Applying Holy Ash

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Vibhuti CupApplying Holy AsheVibhuti Cup

Vibhuti CupVibhuti is also known as Bhasma

Vibhuti is also known by other names like Bhasma and Holy ash. The Sanskrit meaning for the word Vibhuti means glory and it gives spiritual power to those who apply. Vibhuti is also said to protect the people from ill health and evil forces and instead attract the higher forces of nature. The Vibhuti is also said to have high healing power and hence it is used in the field of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Tibetian medicines. There is a wrong theory which prevails about the origin of Vibhuti. This is not true. Vibhuti is got from burning cow dung along with milk, ghee, honey, etc. It is a fundamental vow in the worship of Lord Siva, representing His burning away of our ignorance to ashes. The Vibhuti or the holy ash is the belief of destroying and burning of our sins and then with humbleness remember the Lord. Vibhuti also means the fine power of authority lying behind the fact of creation.

Vibhuti CupVibhuti Also Means Raksha for it Protects From all Fears and Evils

-From vibhooti or bhasma, anything can be created by a tantric or aghora, because the potential of creation lies within it, and he has penetrated the law and controlled the elements. The literal meaning of Bhasma in Sanskrit is dissoution or disintergration where Bha stands for 'to destory" and sma means "to remember". Thus Bhasma means the transient life we lead. Bhasma also signifies that if we have to unite with God or the Supreme power one will have to first disintegrate and burn our ego to ashes and then constantly keep remembering him. Vibhuti also means raksha for it protects form all fears and evils. This is nothing but burning of our false recognition with the mortal body, and freedom from the limitations of the painfully illusive cycle of birth and death. It indicates the decayed kind of our body which at the end of its cycle is going to be reduced to nothing but ashes.

Vibhuti CupVibhuti is Generally Taken With the Right Hand

Holy Ash
-The ash or the bashma which is got from offering of oblations into the sacred homa signifies the burning of our ego and egocentric wishes into the fire of knowledge. Thus the ash got from this oblation represents the pure mind which has come after the disintegration of one's ego. Thus when we apply the ash on our forehead we should not fail to understand that we have to remove the false identification associated with our body and become free from the restriction of birth and death.Vibhuti is generally taken with the right hand and applied on the forehead as three horizontal lines where each line denotes various meanings. The first line denotes removal of pride, the second line stands for removal of ignorance and the third stands for removal of bad karma or actions. Apart from the forehead Vibhuthi is applied on other parts of the body like upper arms, chest etc. At times people might also eat a pinch of it.

Vibhuti CupScience Behind the Application of Vibhuti

-There is a deep science behind the application of Vibhuti in different parts of the body like when it is applied on the forehead in the agna chakra we receive life as a love. When applied in the vishuddhi chakra or the pit of the throat it means life will come to us with both mental and physical power. Life is received as knowledge when Vibhuti is applied in the center of the chest where the ribcage meets. Application of the vibhuti is more stressed on the above mentioned areas for it makes these points more sensitive. When Vibhuti is prepared in the right way it has different positive vibrancy. People also apply Vibhuti on the forehead before going to bed for they believe that vibhuti keeps them away from evil spirits or ghosts, whether external or those which manifest the depths of the mind in the form of nightmares. Vibhuti symbolizes Lord Shiva and gives a reminder to the devotee that whatever life he or she leads at the end they are supposed to reach the Lord who is the destroyer of time.

CowVibhuti is a Symbol of Purity

-Vibhuti's very color which is white is also a symbol of purity. There are verses about Vibhuti in Bhagavat Gita which states Just as fire reduces firewood to ashes, jnana destroys all karma. Here the word jnana indicates wisdom which will be still present even after all the karma is burnt out. Whatever is out as oblation into the fire will ultimately rest in white ash, so is also the human state. The main Prasad in a Shiva temple is the Vibhuti which is the sign of purity. The application of Vibhuti mainly stresses the factor of reality of oneself and unreality existing in the form of maya. The basic principle behind wearing of the Vibhuti is that we have to remember that whatever we may be whether a king or a pauper, one will end up as a handful of ash.