Tulasi, or Tulsi, does not need any introduction in India for her magnanimous qualities. Ancient medical science, Ayurveda, has all praise for Tulasi and now even modern science also has come to learn about her unmatched health benefits.
Indian scientists have deciphered the entire genetic make-up of Tulsi, a herb widely used for therapeutic purposes. The genome map will help in making new medicines using the plant. A multi-institutional team led by Sowdhamini Ramanathan from the … Indian scientists decode Tulsi plant genome – The Hindu
The report says the plant synthesises a wide range of bioactive compounds, known for their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-pyretic and anti-cancer properties. They found that these compounds are metabolites, compounds that are a by-product of plant metabolism, typically used for plant self-defence. However, these metabolites are very poorly understood because of lack of genomic information.
“Ayurveda mostly uses Rama and Krishna tulsi,” said Nitish Sathyanarayana of NCBS and a co-author of the paper. Of the various parts of the plant, the leaves were found to have the highest concentration of the metabolites; roots and stems contain only … Medicinal properties of tulsi unravelled – The Hindu
Did you know that just by being around Tulsi plants and simply by inhaling Tulasi leaves one can cure chronic diseases? However, one must not treat Tulasi leaves as ordinary. Tulasi leaves must be offered first to Lord Vishnu before they are used for any other purpose. Also any herbal products made out of Tulasi must not be applied below waist. This is the reason commercially produced soaps using Tulasi are not used by devotees.
In Vedic culture, Tulasi devi, or Goddess Tulasi, is worshiped along with Lord Vishnu or Krishna. As explained in this article, the reason devotees worship Tulasi devi, also known as Vrinda devi, is not because she possesses great medicinal value; it is the other way around, that is, because she is very dear to Lord Vishnu, she automatically is endowed with great qualities that benefit human beings.
Tulasi devi is not merely a herbal plant: she is an eternal associate of Lord Krishna in the spiritual world known as Goloka Vrindavan. Only out of her causeless mercy has she descended on this planet so that by serving her we can attain the supreme goal of life.
Krishna devotees around the world regularly worship Tulasi devi by watering her plant, by chanting prayers and by circumambulating her. Tulasi beads are used for chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna, and for making kanthi malas that devotes wear around the neck for invoking blessings.
We find the following on http://www.salagram.net/Tulasi.htm in glorification of Tulasi devi.
“Vedic scriptures are full of pastimes that reveal the potency of Tulasi devi in developing devotion for the Lord. The Srimad Bhagavatam talks about this pastime with the four Kumaras, the sons of Lord Brahma who were very much attached to the impersonal aspect of Godhead.
‘When the breeze carrying the aroma of Tulasi leaves and saffron from the lotus feet of the lotus-eyed Personality of Godhead entered through the nostrils into the hearts of those sages [the Kumaras], they experienced a change in both body and mind, even though they were attached to the impersonal Brahman understanding.’
Thus by simply smelling the fragrance of the Tulasi leaves the four Kumaras became pure devotees of the Lord.
In Chaitanya lila Srila Advaita Acharya was very much disturbed to see the growth of irreligiosity. Therefore He decided to call for the Personality of Godhead Krishna to descend by worshiping the Lord with Tulasi leaves and the water of the Ganges. When Sri Krishna was pleased by this devotion He descended as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Haridasa Thakura a great devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu purified a prostitute, who had come with the intention ofseducing him, with instructions to chant the holy name and worship Tulasi. She became so elevated by this service that even great Vaishnavas would come to get her mercy.
Quoting from the Gautamiya-tantra, the Hari-bhakti-vilasa states:
tulasi-dala-matrena jalasya culukena va
vikrinite svam atmanam bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalah
‘Sri Krishna, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a Tulasi leaf and a palmful of water.’
In the Nectar of Devotion, service to Tulasi devi is glorified as one of items of devotional service. In the Srimad Bhagavatam (3.15.19) it is said that although flowering plants like the mandara, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arna, punnaga, nagakesara, bakula, lily and parijata are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by Tulasi, for Tulasi is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with Tulasi leaves.
In the Skanda Purana there is a statement praising the Tulasi tree as follows: ‘Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Tulasi tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the Tulasi tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamaraja [the King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a Tulasi tree somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Krishna. And when the Tulasi leaves are offered in devotion at the lotus feet of Krishna, there is the full development of love of Godhead.”
All glories to Srimati Tulasi devi..!