Yogi and mystic, Sadhguru, looks at the methods of preparing vibhuti, how it should be used and where it must be applied on the body.

Sadhguru: There are many aspects to the usage of vibhuti or sacred ash. First of all, it is a great medium to transfer or transmit energy, and it has an ability to help direct and control the energy body. Apart from that, there is a symbolic significance to applying it on the body. It is a constant reminder of the mortal nature of life – it is like you are always wearing mortality on your body.

Normally, yogis use the ash that they pick up from the cremation grounds as vibhuti. If this ash cannot be used, the next alternative is to use cow dung. There are other substances used but the basic material, the body of it, is cow dung. If even this ash cannot be used, the next alternative is to make it of rice husk. This is indicative that the body is not the core substance, it is just the husk.

Why do we use sacred ash?

Unfortunately, in many places it has become a scandalous business where they are just giving a certain white rock powder as sacred ash. But if it is properly prepared and you know where and how to apply it, sacred ash makes you much more receptive; and the place where you apply it on your body becomes more sensitive and goes towards the higher nature. So, before you step out of the house in the morning, you apply sacred ash at certain points to receive the divine around you, not the devil. Depending on which aspect of you is receptive at that moment, you can receive life in different ways and from various dimensions of who you are. You must have observed this – at one time, you saw something and experienced it in a certain way. Some other time, you saw the same thing and experienced it in a totally different way. The way you receive life makes the difference. So, you want the higher aspects of you to be receptive, not the lower.

You apply sacred ash at certain points to receive the divine around you, not the devil

Within your physical body, there are seven basic centers representing seven dimensions of experiencing life. These centers are known as chakras. A chakra is a certain meeting point within the energy system. These chakras are not physical, they are of a subtle nature. One can experientially know these chakras, but if you cut the body and see, you will not find any chakra. As you move into higher levels of intensity, naturally the energies will rise from one chakra to another. If you receive life from the higher chakras, the same situation will be different for you than if you receive life from the lower chakras.

How should we apply sacred ash?

Traditionally, vibhuti is taken between your thumb and your ring finger – you don’t have to pick up a lot of it, just a little bit – and applied between the eyebrows, known as the agna chakra, at the pit of the throat known as the vishuddhi chakra, and in the center of the chest where the ribcage meets, known as the anahata chakra. It used to be common knowledge in India that you must apply it at these points. The reason why these particular points have been specified is because sacred ash makes them more sensitive.

This is a very deep science, but today, without understanding the science behind it, we simply apply it like a stripe on the forehead

Vibhuti is usually applied at the anahata so that you receive life as love. It is applied at the vishuddhi so that you receive life as power; power does not mean just physical or mental power, there are so many ways in which a human being can be powerful. The idea is to make the life energies very strong and powerful so that your very presence has an influence on life around you – you don’t have to speak or act – if you simply sit, you influence the situation around you. This kind of power can be developed within a human being. Vibhuti is applied at the agna so that you receive life as knowledge.

This is a very deep science, but today, without understanding the science behind it, we simply apply it like a stripe on the forehead. The one who has stripes one way does not agree with the one who has the stripes another way – this is stupidity. Vibhuti is not something that Shiva gave, or this or that god gave. This is not a question of belief. In Indian culture, it has been looked at deeply as a tool for a person’s growth. Properly prepared sacred ash has a different vibrancy. There is a need to revive and make use of the science behind this.

Editor’s Note: Vibhuti available at Isha Shoppe is prepared with great care and energized for maximum benefit. It can be purchased at Isha Shoppe.

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POSTED IN:Yoga & Meditation, Demystifying Yoga
TAGS: Chakra, Why we do What we do
  • Guru

    Cant we apply vibhuti on the lower chakras also? I apply it manipuraka and swadhishtana also, do I have to discontinue?

    • vs

      Sadhguru only spoke about applying to the upper ones, not about applying to the other chakras. So, maybe you should just stick to what he said.

