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In Hindu mythology Bhasmasura was an Asura or demon who, after praying to Lord Shiva received a boon.


Bhasmasura asked that he be granted the power that anyone whose head he touched with his hand should burn up and immediately turn into ashes (bhasma). Siva granted this request, but Bhasmasura thereupon attempted to touch the head of Siva with his hand. Siva fled, and was chased by Bhasmasura. Wherever Shiva went, Bhasmasura chased him. Somehow, Lord Shiva managed to reach Lord Vishnu to seek a solution to this predicament. Lord Vishnu on hearing Shiva's problem, agreed to help him out.

Lord Vishnu, in the form of Mohini, appeared in front of Bhasmasura. Mohini was so exceedingly beautiful that Bhasmasura immediately fell in love with Mohini. Bhasmasura asked her (Mohini) to marry him. She told him that she was very fond of dancing, and would marry him only if he could match her moves identically. Bhasmasura agreed to the match and hence they started dancing. The feat went for days at an end. As Bhasmasura matched the disguised Vishnu's move for move, he began to let his guard down. While still dancing, Mohini, struck a pose where her hand was placed on top of her own head. As Bhasmasura imitated her, he was tricked into touching his own head, and hence Bhasmasura immediately burnt up and turned into ashes.