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Hari Sarvottama Vayu Jeevottama

A very warm welcome to the blog of Madhwa Brahmins community.
We, Madhwa Brahmins are followers of Jagadguru Sriman Madhwacharya. We originally hail from places in Karnataka and the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our main dialects are Kannada, Tulu, Marathi, Telugu and Konkani.

A brief background of Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya:

prathamO hanumAn nAma dviteeyO bheema Eva cha |
pUrNaprajna tRuteeyastu bhagavat kAryasAdhakaH ||

As the above shloka from khila vAyustuti explains, Sri Madhwacharya (also known by the names Poornaprajna and Anandateertha) is the third incarnation of Lord MukhyaprAna Vaayu, after Lord Hanuman and Lord Bheemasena. He is the chief proponent of TattvavAda, popularly known as Dvaita. He was born on Vijayadashami day of 1238 CE at Paajaka Kshetra, a small village near Udupi. He is the 22nd commentator on the Brahma sutras of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa.

Kindly note that this blog contains important topics discussed in our Orkut community and some articles on tattvavAda philosophy. All the topics can be found in the BLOG ARCHIVE (right side)

26 September, 2009

Tulasi - Spiritual significance and Medicinal benefits

Tulasi -
Spiritual significance and Medicinal benefits

During the churning of the Ocean of milk (ksheera sagara mathana), Sri Hari came up in the form of Dhanvantari carrying the kalasha of amruta. At that time some drops of Hari's tears of joy fell into the amrutha kalasha. Tulasi was born out of those tears of joy. Having been born out of tears of joy, she herself gives joy.

She has Lakshmi devi's amsha in herself. That is the reason for the celebration of marriage of Tulasi with Shri Krishna on every Karthika shuddha dwadashi day. Hari likes her very much. It is believed that Hari is present wherever Tulasi is present.

tuLasee kAnanam yatra | yatra padma vanAni cha |
vasanti vaiShNavA yatra | tatra sannihito hariH ||

Sri Hari will reside wherever Tulasi garden, pond with lotus flowers and Vaishnavas reside. Garden does not mean acres of garden. A minimum of three plants qualify for being called a garden.

Tulasi was born on the Earth as King Dharmadhwaja s daughter. She was an epitome of beauty and was blessed with an amsha of goddess Lakshmi. The king gave her the appropriate name of Tulasi. Tula means equal, meaning equal to Lakshmi. But, nowhere is it said that Tulasi herself is Lakshmi. Vishnu wore the garland of Tulasi to fulfil Tulasis desire to be always in the company of Hari. Vishnu also gave a boon to Tulasi that "she would attain the company of Vishnu through the Tulasi dala (a bunch of Tulasi leaves formed at the end of the branch) given by the devotees".

Jambavati is the best (shreshta) among the six great women (shanmahishis) of Shri Krishna. Lakshmi devi is present in a special form (vishesha sannidhana) in her. Jnanis (learned ones) say that it is Jambavati in the form of Tulasi, who is worshipping Vishnu on a daily basis (tuLasee jAmbavatee prOktA).

There is a saying by dasaru "ellaa sAdhanaviddu tuLasi illada pooje ollano hari koLLano"

meaning, the pooja with all items but without tulasi is not accepted by Hari.

All flowers are not available in all seasons. However, Tulasi which has the essence of all flowers concentrated in itself is available round the year. Thus, offering of Tulasi dalas to Sri Hari is equivalent to offering all the best flowers.

Jnanis say, seeing (darshana) of Tulasi in the morning erases all sins. This is said in:

yanmoole sarva teerthAni | yanmadhye sarva dEvatA |
yadagre sarva vedAscha | tuLasee tvAm namAmyaham ||

At the base of the Tulasi plant all the rivers abhimani devatas are present; in the stem all the devatas are present; and in the tip all Vedas are present.

gO kOTi dAna sadrusham phalamApnuvanti ||

Tulasi's darshana is equivalent to gifting away (daana) of one crore cows.

All sins will be erased by darshana, body will be cleansed (deha shuddhi) by touching (sparsha), diseases will be removed by prostration (namaskara), escape (parihara) from Yama's clutches by watering Tulasi plant, development of Hari bhakthi by growing Tulasi plant, obtaining salvation (moksha) by offering of Tulasi to Sri Hari are the various benefits of Tulasi.
These being so, what could be the benefit of Tulasi pooja with utmost devotion? - Good things (shubha) in both this world and the other world (iha and para).

poojiparige parama mangaLada padavittu salahuvi |

Dasaru has said, Tulasi will recommend grant of salvation (moksha) with Sri Hari for those who worship her. Daily during early mornings, the Tulasi brindavana placed in the front of the house should be seen (darshana), clean the frontage with water, and decorate with rangoli (floor decoration with white stone powder), recite:

tuLasee shree sakhee shubhE pApahAriNee puNyadE |
namastE nAradanutE nArAyaNa manaH priyE ||

Hey Tulasi, friend of Lakshmi Devi, embodiment of mangala, one who erases sins, bestow punya, beloved of Shri Narayana, who is prostrated by Narada, I prostrate to you.

