Glory Of Holy Ash – Vibuthi
The Vibhuthi is applied on the forehead of the devotee. why? It is also known as Thiruneeru and Thirunama.
Vedic scriptures say
“Lalaata Shoonyam Smashaana Tulyam”, which means that “an empty forehead is similar to a cemetery.
The great saint Thiru Gyaana Sambandar did many wonders with Vibhuthi and he expounds the greatness of Vibhuti in one of his Pathigams called “Thiruneetru Pathigam” as follows,
Mandhira maavadhu neeru Vaanavar meeladhu neeru
Sundhara maavadhu neeru Thudhikkap paduvadhu neeru
Thandhira maavadhu neeru Chamayaththil ullaadhu neeru
Senthuvar vaayumai pangan Thiruaalavaayaan Thiruneerae
Greatness of Vibuti
Vibhuti may refer to glorious attributes of the divine, and in this context is translated as ‘all pervading’, ‘super human power’, ‘wealth’ and so on.
Not all ash resulting from any burnt object is considered holy ash. Vibhuti (AKA Bhasma, Thiruneeru, the holy ash) is the ash from the Homa (consecrated fire) where wood is used to perform the ritual. Or the deity is worshipped by pouring ash as abhisheka and is then distributed as Prasad to devotees. Bhasma is generally applied on the forehead, neck, chest, arms, stomach elbow, wrists etc.,. Some apply it on other parts of the body, like the knees, toes, scalp etc.,.It is considered very auspicious for the Hindus to smear vibhuthi all over the body.
Sri Adi Shankaracharya praises the greatness of Vibhuthi Of Lord Murugan in his “Sri Subramnaya Bhujanga Stotra” as follows,
ApasmAra kushta kshayArsha prameha
JvaronmAdha gulmAdhi rogA mahAntha
PishAchAshcha sarve bhavatpatra bhoothim
Vilokya kshanAth tArakAre dravanthe (Shlokano.25)
Oh Conqueror of Taraka! Severe epilepsy, leprosy, consumption, lung diseases, venereal diseases, fevers, mental diseases of all types, they run away the moment they see Thy Vibhuti contained in a leaf.