    • KR. Annaamalai


    • Kaarthikeyan Swaminathan

      The intent of applying the ash is to sensitise and energise the energy center. The higher chakra agna to anahata is used for spiritual purposes and to connect with non earthly dimension. Love, communication and meditation. The lower chakras are primarily connected to ur earthly demands and connects strongly to the desires and attachment. You can still apply there if ur agenda is primarily on desires. Or in simple terms listen to the Guru

  • http://www.facebook.com/rajesh.gupta.7965692 Rajesh Gupta


  • Amitabh Vohra

    I am very sorry to say that I wasted my time reading this article, as hardly anywhere the auther used any scientific proofs or justification. probably the auther does not know the meaning of science and himself not a science student. the whole arguments are indicative and presumptious in nature and science has no place for all these things. personally I also believe that any ritual which has stood the test of time must be having strong scientific background, and thats why I went on to read the whole article to find the truth, which was just not there. the auther has just tried to use his jingoistic language skills to camoflage the reasoning and tried to colour it with science.

    • Sri

      The Science that Sadhguru is conveying here is not something related to the so called Science that Universities talk about. This is beyond physical dimension and may not be proved with laws. In fact most of it will violate some of known physical laws. The only way to prove is to experience it. If it works, it works, otherwise it is not, thats it.

      • Amitabh Vohra

        I do not know what do you mean by “so called science that universities teach”. There are no grey areas in science that prompt you to call it SO-CALLED. Rather my only humble request to all the “so called spiritual gurus” is not to misuse the very name of science by connecting it to any spiritual activity till proved scientifically. till then they can quote their vast experiances, quote scriptures and call it spiritual awakening etc. etc. but not science. there is enough education deficiet in our country and please do not try to confuse simple people who can not diffrenciate between science and Pseudo – Science which is promoted in our country with impunity.

        • vs

          Hi Amitabh, you’re right, there is an education deficit in this country. Your reply is proof positive of that. As for there being no grey areas in science, quantum theory and cosmology are full of ample grey areas. Theories that can’t be proven (and those that can’t be disproven) abound in cosmology. Physicists know and acknowledge this odd situation, and they are looking towards spirituality for an answer. It’s sad that people like you masquerade as the champions of science and impose your own self-created boundaries on what science is.

          • http://www.facebook.com/nobel.roberto Nobel Roberto

            You are very much right VS. There are many people soon after graduating from high school start believing themselves to be experts and start advocating modern science and criticize every thing that is spiritual and ancient Indian traditions. We need to understand that science is evolving. Science once considered earth to be flat, but that soon changed. What was science at the time of Copernicus is not the same at the time of Galileo Nor at the time of Newton not even at the time of Einstein. Even Einstein was not totally right and disagreed, when Quantum theory was propounded. Still our modern science cannot come to terms with how matter behaves at macro scale and at quantum level.

            So what yard stick or what science do you want to use to prove you theories. My friend modern science needs to evolve at least 50-100 years to understand the science that was known to ancient Indians or the vedic times. Take a break, open your mind and try to do your own research. All the knowledge of science that you gained is by reading books or hearing from someone else, this is just as superstious as it can be. You didnt prove the theories yourself, did you?

          • http://www.facebook.com/nobel.roberto Nobel Roberto

            Reply was for Amitabh. :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/amitabh.vohra Amitabh Vohra

            No wonder our country is still suffering due to people like
            you who have the knowledge but do not want to share with common man and prefer
            to bully their way by not answering simple questions. Here is someone who very
            well studied his share of quantum physics 30 years back and still respect fresh graduates and
            listen to them. Rather than teaching science
            to the common man our ancestral gurus made the same blunder of not recording
            science in books ( even if they did so, those books were closely chested). They
            made their task simpler by camouflaging
            academic knowledge with religious / spiritual / cultural rituals. This gave
            them many fold advantages. First and foremost being the sole proprietor of
            knowledge to hold their supremacy over common man. Another advantage was that
            they need not answer uncomfortable questions from a common man. Then there was
            no need to build infrastructure for studying for common man. Just go to temple,
            apply vibhuti, ring the bell, do dandvat pranam, say aum, do pranayam etc etc,
            without knowing, why they are doing , what they are doing and what is the
            science behind all these precious rituals. They were genius to have made it so
            simple for the common man but cannot be absolved of their blunders committed in
            the due course for which we are paying the heavy price. So when we were building temples, others were
            studying science and building factories and result is there for everyone to
            see. The worst thing is that educated people like you then have the courage to extract pride from a few aberrations here
            and there by claiming things like physicists turn to spiritualism for answers /
            or we have all the science written in our very old scriptures like Vedas and
            purans, and in ram yuga we built bridge on the sea, or in Mahabharata yuga we
            ran the running commentary from a satellite.
            All these things may give solace to people who piggy ride with one hand on
            shoulder of science and one hand on shoulder of spirituality. As a pure
            practitioner of science which you term
            as self styled/ or masquerading type/, my only concern is that if there is such
            a brazen mention of use of all the mercurial Gizmos and life saving drugs at
            that time , then why do not we find their designs / recipes/ maintenance
            schedules in any books. If all this
            information was not passed on to the next generation deliberately then someone
            out there at that time was responsible and should be brought to books because
            this is unpardonable and we should stop singing praise of those golden times
            till the guilty is identified & booked so that other people feel ashamed to behave like them.

          • http://www.facebook.com/nobel.roberto Nobel Roberto

            I dont understand what your problem is. No one has said that there was answer to every problem in vedas.

            But there has been immense knowledge for sure which unfortunately Indians have not utilised. The same

            reason people like you dont like to believe the fact. The western world being open mindied have recognized this fact and infact

            have patented till date 1000s using the ancient wisdom by going through the scripters that document these scientific knowledge.

            I dont understand why do you think that all these knowledge have not been documented. This goes on to show how close

            minded you are, not even taken little bit of time to research on this matter. I presume you dont understand

            sanskrit or may be any regional Indian language for that matter to read the translations of works of 1000s of sages.

            So I would advise you to atleast visit http://www.iish.org/ Indian institute of scientific heritage where you can find the english translations of

            the scriptures vedas and vedangas that contains this treasure. Its a shame being born in India you havent read any.

            It also lists out all the discoveries and patents what western world have made using this scientific knowledge.

            Just for an example every one credits Newton for gravity. It was actually first mentioned by Bhaskaracharya in his book called Siddhantha Siromani,

            but credit is givent to someone else. Western world are open minded if they find enough proof they are willing to make correction and

            they have corrected it in the latest edition of encylopedia. Any how advise for you folks would be to have an open mind.

          • http://www.facebook.com/amitabh.vohra Amitabh Vohra

            my problem is that in a hurry to show off your acquired knowledge you forget the basics and your view becomes blurred. you can not even see that you just labelled the complainant as an accused, because all along I have been saying the same things which you are now saying here. While I never doubted the knowledge banks we possess, what I have been saying is that we Indians need better grooming to research more scientifically and record for future which our predecessors failed to do. just mentioning facts and end results are not sufficient, they could have been done in a better way, by being more elaborate and with scientific conclusions and free from vagaries. I feel they did not do it deliberately as they were selfish and wanted to keep knowledge cantered with them. same path is being followed by many gurus of today, as either they themselves do not know the science behind their Kriyas, or they do not want to tell. either ways it is wrong. it is like taking a medicine with an unknown salt composition. And it is because of them that even today a common Indian thinks final result to be the knowledge whereas the process parameters required to reach that result is the real knowledge. I think now you will get your answer why westerners get patents and not Indians. I have been saying the same thing all along but to see things clearly first you have to shed your self acquired role of a Vedic professor who is so pre occupied with his knowledge that he presumes every one to be his student and thinks that he has the liberty to shame any one for not reading books which he prescribes. come to the ground Mr. professor and look for basics, without deviating from the topic at hand.

          • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

            Here is someone who very
            well studied his share of quantum physics 30 years back

            Really?? 30 years back… Are you doing any homework to catch up with the latest breakthrough discovery in quantum physics?

            And once again, you meant studied? Not taught?

          • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

            So when we were building temples, others were
            studying science and building factories and result is there for everyone to

            Building temples is bad and backward??

            Building factories is good and progressive??

            Interestingly enough, most of the people who studied science and build factories are leaving everything behind and looking for some sense of spiritual relief….
            Most are them coming in droves to India and looking for gurus, staying 2 – 3 years in ashram, living a simple life..

            I wonder from where the world got its concept of modern numeral system?

            That these simple numeral system made a revolutionary breakthrough in European scientific community..

            If it is not because of Indian numeral system which the early Indians freely ( not patented ) shared with the world, Europe would be still stuck with Roman numeral sytem.. No science or factory building would be possible then , I guess.. when it will take hundred of pages to
            be able to solve a simple mathematical problem….

          • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

            Then there was
            no need to build infrastructure for studying for common man.

            Are you serious with this claim. ?

            Guess which country had the world’s first university…
            And what happened to that university?

            Early Indians or gurus did not give a hoot about education??

            What was gurukul system then about?

            Amitabh, your claims of being an educated person and your comments do not go well along with each other..

            Some fundamental history lesson about the land called Bharat and some pre-school knowledge would shed some light in your brain …I hope, fingers crossed!

          • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

            And btw, I am from Malaysia, an Indian Tamil…
            Born and live here for 27 years…

            It really surprises me how dumb some people can be when it comes to their own history…

          • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

            As a pure
            practitioner of science which you term
            as self styled/ or masquerading type/, my only concern is that if there is such
            a brazen mention of use of all the mercurial Gizmos and life saving drugs at
            that time , then why do not we find their designs / recipes/ maintenance
            schedules in any books. If all this
            information was not passed on to the next generation deliberately then someone
            out there at that time was responsible and should be brought to books because
            this is unpardonable and we should stop singing praise of those golden times
            till the guilty is identified & booked so that other people feel ashamed to behave like them.

            Truly agree with your statement.

            The Indian government under your leadership and command should file a trillion dollars worth of lawsuit to all the invaders and colonizers who attacked, ravaged, looted and destroyed every single a bit of the land we know as India today.

            The invaders destroyed our precious learning institution, burnt and destroyed our in-valuable precious knowledge of science, mathematics, medicine, astronomy and etc.. ( Nalanda University )..

            Whats more, we should demand for return for all Indian related artifacts which are kept at former colonizer country’s museum…

          • http://www.facebook.com/amitabh.vohra Amitabh Vohra

            Any day I would prefer a society with people masquerading as
            science champions rather than people masquerading as spiritual gurus, because
            once percolated, spiritual gurus need to travel business class in luxury
            airplanes , and use internet for their blogs and enjoy many more materialistic things made by science champions. It’s time they
            start respecting the later clan.

            There are and will always be questions which science is
            unable to answer at a given point of time. But this does not give automatic licence
            to any spiritual guru to grab the opportunity to fill in the gaps with their
            vague ideas and call it science. The answer lies in your own blog when you say
            that even physicists acknowledge the unknown and turn to many more means for
            solutions. That’s the beauty of science. At least a scientist knows and
            acknowledges, what he knows and what he doesn’t, and that’s why there are no “grey areas”, but only “unknown areas” waiting
            for due deliberations of science. Now what a typical masquerading spiritual
            guru, who is adept on identifying these unknown areas do is to prey on those areas and makes it his turf and paints them ‘grey’
            with his brush and enjoy great following
            till the time some hardworking scientist clean the slate again with his new
            found scientific knowledge. Some people
            thrive by distorting facts about unknown turfs while some others strive to find
            scientific facts about unknown. Former
            have a distinct and unfair advantage over the later and is the main reason for
            their thriving clan over many centuries.

        • Sanjeev Sharma

          Dear Amitabh , Science is not a patented word which can be only used by few like you, since we are discussing in english we have to use word from this language though VIGYANA is most appropriate word in this context which actually means VISHESH GYANA or Special Knowledge and is possible only when one has stilled the mind so whenever Sadhguru is writing or saying something the only possibility or precondition to understand is to have still mind and if not one can only take it as a hypothesis and keep on contemplating till the answer comes from within. The answer cannot be achieved from outside, this is a paradox. Also please understand that any intellectual like you or me or those who are debating with, essentially people who are using brain as a tool to understand spiritual VIGAYANA, have to first master the so called modern science (Maths/Physics/Chemistry.Biology) and reach to a point i.e at macro level BLACK HOLE and at micro level Electron/Proton/Neutron level, because from these points the Spiritual VIGYANA actually starts. That is also the reason why experienced and knowledgeable person like you is spending his valuable time in such kind of BLOGS. So basically I am asking you , why are you here in this blog if you have already madeup your mind that all these so called gurus are fake ?????. What are you searching for ???? What is your quest ????? Even after gathering 30 years of knowledge have you got all you are looking from your science ??????

        • bharad

          The reason for caling it “Today’s so called science” is because its changing its still evolving. No kidding. Boson was finally accepted recently. Everything is energy including matter was discussed recently, the most recent study is speed of light is changing and not a constant always at all times and places, yes its a shocker it will be published shortly, so no one is claiming science is wrong but its still evolving. But very many scientific facts are present in the Vedas and Quran and Ramayana and many such ancient texts which we are coming to know by science.
          Your concern is though valid many are jus quoting texts without proving, it is one of the reasons why sadguru is amazing, if you want proof you attend his yoga and see for yourself. But without attending please dont throw words because he has made people see the impossible, to know what it is join his kiya and do it.After all we live one life we should experience the inner science too

    • Hari

      Acid + base = Salt + Water. You can prove it in lab. Whatever happens in your body and mind in terms of chakra etc cannot be proved in a lab. You can test a the effects of a medicine on the body even in that you don’t really capture the side effects properly. No had feelings.

