Why Hindus Apply Ash On Forehead

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Hindus follow several traditions and customs. However, most of the time, some traditions are blindly followed, without knowing their actual significance. One such custom that is blindly followed is to apply the ash or bhasma on the forehead. We, generally, see a pandit in a temple having the three lines of ash on his forehead.

Have you ever wondered why this is followed? It is just not the pandits in the temples who follow this, but people who are the followers of Lord Shiva too apply the sacred ash on their forehead, such as smartha brahmins and lingayat women and children.

The bhasma, also known as the vibhuthi, is applied with the help of the fore , middle and ring fingers on the forehead.

Coming to the point why bhasma is applied on the forehead, the reason behind this is that bhasma is considered to destroy the evil. It is believed to protect us from any evil or negative energy.

why do we apply ash on our forehead

Therefore, in this article, we shall explain to you the significance and the story behind applying bhasma or vibuthi on the forehead.

There is a reason why Lord Shiva has his body covered in ashes. According to the puranas, there lived a sage by the name Bhrigu. This saint used to perform intense thapas and consume only fruits and greens that were available in the forest.

why do we apply ash on our forehead

Story Behind Sage Bhrigu
One day when the sage was cutting grass, he cut his finger accidently. Immediately, he noticed that instead of blood, a sap-like liquid started oozing out from his finger. Seeing this, he became very happy and proud about himself and developed an ego within himself.

Lord Shiva noticed this and decided to teach him a lesson, hence approached him in the disguise of an old man. He then came to the sage and asked him why he was so happy.

why do we apply ash on our forehead

Shiva Teaches A Lesson To The Sage
The sage arrogantly replied that all his hardwork and his thapas were fruitful, and hence his blood had turned into a sap-like liquid, like the one found in a sacred tree. Shiva, who enacted like an old man, asked him what was so great about it, as a plant or tree when burnt turns into ashes.

To be more precise to the sage, Lord Shiva cut his finger and immediately came the ashes out from his body.This was when sage Bhrigu realised that Lord Shiva himself had come to him to teach him a lesson to let go of the ego and pride that he had about himself all the while.

Therefore, this is how the vibhuthi or bhasma is considered to be very sacred and people of the Hindu religion, even to this day, apply it every day to keep evil or negative thoughts away. So, now you know the significance of applying the holy ash or the vibuthi on the forehead.

Read more about: faith, mysticism
Story first published: Thursday, January 7, 2016, 14:55 [IST]
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