Shiv Tulsi: Importance, Meaning, Impact and Benefits
Hey folks, welcome to a plant full of faith, religious and pure. We just forgot something. Oh yes, we added the word ‘Plant’ instead of ‘Blog’. Well, that’s the kind of impact Tulsi holds for us. So without any ado, let’s explore the Shiv Tulsi connection and other more stuff about the Tulsi plant.
Tulsi’s Significance and Names
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is an Indian subcontinent native that is grown in the Southeast Asian tropics. This plant is grown for a variety of reasons, including:
Plant of Tulsi (Basil)
1. Medicinal applications
2. To remove the essential liquid from it
3. For religious and traditional purposes; and
4. As a herbal tea.
Tulsi, scientifically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a perennial plant that is revered by Hindus for its rituals and traditions. The Hindus regard the Tulsi plant as the holiest of all plants, believing it to be a link between heaven and earth.
According to the Vedas, there are many names for the Tulsi plant, each with its own meaning:
- Vaishnavi translates to “belonging to Vishnu.”
- Vishnu Vallabha, which translates to “Lord Vishnu’s Beloved.”
- Haripriya, which also means Lord Vishnu’s favourite.
- Shri Tulsi- this is a green Tulsi that means “lucky Tulsi.”
- Rama Tulsi- this is a brighter-coloured tulsi.
- Shyama Tulsi/ Krishna Tulsi- is a darker Tulsi with dark green leaves and purple roots, which represents Lord Krishna’s dark complexion.
- Tulsi is considered an “avatar” of Goddess Lakshmi, so Lakshmi Priya is a good option.
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Tulsi's Mythological Origins
- Vrinda and Jalandhara:
According to the “Skanda Purana,” Lord Brahma bestowed a blessing on Jalandhara, the “Asura” (demon), because of his penance. Jalandhara would become invincible, and no one would be able to beat him before his wife’s chastity was lost to anyone else, according to Lord Brahma. Jalandhara declared war with the Gods, absorbed in arrogance.
Jalandhara was a strong warrior since he was said to be born from the flames that erupted from Lord Shiva’s third eye. Jalandhara believed that by breaking Parvati’s (Lord Shiva’s wife) purity, he could defeat Lord Shiva.
Jalandhara approaches Parvati dressed as Lord Shiva, but she recognised him. Parvati, embarrassed and enraged, is said to have turned pitch black and her eyes blood red as a result of this. This denotes Parvati’s transformation into Goddess Kali.
When he saw this, he realised that he couldn’t stand up to the Goddesses’ wrath. Parvati then approaches Lord Vishnu and requests that he assume the form of Jalandhara and travel to his wife Vrinda, breaking her purity, as this is the only way to beat Jalandhara. She promised that it would not be considered a sin.
Lord Vishnu, disguised as Jalandhara, his wife Vrinda’s purity. Vrinda, overcome by sorrow and anger, curses Lord Vishnu, requesting that he be transformed into a black stone known as “Shaligram,” which is still located on the banks of the Gandaki River.
Vrinda also curses him, saying that one day his wife will be kidnapped by deception and will be separated from him. This curse manifests when Sita, Lord Rama’s wife and an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is kidnapped by Ravana, a demon king. Though, Lord Shiva kills Jalandhar after he loses the fight.
Vrinda, having cursed Lord Vishnu, throws herself onto her husband’s funeral pyres and performs “Sati.” Lord Vishnu acknowledges the curse after repenting for betraying his own wife. Lord Vishnu then promises that a plant will grow from her ashes, called Tulsi, and will be married to the black stone “Shaligram,” ensuring her purity for the rest of her life. He also said that he would never eat without Tulsi, so Lord Vishnu’s “prasadam” always includes a holy Tulsi.
2. Tulsi and Sanchukda:
Sankchuda was a dominant “Daitya,” or demon, according to the “Devi Bhagwatam.” Lord Brahma was fascinated by his deep meditation, or “TapasyaMala.” Sankchuda was given the “Vishnu-Kavach” (Vishnu’s armour) and the blessing of eternal life by Lord Brahma. He proclaimed that no one could kill Sankchuda as long as the “Vishnu-Kavach” was on his body.
Sankchuda was a man of faith and religion, but he made mistakes for the sake of his friends on occasion. He chased the Gods out of their celestial abode after conquering the “Trilok,” or three worlds. Lord Shiva declared war on him but was unsuccessful in defeating him.
Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a weak “‘brahmin,” recognising that the battle would be futile as long as Sanchukda possessed the “Vishnu –Kavach.” He went to Sanchukda and expressed his desire to own the armour that he was wearing (Vishnu-Kavach). Sanchukda, a generous and kind man, couldn’t say no and thus gave the “Brahmin” his armour. As a result, he lost his power of invincibility and was defeated in the battle.
Lord Vishnu, in the form of Sankheda, approaches “Tulsi,” Sankchuda’s wife, using his delusionary powers. Lord Vishnu reveals himself in his true form when Tulsi detects the truth and wants to know who he was. Tulsi is also thought to be an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi, who was convinced to give up her earthly form and return to their celestial home.
Tulsi, enraged that her wifely purity and innocence towards Sankchuda has been harmed, curses Lord Vishnu and wishes for him to be turned into a black stone, “Shaligram,” as she believes he is as rigid and emotionless as a stone. Her mortal remains are said to have decayed and turned into the Gandaki River, while her hair became like the holy Tulsi.