      • Amitabh Vohra

        No bad feelings here either. pl see my reply to Sri above which addresses the problem in general.

      • Dharmateja Challa

        It can be proved, just check oxytocin and other important hormones…

  • Amitabh Vohra

    why should anyone leave a msg if you can not take constructive criticism

  • Venkat

    Sadhguru- what is the proper way of preparing vibhuti from cow dung or rice husk?

  • http://www.facebook.com/amitabh.vohra Amitabh Vohra

    Dear Hari Ji,

    on the outset I wish to very humbly submit that I do not have an iota of doubt on Yogic techniques and their results, as I have myself been practicing many of them for the last 10 years. As a matter of fact if you refer to my very first comment on this thread, I have submitted that anything which stood the test of time must have some science behind it. However we should restrain to call it science till the time it is proved scientifically. As a student of science I consider it my duty to find answers to questions which are hidden through centuries and bring it in open for the benefit of our society which exactly prompted to go through the article of science for applying Vibhuti. My problem is only with wrong, misleading and vague claims, and when caught on the wrong foot, learned people jump on the bandwagon to protect the cult they are attached with, rather than protecting the society they belong to. look at some of the reaction of many people on this blog, who threw quantum theory, cosmic theories and even their YOGIC MAYA, in a hurry like bombs on me to prove – that I am some uneducated brat. the show of one up man ship went even further by suggesting that I may be some fresh under grad. this had been the sorry state of affairs as historically we are afraid of disseminating knowledge and that’s why do not record it for future generations. do not publish it for public scrutiny and further research. while I agree that we can’t get an Adhi Shankara to debate with every rationalist out there but why should we stop expecting that, and why should people appoint themselves as His lieutenants to answer on His behalf.

    • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

      I wish to very humbly submit that I do not have an iota of doubt on
      Yogic techniques and their results, as I have myself been practicing
      many of them for the last 10 years.

      Erm… Yogic techniques?? I wonder what do you meant what Yogic Techniques…

      Practising many of them? Again , practising how many of them? one, two, ?

      • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

        I truly doubt Amitabh’s claim that he is a Yoga practitioner for the last 10 years.

        Fundamental to Yogam , is a understanding of chakra system. Now these chakra system as well as pranic/energy healing are being denigrated or labelled as just a pseudoscience, not actual science…

        I am not aware of any reputable scientific journal that explains about the chakra system.. Does that means chakra system is just some Hindu nonsensical BS?

        I am sure a serious 10+ years Yoga practitioner can feel and experience chakra and the pranic force in his/her own body…

        The question is, can we prove the existence of pranic force and chakra system in terms of theory , equation in papers?

        Science does requires proof , right?
        I bet these is what Amitabh is asking for?

        • dharmaVidhyan dharmi

          Amitabh, I am sure you must have experienced pranic force flowing through your bodies…due to your 10+years yogic technique…

          My humble request… Can you scientifically prove it to me?

  • Suryansh Kumar

    Hi, can anyone tell me that a prepared container of vibhuti can be used for how long? a month, a year, 10 years….does it have an expiry?

  • Angira

    I thought we were talking Vibhuti.

  • Vijay

    Sadguru, in our caste, we observe 11 days of ‘Sutaka’ when someone is born or some one dies in family (could be distant relative of our father’s family. We dont do pooja or take prasadam during these days. I have the Vibhuti I bought from Isha during Inner engineering program. Can I touch that and apply during those 11 days. Kindly guide me,.. bhaktipurvak pranam.

    • http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog Isha Blog Moderator

      Namaskaram, Yes you can

  • Robert

    Does eating vibhuti causes problem

  • Jaya

    May vibhuti pull the walls down between me and my master, I bow down

  • Sandeep Kulshrestha

    Very good information. Adds on to my mystical amazement of what this life means! Some people on this forum disbelief this but if they do, they should not participate in this forum. Sadhguru is a profound mystic and it shows in his various talks.

  • Nandhakumar.Rr

    For all your queries and doubts, the only answer is science is a subset of Spirituality! So, without arguing anymore, just wear Vibhuthi and experience the change within your self, then you won’t waste u r time in writing all these things! Pranamas