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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why do we apply the holy ash?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna! We started with a new question in the previous post which was, “Why do we apply the holy ash?” In that post, we discussed the meaning of the word ‘bhasma’.

Let us know more about the same in this post.

Bhasma is the result of performing Homa. Homa is a sacrifical fire which is lighted and bhasma is obtained after the Homa is completed.

Homa (offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants) signifies the offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the flame of knowledge for a noble and selfless cause. The consequent ash signifies the purity of the mind, which results from such actions.

Also the fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively. The ash we apply indicates that we should burn false identification with the body and become free of the limitations of birth and death. This is not to be misconstrued as a morose reminder of death but as a powerful pointer towards the fact that time and tide wait for none.

We will discuss more about the holy ash or bhasma in the next post.

…to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post, let us know about the herb called as ‘Banjh Kakora’, called as Indian Lilac in English and Melia Azedarach in Latin.

1. It is a tree resembling the Neem tree
2. It has round fruits growing in clusters
3. The leaves of the tree have blood-purifying properties
4. It is recommended for curing scabies, ringworm, leprosy and leucoderma
5. It helps to reduce inflammation
6. The extract of its leaves is useful in dealing with cataract

That concludes our topic for this fortnight. Till the next post, keep chanting
Radhekrishna Krishnaradhe Radhekrishna Krishnaradhe Radhekrishna Krishnaradhe Radhekrishna Krishnarade

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Why do we apply the holy ash?

2 comments
JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna once again! Wishing all our readers a very happy Holi!

In this post, we will take up the eighth question which is:

Why do we apply the holy ash?

The ash of any burnt object is not regarded as holy ash. Bhasma (the holy ash) is the ash from the homa (sacrificial fire) where special wood along with ghee and other herbs is offered as worship of the Lord. Or the deity is worshipped by pouring ash as abhisheka and is then distributed as bhasma.

Bhasma is generally applied on the forehead. Some apply it on certain parts of the body like the upper arms, chest etc. Some ascetics rub it all over the body. Many consume a pinch of it each time they receive it.

The word bhasma means, "that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is
remembered.” Bha implied bhartsanam ("to destroy") and sma implies smaranam ("to remember"). The application of bhasma therefore signifies destruction of the evil and remembrance of the divine. Bhasma is called vibhuti (which means "glory") as it gives glory to one who applies it and raksha (which means a source of protection) as it protects the wearer from ill health and evil, by purifying him or her.

…to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post, let us know about the plant named Bhang in Hindi, also called as Indian Hemp in English and Cannabis Sativa in Latin.

1. It is a narcotic plant from which a strong narcotic is prepared
2. Green leaves of the plant are ground in water and drunk as an intoxicant
3. It enhances appetite
4. Its prolonged use however is harmful just like in the case of other intoxicants
5. Paste of its green leaves helps to reduce inflammation of the testicles (orchitis)
6. It is also administered as a medicine in certain malarial fevers.

This particular plant has a lot of significance as far as the festival of Holi is concerned. The drink is prepared from the leaves of this plant and drunk by the people on the day following the day of Holi festival, also known as “Rangapanchami”.

Please note that our blog in no manner whatsoever propagates or encourages the drinking of intoxicants like “Bhang” mentioned above. The section aims at purely disseminating information about various Indian herbs and plants. The content is to be read in the right context.

That concludes our topic for the fortnight. Till the next post on 22nd March, Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam
 

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