Posted in भारतीय उत्सव - Bhartiya Utsav

WHY WORSHIP THE TULASI TREE


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Respect for plants and the resources that we depend on is a basic premise of the Vedic culture. In fact, one of the ways of doing social service is to plant trees for shade along the paths that people regularly use. Another point is to use only as much of the plants or trees that is needed, whether it be for food, shelter or fuel. Indeed, cutting trees unnecessarily is considered a sin or way of accumulating bad karma. So respect for trees is naturally a part of the Vedic path. In fact, some trees have such good medicinal qualities and benefits that they remain highly regarded till this day.

However, there are some specific plants that are given more respect for particular reasons. The tulasi tree is very special. It is not unusual to find it in many temples in India in the courtyard, or even in homes. In fact, it is considered a part of worship to take care of it, water it and circumambulate it. The whole plant, and even its soil, is considered sacred. A leaf from the tulasi plant is placed on the food that is offered to Lord Vishnu or Krishna. It is His favorite tree. The tulasi is considered an incarnation or expansion of a pure devotee of the Lord. This is based on a long traditional story in the Vedic literature. She also symbolizes Goddess Lakshmi, and once a year there is the festival of the marriage ceremony between tulasi and the Lord. This is because the Lord also blessed her to be His consort. So the worship of the tulasi tree is a part of the devotional service to Lord Krishna and Vishnu.

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