What is the significance of the holy herb basil
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Tulsi is the sacred herb, which is used to worship the deities in the temple. Using tulsi leaves to worship brings prosperity. Tulsi is known for its fragrance, medicinal properties, devotional purposes and tulsi is primarily offered by the devotees of Lord Vishnu to gratify him.
Why is the “holy basil” dearer to Lord Vishnu, as one legend goes that Tulsi was a woman named Vrinda (Brinda) who was married to a demon-king called “Jalandhar”. Owing to her faithfulness and devotion to Vishnu, her husband became indomitable. Even Lord Shiva (The destroyer of the Hindu trinity) could not defeat Jalandhar. So Lord Shiva appealed to Lord Vishnu to find a solution. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar and despoiled Vrinda. Her chastity ruined, Lord Shiva killed Jalandhar. Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu that he would be separated from his wife and he would become black. As a consequence he was changed to black Shaligram stone and his Rama avatar, his wife Sita was separated from him by the demon-king. Disheartened Vrinda drowned herself in the ocean. Lord Vishnu then transferred her soul to a plant, which was named as “Tulsi”. As stated by Lord Vishnu, he sanctified to marry Vrinda in her next birth,
Vishnu married Tulsi on Prabodhini Ekadashi, in the form of Shaligram. Thus Tulsi is sometimes recognized as Lord Vishnu’s consort.
Namastulasi kalyaani namo
namo moksha pradaayike devii
namah sarva sampatpradaayike
I bow to auspicious Tulasi who is dear to Lord Vishnu, who brings good luck to devotees,
who guides one to attain salvation, who showers all the wealth to the devotees.
In earlier days, a Hindu household was considered incomplete without a tulsi plant in the courtyard. This holy herb is planted in a specially built structure with four sides on it also known as “Tulsi Madam”, one of the sides would have a small provision to light lamps too. The uniqueness of this plant is that every part of tulsi has fragrance on it. Seeds, leaves, stem, its roots all have fragrance. Such should be our thoughts, pure and positive. Restrain the negativity and spread the goodness in you, just like “The holy herb basil”.
For the world’s largest listing of Vishnu temples, visit Ishta Devata – Vishnu
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