Water the plant, perform pooja using turmeric, kunkum, and flowers and offer for naivedya only items already offered (naivedya) to Shri Hari. Elders say, only persons eligible for salvation (mukthi yogya) will develop interest in Tulasi darshana, stotra.

Brunda is a chaste wife of a demon Jalandhara. He had obtained eternal status (avadhyathwa meaning one who cannot be killed) using the chaste character of his wife and was indulging in all kinds of crimes. Once Sri Hari came to Brunda in the form of her husband and embraced her. Though she lost her chastity and hence her husband, she obtained the divine grace of Sri Krishna, became a temple (mandira) for Tulasi, and one who is worshipped (poojya) by devotees (bhakthas).
She became an eternal (nithya) one who is worshipped with all mangala items (sumangali).

Therefore, Tulasi platform (also called katte is the brindavana or the pot/container in which the Tulasi is grown) gets the first pooja followed by the plant. This means pooja to a Tulasi plant without a platform (the one grown on soil without a platform or a container) is not the best. Thus, Tulasi has provided a shelter to Brunda and through that a status also.

There are two varieties of Tulasi plants viz. Sri Tulasi and Krishna Tulasi. Krishna Tulasi has blackish leaves. This is more suited for pooja in the brindavana. On the other hand Sri Tulasi which has green leaves is more suited for offering to Shri Hari.

Women are only entitled to water the Tulasi plants and worship them. The Tulasi flowers (thene), kudis or dalas have to be removed regularly by men, which will make the plant spread and grow well.

Plucking of Tulasi dalas / kudis / flowers is banned on Tuesdays, Fridays and dwadashi days, and also banned before bath and after meals.
So also transplanting of Tulasi plants.

Plants can be grown from seeds and saplings (the smaller ones that grow near the big plants due to seed dispersal). Generally these plants do not get any disease. They grow well with sweet water in a moderate climate where it is neither too hot nor too cold.

Tulasi is valuable just like an elephant both during its life time and afterwards. The dry stem of the plant is used to make beads used in garland for wearing. It is used in homas and havanas.
It is also ground on a stone surface, the resulting paste used in the preparation of gandhodaka used for Theertha preparation.

One more thing Sarala: If we use the dry stem dipped in oil/ghee for transferring the light from one lamp to another it is said that each lamp lighted is equal to 10 lamps lighting.

When the stem of the Tulasi flower is used in the preparation of mangalarati batthi (cotton wick used for mangalarati), it is the best (shreshta), batthi will be straight, preparation also is easy.

All persons of three varnas can worship. Those of fourth Varna can grow the plants and that itself is a means of earning punya.
Sri KrishnArpaNamastu


I was not aware of so many rules about this - For Tuesdays, Fridays and dwadashi, should we store the plucked Tulasi from the previous day?


Yes, Tulasi leaves shldnt b plucked on Tuesday, Friday n on Dwadashi days. Fresh Tulasi leaves plucked day before can b preserved in sampushta, and can b used for next day pooja. No matter if its not fresh! but rotten leaves shouldn't be used for pooja. Muralidhar
Now that is solved. Next question is is there a reason we should not pluck Tulasi on these days?


Fridays,Tuesdays and on Dwadashi days tulsi plant has special sannidhana of Sri Lakshmi devi, so it is meant to perform special pooja to tulsi, rather than being plucked. Jayatheertha chant mantra while pliucking Tulasi When you are plucking tulasi leaves, one should chant the following mantra
Tulasi amrutha janmaasi sadatvam keshavapriye keshavartham vichinvami thvam varada bhava shobane


There is one more story which my grandmother told me that is in continuation to yours. After Sri Vishnu embraced Brinda, she lost her chastity, and her husband was slained in the war by Sri Shankara's Trishoola. The head flew and fell straight into Brinda's feet thus revealing the Truth.
She gets angry and gives "Shaapa" to Sri Vishnu that "You have spoiled me. Hence i deem that you become a stone right now." After many prayers from Sri Laxmi Devi, she frees Him of the Shaapa and becomes Sati along with her husband's head. Vishnu Devaru then gives her blessing that the ash should become a Tulsi Plant and He will always be there near her in the form of Saligrama. Hence any home having a Saaligrama MUST have a Tulasi Brindavana. Please correct the story if wrong.

One more doubt... What is the corect time to plant a Tulasi... Morning or evening, Krishna paksha or Shukla paksha, etc?


Thulsi plant must b planted/plucked in the morning after bath and before food. No matter, can b planted in Krishnapaksha or Suklapaksha.. Also thulsi leaves hav to b plucked in a way tht our nails shldnt come into contact, using only index finger and thumb, n facing east direction. Each dhala should hav atleast 4 leaves. Leaves as single or in odd nos. shouldn't be plucked...


