Hindu Culture

Hindu culture has always taught that there is one consciousness pervading all living beings including the vegetable kingdom. The Tulsi is the living example of that teaching. The holy Tulsi has been given a special place in all religious ceremonies including ritual sacrifices and other types of worship. We find the Tulsi plant in the small gardens of homes of Hindus and in the temples.
From the medical point of view, the Tulsi is very useful. it is believed that it cures coughs and colds, if its leaves are boiled In milk and the mixture taken. Since it is capable of killing parasites, its leaves, if chewed daily, will prevent Malaria. It also helps in the digestion of food and circulation of the blood.
It is a very dear plant to God. Krishna who weighed against gold ornaments was found heavier, proved lighter when weighed against a single leaf of the Tulsi placed on the scale by Rukmini. What is dear to God is also dear to us and therefore the Tulsi is a holy plant which deserves respect.
There is an interesting story about the Tulsi. In olden days, there lived a king named Jalandhar, who had a wife named Vranda. She was a very devoted wife and because of her intense devotion to her husband, it was believed that the king could not come to any harm. Knowing this, the king was rather cruel towards his subjects. Lord Vishnu thought that this was unfair to the poor people, so he took the form of King Jalandhar and co-habited with Vranda. When Vranda came to know of this, she cursed Vishnu who turned into a stone -Shaligram. Vishnu, therefore, turned her into a plant and Vranda became Tulsi. Even today, Hindu women worship the Tulsi plant by lighting a Deepak near the plant.
On the 11th day of the bright half of the month of Kartik, the Tulsi is ceremoniously married to God. This is the festival of Tulsi Vivah.
Like the Tulsi, if we also endeavour to root out sins, diseases and other evil influences from the society, we will become dear to God and useful to the people at large. Wherever there is the Tulsi plant, the atmosphere appears auspicious and holy. Our salutations to the beneficent and liberating plant, the Tulsi.