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Dr K K Aggarwal

Why do we apply holy ash?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa, the sacrificial fire, wherein special wood, ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a bhasma is formed, no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma.

The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as bhasma, which is then applied on the forehead (usually), upper arms, chest, or rubbed all over the body. Some even consume a pinch of Bhasma.

The word bhasma has been derived from “bha” or “bhartsanam” (“to destroy”) and “sma” or “smaranam” (“to remember”). It denotes “that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered”. Bhasma is also called vibhuti, which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body.

Spiritually, the Homa is the offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants and denotes the offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the fire of knowledge. The resultant ash signifies the purity of the mind. The fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood which signify ignorance and inertia, respectively. The application of ash implies that one should burn false identification with the body.

Bhasma has medicinal values in Ayurveda. It is supposed to be the strongest of all Ayurveda preparations. According to Ayurveda, a Bhasma is formed when the matter is converted into non matter by the process of homa. The non matter is the spirit or the energy of the matter being processed with strong healing powers. It has the same significance as any ‘potentized’ medicine in Homoeopathy.

Bhasma absorbs excess moisture from the body and tends to prevent colds and headaches.

When applied with a red spot at the centre, the mark symbolizes Shiva–Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe).

According to the Upanishads,the Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted while applying ash on the forehead.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Why do we apply holy ash?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Why do we apply holy ash?

Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa, the sacrificial fire, wherein special wood along with ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a Bhasma is formed, no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma. The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as Bhasma, which is then applied on the forehead (usually), upper arms, chest, or rubbed all over the body. Some consume a pinch of Bhasma when they receive it. The word Bhasma is derived from “bha” or “bhartsanam” (“to destroy”) and “sma” or “smaranam” (“to remember”). It means “that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered”. Bhasma is also called vibhuti, which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body.

Spiritually, the Homa is the offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants and signifies offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the fire of knowledge. The resultant ash signifies the purity of the mind. The fire of knowledge tends to oblation and wood, which signify ignorance and inertia, respectively. The application of ash implies that one should burn false identification with the body.

Bhasma has medicinal values in Ayurveda. It is supposed to be the strongest of all Ayurveda preparations. According to Ayurveda, a Bhasma is formed when the matter is converted into non matter by the process of Homa. The non matter is the spirit or the energy of the matter being processed with strong healing powers. It has the same significance as any ‘potentized’ medicine in Homoeopathy. It absorbs excess moisture from the body and prevents colds and headaches. When applied with a red spot at the centre, the mark symbolizes Shiva–Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe). According to the Upanishads, the Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead.

Why do we apply holy ash?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Why do we apply holy ash?

Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa, the sacrificial fire, wherein special wood along with ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a Bhasma is formed, no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma. The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as Bhasma, which is then applied on the forehead (usually), upper arms, chest, or rubbed all over the body. Some consume a pinch of Bhasma when they receive it. The word Bhasma is derived from “bha” or “bhartsanam” (“to destroy”) and “sma” or “smaranam” (“to remember”). It denotes “that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered”. Bhasma is also called vibhuti, which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body.

Spiritually, the Homa is the offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants and signifies offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the fire of knowledge. The resultant ash signifies the purity of the mind. The fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively. The application of ash implies that one should burn false identification with the body.

Bhasma has medicinal values in Ayurveda. It is supposed to be the strongest of all Ayurveda preparations. According to Ayurveda, a Bhasma is formed when the matter is converted into non matter by the process of Homa. The non matter is the spirit or the energy of the matter being processed with strong healing powers. It has the same significance as any ‘potentized’ medicine in Homoeopathy. It absorbs excess moisture from the body and prevents colds and headaches.

When applied with a red spot at the centre, the mark symbolizes Shiva–Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe). The Upanishads say that the famous Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead.

Why do we put on Tilak on the forehead?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The Tilak is a mark of auspiciousness and invokes a feeling of respect in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and color vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of worship of the person in question.

Tilak is applied on the forehead with sandal paste, sacred ash or kumkum, a red turmeric powder. In a wedding, a Kumkum tilak is applied on the forehead of both the bride and groom.

In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or color) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra – applied marks differently. The Brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The Kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valor as he belonged to the warrior race. The Vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The Sudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three castes.

Also, Vishnu worshippers apply a chandan (sandalwood) tilak of the shape of “U”, Shiva worshippers, a Tripundra (of the shape of “º”) of bhasma; Devi worshippers a red dot of kumkum and so on. The tilak is applied in the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thought. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga.

The Tilak is applied with the prayer – “May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude, the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces.

The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak cools the forehead, protects the wearer and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma.

Using plastic reusable “stick bindis” is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.

The devotees of Siva apply sacred ashes (Bhasma) on the forehead

The devotees of Vishnu apply sandal paste (Chandan)

The worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum.

The scriptures say:

“A forehead without a Tilak, a woman without a husband, a Mantra the meaning of which is not known while doing Japa (recitation), the head that does not bend before holy personages, a heart without mercy, a body devoid of health, a custom without purity,… – all these are worthy of condemnation. They exist for name’s sake only.”

Why do we apply holy ash?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Why do we apply holy ash?

Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa the sacrificial fire wherein special wood along with ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a Bhasma is formed no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma. The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as Bhasma which is then applied on the forehead usually upper arms chest or rubbed all over the body. Some consume a pinch of Bhasma when they receive it. The word Bhasma is derived from bha or bhartsanam to destroy and sma or smaranam to remember . It denotes that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered . Bhasma is also called vibhuti which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body. Spiritually the Homa is the offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants and signifies offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the fire of knowledge. The resultant ash signifies the purity of the mind. The fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively. The application of ash implies that one should burn false identification with the body. Bhasma has medicinal values in Ayurveda. It is supposed to be the strongest of all Ayurveda preparations. According to Ayurveda a Bhasma is formed when the matter is converted into non matter by the process of homa. The non matter is the spirit or the energy of the matter being processed with strong healing powers. It has the same significance as any potentised medicine in homoeopathy. It absorbs excess moisture from the body and prevents colds and headaches. When applied with a red spot at the centre the mark symbolizes Shiva Shakti the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe . The Upanishads say that the famous Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own.

Why do we apply holy ash?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Why do we apply holy ash?

Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa, the sacrificial fire, wherein special wood along with ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a Bhasma is formed, no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma.

The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as Bhasma, which is then applied on the forehead (usually), upper arms, chest, or rubbed all over the body. Some consume a pinch of Bhasma when they receive it.

The word Bhasma is derived from “bha” or “bhartsanam” (“to destroy”) and “sma” or “smaranam” (“to remember”). It denotes “that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered”. Bhasma is also called vibhuti, which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body.

Spiritually, the Homa is the offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants and signifies offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the fire of knowledge. The resultant ash signifies the purity of the mind. The fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively.

The application of ash implies that one should burn false identification with the body.

Bhasma has medicinal values in Ayurveda. It is supposed to be the strongest of all Ayurveda preparations. According to Ayurveda, a Bhasma is formed when the matter is converted into non matter by the process of homa. The non matter is the spirit or the energy of the matter being processed with strong healing powers. It has the same significance as any ‘potentised’ medicine in homoeopathy.

It absorbs excess moisture from the body and prevents colds and headaches.

When applied with a red spot at the centre, the mark symbolizes Shiva–Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe).

The Upanishads say that the famous Mrityunjaya Mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead.