Hindu religion is filled with various unique yet skeptical activities, which not only has religious but medicinal significance as well. Among them is wearing holy ash. We often see Hindus, especially sages or saints, wear holy ash all over their bodies. But why do Hindus apply these?
The holy ash is called “Bhasma” (in Hindi) obtained from the sacrificial fire or Homa. In homa, some special woods, herbs, and ghee is offered to God, which burn entirely and remain as holy ash or Bhasma. The ash uniformly reminds us of the imperishable truth that our body is fragile and will convert into ashes at the end.
Generally, Bhasma is applied on the forehead. But, some wear it in other body parts like upper arms, throat, chest, etc.
Eventually, Lord Shiva wears the holy ash on his entire body. This holy element has some medicinal benefits as well, as, in ancient times, people used to apply it as ayurvedic medicine.
Applying Bhasma on forehead soothes your nerves and the body. It provides you relief from cold and headaches. Also, it absorbs excess body moisture.
Bha implies ‘Bharatsanam’ or to destroy, and Sma means ‘Smaranam’ or to remember. Therefore, Bhasma stands as by which our sins are destroyed, and the lord is remembered. So, the application of Bhasma indicates the destruction of evil and remembrance of almighty.
Also, Bhasma is also called ‘Vibhuti’ (glory), which provides glory and protection to the wearer.