Vibhuti is the sacred ash used in religious worship in Hinduism. Generally, it is used to denote the sacred ash which is made of burnt dried wood in Vedic rituals. Hindu devotees apply vibhuti traditionally as three horizontal lines across the forehead and other parts of the body to please Lord Shiva. Vibhuti smeared across the forehead to the end of both eyebrows is called Tripundra.
1. The main ingredient of Vibuthi is a special kind of wood. It is burned in a sacred fire (Homa) to form white ash. Vibhuti is placed on the forehead as it is considered sacred and holy.
2. The ash has several symbolic meanings:
-It serves as a reminder to the believer to cast away selfish and worldly desires that wrap the self in maya, meaning worldly illusion and distractions, and calls to mind the legend of how Shiva burned Kama (the god of desire) to ashes when Kama attempted to break Shiva’s meditation. This incident is recorded in the contents of Shiva Purana which entails the history of Shiva and his family.
-Normally worn along with red Tilaka(red dot). Vibhuti relates to Shiva and Red tilaka to Shakti(his consort Parvati). It is a constant reminder that Shiva and Shakti form the universe and everything is into being through, the union of Shiva and Parvati.