If you are to offer fruits or flowers to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, it’s customary or a basic courtesy that you only select them by how they look. It’s considered highly improper and a disrespect to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas when you smell them. This is because it seems like you are getting or tasting something before you offers something to a being that is way above you. In the same manner, do not ever smell the flowers or fruits while they’re still on the altar.
What if you accidentally smelled them? Then it is customary to whisper “Offering to the Buddha”!
I know some Westerners or non – Buddhist will find this a little too much, but it only sows how most Buddhist respects the Buddha or Bodhisattva.
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