Sages of the New Covenant
One of the Saiva Kuravars Thirugnanasamandar has written 10 lyrics (known as Thiruneetu Pathiham - திருநீற்றுப் பதிகம்) praising the holy-ashes (Thiruneer or Vibuthi) in his Thevaram. The following are some of the expressions:
The outcome of several researches done on the Bhakthi (devotion) literature of the Shaivites and Vaishnavites proves that Shaivism and Vaishnavism are heretical Manicheism (the doctrines and practices of the dualistic religious system of Manes, a blending of Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and other elements, especially doctrines of a cosmic conflict between forces of light and darkness, the darkness and evilness of matter, and the necessity for a sexual, vegetarian asceticism.)
and the Tamizh literature of the ‘Bhakti Movement’ are like the scriptures to the heretical followers of Mani, founder of Manicheism.
The Four Vedas do not talk about practices of ashes in their liturgy. Hence we have to pitch the origin of putting the ashes in the forehead and body to the Israelites or to the Old Testament of the Bible. Let me place the following as evidences:
God gave ordnance to Moses and Aaron regard to the process preparation of ashes, which is described from the verses 2 to 9 of the 19th chapter of the Numbers. Based on this the ashes were prepared by burning the hide, flesh, blood and offal of the red heifer, which do not have any blemish and has never been yoked.
I am told that the following lines of the Vedas talks about the Sacrifice:
Now days, the ashes are prepared using only the offal heifer; the reason being “Prajapathi” God offered Himself as an ultimate sacrifice on the Cross, which had put an end to all animal scarifies. That is why in the temples of Shiva and Vishnu, you will find altar but no animal sacrifices are in vogue. This is also the reason that the Nandhi (heifer that is spared from being offered as sacrifice) in the Shiva temple blocks the direct vision of altar.
Let me take this opportunity to explain some more truth in regarding the manner the ashes are drawn by the Shaivites and Vaishnavites. In both the sects, most of them draw three lines, which represent the Triune God (in the parlance of Shaivites “Somaskandar” and of Vaishnavites “Mum Murthi”). Vaishnavites, to make it more realistic about the ultimate sacrifice that had happened at the Cross, puts the red sand (நாமக்கட்டி) to symbolically remember the shedding of blood by God. Some of the Shaivites tries to remember the Cross and the blood-Shed of God by putting the following:
It is matter pf personal preference. If anyone considers that he / she is going to identify herself . himself with the sufferings of the Lord of the New Covenant on the Cross, then they can put. Putting Holy-ash in one forehead neither makes one more spiritual nor the other way round.
What is the reason for the Shaivites and Vaishnavites put holy-ash on their forehead? The Book of Revelation in the Bible talks about the manner by which the Final Judgment would take place. The Shaivites and Vaishnavites are doing the practices mentioned above to exhibit to the out-side world that they are ever-ready to meet God of Final Judgment ( Kalki avatar), as the Verse 1 of Chapter 14 of book of Revelation says as following: “…. A Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 having His Father’s name written on their forehead.” Every Shaivites and Vaishnavites who put the ashes on their forehead wants to be one among the 144,000 selected people who could understand the song of the divine-harpist, who would sing before the throne of God of Final Judgment (Kalki God).
Tomorrow (February 13, 2013) is the beginning of the lent days – days to remember 40 days of temptation of the Lord of the New Covenant undergone in Wilderness and the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross. The members of Roman Catholics Church put the name of the God at least on Ash-Wednesday and identify themselves as partakers of the sufferings (1 Peter 4:13) of Jesus Christ. But at the same time, without accepting the "Prajapathi" as Lord and Saviour, just putting the thilak (Holy ash) on the forehead is of no use. This is quite clear from the Thamizh lyric of Pattinathar, which says:
நீற்றைப் புனைந்தென்ன நீராடப் போயென்ன நீமனமே
மாற்றிப் பிறக்க வகையறிந்தாயில்லை மாமறைநூல்
ஏற்றிக் கிடக்கும் எழுகோடி மந்திரம் என்ன கண்டாய்
ஆற்றில் கிடந்தும் துறையறியாமல் அலைகின்றாயே
The meaning of the above lyric is: “O mind, without knowing the means to have the ‘born-again’ experience, why are going to have dip in the water, having holy-ash all over your body? What have you seen after knowing the 70,000,000 mantras that are given in the scriptures? While you are in the river, you are wandering without knowing the jetty so that you could come out it!”
Is it not an apt lyric to ponder over on the Ash-Wednesday?
Copyright 2012 - 2015 Sages of the New Covenant. All rights reserved.
Sages of the New Covenant