tulasee is Lord Vishnu’s most favourite and sacred of all plants. She is His ardent devotee and is worshipped as Goddess vrindA, vrindAvani, vishwa pUjitA, vishwa pAvani, puShpasArA, nandini, vishnu priyA and krishna jeevani. tulasee leaves are offered only to Lord Vishnu and his incarnates. tulasee offered to the lord is given as prasAd after ArAdhanA.
In Padma PuraaNa, Pancha Panchaashatasahasrasamhita, uttara khanda, tulasee shaalagraama maahaatmyam, chapter 23, verse 2, Lord Umaapati expounds to Lord nAradA:
पत्रंपुष्पफलंमूलंशाखात्वक्स्कन्धसज्ञितम् | तुलसीसम्भवंसर्वंपावनमृत्तिकादिकम् || patram puShpam phalam moolam shaakhaa tvak skandhasangyitam, tulasee sambhavam sarvam paavanamruttikaadikam
The leaves, floweres, fruits, roots, branches, barks, the stem of the tulasee plant and its soil are all pure/holy.
Only gents can pluck tulasee leaves from the plant.
Our smritis, purAnAs and AchAryAs say why we should worship Lord Vishnu with tulasee leaves.
1.Padma PurAnAm – Uttara kAndam, chapter 24, verses 29 and 30, Lord mahAdev says to Sage nAradA:
यत्रयत्रगृहेग्रामॆवनॆवा तुलसीभवॆत् | तत्रतत्रजगत्स्वामीप्रीतात्माचवसॆद् हरि: || yatra yatra gruhe graamE vanEvaa tulasee bhavEt, tatra tatra jagatswaamee preetaatmaacha vasEd hari:
Lord Hari resides with love in houses or villages where tulasee or a vrindaavan is grown.
गृहॆतस्मिन् न दारिद्रयं न यॊगॊ बन्धुसम्भव: | न दु:खं न भयम् रॊगस् तुलसी यत्र तिष्ठति || gruhEtasmin na daaridrayam na yOgO bandhusambhava: na du:kham na bhayam rOgas tulaseeyatra tiShThati
In such houses, no one suffers from sadness or fear or disease or separation from dear ones.
2. Skanda PurAn – Vaishnava kAndam 2, KArtikamAsa mAhAtmyam, chapter 8, tulasee mAhAtmya varNanam:
भक्त्या सम्पूजितॊ नित्यं तुलस्यास्तु दलार्वत: स्वयं प्रत्यक्षम् आयाति भगवान् हरिरीश्वर: bhaktyA sampUjitO nityam tulasyAstu dalArvatah svayam pratyaksham Ayaati bhagavAn harireeshwara:
Bhagavan Hari himself appears before those who, with devotion worship Him daily with the tulasee dalAs.
3. tulasee Stotram by Sage PundareekA:
तुलस्य रक्षताम् सर्वं, जगदॆतत् चराचरम् | या विनिर्हन्ति पापानि दृष्ट्वा या पापिभिर् नरै: || tulasya rakshatAm sarvam, jagadEtat charAcharam yA vinirhanti paapaani druSHTvA yA paapibhir naraihi
tulasee protects all that is movable and immovable and destroys the sins of any sinner who even just sees tulasee.
4. Shree tyAgarAjA, a prolific composer of South Indian karnatic music songs and a devotee of Lord Rama, sings in raag “MAyAmAlava gowlai”
तुलसी दल मुलचॆ सन्तॊश मुगा पूजिन्तु || tulasee dala mulachE santOsha mugA pUjintu ||
He expresses his desire to worship Lord RAmA happily with the tulasee dalAs.
5. Shree tyAgarAjaA has rendered one more song in rAg “sAvEri”:
तुलसी जग(ज्)जननि दुरितापहारिणी || tulasee jagajjanani duritApahAriNee ||
Oh! tulasee, mother of the universe, remover of sins.
1. Shri nArada uvAcha- राधा वाक्यन्तत: श्रुत्वाराजन् सर्व सखी वरा | चन्द्रानना प्रत्युवाच सम्विचार्य क्षणम् हृदि || rAdhA vAkyantata: shrutvArAjan sarva sakhee varA chandrAnanA pratyuvAcha samvichArya kShaNam hRudi.
Shri Narada said: Hearing Radha’s words, chandrAnana the best of all friends thought for a moment in her heart and replied:
2. Shri chandrAnana uvAcha: परंसौभाग्यदम् राधॆ महापुण्यम् वरप्रदम् | श्रीकृष्णस्यापि लब्ध्यर्थम् तुलसी सॆवनम् मतम् || paraMsaubhAgyadam rAdhE mahApuNyam varapradam shreekRuShNasyApi labdhyartham tulasee sEvanam matam
Shri Candranana said: O Radha, service to Tulasi bestows great happiness and sacred blessings. It gives the association of Lord Krishna.
3. यदा स्पृष्टाथवा ध्याता कीर्तितानामभि: स्तुता: | रॊपितांसिन्चिता नित्यम् पूजिता तुलसि दलै: || yadA spRuShTAthavA dhyAtA keertitAnAmabhi: stutA: rOpitAMsinchitA nityam poojitA tulasi dalai:
You should always see tulasee, touch tulasee, remember her, praise her, bow down before her, offer prayers to her, plant her, water her and worship her leaves.
4. नवधा तुलसी भक्तिम् ये कुर्वन्ति दिनॆ दिनॆ । युग कोटि सहस्राणि तॆयान्ति सुकृतम् शुभॆ ॥ navadhA tulasee bhaktim yE kurvanti dinE dinE. yuga koTi sahasrANi tEyAnti sukRutam shubhE.
Those who, day after day serve tulasee by the nine kinds of bhakti attain the world of bliss for thousands of millions of yugAs.
5. यावच्छाखा प्रशाखाभिर् भीजपुष्पदलै: शुभै: | रोपिता तुलसी मर्त्यैर् वर्धतॆ वसुधा तलॆ ||
6. तॆशाम् वंशेषु जात ये भविष्यन्ति ये गत: | आ कल्पयुग सहस्रं तॆशाम् वासॊ हरॆर् गृहॆ || yAvachChAkhA prashAkhAbhir bheejapuShpa dalai: shubhai: ropitA tulasee martyair vardhatE vasudhA talE tEshAm vaMshEShu jAta ye bhaviShyanti ye gata:
A kalpayuga sahasraM tEshAm vAsO harEr gRuhE One who plants tulasee and does the pooja like above liberates his family. As many branches, sub-branches, seeds, flowers, and leaves as are on the tulasee he has planted, that many ancestors and descendents in his family are elevated to Lord Krishna’s abode for thousands of yugAs.
7. यत्फलं सर्व पत्रॆषु सर्व पुष्पॆषु राधिकॆ | तुलसि दलॆन चैकॆन सर्वदॆ प्राप्यतॆ तु तत् || yat phalam sarva patrEshu sarva puShpEShu rAdhikE tulasee dalEna chaikEna sarvadE prApyatE tu tat
Oh rAdhikA, by offering a single tulasee leaf to krishnA, one attains the result of offering Him every leaf and flower.
8. तुलसि प्रभवै: पत्रैर्यॊ नर: पूजयॆद्धरिम् | लिप्यते न स पापॆन पद्मपत्रमिवांभसा || tulasee prabhavai: patrairyO nara: poojayEd dharim lipyate na sa pApEna padmapatramivAmbhasA
A person who worships Lord Krishna with offerings of tulasee leaves is not touched by sin just like a lotus-leaf is not touched by water.
9. सुवर्ण भार शतकम् रजतम् यच्चतुर् गुणम् | तत्फलम् समवाप्नॊति तुलसी वन पालनात् || suvarna bhAra shatakam rajatam yachchatur guNam tatphalam samavApnOti tulasee vana pAlanAt
One who protects a tulasee forest attains the result of giving in charity a hundred bhAraas of gold or four hundred bhAraas of silver.
10. तुलसी काननं राधॆ गृहॆ यस्यावतिष्ठति | तद् गृहम् तीर्थ रूपं हि न यान्ति यम किन्करा: || tulasee kAnanaM rAdhE gRuhE yasyAvatiShThati tad gRuham teertha roopam hi na yAnti yama kinkarA:
A home amidst a tulasee forest is a sacred pilgrimage place. Yamaraja’s servants will never enter that home.
