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It is often seen that people who worship gods at temple rung bells when they enter the temple.

These bells are hung generally near the idols or at the entrance of the temples. They are also rung while the devotees are performing Aarti.

Even at homes, people have small bells which they ring before they sit for puja (Act of worship)

So whats the reason behind ringing those bells?

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    Oh God! look I came!
    – Himanshu
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:06
  • @hims056 I think its much more than that :D I've heard that ringing those bells hardly helps spreading positive vibrations around and also keeps the demons away
    – Mr. Alien
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:07

4 Answers 4

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It is believed that deities remain manifest in mandirs in which bells (ghanta) are rung. In Hindu mandirs, bells are usually hung in the area or porch preceding the inner sanctum. Devotees ring them as an invocation to the deity to listen to their prãrthnã and be blessed.

There is an art and science of making bells to produce the requisite sounds. There are bells specially made to produce the long strains of the sound OM. The handle of a ghantadi signifies prãna – the vital force in the form of Hanumanji, Garud, Nandi or Chakra. During Garud sthãpanvidhi, the handle is offered pujan. A bell without a handle in one of these forms is forbidden in rituals, since it may augur misfortune. The body of the bell is said to represent the divinity of time (Ãgama-Kosha 1992 VI:99). (Source:kids.baps.org).

Here is a deep scientific analysis of the temple bells.

Bells are also used to inform people to gather for aarti too.

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  • What does "The body of the bell is said to represent the divinity of time" mean? Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 15:21
  • Evens bells have science in them :) Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:59
  • The link doesn't work. Btw, can you tell the origin of bells in Hindu temples? Was it present during Vedic era?
    – MathGod
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 20:27
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    I visited kids.baps.org . It doesn't give any reference to any scripture or a sage's writing etc. Just gives the site writer's opinion. So can't be treated as valid script ref. Any Tom, Dick & Harry can create a website and write whatever he/she feels. But that doesn't mean it is always authentic.
    – Vineet
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 6:32
  • Please consider citing valid source.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 7:29
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For the same reason we chant hymns, sing Aartis etc. They are associated with music.

a typical bell

In Hinduism, music is considered a way of worship... In-fact, so much so, it is associated completely with worship.

A bell is just another musical instrument. It is used for worship because of this reason.

It also creates sounds which create a mythical environment. It can be experienced with day to day life. Go to a temple, hammer a bell, and you will feel more close to the temple, and in a more soothing, sacred world! They create positive vibrations as well.

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The Bell which you see here are seen in Siva temples, not in other temples. Thus bells are sounded in Siva temple while entering to awaken rather draw the kid attention of the benevolent God who remains in deep meditation all through. Besides small bells are sounded at the time of offerings of consecrated foods (also incense and lamp) for(a) not to disturb the deity by external noise and (b) for his pleasure. Further a special type of bell is sounded when the deities move in journeys outside the sanctum or the waving of lamps are ceremonially performed. In some prominent temples local resident used to take heir meals only after their revered god is offered with foods. Here cymbals are sounded near the gates of the temples to make others know that now the god is enjoying his food and hence they can either go for food cooked in their houses or can collect Prasad from the temple.

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 15:16
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The supreme Goddess rings the bell to drive away the asuras and other inauspicious entities. There are many references to that in Sri Sri Chandi.

Beholding him approaching, the goddess sounded her conch, and made her bow also give forth from its string a note which was exceedingly hard to endure. And she filled all regions with the clanging of her bell, which caused the vigour of all the Daitya hosts to die away. - Sri Sri Chandi, Chapter 9

Then the goddess with her trident, her club, with showers of spears, and with her sword and other weapons slaughtered the great Asuras in hundreds, and laid others low who were bewitched with the ringing of her bell; - Sri Sri Chandi, Chapter 2

That is why it is mentioned multiple times, that she rings the bell while fighting with the Asuras. For example,

After issuing these commands Śumbha, the lord of the Asuras, who ruled with fear, went forth, attended by many thousands of great soldiers. Caṇḍikā, seeing that most terrible army at hand, filled the space between the earth and the firmament with the twanging of her bow-string. Thereon her lion roared exceedingly loud, O king; and Ambika augmented those roars with the clanging of her bell. - Sri Sri Chandi, Chapter 8

That is why, the Gods pray to the supreme Goddess that she should protect them by ringing the bell.

With thy spear protect us, O goddess! Protect us with thy sword also, O Ambikā! By the clanging of thy bell protect us, and by the twanging of the thong of thy bow! - Sri Sri Chandi 4.23

As the bell is such an auspicious thing that drives away the inauspicious entities, we have bells in the temple.

References -

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