Who was Shankhchuda

Tulsi in Hinduism - Tulsi in Hinduism

Personification of Saint Basil in Hinduism
Personification of the tulsi plant
other names Vrinda
Devanagari तुलसी
Sanskrit transliteration Tulasi
Affiliation Devi,
stay The tulsi plant, Vaikuntha
Mantra Om Subhdray Namha Matsatulsi Govind Hridyan and Kaarini, Narayanasya Pujarth Chinomi Twan Namostutai (breaking the leaves)
Mahaprasad Janani, Sarva Saubhagyavardhini Aadhi Vyadhi Hara Nitya, Tulsi Twa Namostutai (offering water)
symbol The tulsi plant
Festivals Tulsi Vivah
  • Dharmadhvaja and Vedavati (as Tulsi)
  • Kalanemi and Svarna (as Vrinda)

Tulsi , Tulasi or Vrinda (Holy basil) is a sacred plant in Hindu beliefs. Hindus consider it an earthly manifestation of the goddess Tulsi; She is considered the avatar of Lakshmi and thus the consort of the god Vishnu. In other legends, it is called Vrinda and is different from Lakshmi. In the story, she married Jalandhara. The sacrifice of its leaves is compulsory for the ritual worship of Vishnu and his avatars such as Krishna and Vithoba.

Many Hindus have tulsi plants that grow in front of or near their home, often in special pots or a special masonry structure known as Tulsi Vrindavan is known as this is related to their culture. Traditionally, tulsi is planted in the middle of the courtyard of Hindu houses. The plant is cultivated for religious purposes and for its essential oil.


In Hindu Vedas, Tulsi ("incomparable") is known as Vaishnavi ("Belonging to Vishnu"), Vishnu Vallabha ("Beloved of Vishnu"), Haripriya ("Beloved of Vishnu"), Vishnu Tulsi . The tulsi with green leaves is called Shri-Tulsi ("Happy Tulsi"); Shri is also synonymous with Lakshmi, Vishnu's spouse. This variety is also called Rama-Tulsi ("bright Tulsi") known; Rama is also one of the main avatars of Vishnu. The tulsi with dark green or purple leaves and a purple stem are called Shyama-Tulsi ("dark tulsi") or Krishna Tulsi ("dark tulsi"); Krishna is also a well-known avatar of Vishnu. This strain is considered particularly sacred to Krishna because its purple color resembles Krishna's dark complexion.

One argument that is being discussed is that the goddess Laksmi is also identical to Tulsi and is therefore also known as Lakshmi Priya; Tulsi is also identified with the wives of other incarnations of Vishnu such as Rama and Krishna.


An altar with Tulsi Plant for daily worship in a courtyard in India

The Devi Bhagavatapurana Reference to Tulsi as a manifestation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and the main consort of Vishnu. Once upon a time, King Vrishadhvaja - a follower of the god Shiva - forbade the worship of all other deities except that of his patron god. An excited sun god Surya cursed him for leaving Lakshmi. Angry, Shiva pursued Surya, who fled and eventually sought refuge with Vishnu. Vishnu told the gods that years had passed on earth. Vrishadhvaja and his heir son were dead, and his grandchildren - Dharmadhvaja and Kushadhvaja - now worshiped Lakshmi in order to gain their favor. Lakshmi rewarded their efforts by being born as their daughters Tulsi (literally "incomparable") to Dharmadhvaja and Vedavati to Kushadhvaja, respectively. In time, Tulsi gave up all her royal consolation and went to Badrinath to repent in order to win Vishnu as her husband. The god Brahma was satisfied with her repentance but told her that she must marry the Daitya Shankhachuda before she could marry Vishnu.

Curse of Tulsi & Lord Vishnu

Shankhchuda was born again to Shridama. Although he was a follower of Shri Krishna, he hated Shri Radha. He considered Prema to be vilas. Once during his visit to Golok, Shri Krishna asked him to guard the gate of his palace and not allow anyone to enter. On command, he followed Shri Radha to enter Shri Krishna's palace while he was resting. They got into a heated argument. In a fit of anger, he cursed Shri Radha for forgetting all about Shri Krishna and leaving Golok and living on Lok (Prithvi) for a hundred years. It was made clear to him that Radha Krishna's prema is the foundation of the universe. He too was cursed for being born Shankhchuda on Prithvi.