11. सर्वपाप हरं पुण्यम् कामदम् तुलसी वनम् | रॊपयन्ति नर: श्रॆष्ठास् तॆ न पश्यन्ति भास्करिम् || sarva pApa haram puNyam kAmadam tulasee vanam rOpayanti nara: shrEShThAs tE na pashyanti bhAskarim
Those who plant a sacred tulasee forest, which fulfills desires and removes all sins, are the best of people. They will never see Yamaraja.
12. रॊपणात् पालनात् सॆकाद् दर्शनात् स्पर्शनातृणाम् | तुलसी दहतॆ पापम् वाक् मन: काय सन्चितम् || rOpaNAt pAlanAt sEkAd darshanAt sparshanAtRuNAm tulasee dahatE pApam vAk mana: kAya sanchitam
Those who plant, protect, water, see, or touch her, tulasee burns their sins committed through words, mind and the body.
13. पुष्कराद्यानि तीर्थानि गंगाद्या: सरितस् तथ | वासुदॆवादयॊ देवा वसन्ति तुलसी दलॆ || puShkarAdyAni teerthAni gangAdyA:saritas tatha vAsudEvAdayO devA vasanti tulasee dalE
On a single tulasee leaf the holy places beginning with Pushkar, the sacred rivers beginning with the Ganga, and the Deities headed by Lord VAsudEvA reside.
14. तुलसी मन्जरी युक्तॊ यस् तु प्राणान् विमुन्चति | यमॊ पि नॆक्षितुम् शक्तॊ युक्तम् पापशतैरपि || tulasee manjaree yuktO yas tu prANAn vimunchati yamO pi nEkshitum shaktO yuktam pApashatairapi
A person who has committed even hundreds of sins does not see yamA if he touches a tulasee manjari.
15. तुलसी काष्ठ जम्यस्तु चन्दनम् धारयॆन्नर: | तद् दॆहम् न स्पृशॆत् पापम् क्रियमाणमपीहयत् || tulasee kAShTha jamyastu chandanam dhArayEn nara: tad dEham na spRushEt pApam kriyamANam apeeha yat
One who wears tulasee wood/chandan on him will refrain from doing sin.
16. तुलसी विपिनच्छाया यत्र यत्र भवेच्छुभॆ | तत्र श्राद्धम् प्रकर्तव्यम् पितृणाम् दत्तम् अक्षयम् || tulasee vipinachChAyA yatra yatra bhavEchChubhE tatra shrAddham prakartavyam pitRuNAm dattam akShayam.
ShrAddh should be performed whenever a beautiful shade of a tulasee forest is seen and akshaya should be offered to the pitrUs.
17. तुलस्या: सखि महात्म्यम् आदिदेवश्चतुर् मुख: | न समर्थॊ भवॆद् वक्तुम् यथा दॆवस्य शार्ङ्गिण: || tulasyA: sakhi mahAtmyam Adi dEvashchatur mukha: na samarthO bhavEd vaktum yathA dEvasya shArngiNa:
O friend, just like the four-faced Brahma cannot describe all the glories of Lord Krishna (beholder of the bow), he also cannot describe all the glories of tulasee.
18. तुलसी सॆवनम् नित्यम् कुरुत्वम् गॊप कन्यकॆ | श्री कृष्णॊ वश्यतांयाति यॆनवा सर्व दैवहि || tulasee sEvanam nityam kurutvam gOpa kanyakE shree kRuShNO vashyatAMyAti yEnavA sarva daivahi.
Oh! gOpa kanyA, If you thus serve tulasee daily, shree kRuShNA will become your humble servant.
19. shree nArada uvAcha- इत्थम् चन्द्रानन वाक्यम् श्रुत्वा रासॆश्वरी नृप | तुलसी सॆवनम् साक्षाद् आरॆभॆ हरि तॊशणम् || ittham chandrAnana vAkyaM shrutvA rAsEshvaree nRupa tulasee sEvanam sAkshAd ArEbhE hari tOshaNam
Shree Narada said: O king, after hearing chandrAnanA’s words, Shri RAdha, the queen of the rAsa dance began to serve shree tulasee inorder to please Lord kRuShNA.
