Why does Swami give vibhuti?
Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Flowers, leaves, fruit and other edibles have a temporary life. Even water breeds germs if kept in a vessel for days. Only vibhuti remains unchanged, as it is the final result of the five elements of creation. Our desires have to be reduced to ashes and vibhuti is symbolic of this detachment and renunciation. One's mind has to become desireless and detached like the ashes in which everything is burnt out. It is that kind of pure mind that has to be offered to God - Sai Baba
The application of this Holy
Ash is a reminder for us to achieve our victory over desire. Ash is the
ultimate condition of things; it cannot undergo any further change. Ash
cannot fade as flowers do in a day or two, it does not dry and disappear
or get soiled and unpotable as water does. It does not lose colour as
leaves do in a few hours and it does not rot as fruits do in a few days.