Blowing a shankh is something observed in all the temples across the country. It is common to the temples in all the states. Have you ever wondered why bowing a conch shell is so important not only in Hinduism but in many other religions as well?
When the milk of the ocean was being churned, a number of things had come out of it. Among those things, this shell was what emerged just before Goddess Lakshmi. This was taken by Lord Vishnu. This is why, he is seen holding a shell in his every depiction. The conch shell is dear to Goddess Lakshmi also. However, its importance is equal in the puja of all the deities.
There is a mantra which is chanted in almost all the pujas. The mantra says that on the commands of Lord Vishnu, the Gods, Sun, Moon and Varuna, all three are stationed at the base of the shell. Lord Prajapati is based at its surface and the pilgrimages are situated on its front portion. It is also believed that the sound waves produced by the conch shell radiate some vibrations, which further remove the disease-causing germs as well.
It is believed that three basic forms of energies exist in the atmosphere. These are the Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Among these, Satva is the only element that bends towards spirituality. The other two oppose the elements of spirituality, puja and worship. Not only this, these two also oppose the frequencies of Satva and render it less powerful.
When a Shankh is blown, it radiates three kinds of elements in the atmosphere. All these elements are related to the main energy form - Satva. These elements are namely those of devotion, consciousness and bliss. While bliss refers to the state of satisfaction and happiness, consciousness ensures the awareness and removes laziness from the atmosphere. The third element is that of devotion.
These are released into the atmosphere through the sound energy emitted by the Conch shell. All these combined together weaken the frequencies of the Rajas and Tamas elements. Therefore, they can not stop the Satva elements from reaching the place of worship. The stronger the frequencies of a form of energy are, the more its effect is on the moods of the people around.
It is also believed that when the shankh is blown, the sacred energy activated by Lord Vishnu gets attracted to that holy place, which can be a temple or your house. These benefit not only the one who blows the shell but also to the others who hear the holy sound.
Blowing a shell at the beginning drives away all forms of negative energies and makes the environment suitable for sacred and holy rituals.
The conch shell is of two types. One is turned towards the left-hand side and the other towards the right-hand side. The one turned towards the left-hand side is mainly used for puja and in temples. A conch shell is blown both at the time of beginning of the puja as well as beginning of the Aarti.
The one used before beginning the worship should not be kept in the puja. One must never use the same Conch shell for keeping in the puja ritual, which is used for blowing in the temple. And one must also not water the deities or give them a bath with the same shell used for blowing.