Vibhuti: How to Apply and its Benefits•
Posted on December 30 2022
Vibhuti or Bhasma is referred to as the holy or sacred ash in English. The vibhuti is largely used by the Shaivite cult of Hindus who consider Lord Shiva as their principal deity. It is primarily applied on the forehead as a single horizontal line or three horizontal lines. The bhasma is primarily prepared from cow dung although rice husk and dried wood from burning dead bodies are also used to produce the holy ash in some cases.
The vibhuti to be applied must be taken from its containers by taking a pinch of the same between the ring finger and the thumb. When the bhasma is applied as three lines, it is taken on the palm of the left hand and applied using the index, middle and ring fingers of the right hand. The vibhuti is often applied this way when performing a ritual such as a Shiva Puja. The vibhuti must always be applied using a clean hand or preferably after a bath.
The bhasma is applied on the forehead between both the eyebrows. This point is known as the agna chakra. When the vibhuti is applied this way, it is called tripundra. As per the Shiva Purana, the holy ash particles that make skin contact when applied as tripundra are said to represent lingams.
The second point of application of the vibhuti is the pit of the throat. This part of the human body is also a chakra and is called the vishuddhi chakra.
It is also a customary practice to put some bhasma in the middle of the chest. This is the spot where the rib cage meets and is also the residing place of the anahata chakra.
Although there are seven chakras altogether, these three chakras have been given due significance because when the sacred ash is applied on them, they tend to become more sensitive.
There are various benefits of applying bhasma. Some of the key benefits are given below.
Unblock the energy channels
The vibhuti helps to remove the blocks in the chakras or the energy channels of the human body. This will thereby activate the chakras, which in turn paves way towards contributing the good health of the individual who applies the vibhuti.
Keep cold at bay
Bhasma has been widely put to use in Ayurveda for a long time. The holy ash has the ability to absorb the excessive moisture from the human body. This will, in turn, increase a person’s immunity and prevent him/her from catching a cold and/or reducing sinusitis by eliminating nasal blockages.
Develop a positive mindset
When you apply vibhuti over the agna chakra, it is actually over the third eye that symbolises your thought processes and subconscious mind. Negative energy makes its way into the human body as negative thoughts via the chakra. The bhasma acts as a barrier and blocks the entry of the negative energy into the human body. It protects the body against evil spirits and forces and increases the positive vibes around a person.
Simplicity in life
The vibhuti serves as a reminder to an individual to engage in a simple lifestyle and indulge in simple activities. It signifies the devotion of the person to Lord Shiva who is said to reside in the cremation ground. The vibhuti helps to dispel his/her selfish desires and prevents him from getting trapped in the world of illusion or maya. Some devotees believe that the three lines of the vibhuti represent the three letters of the divine AUM.
Receptive to senses
The bhasma helps to activate all the senses in a person. When a person applies the sacred ash on his/her forehead and body joints, his/her senses become receptive. This helps the individual to lead a disciplined and methodical lifestyle.
Enhance spiritual energy
When a person applies the vibhuti in the early morning and evening hours, he/she experiences an aura engulfing himself/herself. This helps the individual experience a divine energy within himself/herself. As a result, he/she is also blessed with spiritual energy if the bhasma application is done properly.
The vibhuti is also said to represent Lord Shiva’s supernatural powers. The bhasma depicts His powers and ability to transform, destroy and disperse the entire universe. The lord wears the vibhuti on His body to depict His majesty and superiority among the Trinity. His third eye manifests omnipotence and knowledge and has the power to change anything to ashes.
The Shiva Purana has an interesting explanation of why Lord Shiva puts vibhuti all over His body. His consort Sati committed self-immolation in the fire for a yagna in her father king Daksha’s court when the king insulted Lord Shiva. The news upset Shiva beyond words and He went to the palace and performed the Rudra tandav carrying her dead body.
The lord later traversed through the three worlds the same way in a state of frenzy and could not be consoled by anybody. Lord Vishnu touched her body, which immediately turned to a pile of ashes. Lord Shiva took some of the ash in His hand and smeared it all over Himself. He did this because He wanted Sati to be a part of Him always.
Some people apply the vibhuti in its natural powder form. However, there are those who prefer to mix the bhasma with water to make a diluted paste. The paste is then applied just like the powder on the human body.
The vibhuti serves as a reminder to human beings that they lead a mortal and temporary life on earth. The holy ash serves as a key channel for transmitting or transferring energy. Moreover, the vibhuti helps to direct and control the flow of energy through the human body. The Shiva Purana scriptures highlight the fact that when a devotee wears the bhasma, his/her soul gets purified and elevates the status of the devotee to a higher level. These scriptures also stress on the fact that there are various mantras that have to be chanted during the application of the vibhuti.
Written by - Deepthi K