According to Vedanta the body takes birth to
fulfill desires.These desires are subtle , like the
mental fragrances of the individuality. Therefore they are termed as (vasanas) ‘scents’. In old
traditional temples the inner sanctum sanctorum is usually unlit and you can only see the deity in the  light of the camphor lit Arati. Camphor is crystallised
fragrance. If left in the open it soon evaporates. It represents the subtle nature of desire, just thoughts that vanish. When camphor is lit it merges into the flame and loses its identity to become fire that
represents  pure consciousness.

This symbolises the complete surrendering of ones desires at the  feet of the Lord, in the light of which one can see the Lord. Desires agitate the mind and are accompanied by fear, anxiety and anger, which threaten the peace and tranquillity of the soul. Modern
psychology has proved that when the mind is disturbed the body’s chemistry is also disturbed.

Surrender to the Lord   helps in detaching the mind from the identification with the body and all that its dross, leaving the mind bathed in  divine purity? Thus the desire agitated mind loses its grip on us. When camphor is lit it BECOMES the flame.

The flame represents the Lord .Just as camphor merges with the fire, losing its name, form and
individuality , so does a true devotee’s individuality merge with the Lord to become the Lord.

His vasanas, residual carryovers of past thoughts and actions are all burnt down and extinguished leaving behind a clean slate.

The desire free mind sees no reason to take on another form and is freed from the cycle of birth and death. It has embraced the supreme to become the supreme.

Prarthna Saran President Chinmaya Mission, Delhi. Email: