ಯನ್ನ್ಮೂಲೇ ಸರ್ವತೀರ್ಥಾನಿ ಯನ್ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಸರ್ವದೇವತ
ಯದಾಗ್ರೆ ಸರ್ವದೇವಶ್ಚ ತುಳಸಿ ತ್ವಾಂ ನಮಾಮ್ಯಹಂ ||
– meaning in whichever plant in the root portion there is existence of sacred rivers like the pure Ganga, Yamuna and other pure water sources.. In the middle portion existence of all Gods and Goddesses, and in the top-most portion/ the branches, resides all Gods and vedas, I bow to such a plant – Tulasi..
Tulasi or holy basil is a sacred plant grown in pots or frontyards of almost every house in India.. In Hindu culture it is considered as very sacred and auspicious plant and worshipped every day…
Though, tulasi pooja is performed everyday, an auspicious dwadashi thithi of Kaarthika maasa (15 days post deepavali on Kaarthika shuddha dwadashi) is considered to be Utthaana Dwadashi or Tulasi habba where pooja/worship is performed to the tulasi plant and several rituals are performed to the Tulasi Devi/Goddess and this day is dedicated to the goddess… It is also called ‘Tulasi vivaha’ day.. Usually ‘Tulasi pooja’ is performed on this day during evening time..
Legend associated with the pooja and worship of Tulasi :::::
Tulasi Devi is said to be the consort of Lord Vishnu/Shriman Naraayana.. She is also known as ‘Vaishnavi’ since she is wife of Lord Vishnu… She was greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu and regarded him as her ‘swami’ or husband in her mind devotedly with lot of prayers…. But Lord Vishnu already had His consort goddess Shri Lakshmi, who didnt want Tulasi to take her position, said to have cursed Tulasi Devi to become a plant…
Lord Vishnu, being The Almighty and the merciful Lord, blessed her a boon to stay in every home of ‘Bhooloka’/ Earth so that she gets worshipped every day and also used as a sacred pattre/leaves while adorning idols/God images with flowers and also as thulasi haara… It is also used to perform pooja to Saaligrama( worshipped in some homes, where it is said that Lord Vishnu resides)..
Other legends behind the festival celebration :
There is another legend associated with this festival that is when sura and asuras( Gods and demons) had a fight during ‘Samudra Manthana’, few drops of Amrutha or sacred nectar or Ksheera fell down and in those places tulasi plants started growing.. Another legend says that when the ‘Amrutha’ or sacred nectar came out in a pot during churning process (Samudra manthana) , few happy/joyful tears broke down from Lord Vishnu or Shreeman Narayana’s eyes, which later grew into tulasi plant..
Puja Vidhana ::
On Utthaana dwadashi day, Tulasi plant in pots are washed, floor paintings or rangolis are put, pot decorated with flowers and pooja is performed with arishina, kumkuma, flowers, mantraakshate, garlands, gejje vastra, doopa, deepa and neivedya and aarathi is performed using nellikaayi (aamla or gooseberry) and cotton wicks. This pooja is usually done during evening time.. Married ladies and girls are invited and baagina or arishina kumkuma, coconut, usli/kadale gugri, betel leaves/nuts, money or dakshine, blouse pieces are given to them as part of the ritual celebration.
In my friends’ homes the pots are washed and kept inside their homes, shlokas related to goddess tulasi devi are handwritten and sticked on the pot and are worshipped. So the celebration varies among the regions and customs..
Recipes like Chitranna, Payasa or habbada oota menu is prepared or atleast Kheer, kosambari or Gugri is prepared..
Picture shows the aarathi done using nellikaayi or aamla with cotton wicks… The aarathi plate or thatte is decorated by me using acrylic colors(will post a more clear image soon, this was taken using mobile 🙂 )..
My mother says that tulasi exists in 2 forms:: Shri Tulasi and Krishna Tulasi.. Krishna (meaning black color) tulasi will have leaves slightly blackish green in color…And Shri tulasi or biLi tulasi is green in color…
Apart from being worshipped going by the legends, it is having very good and immense medical values and hence used in most of the syrups and ayurvedic proprietary medicines especially to cure cough and cold in the form of Kashaaya… Also used to cure skin ailments.. And I have also seen tulasi beeja(seed) being used as a flavouring agent in ice-creams and juices…
My dear readers,
If you would like to share pics of the celebration at your places, mail me at email@example.com…
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