1. tulasee leaves should be plucked in the morning before 12.00 noon.
2. It should be watered and worshipped in the morning.
1. tulasee can be grown in the house garden or in pots, in a clean, sunny and airy place.
2. A special pot called “vrindAvan” (picture shown) or a “tulasee mAdam” can be constructed or purchased and tulasee planted inside. In such a case, this tulasee plant can be used for tulasee pooja.
A. In the worship of Lord Vishnu and his forms, the following may be adhered to :
1.Before plucking tulasee, a gruhastan (house holder), must wash his hands and legs. He must then do Achamanam and prostrate before the tulasee plant after saying :
यन्मूले सर्व तीर्थानि यन्मध्यॆ सर्व दॆवता | यदग्रॆ सर्व वॆदाश्च तुलसी! त्वाम् नमाम्यहम् || yanmoole sarva teerthaani yanmadhyE sarva dEvatA yadagrE sarva vEdaashcha tulasee! tvaam namaamyaham.
Oh! tulasee, your feet is the abode of all the sacred rivers, the middle is the abode of all the gods and the crown is the abode of all the vEdAs, to you I salute.
2. Then he must say the following mantra and then pluck the tulasee dalAs from the plant.
यतुलसी * अमृत जन्मासि सदा त्वम् कॆशवप्रियॆ | केशवार्थम् लुनामि त्वाम् वरदा भव शॊभनॆ || tulasee amruta janmAsi sadA tvam kEshavapriyE keshavArtham lunAmi tvAm varadA bhava shObhanE.
* पाठ भेदं :- अमृत सम्भूते amruta sambhootE
Oh! tulasee, born out of the sacred nectar (amruta) during the churning of the ocean of milk, you are always dear to kEshavA. I am plucking your leaves for the sake of worshipping Lord kEshavA.
3. It is best to pluck tulasee from your own plant. Secondary is from gardens. The last resort is to buy from the market, given by others or borrowed from others in due order. It should not be smelled to enjoy the aroma. 4. The tulasee stem should be held in the left hand and the leaves should be plucked gently with the right hand and kept on a plate or a leaf, not in the left hand. 5. .Be careful not to hurt tulasee with your nails. 6. A tulasee dalam (the bunch of 4 leaves with the flower on the top) is most preferred, if not available then the leaves, or the stem can be offered to Lord vishnu. 7. Water mixed with tulasee leaves, ilaichi powder, cloves, edible kapoor is also offered to Lord vishnu after the daily prayers and then consumed as prasAd.
B. In the worship of tulasee as a diety herself, daily or on fridays.
The tulasee vrindAvan or the mAdAm is decorated in the centre of the courtyard, rangoli with rice flour is drawn around and in front of the tulasee devi. This pooja is mostly done by women, married or unmarried girls. The plant is watered and then haldi and kumkum powder is placed on its leaf/stem. The following mantra is also recited after “yanmoole sarva teerthaani” mantrA said above.
Oh! tulasee, the friend of goddess shri, the auspicious, the destroyer of sins, bestower of blessings. Salutations to thee who is praised by naaradA, and is the favourite of Lord nArAyaNA.
C. In the “tulasee VivAhA” pooja during kaartik month, according to the procedures followed by the traditions in the respectives states.
tulasee leaves should not be plucked by ladies. They can only water the plant. They can also do tulasee poojA, and tulasee vivAha poojA as per rules prescribed for the same.
Once plucked, tulasee is always fresh, it never gets old, it can be preserved.
tulasee leaves should not be plucked on the following days:
Tuesday, Friday and Sunday
mAsa/varsha SankramanA (first day of the new month/year/)
shrAddha tithi (death anniversary of ancestors)
tulasee leaves should not be plucked after 12.00 noon. The pApA( sin) of cutting God’s head is acquired by the person doing this.
tulasee should not be consumed on EkAdashi, it can only be offered to the Lord. It is kept and consumed on dwAdashi (next day).
tulasee is botanically called Ocimum tenuiflorum. It is grows all over the world and is known as Holy Basil world wide. It has great medicinal properties like anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidatant, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties.
Bring home a tulasee plant, water the tulasee plant daily and offer tulasee dalAs to Shri Hari and consume it as prasAd.
It purifies the body, mind and the soul.