• Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

Sandalwood In Guru Granth Sahib

Aug 18, 2005
Fremont, California
Chandan (Sandalwood) in Guru Granth Sahib
Harsimrat Kaur Khalsa
Guru Granth Parchar Mission of USA, Inc.
(510) 432-5827

Sandalwood is so special that it is used many times in the Guru Granth Sahib. Sandalwood trees are Parasitic trees of India, Indonesia and Malaysia having fragrant close-grained yellowish heartwood with insect repelling and strong healing properties.

The Sandal tree is highly regarded in the Vedic texts, and the heartwood is considered to be sacred. It is said that chandana, or Indra's Sandalwood tree, scents the whole of paradise with its fragrance.ਭਾਰ ਅਠਾਰਹ ਮਹਿ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਊਤਮ ਚੰਦਨ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਸਭ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਹੁਈਆ ॥bhaar athaareh mehi chandhan ootham chandhan nikatt sabh chandhan hueeaa || (834) "Of all plants, the sandalwood tree is the most sublime. Everything near the sandalwood tree becomes fragrant like sandalwood." Sandalwood is considered the epitome of excellence, imparting fragrance even to the axe that cuts it. For this reason anything that is excellent is referred to as chandana. It is used in sacred ceremonies and to purify holy places.

When used externally, Sandalwood oil or Sandalwood paste (made from mixing water with Sandalwood powder) has a calming, cooling effect on body and mind. It helps relieve fever and burns, and stops excessive sweating. In general it relieves Pitta Dosha (energy imbalance) and helps balance the body after overexposure to the sun. The oil or the paste can help heal skin diseases such as infectious sores, ulcers, acne and rashes. Sandalwood powder helps smooth and cool the skin, and can be made into a paste, lotion or soap forcleansing, calming and hydrating sensitive or aging skin.” ਚੰਦਨ ਲੇਪੁ ਉਤਾਰੈ ਧੋਇ ॥ chandhan laep outhaarai dhhoe ||(2567) “They wash off the sandalwood paste” gdhu ਗਦਹੁ ਚੰਦਨਿ ਖਉਲੀਐ ਭੀ ਸਾਹੂ ਸਿਉ ਪਾਣੁ ॥

gadhahu chandhan khouleeai bhee saahoo sio paan ||(790) "If a donkey is anointed with sandalwood paste, he still loves to roll in the dirt."“Sandalwood acts as a disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant and sedative. It is bitter, sweet, astringent and cooling. Sandalwood balances the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems.”


“Chandan wood is straight and close-grained, fairly hard and oily. It weighs nearly 25 to 30 kg to a cubic foot. The sapwood is grayish white having little scent. The heartwood is yellowish brown and pleasingly scented. It also yields equally scented and medicinally useful oil on distillation. It is good for carpentry as well. Some also use it for coffins.

Chandan (Santalum album) is a small-sized evergreen tree from the family Santalaceae. Its other regional Indian names are Gandha, Srigandha, Malayaja, Sandhanam, Gandhapu, etc. A paste of chandan wood and or oil is reportedly useful for treating skin diseases, burning sensation, cardiac debility, cough, jaundice, bronchitis, cystitis, inflation, gastric irritability, intermittent fever, etc. The bark is useful against malaria. The oil from the wood helps in treating dysuria, gonorrhea, cough, tuberculosis of gall bladder, etc.

More than anything else, Chandan is of immense religious importance to Hindus. Many people believe that proximity to this tree in any way keeps the head cool, physique healthy and the temperament satvik, i.e., endearing traits of a God-fearing psyche. Accordingly, chandan is one of the costliest woods.”


ਕੁਤੇ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਲਾਈਐ ਭੀ ਸੋ ਕੁਤੀ ਧਾਤੁ ॥|(143, Raag Maajh, Guru Nanak Dev)
kuthae chandhan laaeeai bhee so kuthee dhhaath |
You may apply sandalwood oil to a dog, but he will still be a dog.

