The bhasma is symbolic of the ultimate truth, the ultimate truth of all matter. It has a spiritual significance in that it is changeless, immutable like Godhead. It is colorless or white, so to say, indicating purity.
The following bhasmadhAran prayoga is based on vidhi described by atharvaveda parishIstha.
Agni is the presiding deity for bhasma. The ash from the sacrificial fire [ aupAsan ( grihya ) agni / srauta agni ] is most sacred. In the absence of it, ash prepared from cow dung is to be used.( bhasma prepared from virjA homa / bhasma prepared in case of pAshupata vrata ) .
1) A little ash ( vibhutI / bhasma ) is to be taken, while reciting following set of three mantras. This step is known as bhasmAbhimantraN .
ॐ यस् ते गन्धः पृथिवि संबभूव यं बिभ्रत्य् ओषधयो यम् आपः |यं गन्धर्वा अप्सरसश् च भेजिरे तेन मा सुरभिं कृणु मा नो द्विक्षत कश् चन ||1||
ॐ यस् ते गन्धः पुष्करम् आविवेश यं संजभ्रुः सूर्याया विवाहे |
अमर्त्याः पृथिवि गन्धम् अग्रे तेन मा सुरभिं कृणु मा नो द्विक्षत कश् चन ||2||
ॐ यस् ते गन्धः पुरुषेषु स्त्रीषु पुंसु भगो रुचिः |यो अश्वेषु वीरेषु यो मृगेषूत हस्तिषु | कन्यायां वर्चो यद् भूमे तेनास्मां अपि सं सृज मा नो द्विक्षत कश् चन ||3||
2) A little water is to be added and mixed in it with the aid of thumb, while reciting the following mantras . [ Some fellows use to add small amount of sandal wood paste ( chandan ) with water .]
Remember that water is not to be added with bhasma after midday time ( madhyAhna ).If you are performing bhasma dhAran after mid day, you should escape this step and go through next one.
This step is known as jalasammishranaM.
ॐ आपो हि ष्ठा मयोभुवस् ता न ऊर्जे दधातन ।महे रणाय चक्षसे ।।1।।
यो वः शिवतमो रसस् तस्य भाजयतेह नः । उशतीर् इव मातरः ।।2।।
तस्मा अरं गमाम वो यस्य क्षयाय जिन्वथ । आपो जनयथा च नः ।।3।।
ॐ शं नो देवीर् अभिष्टय आपो भवन्तु पीतये । शं योर् अभि स्रवन्तु नः ।।1।।
3) Then reciting the following mantra, the tripundra dhArana, i.e. applying it in three lines – is to be done. First, with the aid of the middle and ring fingers two lines are to be applied, the top one and the bottom are from left to right, then with the aid of the thumb, the middle line is to be applied, drawing it from right to the left. The marks are not to extend beyond the sides of the eyebrows. ( genrally it is worn on five limbs i.e. on
Forehead, neck , 2 Shoulders,
With each pada of mantra apply bhasma on respective place ) .
ॐ त्र्यायुषं जमदग्नेः | ( on forehead )
ॐ कश्यपस्य त्र्यायुषम् | (on neck )
ॐ त्रेधामृतस्य चक्षणं | (On shoulders )
ॐ त्रीण्य् आयूंषि | (on chest )
ॐ ते ‘करम् | (on navel ).
( In case of bindu dhAran with tripundra , dot of kumkum / shindura ( vermilion )/ bhasma on tripundra is marked with following mantra.
ॐ जातवेदसे सुनवाम सोममरातीयतो निदहाति वेदः |
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा नावेव सिन्धुं दुरितात्यग्निः ||
This completes the bhasmadhAran prayoga of atharvavedins.
1) Very orthodox brahmins don’t mark dot on tripundra.
2) atharvaveda parishIstha don’t mentions of panchabramha mantras for applying bhasama ,yet it is a common practice among brahmins to use them .
They in atharvan version are
ॐ सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमः
भवे भवे नातिभवे भजस्व मां भवोद्भवाय नमः ||१||
ॐ वामदेवाय नमो ज्येष्ठाय नमः श्रेष्ठाय नमो रुद्राय नमः कालाय नमः क-
लविकरणाय नमो बलविकरणाय नमो बलप्रमथनाय नमः सर्वभूतदमनाय
नमो मनोन्मनाय नमः ||२||
ॐ अघोरेभ्योऽथ घोरेभ्यो घोरै घोरतरेभ्यः
सर्वतः सर्व सर्वेभ्यो नमस्ते अस्तु रुद्ररूपेभ्यः ||३||
ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात् ||४||
ॐ ईशानः सर्वविद्यानामीश्वरः सर्वभूतानां ब्रह्माधिपति र्ब्रह्मणोऽधिपतिर्ब्रह्मा
शिवो मे अस्तु सदाशिवोम् ||५||
3) Others places to apply the holy ash on the body are :-
Two sides of groin
Total 32 Places
4) The first line mark is bramha devatA and is symbolic of rigveda. It means (A) syllable of pranava mantra (AUM). It endows ‘kriyA shakti’. The second line is vishnu devataA ,and is symbolic of yajur veda. It means (U), syllable. It endows ‘IchhA shakti’. The third line is maheshwara Himself and is symbolic of sAma veda. It means (M) syllable. It endows ‘jnana shakti’.The bindu ( dot ) is prakritI herself and is symbolic of atharva veda .It means the chandrabindu in pranava
ॐ .It endows “parA shakti”.
5) Importance of bhasma dhAran
Bhasma dhAran can be done by one and all, and during all the stages of Life. It will cure all the ills of the body, mind and spirit. It ensures mental purity, intellectual illumination and spiritual enlightenment in their life beyond it opens the gates of kailAsa for him, which is the Eternal Abode of Supreme peace and beatitude. For destroying one’s sins, there is nothing comparable to doing bhasma dhAran , but it should be done with full faith and devotion. For one who applies ashes on his forehead and wears rudrAksha mAlA on his neck, there will be nothing wanting for him either in this life or in the beyond. Wearing of rudrAksha and applying bhasma on the forehead confer great sanctity to the wearer. They are most purifying and will ward off all evil. None can harm the wearer and even the Lord of Death would keep away from him. They confer happiness in this life and ensure happiness in the life beyond.