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Siddha Yogi continued the narrative to Namdharak as follows. Trivikrama Bharati requested Sri Narasimha Saraswati to enlighten them about BhasmaMahima and how it possesses such great power as they witnessed in the Matanga episode. Now Sri Narasimha Saraswati narrated the following anecdote. There used to be one Yogi by the name of Vamadeva. He used to smear his body always with Bhasma. His hair was matted and he used to wear the bark of tress for his garment. He was a very exhalted Yogi. He had won over all humans frailties, sublimated his senses and conquered the six inner enemies - Shadripus (likes, dislikes, greed, delusion, ego and pride, envy and jealousy) - which enslave man. He was a fully-realised soul and a Brahma-Jnani. He used to be always wandering, visiting holy places. One day he came to the Krouncharanya (forest). This forest was full of wild beasts; there were also ghosts and Brahma-rakshasas inhabiting the forest. One Brahma-rakshasa noticed Vamadeva entering the forest, and he was very happy that he would be having a good feast with the body of the Yogi. He feel upon him with a view to eating him up. But Vamadeva was least perturbed, and remained steady and calm. The contact with the Bhasma (sacred ashes) on the body of Vamadeva brought an instant and total transformation of the Brahma-rakshasa. He was totally changed, rid of his demonic nature by the contact with the Bhasma. He prayed to Vamadeva to free him from the cycle of birth and death. He told Vamadeva that by the mere contact with Bhasma, he gained the memory of his past twenty five births, he started recounting them to Vamadeva. The Brahma-rakshasa said he was actually the king of Yavandesh. But he had a very vicious and lustful nature. He led a very sensuous life, running after women always, without any decency, compunction and consideration. His sins crossed all bounds and limits. In an encounter with an enemy king, he was killed. He was dragged to the court of Yama, He was subjected to torture in hell, and later he had to take several births only because of his sins. He was born as a tiger in one birth, as a wolf in second, as a dog in the third birth, as a camel in the fourth, camel in fifth, then as a cat, thereafter a tortoise, then as a frog and so on. He had suffered much, all of his own making though. Now the mere touch with Bhasma had so much smoothened his soul, and never before had he felt such peace. He further said that his hunger, which never got satiated normally, however many animals or persons he might eat, was how totally appeased, and that he was feeling a great sense of peace and happiness. He prayed that he should be enlightened as to how the Bhasma came to possess such great redeeming power. Vamadeva told the Rakshasa that the power of Bhasma is beyond all description, and it is beyond the comprehension of any, except of Lord Siva. Shiva only knows; he alone knows
fully the glorious power of Bhasma. That is why he (Shiva) smears his whole body always with Bhasma. Vamadeva told that there lived once a Brahmin in Dravida desa. He took to bad ways of life. He went to live with a low caste woman. He took to theft. Once while he was committing a theft, he was caught and beaten up. He died and his body was thrown in the cemetery, at that time, a dog was sitting on chitabhasma (ashes of a burnt corpse). That dog saw the body of the dead brahmin, and came and sat on the body sniffing it all over. As it was doing so, the chitaBhasma from it's body fell over the body of the corpse. No sooner did the chitaBhasma fell over the body of the corpse, then the Shiva Dhootas appeared over there, stopping the YamaDhootas who had already come there to take away the jiva (soul) of the evil man. A dispute arose between the servants of Yama and Shiva. The guards of Yama were claiming the Jiva, because the sins committed by the man were countless, and the place he deserved was nowhere else but hell. But the Shiva Dhootas said that with the touch of the Bhasma on the body, all his sins, however heinous they might have been, had been burnt off and expiated. It is Lord Shankara's command that whenever they see a dead person's body with Bhasma smeared on the forehead or even on any part of the body, they should fetch that Jiva to Kailash. Thus saying, the ShivaDhootas snatched away the Jiva from the Yamadhoota's hands and took it away to Kailash. When this was reported by the YamaDhootas to their Lord, Lord Yama went to Shiva in anger, and complained to Him the intrusion, high-handedness and interference of ShivaDhootas and their preventing his servants from the discharge of their duties and carrying out of justice. He complained how could Dharma be protected and rule of law enforced by him in the world under such circumstances. Shiva then told Yama that Bhasma Dharma is the highest Dharma and it annuls and supersedes all other codes and injunctions of dharma. He told Yama Dharma Raja to tell his servants that they should abstain from approaching the bodies of the dead, smeared with or wearing the risk of Brahma. Such was the Mahima of Bhasma, said Vamadeo to the Brahmin rakshasa. The Rakshasa requested Vamadeva to teach and explain the same through the following ancedote. Once Lord Shiva and Parvati went to the Mandara Mountain. All the Gods, Rishis, Apsaras, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Kinnaras, Rudgragan, ShivaDhootas, all came and assembled over there. Lord Shiva was seated on His Throne. By his side was seated Mother Parvati. Golden in complexion, and bedecked in richest jewellery and adorned with beautiful flowers, she was radiating all splendour. All were absorbed in the ecstacy of the Darshan of the Divine couple, the Mother and Father of the Universe. Sanatkumara Rishi prayed to Lord Shiva to teach them the one Dharma Vidhi, which will be simple to be observed by all yet will confer all the four Purusharthas - four chief Aims of Life, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha and which will destroy all the sins, endow bodily and mental purity and also intellectual illumination.
Lord Shiva said there is one Dharma Vidhi which is simple and can be followed by each and everyone and which will confer all good and save men from all ills of the world. This Vidhi is called 'the Tripundra Bhasma Dharana Vidhi'. 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 colourless or white, so to say, indicating purity. In Jabalopanishad, Bhasma Vidhi is described in great detail. Agni is the presiding deity for Bhasma. The ash from the sacrificial fire is most sacred. In the absence of it, ash prepared from cowdung is to be used. A little ash is to be taken, reciting the 'Sadyojata...' mantra. A little water is to be added and mixed in it with the aid of thumb, while reciting the 'Manasthoka...' mantra. Then chanting the 'Trayambakam Yajamahe...' mantra, it has to be taken near the forehead. Then reciting the 'Thrayayusham Jamadagne...' 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 extend beyond the sides of the eyebrows. With devotion, these marks are to be always worn on the forehead. Bhasma Dharana 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 enlightment in their life beyond it opens the gates of Kailash for him, which is the Eternal Abode of Supreme peace and beatitude. (PRASHANTI) Lord Shiva said that for destroying one's sins, there is nothing comparable to doing Bhasma Dharana, 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. That was Lord Shiva explained to SanantKumara Rishi and all the assembled sages. Hearing the Divine glory of Bhasma, The Rakshasa sought the Bhasma from Vamdeva and applied it upon himself. His Rakshasa form totally changed and he got a new splendorous body. A Divine vehicle came and took him away to Kailash. Thus ends the Twenty Ninth Chapter of Sri Guru Charitra describing "the Bhasma Mahima". Glory to the All merciful, the Omnipresent and the ever-responsive Guru Nath! VEEPUDHI (VIBHUTI) DHARANA MANTRA Trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushti vardhanam Urvarukamiva bandhanaat mrutyor muksheeya maamrutat The one who spreads a fragrance (of Vibhuti) around Himself and all around, Who fosters the worldly well being, as well as the spiritual well being of all,
That Three-eyed Lord, Him I worship... Oh! You the supreme One! Like the ripened cucumber which severs itself from the creeper and drops off, Grant release for me from death, (from the unending cycle of births and deaths), But, pray, never cause severance for me from Immortality (Amritatwa) And may I ever abide in awareness of Thee...
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