Tulasi, aka: Tulasī; 9 Definition(s)


Tulasi means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Tulasī (तुलसी):—One of the sixty-eight Rasauṣadhi, very powerful drugs known to be useful in alchemical processes related to mercury (rasa), according to Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara (chapter 9).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

Ayurveda (science of life)

Tulasī (तुलसी) is a Sanskrit word referring to Ocimum tenuiflorum (holy basil), from the Lamiaceae family. It is classified as a medicinal plant in the system of Āyurveda (science of Indian medicine) and is used throughout literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhita and the Carakasaṃhitā. It is a softly pubescent undershrub growing 30-60 centimeters in height. It grows throughout India. It has simple, opposite, elliptic, oblong, obtuse or acute leaves. The flowers are purplish in elongate recemes and grow in close whorls. The stamens are exserted and the fruits are nutlets.

According to the Rājanighaṇṭu (verse 10.148-149), Holy basil (tulasī) has the following synonyms: Surasā, Surabhi, Subhagā, Sugandhā, Suradundubhi, Surejyā, Viṣṇuvallabhā, Vaiṣṇavī, Haripriyā, Pretarākṣasī, Apetarākṣasī, Amṛtā, Devadundhubhi, Puṇyā, Pavitrā, Pāvanī, Pūtapattrī, Bahupattrī, Bhūtakeśī, Tīvrā, Bhūtaghnī, Garaghna, Kaṭhillaka, Kaṭhiñjara, Kāyasthā, Bhāravi, Tridaśamañjarī, Mañjarī and Gaurī.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.


Tulasī (तुलसी).—Sacred to Hari;1 on the chest of Viṣṇu.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 19. 6; V. 3. 6; X. 30. 7; XI. 30. 41.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 9. 80-2; 17. 74.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

India history and geogprahy

Tulasi or Tulashishta is one of the exogamous septs (divisions) among the Komatis (a trading caste of the Madras Presidency). Tulasi refers to the plant Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum). The Komatis are said to have originally lived, and still live in large numbers on the banks of the Godavari river. One of the local names thereof is Gomati or Gomti, and the Sanskrit Gomati would, in Telugu, become corrupted into Komati. The sub-divisions are split up into septs (viz., Tulasi), which are of a strictly exogamous character.

(Source): Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

tulasī : (f.) the basil plant.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Tulasi, (Derivation unknown) basil (common or sweet) J. V, 46 (°gahana a thicket of b.; v. l. tūlasi); VI, 536 (tuḷasi=tuḷasigaccha). (Page 305)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Marathi-English dictionary

tulasī (तुलसी).—f (S) A shrub venerated by the Hindus, Holy basil, Ocymum sanctum. It is fabled to be a female metamorphosed; but there are numerous accounts. Some compounds are tulasīpūjā, tula- sīmañjarī, tulasīmālā, tulasīvana, tulasīhāra; and for phrases see tuḷasa.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

tulasī (तुलसी).—See tuḷasa.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Relevant definitions

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Kaṇa (कण).—1 A grain, a single seed; तण्डुलकणान् (taṇḍulakaṇān) H.1; कणान् वा भक्षयेदब्दम् (kaṇ...
Surabhi (सुरभि) or Surabhimudrā or Kāmadhenu is the name of a mudrā described in the Īśvarasaṃh...
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