ਚੰਦਨ ਲੇਪ ਹੋਤ ਦੇਹ ਕਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਗਰਧਭ ਭਸਮ ਸੰਗੀਤਿ ॥(673, Dhanaasree, Guru Arjan Dev)
chandhan laep hoth dhaeh ko sukh garadhhabh bhasam sangeeth ||
Its body may be anointed with sandalwood oil, but the donkey still loves to roll in the mud.

ਚੰਦਨ ਲੇਪ ਹੋਤ ਦੇਹ ਕਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਗਰਧਭ ਭਸਮ ਸੰਗੀਤਿ ॥ (170, Gauri, Pourbee, Guru Ram Das)
chandhan laep hoth dhaeh ko sukh garadhhabh bhasam sangeeth ||
As Gurmukh, go and enter your own home; anoint yourself with the sandalwood oil of the Lord's Praises. ||2||

ਚੋਆ ਚੰਦਨ ਦੇਹ ਫੂਲਿਆ ॥(210, Gauri Chaytee, Guru Arjan Dev)
choaa chandhan dhaeh fooliaa ||
The body, scented with musk and sandalwood

ਪਹਿਰੈ ਬਾਗਾ ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨਾ ਚੋਆ ਚੰਦਨ ਲਾਏ ॥(213, Gauri Pourbee, Guru Arjan Dev)
pehirai baagaa kar eisanaanaa choaa chandhan laaeae ||
You wear white clothes and take cleansing baths, and anoint yourself with sandalwood oil.

ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਨਹੀ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਜਿਉ ਹਸਤੀ ਨਾਵਾਏ ॥੩॥(213, Gauri Pourbee, Guru Arjan Dev)
nirabho nirankaar nehee cheeniaa jio hasathee naavaaeae ||3||
But you do not remember the Fearless, Formless Lord - you are like an elephant bathing in the mud. ||3||

ਚੋਆ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਅੰਕਿ ਚੜਾਵਉ ॥(225, Gauree, Guru Nanak Dev)
choaa chandhan ank charraavo ||
I may anoint my limbs with sandalwood oil.

ਬਲਤੋ ਜਲਤੋ ਤਉਕਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਸੀਤਲਾਇਓ ॥੧॥ (241, Gauri, Guru Arjan Dev)
balatho jalatho thoukiaa gur chandhan seethalaaeiou ||1||
I was burning, on fire, and the Guru poured water on me; He is cooling and soothing, like the sandalwood tree. ||1||

ਚੰਦਨ ਬਾਸੁ ਭਏ ਮਨ ਬਾਸਨ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਘਟਿਓ ਅਭਿਮਾਨਾਨਾ ॥੨॥ (339, Gauri, Kabeer ji)
chandhan baas bheae man baasan thiaag ghattiou abhimaanaanaa ||2||
My mind has become fragrant with the scent of sandalwood; I have renounced egotistical selfishness and conceit. ||2||

ਤੁਮ ਚੰਦਨ ਹਮ ਇਰੰਡ ਬਾਪੁਰੇ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੇ ਬਾਸਾ ॥ (486, Aasa, Ravidaas ji)
thum chandhan ham eirandd baapurae sang thumaarae baasaa ||
You are sandalwood, and I am the poor castor oil plant, dwelling close to you.

ਤੁਮ ਚੰਦਨ ਹਮ ਇਰੰਡ ਬਾਪੁਰੇ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੇ ਬਾਸਾ ॥ (489, Goujree, Guru Nanak Dev)
thum chandhan ham eirandd baapurae sang thumaarae baasaa ||
I would make Your Name the sandalwood, and my mind the stone to rub it on;

ਅਕਹੁ ਪਰਮਲ ਭਏ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਾਸਨਾ ਵਸਾਈ ॥੫॥ (565, Vadhans, Guru Amardas ji)
akahu paramal bheae anthar vaasanaa vasaaee ||5||
From bitter herbs, I have been transformed into sandalwood; this fragrance permeates me deep within. ||5||

ਧੂਪੁ ਮਲਆਨਲੋ ਪਵਣੁ ਚਵਰੋ ਕਰੇ ਸਗਲ ਬਨਰਾਇ ਫੂਲੰਤ ਜੋਤੀ ॥੧॥ (663, Dhanaasree, Guru Nanak Dev)
dhhoop malaaanalo pavan chavaro karae sagal banaraae foolanth jothee ||1||
The fragrance of sandalwood is the incense, the wind is the fan, and all the vegetation are flowers in offering to You, O Luminous Lord. ||1||

ਹਰਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਰੀ ਸਤਸੰਗੁ ਭਏ ਹਰਿ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਕੀਨੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥(668, Dhanasaree, Guru Ram Das)
har sang haree sathasang bheae har kanchan chandhan keenae ||1|| rehaao ||
Associating with the Lord, and the Sat Sangat, the Lord's True Congregation, the Lord has transformed me into gold and sandalwood. ||1||Pause||

ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰੋ ਆਸਨੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰੋ ਉਰਸਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੇਸਰੋ ਲੇ ਛਿਟਕਾਰੇ ॥ (694, Dhanaasree, Ravidas ji )
naam thaero aasano naam thaero ourasaa naam thaeraa kaesaro lae shhittakaarae ||
Your Name is my prayer mat, and Your Name is the stone to grind the sandalwood. Your Name is the saffron which I take and sprinkle in offering to You.

ਚੰਦਨ ਭਗਤਾ ਜੋਤਿ ਇਨੇਹੀ ਸਰਬੇ ਪਰਮਲੁ ਕਰਣਾ ॥੨॥(721, Tilang, Guru Nanak Dev)
chandhan bhagathaa joth einaehee sarabae paramal karanaa ||2||
The Lord's devotees are like sandalwood, which imparts its fragrance to everyone. ||2||

ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਭਉ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਲਾਵੈ ॥ (725, Tilang, Guru Nanak Dev)
hukam pashhaanai naanakaa bho chandhan laavai ||
She who understands the Hukam of His command, O Nanak, applies the Fear of God as her sandalwood oil;

ਗੁਣ ਕਾਮਣ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਕਰੈ ਤਉ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਕਉ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੬॥
gun kaaman kaaman karai tho piaarae ko paavai ||6||
she charms her Beloved with her virtue, and so obtains Him. ||6||

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੀਤਲ ਜਲੁ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਚੰਦਨ ਵਾਸੁ ਸੁਗੰਧ ਗੰਧਈਆ ॥ (833, Bilaaval, Guru Ram Das)
har har naam seethal jal dhhiaavahu har chandhan vaas sugandhh gandhheeaa ||
Meditate on the cool water of the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. Perfume yourself with the fragrant scent of the Lord, the sandalwood tree.

ਜਿਉ ਚੰਦਨ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਵਸੈ ਹਿਰਡੁ ਬਪੁੜਾ ਤਿਉ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਪਤਿਤ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥੩॥ (861, Gond, Guru Ram Das)
jio chandhan nikatt vasai hiradd bapurraa thio sathasangath mil pathith paravaan ||3||
The poor castor oil plant, growing near the sandalwood tree, becomes fragrant; in the same way, the sinner, associating with the Saints, becomes acceptable and approved. ||3||

ਜਿਉ ਚੰਦਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸੈ ਨਿੰਮੁ ਬਿਰਖਾ ਗੁਨ ਚੰਦਨ ਕੇ ਬਸਖੇ ॥੨॥ (976, Nat Narain, Guru Ram Das)
jio chandhan sang basai ninm birakhaa gun chandhan kae basakhae ||2||
Like the bitter nim tree, growing near the sandalwood tree, I am permeated with thefragrance of sandalwood. ||2||

No matter how bad a person is, Gurbani is stronger to make an impact on one’s life. The manmukh only needs a tiny drop of Amrit to begin the transition from stench to fragrance.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ਅਤਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਮੈਲਾਗਰੁ ਮਲਗਾਰੇ ॥ (981, Nat Narain, Guru Ram Das)
sathigur naam dhrirraaeae ath meethaa mailaagar malagaarae ||
The True Guru has implanted within me the exceedingly sweet Naam, the Name of the Lord; it is like the most fragrant sandalwood.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ਅਤਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਮੈਲਾਗਰੁ ਮਲਗਾਰੇ ॥ (1057, Maroo, Guru Amardas)
sathigur naam dhrirraaeae ath meethaa mailaagar malagaarae ||

