The popular belief in Hindu tradition is that applying Vibhuti, or Bhasma, or sacred ash, on forehead and other parts of the body will help in redemption of sins. It is also believed that Bhasma which is made using burned cow dung has the power to cure various diseases and it also helps in improving physical and mental health. In Hinduism, Bhasma or Vibhuti is associated with Shiva.
One should take Bhasma in the left hand and apply it using the right hand.
Bhasma applied on forehead and on the middle of the head will help in removing lethargy and laziness.
Vibhuti applied on neck, hand and chest will help in redemption of sins.
Some saints are known to apply Bhasma all over the body. This is in adoration of Shiva. It is also believed that this will help in removing sins committed in previous births.