Ndu’s fun and healthy way to make agarbatti from natural ingredients is a secret that only he and his daughter Lemden know.
He said the recipe came from a three-and-a-half-century-old Tibetan monastery.
He said that some changes have been made in this recipe because the original recipe used a large quantity of saffron and if the same amount of saffron is used today, its price will be very high and no one could buy it Will
“I mixed it with a new recipe from the Drukpa Kagyu sect of Buddhism, which has enhanced both its fragrance and its effectiveness. I use more than 30 ingredients in my usual agarbati and agarbati made for use during religious ceremonies. It has the number 108 which is a blessed number in Buddhism and these special agarbatiyas are made according to the Buddhist calendar only for the holy day.
To make agarbati, various ingredients including tree bark, flowers, leaves and herbs are ground in a workshop to make a powder.
Ndu said workers who go through this phase of preparation only know what is used but do not know the exact proportions of those items.
“They don’t know what’s in the cup that I put in the end,” Nidu said.
The only thing they say is that the powder that is prepared for burning is added to some medicinal herbs before it is sent for packing to make sure that more smoke will be produced. The spices made for it are mixed with water, honey and natural cassava and kneaded and put in a large pot and left to ferment.
It is just as important to light candles as it is to eat, drink water and breathe.
“It’s a treasure trove for me,” Ndu said, slowly lifting the lid of a pot. He gave me a chance to peek into it and smell the aroma from the yeast. Nido and his workers keep a close eye on the yeast because even the slightest carelessness can ruin it. “That’s why everything here is done by hand and machines are not used because it is an art and not an industrial product,” he said.
Nidu then took me to an outdoor room where agarbatti was made. Here, Ndu’s team consists of 12 women. One of the women in the team puts the ready-made yeast in a machine to make their loaves.
He said that it is created from the heart. Geezing said they all love the job. He said that none of them had any education and if it were not for Nido, they would not have got any other job.
He passed the tray of sticks to one of his companions, Jesse. He said that this work makes him feel self-reliant. “We do not make money a burden on our families and husbands.”
These sticks are straightened into long threads that are laid on the roof to dry. In the final stage, they are cut and bundled and sent for sale.
Ndu said he produces about 350 kilograms of saffron and about 20,000 agarbatis every month.
Nidu-made agarbati and saffron are also exported to China, the United States and the United Kingdom. Nido said his goal is not just to make money, but also to find peace of mind.
“It’s my decision and when I see how people are benefiting from it, I’m heartbroken. Let me show you how people use it. ‘
He walked down the hill from Nidu to the city center of Tempo and on the way he told me that he had somehow found the purpose of his life. He said he joined the Buddhist monks at the age of fifteen and stayed with them for ten years.
“I mastered the art of calligraphy and the king of Bhutan commissioned me to write the principles of Buddhism in golden words,” he said. When I finished this job, I wanted to do something that would bring me so much peace of mind and I started working on making agarbatti. ‘
We entered an old bazaar in the central part of the city of Tempo. Fruits and vegetables were being sold on the first floor, but the second floor was dedicated to selling agarbatti and fragrant saffron, which also sold agarbati that helps relieve or relieve stomach pain. Are also burned during the process of getting rid of many evil shadows.
At one of the stalls, we talked to a woman who also used Ndu’s agarbati and also sold agarbati.
“When I brush my teeth in the morning, I burn these incense sticks and burn them before going to bed at night,” he said.
He said that it has become an integral part of his life. “My parents instilled this habit in me and now I am inculcating it in my children. It’s just like the way we eat or breathe. “
“Everyone, rich and poor, uses it,” he said.
We walked towards the monastery which is supplied by Nidu Agarbati. In a sunlight-lit worship room, a monk was slowly shaking a pot from which fragrant smoke perfumed the room.
This monk told us that when they worship or make a habit, burning fragrant saffron removes the forces of evil and purifies them physically, spiritually and mentally.
“It helps me focus on my worship and become a better person.”
There was a study room on the corner of the aisle where a few monks, with their heads bowed, leaning on their religious books, were reading intently. There was an agarbati slug equal to each.
A monk named Wangchak told us that an agarbati is very effective.
It removes the forces of evil from you and removes all obstacles in your life. It creates a feeling of empathy and peace among the people and it opens the door to happiness for you.