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Significance of Tulsi Worship

DateSeptember 19, 2022

In most Hindu homes, one can find people worshipping a small, unassuming-looking plant with light purple, small, aromatic flowers. It is the Tulsi plant which is said to be Lord Vishnu’s favorite plant. Hindus consider Tulsi to be a very sacred plant. It has great cultural, religious, and medicinal importance in India. Tulsi plant worship is very common in India.

It’s Essential for Poojas

In traditional and orthodox Hindu homes, women worship the plant daily. They grow the tulsi plant in the tulsi chaura, an altar-like structure in the center of the house. Indians regard it to be one of the most sacred plants. They also look after it with great care and reverence.
Tulsi leaves form an important element of the Panchamrita in Poojas. It is the only holy object that is included in the worship. As the plant supposedly purifies itself, we can also clean and reuse it for another Pooja.

Significance of Tulsi-Worship

It’s an Offering to God

Tulsi leaves are used to make garlands. This is the first offering made to Vishnu during the daily alankaram ritual. Offerings to the Lord are deemed incomplete without these leaves. The reason is that the vibrations of a tulsi garland are supposedly in harmony with those of the deity.
The plant’s dried stems are used to make rosaries. Vaishnavites use the tulsi rosary when reciting Vishnu Mantras in order to harmonize with the Lord’s soul and vibrations.

Krishna’s Love for Tulsi

Mythology says that once, Lord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, held a Tulabharam. In this ritual, a person is weighed against items like coins, grain, vegetables, gold, etc. Krishna sat on one of the scales, and on the other, his wife, Satyabhama’s entire collection of gold jewelry, was placed.
But its weight was less than Krishna’s. However, a single tulsi leaf which was beside Rukmini, his second queen, tilted the balance. This shows that to Krishna, the tulsi was even superior to himself.

Tulsi is like the queen of Indian herbs. It is a symbol of Vishnu’s consort, Goddess Lakshmi. Tulsi worship can help one lead a righteous and happy family life.

Tulsi Vivah

Every year, on the Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha, Hindus perform a special tulsi Pooja. Or, they can perform it on the 11th bright day in Karthika month. On one of these days, they perform a ceremonial marriage between the tulsi and Lord Vishnu. They decorate the plant, growing in an earthen pot, like a bride.
They also decorateVishnu, in the form of a Shaligrama, which is a black fossil found on the river Gandaki’s bed in Nepal. They keep it in the tulsi pot to symbolize the Vivah or marriage. The same day, in North India, marks the beginning of the marriage season.

Tulsi’s Curse

As per a legend, Tulsi was the wife of Shankhachuda, a demon who often threatened the gods. His chaste and loyal wife was the source of his strength. So, to weaken his strength, Vishnu plays a trick, due to which Tulsi sins. When she discovered the trick, she cursed Vishnu to turn into a Shaligrama or black stone.
Impressed by her devotion and virtue, Vishnu gave her a boon. She said that she wanted to continue to live on earth. Thenceforth, the tradition of Tulsi Vivah started. Vishnu also declared that all offerings to him would be incomplete without the tulsi leaf.

Tulsi Plant Benefits

  • Tulsi plant can reduce stress, boost stamina and give relief from inflammation. It can also lower cholesterol and remove toxins. It protects one from radiation and prevents gastric ulcers. It lowers fevers, boosts digestion, and provides antioxidants and other nutrients.
  • It is good for the heart, blood vessels, lungs, and liver. It can regulate blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • The essential oil from Karpoora tulsi, a variety of tulsi, has many medicinal uses.
  • Tulsi is a great mosquito repellent.
  • Tulsi leaves can absorb ultraviolet radiation. Hence, people keep the leaves on food items when an eclipse occurs.

Other Facts About Tulsi

  • Tulsi is very sensitive to strong odors. Women should not touch it during their menstrual cycle or even go near it, as it will wither away.
  • It discharges electrical impulses at night. These can harm people. So, do not pluck Tulsi leaves at night. Vrinda, another name for Tulsi, means ‘electric energy’.
  • The leaves contain some mercury which can harm the gums. Swallow Tulsi leaves only when they are given as prasad, and do not chew them.
  • Pious people wear necklaces made using small tulsi beads. This creates a magnetic field around them and stops the dissipation of their static energy.

Tulsi Plant Varieties

There are two kinds of tulsi plants- Krishna tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Rama Vana tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum).


  • Black-leaf tulsi has many properties and is called Krishna or Shyama tulsi. Rama tulsi or Karpoora tulsi is used only for worship.
  • Another type is the ‘holy basil’ which is a flavoring ingredient in cooking.


Hindus dip tulsi leaves in water and offer them to dying people. This supposedly helps elevate the departing soul to heaven.


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