The sacred plant of Tulsi or Ocimum Basilicum is considered as a must have plant in almost all the Indian homes. From holding medicinal to divine values, tulsi is known for its magical traits. Even our holy scriptures gives a special mention to this plant. Significance of Tulsi is as follows:
- It is firmly believed that Vishnu propitiation is incomplete without offering him the sacred Tulsi leaves. During the ritual of ‘Tulsi vivaah’ in kartik month, Tulsi is married to Lord Vishnu.
- The Vedic scriptures say, “Krishna gives Himself to a devotee who offers Him merely a Tulsi leaf and a palm full of water.”
- Tulsi is known for the self-purification value and therefore widely used in holy puja ceremonies. It is also reused in puja without creating any impurity.
- The Tulsi plant is extremely sensitive and aware, and quickly able to register the vibrations around her. Therefore Tulsi fades away in negative or unhygienic surroundings.
- Tulsi is known as the Mother of Ayurveda and is widely used in fever, insomnia, mental tension, skin problems, and the treatment of cancer and diabetes.
- The antibiotic and anti-allergic properties of Tulsi help to cure coughs and colds, sore throats, whooping cough in children etc.
- Tulsi plant releases oxygen all the time i.e. both day and night, which makes it unique from the other plants.
- The dried wood, stem and branches of Tulsi are used to make japa malas, which are considered calm and serene in nature.
- Tulsi is widely worshipped for happiness and prosperity. It is also adored by unmarried girls in virtue of good husbands.
- Keeping Tulsi plant at home prevents insects and mosquitoes from entering the house. It is said that snakes do not dare to go near a Tulsi plant.
“If you believe then even a mortal object is God but if you don’t then even if He is standing right there in front of you, you will stay ignorant and unaware.” Our ancestors referred varied objects as of prime holy importance and gave them the position next to God because of certain magical speciality. The never tried to get behind the rational of the phenomena rather it was easier for them to term it magical. Worshipping trees and plants is another such epitome of esteem faith, which is still prevalent in our society. Peepal tree or scientifically called Ficus religiosa is known for being sacred for years. Apart of the historical aspects related to this plant, just try and give a thought over the scientific aspect of it.
Scientific logic for worshipping Peepal tree:
Peepal tree is a large deciduous plant which is renowned for its long life span of approximately 100 years. It is widely prominent throughout India. The tree has a 24 hour oxygen supply system which differentiates it from the other plants. Usually the trees and plants release oxygen during the day and intake carbon dioxide; and the process is vice versa during the night. But Peepal tree emits oxygen during day and night due to a special photosynthesis process named Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). So peepal tree is like a life sustaining machine that gives the continuous supply of oxygen.
- Another interesting fact about this tree is its anti-bacterial function that acts as a shield against bacterial and fungal allergies. All the parts of the tree are significant in some way or the other.
- Barks are used for medicinal purposes and the tannin released from it is used in the leather industry.
- The leaves are used to heal wounds and its juice is used as a cure for ear and speech problems.
- The root bark is useful for stomatitis, clean ulcers, and promotes granulations; if chewed raw then the gum issues are also resolved.
- The fruit is recommended for heart diseases and Asthma.
Peepal tree is often symbolised as Lord Vishnu, according to the famous tale when Vishnu Ji hid behind it from the demons. The Skanda Purana considers Peepal tree as a representation of Lord Vishnu. The tree is considered as a universe in itself because the roots being compared to Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves Shiva.
“Among the trees, I am the ashvatha”, explains the divine importance of this tree under which Lord Krishna took his last breath. Thus childless couples often tie red threads on the tree for the desire of a baby, as Skanda purana mentions that Peepal tree is like a son for those who don’t have one.
Peepla tree is a sign of enlightenment and attaining wisdom in Buddhism. ‘He who worships the Peepal tree will receive the same reward as if he worshiped me in person’, said Lord Buddha as he achieved the prime knowledge meditating below the peepal tree. Thus it is a symbol of enlightenment and harmony spreading the wave of peace and happiness all around.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja