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TULASI PUJA
By Mohan Shenoy

Most of the GSB married women will perform the important Puja known as the Tulasi Puja. This is a set of rituals that is performed in worship of the Tulasi plant and in worship of the main entrance of the home.

Tulasi plant gained importance after the Puraana(s) were written. In the Puraana(s) the Tulasi plant is considered to be a sacred plant and gives strength and courage to the people who worship it. It was well known that Tulasi plant had medicinal values. But the information that the Tulasi plant has power to resolve problems in the house and the family was new. It was not clear how the Tulasi plant resolved the problems but people believed that it did. Surely the Tulasi plant was an evergreen plant and its leaves had a pleasant smell. The leaves had a light bitter taste when chewed.

The plant looks beautiful when it sways in the wind. The sapling is planted in a raised monument built with bricks and cement, in the front yard of the house facing the main entrance door of the house. The monument has a central deep well, which opens on the top. In this well fresh earth is placed and a Tulasi sapling is planted in it. Water is fed to the sapling every day. The sapling grows into a plant within a couple of months.

There are many stories about the powers of Tulasi plant in the Indian literature.

Uthaana Dwaadashi,
End of Chaaturmasa for Swamis

Chatur Maasa is four months starting from Aashada and ending by Ashweeja months, during which period Swamis (Head of the math or other sages) do not travel out of their residence which is the math or any place where they decide to spend the Chatur Maasa.
GSB woman performing Tulasi Puja
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