--> Skip to main content

Shaiva Agni And Vibhuti Ash Preparation

Vibhuti is gathered from three sources – Shiva Agni, Vaidika Agni and Shaiva Agni – on the occasion of the diksha or initiation. Shaiva Agni is intended for those who have been initiated and are advanced in their religious merit and inner purity. This ash is specially taken from the holy fires ad is of four kinds

  1. Kalpa
  2. Anukalpa
  3. Upakalpa
  4. Akalpa

Kalpa is prepared from cow dung and mixed with five bel or bilva leaves dear to Shiva – nocci, vila, kiluvai, kuvilam and mavilanga. The Pancha Gavya (five products) from the cow, namely, milk, yogurt, ghee, urine and dung, are compounded in due and proper proportion and rolled into small balls, uttering the sacred formula ‘om aghoraya namah (salutations to Aghora, the non-terrifying aspect of Shiva). The husk of the paddy is then spread evenly on a clean spot, and the cow dung balls placed on that bed. Again covering the balls placed on that bed. Again, covering the balls with husk, they are baked in the fire until one gets the white ash which is the purest.

Anukalpa is similarly prepared from cow dung dried in the pasture ground, after reducing it to powder by pounding with pestle and mortar. It is then sifted through a fine cloth and mixed with urine of the cow, uttering the formula ‘om aghoraya namah’ (salutations of Shiva, the supreme soul). After being baked, it must be taken out with ‘om isanaya namah’ (salutations to Shiva, the Supreme Ruler). In this ash, the bilva leaves are not mixed.

Upakalpa is prepared not out of cow dung, but from the white ash of trees burnt by forest fire or from the brick klin. This is then mixed with the pancha gavya. The appropriate sacred formula must be uttered at these different stages.

Akalpa is not made but is obtained from nature in places where lightning has struck, on the hilltops or in certain naturally holy spots like Tiruvannamalai, Tirunirmalai, Rameshwaram, Bilvaranyam, Perurand Palani in Tamil Nadu.