Why is Tulsi Holy?
Author: Aruna

Among the questions that surfaced this past weekend during Krishna Janmashtami festivities:  why all the fuss over the Tulsi plant?

I actually had no clue. All I knew what that it was a holy plant that Hindu’s have at their house. Luckily, Pati (Grandmother) and Kol-Pati (Great Grandmother) were there for the rescue: their answer was that Tulis is an embodiment of Lakshmi Devi.

Upon further research, I found that there are indeed 2 types of Tulsi plants:

1- Krishna Tulsi (also called Shyama Tulsi) has more of a purple and/or dark green colour.

2- Rama Tulsi – which is lighter in colour.

Both have medicinal and ayurvedic properties and uses, and (surprise) there are many myths and legends surround Tusli (which you can read about here).  In essence, Tulsi is regarded as sort-of a bridge between the heavens and the earth – with Brahma residing in its branches, the Ganges flowing through its roots, and the Vedas at the highest part of the branches.  Water mixed with Tulsi leaves is given to the dying during the last breaths of life, presumably to connect them to the Eternal.

Thulasi shree sakhi shubhe, papa haarini punyade,
Namasthe Naradanuthe, Namo Narayana priye.

Oh, Holy Thulasi, Bosom friend of Lakshmi, Destroyer of sins,Bestower of blessings,
Salutations to thee, Who is praised by sage Narada, and is the darling of Lord Narayana.


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