Written by Staff Writer
11 Jul, 2016 | 7:05 pm
The application of Vibhuti on the forehead is a timeless ritual that has been observed in the holy city of Kataragama.
Vibhuti, an ash like substance, can be found in abundance in areas surrounding the sacred site. Devotees worship the Kataragama deity and apply Vibhuti to their foreheads, anticipating the gods blessings.
Vibhuti can be found near the Kataragama Temple and as the perahera draws near, villagers begin digging for the substance. Many involved in the Vibhuti trade here, claim that the powder is even exported to India for use in religious rituals.
According to local mythology, the Asura titan which battle the deity of Kataragama, Lord Skanda, brought a mountain from the Himalayas to Lanka and the mountain was shattered by Lord Skanda – devotees claim that the ashes of this mountain is the Vibhuti that can be found in abundance in Kataragama today.
Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Prof. Jayasena Kottegoda stated that three lines known as the Tripundra are drawn across the forehead to symbolise Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.
He added that devotees apply holy ash on their foreheads after worshipping the deity at the temple in order to feel a closer connection with him and to feel that they have received his blessing.
He went on to note that it is a very important ceremony for many Hindu devotees.
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