He Himself forgives, and unites them with the Shabad; the fragrance of sandalwood permeates their minds. ||11||

ਚੰਦਨ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਤਰਵਰੁ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ॥ (1158, Bhaira-o, Kabeer ji
chandhan kai sang tharavar bigariou ||
) Associating with the sandalwood tree, the tree nearby is changed; so that tree begins to smell just like the sandalwood tree. ||2||

ਹਮ ਨੀਚ ਬਿਰਖ ਤੁਮ ਮੈਲਾਗਰ ਲਾਜ ਸੰਗਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸਰੀਆ ॥੧॥ (1213, Sarang, Guru Arjan Dev)
ham neech birakh thum mailaagar laaj sang sang basareeaa ||1||
I am a lowly thorn-tree, and You are the sandalwood tree. Please preserve my honor by staying with me; please stay with me. ||1||

ਚੰਦਨ ਕਾ ਫਲੁ ਚੰਦਨ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ (1256, Malar, Guru Nanak Dev)
chandhan kaa fal chandhan vaas ||
The value of sandalwood lies in its fragrance.

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਜਗਿ ਸਾਰੀ ਘਸਿ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਜਸੁ ਘਸਿਆ ॥੧॥ (1319, Kalyan, Guru Ram Das)
har har har keerath jag saaree ghas chandhan jas ghasiaa ||1||
The Praise of the Lord, Har, Har, Har, is Excellent and Sublime in this world. His Praise is the sandalwood paste which I rub. ||1||

ਚੰਦਨ ਵਾਸੁ ਭੁਇਅੰਗਮ ਵੇੜੀ ਕਿਵ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਲੀਜੈ ॥ (1324, Kalyan, Guru Ram Das)
chandhan vaas bhueiangam vaerree kiv mileeai chandhan leejai ||
The fragrant sandalwood tree is encircled by snakes; how can anyone get to the sandalwood?

ਕਾਢਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਰਾਰਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਛੇਦਿ ਛੇਦਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥੩॥ (1324, Kalyan, Guru Ram Das)
kaadt kharrag gur giaan karaaraa bikh shhaedh shhaedh ras peejai ||3||
Drawing out the Mighty Sword of the Guru's Spiritual Wisdom, I slaughter and kill the poisonous snakes, and drink in the Sweet Nectar. ||3||

ਰਤਾ ਸਚਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਤਲ ਹੀਅਲੁ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮਲੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ (1329, Pourbee, Guru Nanak)
rathaa sach naam thal heeal so gur paramal keheeai ||
He is said to be the Guru, with the scent of sandalwood, who is imbued with the True Name to the bottom of His Heart.

ਬਾਵਨ ਬੀਖੂ ਬਾਨੈ ਬੀਖੇ ਬਾਸੁ ਤੇ ਸੁਖ ਲਾਗਿਲਾ ॥ (Ang 1351, Parbhati, Namdev ji)
baavan beekhoo baanai beekhae baas thae sukh laagilaa ||
The beautiful fragrance of sandalwood emanates from the sandalwood tree, and attaches to the other trees of the forest.

ਸਰਬੇ ਆਦਿ ਪਰਮਲਾਦਿ ਕਾਸਟ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਭੈਇਲਾ ॥੨॥
sarabae aadh paramalaadh kaasatt chandhan bhaieilaa ||2||
God, the Primal Source of everything, is like the sandalwood tree; He transforms us woody trees into fragrant sandalwood. ||2||

ਮੈਲਾਗਰ ਸੰਗੇਣ ਨਿੰਮੁ ਬਿਰਖ ਸਿ ਚੰਦਨਹ ॥ (1360, Gathaa, Guru Arjan Dev)
mailaagar sangaen ninm birakh s chandhaneh ||
The lowly nim tree, growing near the sandalwood tree, becomes just like the sandalwood tree.