This mighty Daitya had great tapas and penance and pleased Brahma. Brahma blessed him with a blessing of invincibility. Shankhachuda delighted Brahma with his penance, received the Vishnu-Kavacha (armor of Vishnu) and he blessed Shankhachuda that no one could kill him while Vishnu-Kavacha was on his body. Shankhachuda and Tulsi were soon married. He practiced the laws of Dharma religiously, but was also prone to committing errors and sins in the interests of the community. Therefore, after defeating the three worlds, he drove gods from different heavenly realms. To save the universe, Shiva Shankhachuda called for war. Vishnu appeared in his true form and urged Tulsi to leave her earthly body and return to his heavenly abode. In her anger and sadness, she cursed Vishnu to be turned to stone. Vishnu turned into a stone and lived on the banks of the Gandaki River. People and followers will call it a piece of Shaligrama. Tulsi's remains decayed and became the Gandaki River, while her hair was transformed into the sacred tulsi plant.

Vrinda and Jalandhara

A variant of the legend replaces the name Tulsi with Vrinda (synonym of Tulsi) and in this legend is Tulsi different from Lakshmi . She was the daughter of Kalanemi, an asura. Vrinda was very pious and a great follower of God Vishnu. Jalandhara, a demon born of Lord Shiva's anger, married her. After Jalandhara took control of the three realms, he had a conflict with Lord Shiva. To protect her husband from death, Vrinda performed a penance that made him immortal.

The later part of the story focuses on the story of Vishnu who destroys Vrinda's chastity to lead to the death of Jalandhara by Shiva. Different texts suggest different methods to be used by Vishnu. Some say that Vishnu disguised as Jalandhara performed a ritual belonging to married couples, others say that Vishnu broke or slept with Vrinda's fast. The legend ends with Vrinda cursing Vishnu to become a stone, making him the Shaligram stone (which can only be found in the Kali Gandaki River of Nepal) and turning Vishnu Vrinda into the Tulsi plant. In a variant, Vrinda sacrificed herself in her husband's stake (see Sati), but Vishnu made sure that she was incarnated on earth in the form of a tulsi plant. In both versions, she is given the status of a goddess named Tulsi, while her earthly form is the Tulsi plant.

Other legends

A Vaishnava legend tells Tulsi of Samudra Manthana, the stirring up of the cosmic ocean by the gods and Asuras (demons). At the end of the upheaval, Dhanvantari rose from the ocean with Amrita (the elixir of immortality). Vishnu obtained it for the gods when the demons tried to steal it. Vishnu shed happy tears, the first of which fell in Amrita and formed Tulsi.


A Maharashtra woman watered Tulsi in the 1970s
A TulsiVrindavan in a house in Gwalior

While tree worship is not uncommon in Hinduism, the tulsi plant is considered the most sacred of all plants. The tulsi plant is considered to be the threshold between heaven and earth. A traditional prayer tells that the creator god Brahma resides in its branches, all Hindu pilgrimage centers are in its roots, the Ganges flows in its roots, all deities are in its trunk and leaves and that the most sacred Hindu texts, the Vedas, are in the upper part of the branches of holy basil. The tulsi herb is a center of religious devotion in the household, especially among women, and is known as the "divinity of women" and "symbol of wife and motherhood". It is also referred to as the "central sectarian symbol of Hinduism" and Vaishnavites consider it "the manifestation of God in the vegetable kingdom".

The tulsi plant is grown in or near almost every Hindu home, particularly Brahmins and other Hindu castes of the Vaishnavite sect. A house with a tulsi plant is sometimes considered a place of pilgrimage. The sacred groves where these herbs are grown are also known as Vrindavan (Grove of Tulsi). A miniaturized vrindavan is a raised block-shaped stone or brick construction that is often in the middle of the courtyard of the house or in front of the house.

It is believed that a person who soaks and cares for the tulsi daily will obtain moksha (salvation) and the divine grace of Vishnu even if he does not worship them. Traditionally, the daily worship and care of the plant is the responsibility of women in the household. Although daily worship is mandatory, Tuesdays and Fridays are particularly sacred for Tulsi worship. Rituals include watering the plant, cleaning the area near the plant with water and cow dung (considered sacred), and offering food, flowers, incense, Ganges water, etc. Rangoli (decorative designs) of deities and saints are placed in the Pulled near her foot. Devotees pray to tulsi and circulate the plant while chanting mantras. The tulsi plant is often worshiped twice a day: morning and evening, when a lamp or candle is lit near the plant.

In the 19th century, some families in Bengal viewed the plant as their spiritual leader or clan deity. In a British-Indian census, the northwestern provinces have registered as Tulsi worshipers and do not belong to Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs.