Excellent info.. btw I have heard that women r not supp to pluck the tuLasi leaves. ne idea as to why women are not supp to pluck tuLasi leaves?? |Gµ®µ®äj|

"Yan moolE sarva theerthAnI yan madhye sarva dEvatAhA!
YadhagrE sarva VEdAscha Tulasi tvam namAm yaham!!" As the above shloka indicates, water peeping out frm Tulasi plant has all nadhi abhimani devatas in it, and at the mid stem of the plant resides all d devatas, and leaves adore the auspicious seat for chatur vedas. As women are forbidden from veda adhyayana as per scriptures, they r not suppose to pluck leaves which has vedas in it. They are allowed only to perform pooja. There may b other reasons too. Pl spare if d above info is wrong!


However i have a doubt. here in bangalore they make garlands out of Tulsi just like any other flower. so we get it during the festival times to put on Sri Vishnu and Sri Rayaru's portraits that we have in our pooja room. Now how do i know that the Tulasi is not plucked by a woman or even if it is plucked by a man, he may not be a brahmin.
So shud i not buy Tulasi from outside or can i bring it home and wash it and then put it on the Gods?

We should not purchase tulasi dala or garland to perform puja. If u dont have Tulasi for Devara puje then u can use Tualsi Kashtha (kaddi) or u can recite Tulsi, tulsi, tulsi while performing Puja. As u said those Tulsi would have plucked by a woman (Women other than Brahmins will not follow 3 days rule), or by a person who is not a brahmin. So dont purchase tulsi in the market.


Planting tulasi I think we should wait for three days before performing normal daily Tulsi pooja to a newly planted Tulasi plant. Every morning , ladies can give water to tulasi and sprinkle the water from the ground around it but men must apply the tulasi mruthika every morning


In Harikathamruthasara, it is said that- After planting Tulsi we are not supposed to perform puja till 2 months. Harikathamruthasara- Daitya taratamya sandhi-7th stanza
Shaiva shudra karaarchita maha deva Vayu Hari Pratime Vrun davanadi maasadwayadoliha Tulasi Aprasava | Shudrarinda pujithavada lingagalannagali, Vayu, hari prathimegalannagali pujisabaradu. Vrundavanadalli Tulasigidavannu hachchida mele 2 tingalu (maasadwaya) sampuranavaguvavaregu pujisabaradu. 2 tingala tanaka tulasiyannu kanye endu kareyuttare.


Is it OK to eat tulasi dala?


We should !!
Tulasi has many medicinal values. Obviously we have to consume (eat) tulasi leaves to get those benefits. After having lunch, and after washing our mouth, hands and legs, we are supposed to do Achamana, partake teertha, and then eat a tulasi daLa which is previously offered to Sri Hari.

Healing powers and curative properties of TULASI

Tulasi leaves are nerve tonic and sharpen memory.
The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seeds of the plant are mucilaginous or starchy and nourishing.

During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender tulasi leaves, boiled in water act as a preventive against these diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a litre of water and mixed with jagery and milk brings down the temperature.

Sore Throat: A decoction of the leaves with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. They should be boiled in half a litre of water till only quarter litre of water is left and then taken.

Kidney Stones:
In case of renal stones, the juice of tulasi leaves and honey, if taken regularly for six months, will expel them via the urinary tract.

Heart Disorders: Tulasi has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol

Headaches: A decoction of tulasi leaves should be taken in case of headache. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache and for providing coolness in general.

Children’s ailments: Common paediatric problems like cough, cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favourably to the juice of tulasi leaves.

Recent studies have shown that tulasi leaves afford significant protection from stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of tulsi twice a day to prevent stress.

Mouth infections:
The leaves are quite effective for the ulcers and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.

Insect Bites: A teaspoon of the juice of the leaves should be taken and repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A part of the fresh tulasi roots is also effective in cases of bites of insects and leeches.

Skin Disorders:
Applied locally, tulasi juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases.

Eye Disorders: Tulasi juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of Vitamin A. Two drops of black tulsi juice should be put into the eyes daily at bedtime. (only after consultation with Ayurvedic doctor)

Teeth Disorders:
Tulasi leaves dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustard oil to make a paste and used as tooth paste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums.

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Bhakta dhruva das. said...

plz tell which finger is to be used while offering tulsi to shree hari

can man water and worship tulsi?

madhva das

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Unknown said...

I prostrate before tulasi in Lord Krishnas temple but my illness doesnt go away.
I have problems with my foot, it hurts when I walk.
Why is it so?

Mereprabhu said...

Dev Uthani Ekadashi

puja mahtev

Unknown said...

Hello sir or ma'am
Can you tell me please
Where can i buy tulasi mala