Brimful of Asha

I once drank a pinchful of vibhuti, sacred ash, dissolved in a cup of water at the insistence of a crazy white guy I met in Japan who was a follower of Sai Baba. He told me great things about Sai Baba and how he conjured this ash from nothingness.
Now, I am fascinated with India and always have been – it’s high on my “to experience” list – but this one point regarding the ash always gnawed at me. I mean, really, why ash? Why not something useful like powdered milk to feed the hungry masses or graphite powder for lubricating squeaky rickshaw axels? The guy didn’t offer an explanation as to what kind of ash it was but it smelled like sandalwood. Maybe it was the feathery ash of burnt incense ground down to a fine powder. Either way, this guy insisted that I would pretty much feel a warm healing power streaming from my chakras as soon as I downed this cup of ash-water. Well, some did get stuck in my teeth and tasted gritty, kind of like a faceful of sandy water when you play in heavy surf at the beach and get tossed around, but the waves of energy simply did not appear. It was not for lack of effort, I really wanted to feel the rush as described, but it just did not happen.
I think Sai Baba should implement a Quality Plan and get ISO certification if possible. I think I got a bad batch of ash that day.
Update: There may be some image problems to work out, too.

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