In Orissa, on the first day of the Hindu month of Vaishakha (April - May), a small vessel with a hole in the bottom is filled with water and hung over the tulsi plant with a steady stream of water for the whole month. During this time of hot summer, it is believed that someone who offers Tulsi cool water or an umbrella to protect it from the intense heat will be cleansed of all sins. The water jet also conveys wishes for a good monsoon.


Tulsi Vivah

A ceremony known as Tulsi Vivah is performed by the Hindus between Prabodhini Ekadashi (eleventh lunar day of the waxing moon of Kartika) and Kartik Poornima (full moon in Kartika), usually on the eleventh or twelfth lunar day. It is the ceremonial wedding of the Tulsi plant with Vishnu in the form of his image, Shaligram or a Krishna or Rama image. Both the bride and groom are ritually worshiped and then married according to traditional Hindu wedding rituals. It marks the end of the four-month period Chaturmas Period corresponding to the monsoons and considered unfavorable for weddings and other rituals. Therefore opened the day of the annual wedding season in India.

In worship of other deities

Set of Japa Mala made of Tulasi wood with a head bead in the foreground.

Tulsi is especially sacred in the worship of Vishnu and his forms Krishna and Vithoba and other related Vaishnava deities. Garlands of 10,000 tulsi leaves, water mixed with tulsi, and food sprinkled with tulsi are offered to Vishnu or Krishna in veneration.

Vaishnavas use traditionally Japa malas (a series of Hindu prayer beads) made from tulsi stems or roots that Called Tulsi Malas and are an important symbol for initiation. Tulsi Malas are considered favorable for the wearer and should connect him with Vishnu or Krishna and give the protection of the deity. They are worn as a necklace or garland, or held in the hand and used as a rosary. Tulsi's great association with Vaishnavas is communicated by the fact that Vaishnavas are known as "those who wear the Tulsi around their necks". Some pilgrims hold Tulsi plants in their hands during their pilgrimage to Dwarka, the legendary capital of Krishna and one of the seven most sacred Hindu cities.

There are conflicting reports that tulsi leaves are used to worship the god Shiva. While Shael Bael sheets are often offered, some writers note that Tulsi can also be offered to him. Tulsi worship is sometimes viewed as worshiping Shiva and mediates the omnipresence of the deity. Shiva's iconic symbol - the linga - is said to have sometimes been made from the black soil of the roots of the tulsi plant. However, Tulsi is taboo in worshiping the Devi - the Hindu divine mother, as the pungent aroma of the Tulsi plant annoys them. It is also important for Hanuman worship. In Orissa, the tulsi plant represents all local deities and rituals to appease them are offered in front of the plant. The Nayars of Malabar offer Tulsi plants to pacify evil spirits.

Meaning in Hinduism

In Srimad Bhagavatam, the meaning of the tulsi in relation to other plants is described as follows:

Although flowering plants such as Mandara, Kunda, Kurabaka, Utpala, Campaka, Arṇa, Punnāga, Nāgakeśara, Bakula, Lily and Pārijāta are full of transcendental scents, they are well aware of the austerity measures that Tulasī takes, for Tulasī is especially preferred by Tulasī to the Lord who adorns himself with tulasī leaves

-  Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 4, chapter 15, verse 19

Every part of the tulsi plant is revered and considered sacred. Even the soil around the plant is sacred. The Padma Purana declares that a person who is cremated with tulsi branches in his stake will be given moksha and a place in Vishnu's residence Vaikuntha. When a tulsi stick is used to burn a lamp for Vishnu, it is like offering lamps of lamps to the gods. If you make a paste of dried tulsi wood (from a plant that died naturally) and smear it over your body and worship Vishnu, it is worth several ordinary pujas and lakhs from Godan (donation of cows). Water mixed with the tulsi leaves is given to the dying to lift their departing souls to heaven.

Just as Tulsi's respect is worthwhile, her contempt attracts the wrath of Vishnu. Precautions are taken to avoid this. It is taboo to urinate, excrete or throw wastewater near the facility. It is forbidden to uproot and cut branches of the plant. When the plant withers, the dry plant is immersed in a body of water with proper religious rites, as is common with broken divine images that are unworthy of worship. Although tulsi leaves are necessary for Hindu worship, there are strict rules for doing so. A prayer of forgiveness can also be offered to Tulsi before the act.

The word Tulsi is used in many place and family names.