Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Thiruneeru

Thiruneeru  is the sacred ash used in religious worship in Hinduism. The main ingredient of Vibuthi is a special kind of wood, but several other substances, such as milk and ghee, prescribed in scriptures are also added. These substances are burned in a sacred fire (Homa). Vibhuti is placed on the forehead as it is considered sacred and holy.
                            Sanskrit : vibhūti  विभूति; Tamil : திருநீறு
 The holy Ash has lots of spiritual meaning. Vibhuti is so named because it endows one wih prosperity.Ash is the substance that results when things are completely burnt off. In natural terms it is a final state. It is also known as Bhasma because it burns away all sins. This ash is the ultimate reality and cannot be changed any more. By applying this as a symbol of Divinity, we prepare ourselves to give up all desires, burn our attachments and temptations and make ourselves pure, holy and sacred, for liberation.

 symbolic meanings:

            Placed on the forehead of devotees, it serves as a sectarian mark (tilaka).


            In worship connected with Lord Shiva it is a symbol of purity and is one of  the             main sacraments given at pūjā in all Śaivite temples and shrine.

           It serves as a reminder to the believer to cast away selfish and worldly desires that            wrap the self in Maya.

Purana Reason:

            Man should always remember that his body is not eternal and will perish one day . That will suppress his ego and make him humble before the eternal God. Thiru neeru means ash [sambal in tamil] and thiru mann means soil [ mannu in tamil]. So a man is reminded constantly that his body is worth ash if creamated or just soil if burried'

Scientific reason:

               
            The Scientific reason behind the application of this sacred ash on forehead is that it has the ability to absorb the moisture and kill bacteria from the bones and joints. You might have noticed people applying this sacred ash on joints and elbows. This is the reason for the practice of applying the sacred ash on the forehead. It is also applied by people during a fever or illness and the reason might not be known to them or they may think that it brings up the god’s notice to cure them. The actual reason is it absorbs the moisture and kills bacteria present in the forehead. Scientifically it prevents sinus problems and other bacterial disease.
How to apply?
          Normally, the Thiruneeru is picked up with three fingers of the fight hand and applied such that three lines form across the forehead.This indicates the Trinity or the functions of Lord Shiva in his manifestation as Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.  Brahma is the Creator of all life, Vishnu is the Sustainer and Protector while Rudra dissolves everything back into its primal energy state from which Brahma again brings forth life.
                        This symbolic act is also an indicator of the play of the subatomic particles that are involved in a constant dance – called the Dance of Siva even by by some physicists – of creation, sustenance and destruction which gives us this universe of name and form.
                           
                   While the prayer goes out to God, we have also to ralise this truth and endeavour to drop off the shackles of these three impurities.Thiruneeru is not applied simply for show or for fun.  It has deep psychological meaning.  We must always be conscious of this when applying the Thiruneeru to ensure max-mum benefit from our prayer and actions. 
                   When applying the Thiruneeru repeat the mantra “Om Namahshivaya” thrice.   Once can also just say “Siva Siva” or chant the mantra of one’s lshtha Devatai when applying the Thriuneeru.

                 Sacred ash can protect those who meditate on it,removes cruel sufferings and grants Shivagnanam, dispels meanness grants eternal bliss.