OCIMUM SANCTUM


In Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म), Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) leaves are part in the worship of Vishnu (विष्णु).
According to the Vedas (वेद / "knowledge" / a large body of religious texts originating in Ancient India), Vishnu (विष्णु) is one of the Principal Deities of Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म).

It is also used in the worship of his Avatars (अवतार / the material appearance or incarnation of a Deity on Earth), including Krishna (कृष्ण), Rama (राम) and other male Vaishnava Deities (वैष्णववाद, Vaishnavism or Vishnuism / one of the major Hindu denominations that considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord), such as Hanuman (हनुमान्).

Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) is a sacred plant for Hindus and is worshipped as the avatar of Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी).
Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी) is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity.
She is also the wife and shakti (शक्ति / "power, ability, strength, effort, energy, capability" / the primordial cosmic energy) of Vishnu (विष्णु).


A Vaishnava legend (वैष्णववाद, Vaishnavism or Vishnuism) relates Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) to the Samudra Manthana (समुद्रमन्थन), the Churning of the Cosmic Ocean by the Puranas (पुराण / Gods) and the Asuras (असुर / Demons).

At the end of the Samudra Manthana (समुद्रमन्थन), Dhanvantari (धन्वन्तरि / the Hindu God of medicine and an avatar of Lord Vishnu / the god of Ayurveda) rose from the Ocean with Amrita (अमृता / the elixir of immortality).
- Vishnu (विष्णु) procured it for the Gods, when the Demons tried to steal it.
Vishnu (विष्णु) shed happy tears, the first of which fell in Amrita (अमृता) and formed Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi).


Tulsi Vivah (तुलसी विवाह), is the ceremonial marriage of the Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) plant to the Hindu God Shaligram (शालीग्राम / fossilized shell, usually collected from river-beds or banks such as the Gandaki river in Nepal) or to Vishnu (विष्णु) or to his avatar, Sri Krishna (कृष्ण).

The Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) wedding signifies the end of the Monsoon and the beginning of the Wedding Season in Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म).
The ceremonial festival is performed anytime between Prabodhini Ekadashi (देव प्रबोधिनी एकादशी / Devottha Ekadashi / the eleventh or twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of कार्तिक, Kartik) and Kartik Purnima (कार्तिक पूर्णिमा / the full moon of the month).

This day also marks the end of the four-month Cāturmāsya (चातुर्मास, Chaturmas) period, when is believed that Vishnu (विष्णु) sleeps.
Cāturmāsya (चातुर्मास, Chaturmas) is considered inauspicious for weddings and other rituals.


The ritual Lighting of Lamps each evening during Kartik (कार्तिक) includes the worship of the Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) plant, which is held to be auspicious for the home.

Vaishnavas (वैष्णव सम्प्रदाय) especially follow the daily worship of Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) during Kartik (कार्तिक).


Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) is venerated as a Goddess in Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म) and is sometimes considered as a wife of Vishnu (विष्णु), with the epithet, "Vishnupriya" (विष्णुप्रिया / "the beloved of Vishnu").

According to Padma Purana (पद्म पुराण / Hindu scripture), the Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) plant was a woman named "Vrinda" (वृंदा).
She was married to the Asura King (असुर / Demon), Jalandhar (जलन्धर / चलन्तरण, Chalantarana), who due to her piety and devotion to Vishnu (विष्णु), became invincible.
Even Shiva (शिव) could not defeat Jalandhar (जलन्धर / चलन्तरण, Chalantarana), so he requested Vishnu (विष्णु) to find a solution.

Vishnu (विष्णु) disguised himself as Jalandhar (जलन्धर / चलन्तरण, Chalantarana) and tricked Vrinda (वृंदा) by touching her.
She realized it was not her husband but Vishnu (विष्णु).
This destroyed her chastity.

With her chastity destroyed, Jalandhar (जलन्धर / चलन्तरण, Chalantarana) lost his power and was killed by Shiva (शिव).
Vrinda (वृंदा) cursed Vishnu (विष्णु) to become Shaligram (शालीग्राम / fossilized shell) and to be separated from his wife, Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी).
This was later fulfilled when he was transformed into the black Shaligram stone (शालीग्राम / actually a fossil), and in his Rama (राम) avatar, was separated from his wife Sita (सीता / an avatar of Sri Lakshmi / the Hindu goddess of good character, good fortune, prosperity, success, and happiness), who was kidnapped by the Asura King (असुर / Demon), Ravana (रावण).

Vrinda (वृंदा) then drowned herself in the Ocean, and the Gods (or Vishnu himself) transferred her soul to a plant, which was henceforth called: Tulsi / Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi).

As per a blessing by Vishnu (विष्णु) to marry Vrinda (वृंदा) in her next birth.
Vishnu (विष्णु) - in form of Shaligram (शालीग्राम) - married Tulsi / Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) on Prabodhini Ekadashi (देव प्रबोधिनी एकादशी / Devottha Ekadashi / the eleventh or twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of कार्तिक, Kartik).
To commemorate this event, the ceremony of Tulsi Vivah (तुलसी विवाह) is performed.


Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) has a more sacred meaning for Hindus.
Water mixed with the petals is given to the dying to raise their departing souls to Heaven.

There are two types of Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) worshipped in Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म):
- "Rama Tulsi" (राम तुलसी) that has light green leaves and is larger in size.
- "Shyama Tulsi" (हनुमान् तुलसी) that has dark green or deep red leaves and is important for the worship of Hanuman (हनुमान्).

Many Hindus have Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special pots.
Traditionally, Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) is planted in the center of the central courtyard of Hindu houses.

Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) is also frequently grown next to Hanuman (हनुमान्) Temples, especially in Varanasi (वाराणसी / Sacred city of India).


Vaishnavas (वैष्णव सम्प्रदाय) traditionally use Hindu Prayer Beads / Japamala (जपमाला / Mālā) made from Tulsi stems or roots, which are an important symbol of initiation.
They have such a strong association with Vaishnavas (वैष्णव सम्प्रदाय), that followers of Vishnu (विष्णु) are known as "those who bear the Tulsi round the neck".

The Tibetan monks use Japamala (जपमाला / Mālā / Hindu Prayer Beads) made of white lava stones, originated from the magma of the earth in Kunlun (कुनलुन पर्वत / Ashikule / the highlands of Northwestern Tibet), and scented with the essential oil of Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi).
They believe that the intense energy of this unique scent, helps the human souls to come closer to Divine.
They also consider that it appeals the cosmic blessings for wealth and prosperity.


Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) is used in Ayurveda (आयुर्वेदः / a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian Subcontinent / a type of alternative medicine) and Siddha (சித்த மருத்துவம், citta maruttuvam / a system of traditional medicine originating in ancient Tamilakam or Tamil Nadu in South India and Sri Lanka) practices.

Traditionally, Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) is taken as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with Ghee (घृत / Ghṛta / a class of clarified butter that originated in Ancient India).


For centuries, the Ocimum Sanctum (ऑसीमम सैक्टम / असुरासा, Asurasa / तुलसी, Tulsi - Tulasi) was considered as "The Herb of Witches" ("Herba Veneficus").

OCIMUM SANCTUM SOLI DHARMA