3. Tulsi – Radha
Tulsi and Radha are the third and fourth flowers in the Tulsi family. Tulsi is said to be an “avatar” of Radha, Lord Krishna’s beloved, according to Hindu mythology. Vrinda is considered to be a shortened form of Radha. Krishna used to play with Radha in the forest known as “Vrindavana” or the “Garden of Tulsi” when he was a child in Mathura. According to another story, a princess falls in love with Lord Krishna, and Radha curses her and transforms her into a holy Tulsi plant out of envy.
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Hinduism and Tulsi
All Hindu pilgrimages, including the River Ganges, are said to reside in the roots of the Tulsi, the deities are said to reside in the stem of Tulsi as well as its leaves, and the Vedas are said to reside in the upper part of the branches, according to a Hindu prayer. This holy basil, also known as sacred Tulsi, is the most important symbol of devotion among women. Tulsi is known as the “women’s goddess” and is a sign of motherhood and wifehood.
The Tulsi, also known as the “central sectarian icon of Hinduism,” is regarded by Vaishnavites as God’s manifestation in the plant kingdom. Growing a holy Tulsi plant in a Hindu household is a popular practice. This is a common practice among Brahmins and other Hindu castes of the Vishnavites, and a house with a Tulsi plant is generally regarded as a place of pilgrimage.
Tulsi is cultivated in a holy grove known as “Vrindavan,” which means “Tulsi Grove.” In a home, a custom “Vrindavan” is an elevated cuboid stone or brick structure that is typically located in the courtyard or in front of the house.
Moksha and Tulsi
Even if you do not worship the Tulsi, Hindus believe that if those who water and care for it on a daily basis, they will achieve Moksha or salvation. Sacred Tulsi is typically worshipped and cared for by the women of the household on a regular basis. People are supposed to worship the holy basil on a regular basis, but Tuesdays and Fridays are particularly favourable days for Tulsi worship.
Watering the plant, cleaning the area around it with water and cow dung, and making an offering of flowers, foods, incense, and Ganga water are all common practices. While chanting mantras, devotees pray and circumambulate the vine.
Near the bottom of the Tulsi plant, some households render “rangoli,” or decorative designs of deities and saints. The Tulsi plant is usually worshipped twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Benefits of Tulsi
Tulsi is known for a long list of medicinal properties, including:
- Tulsi contains a lot of antioxidants. Antioxidants shield cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. The molecules formed by the body in response to different radiations or environmental stress are known as free radicals. As a result, diabetes and hypertension are alleviated.
- Tulsi contains linoleic acid, which is known for its skin benefits. It also contains triterpenoid ursolic acid, which is used to prevent and treat a variety of skin diseases such as itching, ringworm, and skin cancer. It is used as an anti-wrinkle and to improve skin elasticity because of its anti-ageing properties.
- It is a popular fever-relieving home remedy. It has antibacterial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic properties. Hepatitis, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, and swine flu are also treated with it.
- It aids in the improvement of the immune system as well as digestion.
- It is an adaptogen, which means it helps our bodies control cortisol, a stress hormone, thus reducing stress or adapting to stress.
- Works as an insect repellent as well.
- It is believed to reduce the risk of kidney infections by regulating the body’s uric acid levels.
- Chewing Tulsi leaves moderately is said to improve gum health and prevent mouth ulcers.
- Drinking Tulsi tea or a Tulsi decoction will help with asthma symptoms and other respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis.
- Tulsi contains phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Phytonutrients boost immunity, improve intercellular communication, and help repair DNA damage.
- Tulsi is high in essential oils as well as vitamins A and C.
- Tulsi is believed to help control heart disease when paired with herbs like “Arjuna.”
The sacred Tulsi plant unifies our spiritual and emotional lives, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. Tulsi is traditionally planted in the Karthik month, according to ancient Hindu texts. According to the Skanda Purana, the more Tulsi plants one plant, the more sins one eliminates. According to the Padampurana, a home with a Tulsi plant can be considered a pilgrimage site.
Bacteria are thought to be absent in homes where Tulsi grows. Even Yama, the God of Death, is said to avoid entering a home where Tulsi is grown. People who come into contact with Tulsi are said to benefit both physically and spiritually, according to ancient Hindu texts. The presence of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh is said to be invoked by the planting of a single Tulsi herb. Furthermore, in areas where Tulsi is grown, the benefits of sacred places like Pushkar and holy rivers like the Ganga are said to be available.
Why Don't We offer Tulsi To Shivling
Holi Basil, also known as Tulsi, has its own sacred position among all the pious and pure offerings to the Gods and Goddesses. Except for Lord Ganesh, Shivling, and Goddess Durga, all Gods and Goddesses are given the leaves of Tulsi, a sacred herb. According to ShivPurana, Lord Shiva dislikes Tulsi leaf offerings on Shivling. That is the major reason why we don’t offer Tulsi to Lord Shiva. Hence, Dhatura flower, Bael Patra, Bhaang, Bhasm, Sandalwood Paste, and Ice-cold milk should be offered on Shivling.
Tulsi is a must-have for Hindus and Lord Vishnu devotees. It has a plethora of auspicious advantages and is also thought to alleviate tension and negativity. Tulsi is used to please our forefathers in Hindu rituals, and it is also used to please our forefathers in Shard.
Lastly, we would like to say that Tulsi is not just a plant for Hindus; it’s just way beyond a mere plant. So peeps, hope you understood the meaning of Tulsi, Shiv tulsi connection, and its stories. Time to say a very goodbye.