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A Sanskrit word derived from vi-bhu (“arise,” “develop,” “manifest,” “appear,” “display,” etc.). It has a variety of meanings, such as “multiplication,” and “splendor,” but is commonly used to refer to manifestations of phenomenal powers (siddhis), specifically to the paranormal manifestation of sacred ash, such as has been produced by the South Indian saint Sathya Sai Baba. In Saivism it refers to the ashes with which Siva smears his body as well as to similar ashes, sometimes from burned cow dung and sometimes from a yogi’s sacred fire, smeared on the bodies of his devotees. It is also applied as a nickname of Laksmi, the consort of ViŠu, in the Bhagavata Purana.


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