ਨਿਕਟਿ ਬਸੰਤੋ ਬਾਂਸੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਹੰ ਬੁਧਿ ਨ ਬੋਹਤੇ ॥੫॥
nikatt basantho baanso naanak ahan budhh n bohathae ||5||
But the bamboo tree, also growing near it, does not pick up its fragrance; it is too tall and proud. ||5||

ਕਬੀਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਕਾ ਬਿਰਵਾ ਭਲਾ ਬੇੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਓ ਢਾਕ ਪਲਾਸ ॥ (Ang 1365, Salok, Kabeer ji)
kabeer chandhan kaa biravaa bhalaa baerrihou dtaak pala
Kabeer, the sandalwood tree is good, even though it is surrounded by weeds.

ਓਇ ਭੀ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਬਸੇ ਜੁ ਚੰਦਨ ਪਾਸਿ ॥੧੧॥
oue bhee chandhan hoe rehae basae j chandhan paas ||11||
Those who dwell near the sandalwood tree, become just like the sandalwood tree. ||11||

ਕਬੀਰ ਪਾਪੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਭਾਵਈ ਹਰਿ ਪੂਜਾ ਨ ਸੁਹਾਇ ॥ (Ang 1368, Salok, Kabeer ji)
kabeer paapee bhagath n bhaavee har poojaa n suhaae ||
Kabeer, the sinner does not like devotion to the Lord; he does not appreciate worship.

ਮਾਖੀ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਪਰਹਰੈ ਜਹ ਬਿਗੰਧ ਤਹ ਜਾਇ ॥੬੮॥
maakhee chandhan pareharai jeh bigandhh theh jaae ||68||
The fly abandons the sandalwood tree, and goes after the rotten smell. ||68||

ਕਬੀਰ ਸੰਤੁ ਨ ਛਾਡੈ ਸੰਤਈ ਜਉ ਕੋਟਿਕ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਅਸੰਤ ॥ (Ang 1373, Salok, Kabeerji)
kabeer santh n shhaaddai santhee jo kottik milehi asanth ||
Kabeer, the Saint does not forsake his Saintly nature, even though he meets with millions of evil-doers.

ਮਲਿਆਗਰੁ ਭੁਯੰਗਮ ਬੇਢਿਓ ਤ ਸੀਤਲਤਾ ਨ ਤਜੰਤ ॥੧੭੪॥
maliaagar bhuyangam baedtiou th seethalathaa n thajanth ||174||
Even when sandalwood is surrounded by snakes, it does not give up its cooling fragrance. ||174||

ਨਲ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਕਵਿ ਪਾਰਸ ਪਰਸ ਕਚ ਕੰਚਨਾ ਹੁਇ ਚੰਦਨਾ ਸੁਬਾਸੁ ਜਾਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਅਨ ਤਰ ॥ (1399, Savaiye, Bhatt Nalh in praise of Guru Ram Das)
naly kav paaras paras kach kanchanaa hue chandhanaa subaas jaas simarath an thar || So speaks Nall the poet: touching the Philosopher's Stone, glass is transformed into gold, and the sandalwood tree imparts its fragrance to other trees; meditating in remembrance on the Lord, I am transformed.

ਨਲ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਕਵਿ ਪਾਰਸ ਪਰਸ ਕਚ ਕੰਚਨਾ ਹੁਇ ਚੰਦਨਾ ਸੁਬਾਸੁ ਜਾਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਅਨ ਤਰ ॥
naly kav paaras paras kach kanchanaa hue chandhanaa subaas jaas simarath an thar ||
The True Guru transforms ordinary wood into sandalwood, eradicating the pains of poverty.

In conclusion, just as sandalwood is precious healers and spiritual ceremonies, so is the amulet of God available deep inside of each and every one of us through study and obedience of Guru Granth Sahib’s wisdom. There is no other wisdom as precious and effective as Gurbani wisdom. Sandalwood always guarantees the pleasant aroma and effectiveness. Price on sandalwood is very high but Guru Ji’s wisdom is free. God never asked for money when He provided all of His creation for us to use. There is no financial exploitation or misleading away from truthfulness. We must make our honest living and with some extras that we have to share with the needy. This is one way we imitate the giving and sharing nature of the Creator Himself who offers His entire essence at all times. This is seen in the infinite universe and all housed in this infinite space.


  • chandan.jpeg
    54.4 KB · Reads: 302