Bhasma; 12 Definition(s)


Bhasma means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Bhasma (भस्म):—The usual means used to administer these substances is by preparations called bhasma, Sanskrit for "ash".

Source: WikiPedia: Ayurveda
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Bhasma (Cinder): Powder of any substance obtained by calcinations is known as bhasma. Metals, minerals and animal products are calcinated in closed crucibles in pits specially made. Example: Abhraka-bhasma.

Source: Ayurveda and Pharmaceutics (rasashastra)
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Bhasma in Purana glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

Bhasma (भस्म) refers to the “sacred ashes”, symbolically representing the “essence”, as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 1.18. Accordingly, “[...] the ash (bhasma) is of three types, derived from ordinary fire, Vedic fire and Śiva fire. The ash derived from ordinary fire shall be used for the purification of articles of mud, wood or metals and even for grains. [...] The ashes resulting from Vedic rites in fire shall be smeared over the forehead at the end of the rites. Since the ashes are purified by the mantras the rite itself takes the form of the ashes. [...] Bilva twigs shall be burnt repeating the Ātma mantra of Aghora. This fire is called Sivāgni. The ashes resulting therefrom are called Śivāgnija”.

For the sake of resplendence, the ashes (bhasma) shall be taken. The word bhasma (Ash) means that which is honoured and adored. Śiva formerly did so.—“A king takes the essence of wealth by way of tax, in his kingdom. Men burn plants and take the essence thereof. The gastirc fire burns different kinds of foodstuffs and with their essence nourishes the body. Similarly the great lord Śiva, the creator of the universe, burns the universe presided over by Him and takes the essence of the same. After burning the universe He applies the ashes (bhasma) over his body. Under the pretext of annihilation He has taken the essence out of the same. He assigned the essence to His own body. The essence Ākāśa (the Ether) constitutes His hair. The essence of the wind principle constitutes His face. The essence of the Fire principle constitutes His heart, that of the principles of waters the hip and that of the principle of the Earth the knees. Thus the other limbs too. The Tripuṇḍraka (the three parallel lines of ash marks over the forehead) is the essence of Trinity: Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra. Similarly Maheśvara has retained the esence of everything in the form of Tilaka (the small circular mark) on the forehead”.

Source: Siva Purana - English Translation

Bhasma (भस्म).—(Sacred ash). To know a story about the greatness of Bhasma see under the word Durjaya.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Bhasma (भस्म).—Sacred ash supposed to be the vīrya of Śiva who is Bhasmasamcchannadeha;1 snānam of, makes one pure: amulet for places of confinement.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 27. 10 and 92, 105-28; III. 28. 12.
  • 2) Ib. II. 27. 105-115.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Bhasma (भस्म, “holy ash”) refers to one of the five kinds of external marks of an ācārya (“Śaiva preceptor”), according to Nigamajñāna (Śaiva teacher of the 16th century) in his Śaivāgamaparibhāṣāmañjarī.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Bhasma (भस्म) is the name of a deity who received the Yogajāgama from Sudhākhya through the mahānsambandha relation, according to the pratisaṃhitā theory of Āgama origin and relationship (sambandha). The yogaja-āgama, being part of the ten Śivabhedāgamas, refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgamas: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu.

Bhasma obtained the Yogajāgama from Sudhākhya who in turn obtained it from Sadāśiva through parasambandha. Bhasma in turn, transmitted it to Prabhu who then, through divya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Devas who, through divyādivya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Ṛṣis who finally, through adivya-sambandha, revealed the Yogajāgama to human beings (Manuṣya). (also see Anantaśambhu’s commentary on the Siddhāntasārāvali of Trilocanaśivācārya)

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Nirukta (Sanskrit etymology)

Bhasma (भस्म) means “that which has controlled the essence of the whole universe”. (Bha=vṛddhi (flourishing essence). Sma=svayam. Manyate=‘considers his own’).

Source: Siva Purana (nirukta)
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Nirukta (निरुक्त) or “etymology” refers to the linguistic analysis of the Sanskrit language. This branch studies the interpretation of common and ancient words and explains them in their proper context. Nirukta is one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Bhasma in Pali glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

bhasma : (nt.) ashes.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bhasma, (n) (nt.) (cp. Vedic bhasman (adj.); Sk. bhasman (n.), originally ppr. of bhas to chew & thus n-stem. It has passed into the a-decl. in Pali, except in the Loc. bhasmani (S. I, 169). Etymologically & semantically bhasman is either “chewing" or “anything chewed (small), " thus meaning particle, dust, sand, etc. ; and bhas is another form of psā (cp. Sk. psā morsel of food, psāta hungry=P. chāta). Idg. *bhsā & *bhsam, represented in Gr. yw/xw to grind, yάmmos & yώxos sand; Lat. sabulum sand. The Dhtp 326 & Dhtm 452 explain bhas by bhasmīkaraṇa “reduce to ashes, " a pp. of it is bhasita; it also occurs in Sk. Loc. bhasi) ashes S. I, 169=Nd2 576 (Loc. bhasmani); Vv 8444; J. III, 426; Vism. 469 (in comparison).

—antāhuti (bhasm’ant’āhuti) “whose sacrifice ends in ashes" D. I, 55 (so read for bhassant°, according to DA. I, 166, & cp. Franke, Dīgha Nikāya p. 60); M. I, 515; S. III, 207. —âcchanna covered by ashes Dh. 71 (=chārikāya paṭichanna DhA. II, 68); J. VI, 236 (... va pāvaka). —puṭa a sack for ashes DA. I, 267 (as expln for assa-puṭa of D. I. 98; fanciful; see assa1). —bhāva “ashy" state, state of being crumbled to dust VvA. 348. (Page 500)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

bhasma (भस्म).—n (S) Ashes. 2 Any metallic oxyde.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bhasma (भस्म).—n Ashes. Any metallic oxide.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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