Why do we worship Tulsi?

Why do we worship Tulsi?

Mar 01, 2024Soubhagya Barick

- Dr. K.Kumar 

Garlands have always been believed to be the symbol of beauty, respect, love, devotion, purity and peace and reverence to any higher deity. Flowers and flower garlands play an integral part of the Hindu customs. Even other diverse cultures across the world too hold immense significance of garlands. But flowers are after all flowers, which will shrink and fade away in few days. But if we put together beautiful words and sentences in enhancing the worship of Gods and Goddesses, these spiritual garlands will stay and shine for long long time in our minds.

Why is the Tulsi plant sacred?

Tulsi (Basil leaves) – in its glory and sanctity of worship

Refer to Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 09 - Verse 26:

patraṁ puṣhpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayachchhati |
tadahaṁ bhaktyupahṛitam aśhnāmi prayatātmanaḥ || 10.81.4. ||

Maha Vishnu says, "Whoever offers me leaf, flower, fruit, or even water with love and devotion, in ‘pure consciousness, then for the sake of his or her pure-hearted devotion, I delightfully partake that offering”

Among all the leaves, each leaf is different.

But among all the leaves the most important is known as Tulsi.

Who is Tulsi?

Tulsi is the consort of Maha Vishnu who has the aspect of Mahalakshmi. She is always there as a garland around Maha Vishnu’s neck. She also has another name as Brinda, according to the Shastra.

Lord Shiva resides at the base of Tulsi, Lord Vishnu resides in the middle, and Lord Brahma resides at the top.

Regarding the Tulsi plant as a deity and worshiping daily it is considered very important in Hinduism.

Instead of placing a Tulsi plant on the ground, build a small special masonry structure known as Tulsi Vrindavan. Traditionally, Tulsi is planted in the centre of the central courtyard of Hindu houses or in front of the house. 

It is very good to have Tulsi plant in the north-east corner of one's house. If it is not possible to place it in the north-east corner of your house, you can freely set up the Tulsi Maadam or Vrindavan  at the back yard close to exit gate of the house.

Like other flowers, Tulsi does not suffer from Yadayaama (staleness) dosha. This means that the pooja can be performed the next day even if the Tulsi was plucked a day ago and is slightly withered.

When a small Tulsi is placed on the objects offered to the Swami, it becomes Shuddhi (purified).

How to worship Tulsi plant at home?

It is necessary to worship Tulsi Vrindavan daily. Draw up a Kolam rangoli, keep some fruit or sugary rock candy as a Naivedya, and light the lamp twice a day, in the morning and evening.

There are certain rules and dos and don'ts regarding plucking Tulsi leaves from the plant. It should not be plucked on Tuesday, Friday, Full Moon Day, Dwadashi Day, Pitru Puja Days, Sandhya time and at night.

Deities related to Vishnu can be worshiped with Tulsi. Vilvarchanai is special for deities associated with Shiva. Tulsi is not offered to Lord Ganesha. Other flowers will do.

Benefits of worshipping Tulsi

It is believed that when one performs Tulsi puja with faith, one would not contract or die of incurable diseases. Illnesses and poor health will not even reach the doorstep of the devotee. It is also said that worshipping Tulsi Devi can give quick results for a poor family to become prosperous soon.

Shastra says that when you donate any item, if you donate a small piece of Tulsi along with that item, the amount and value of the item given increases manifold.

Tulsi Vivah: Significance and Rituals

The Dwadashi that falls on the day after Sukla Paksha Kaisika Ekadashi in the month of Kartika is called 'Brindavan Dwadashi'. Vishnu Purana says that on that day, Lord Vishnu married Tulsi.

Black-beads (Karugamani) jewellery should be prepared and Tulsi Devi is decorated with betel nut, turmeric, fruits and coconut. It is customary for devotees to prepare Sweet Pongal as a Naivedya offering.

As Lord Vishnu appeared as a Nellikai (Amla/gooseberry tree) on Tulsi Vivaha day, ladies pluck a small Nellikai-branch and attached it to the Tulsi Mantap and worship both together. Then, Tulsi Kalyana will be completed by reciting the following verse:

 'Anati madhya nidanatrailokya pratibha.

Imam Gruhana Tulseem Vivaha Vidinechwara

Biokruthaicha saivapi kanyavat vanditham maya

Dwat priyam tulseem thupyam dasyamithvam gruhanapo”

It is best to fast in the morning  before performing the puja and complete it by lighting a lamp in the evening.

Helpful Hints:

Tulsi is not just the plant for spiritual worship only. It also contains many amazing medicinal properties.

Krishna Tulsi, Babi Tulsi. Dukashmia Tulsi – such varieties of Tulsi can control colds, coughs, headaches and relieve physical fatigue.

That is why it is called the 'Queen of Herbs in Ayurveda'. It is amazingly powerful to prevent disease, ward off the disease, and give immunity to the disease in the future.

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