In Hinduism, the bell or ghanta is considered an essential part of the worship of God. In Hindu religion, the sound produced by ringing a bell is considered auspicious. Temples usually have a metal bell hanging at the entrance of the temple and devotees ringing the bell while entering the temple is an essential part of preparing for darshan.
The bell is made of five to seven precious metals, which are associated with the planets. lead (Saturn), tin (Jupiter), iron (Mars), copper (Venus), mercury (Mercury), silver (Moon) and gold (Sun). A clapper is attached to the inside and makes a loud sound when the bell is rung.
A bell is also rung by the priest during the puja or yagya. Bells are specially made to generate long strains of Om. Most of the people understand that God is pleased by ringing the bell in the temple, but the sound produced by the ringing of the bell purifies the surrounding environment. Positive energy is generated by the sound of the bell, which destroys micro bacteria and negative energy.
It is said that by ringing the bell, the devotee informs the deity of his arrival. The sound of the bell is considered auspicious, welcoming divinity and warding off evil. It is said that the sound of the bell separates the mind from the running thoughts and thus makes the mind more receptive. It is also believed that the ringing of the bell during prayer helps to control the ever-wandering mind and focus on the deity.
The sounds emanating from the bell are like a space clearing mechanism. This is to remove energetic imbalances in the temple. Every time a devotee comes, he cleans the space of that area so that he gets the full amount of vibrations. Temples are energetic towers built to absorb the energy in the hall. So when people release negative energy. By ringing the bell, it purifies the energies so that the person gets a flow of fresh energy again.
The mantra which is chanted while ringing the bell in Hinduism is-
Aagamaardhamtu devaanaam gamanaardhamtu rakshasaam,
Kuru ghantaaravam krutva devataahvaana lanchanam
Meaning: I ring this bell which signifies the invocation of the divinity, so that the virtuous and great forces may enter and the devilish and evil forces may leave, from within and without.
From the point of view of Kundalini Yoga, the sound of the bell activates the body's chakras and balances the distribution of energy in the body. Also, the number of times the bell should be rung depends on the number of syllables in the mantra. Accordingly the bell should be rung 8, 16, 24 or 32 times. It is mentioned in the Shilpa Shastras that the bell should be made of Panchadhatu – five metals, namely copper, silver, gold, zinc and iron. These five metals represent the five elements.
Bells have symbolic meaning in Hinduism. The curved body of the bell represents infinity. The clap or tongue of the bell represents Saraswati, the goddess of desire and knowledge. The handle of the bell represents Prana Shakti - the vital force and is symbolically linked to Hanuman, Garuda, Nandi (the bull) or the Sudarshan Chakra.