Tulasi, Tulasī: 26 definitions


Tulasi means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Jainism, Prakrit, Hindi, biology. 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Tulsi.

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In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

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).

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.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

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: archive.org: Science And Technology In Medievel India (Ayurveda)

Tulasī (तुलसी) or Tulasīkalpa refers to Kalpa (medicinal preparation) described in the Auṣadhikalpa, as mentioned in A. Rahman’s Science and Technology in Medievel India: A bibliography of source materials in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian.—Ancient and medieval India produced a wide range of scientific manuscripts and major contributions lie in the field of medicine, astronomy and mathematics, besides covering encyclopedic glossaries and technical dictionaries.—The Auṣadhikalpa is a medical work of the type of Materia Medica giving twenty-six medical preparations [e.g., Tulasī-kalpa] to be used as patent medicines against various diseases.

Source: Shodhganga: Edition translation and critical study of yogasarasamgraha

Tulasī (तुलसी) [or Tuḷasī] refers to the medicinal plant known as “Ocimum tenuiflorum Linn.” and is dealt with in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning tulasī] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

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.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Tulasī (तुलसी) refers to the “holy basil” plant, the leaves (patra) of which are used in the worship of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.13:—“[...] then the Ācamana shall be offered and cloth dedicated. Gingelly seeds, barley grains, wheat, green gram or black gram shall then be offered to Śiva with various mantras. Then flowers shall be offered to the five-faced noble soul. Lotuses, rose, Śaṅkha, and Kuśa flowers, Dhattūras, Mandāras grown in a wooden vessel, holy basil leaves (tulasī-patra) or Bilva leaves shall be offered to each of the faces in accordance with the previous meditation or according to one’s wish. By all means Śiva favourably disposed to His devotees shall be worshipped with great devotion. If other flowers are not available, Bilva leaves shall be used exclusively in the worship of Śiva”.

2) Tulasī (तुलसी) is the name of a plant which is used in the worship of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.14:—“[...] worldly pleasures (bhuktimukti) and salvation will be secured by a person who worships with Tulasī. Great valour (pratāpa) can be secured by worshipping with Arka or Kubjakalhāra flowers”.

3) Tulasī (तुलसी) refers to one of the sixteen celestial ladies (Divyanārī), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.50 (“Description of fun and frolic”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “[...] Then the sixteen celestial ladies arrived there and saw the couple [i.e., Śiva and Pārvatī] with great respect. They were Sarasvatī, Lakṣmī, Sāvitrī, Jāhnavī, Aditi, Śacī, Lopāmudrā, Arundhatī, Ahalyā, Tulasī, Svāhā, Rohiṇī, Vasundharā, Śatarūpā, Saṃjñā and Rati. There were several virgins of the gods, Nāgas, and the sages. They were charming and attractive. Who can enumerate them? [...]”.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Tulasī (तुलसी).—(Holy Basil plant. General information. Tulasī is a plant held most sacred by the Hindus. There is a Purāṇic background for Tulasī attaining this spiritualistic importance. In fact it is Mahālakṣmī, wife of Viṣṇu, who had herself taken the form of Tulasī. There is a story about it in Devi Bhāgavata. (See full article at Story of Tulasī from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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.
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.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Tulasī (तुलसी) refers to:—A sacred plant whose leaves and blossoms are used by Vaiṣṇavas in the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; the wood is also used for chanting beads and neck beads. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Tulasī (तुलसी) refers to a “sacred plant” (whose leaves and blossoms are used by Vaiṣṇavas in the worship of Śrī kṛṣṇa), according to the Arcana-dīpikā (manual on deity worship).—Accordingly, while explaining the rules for picking flowers and Tulasī leaves:—Pay obeisances to Śrī Bhagavān, beg for His mercy, and pick flowers and tulasī according to the proper rules. It is prohibited to collect tulasī leaves without having bathed. Pick tulasī only after taking morning bath. One can pick flowers before bathing, as there is no prohibition regarding picking flowers before one’s bath. If one is unable to take bath, one should put on fresh cloth, bathe by meditation (mantra-snāna), and then, with pure consciousness, pick flowers and tulasī leaves.

Special considerations for tulasī:—After bathing and performing āhnika (the chanting of the dīkṣā-mantras), bathe tulasī [by pouring water on her soil], while chanting her bathing mantra. Then offer her praṇāma while chanting her praṇāma-mantra. Then, while chanting the mantra for picking tulasī (cayana-mantra), pick the leaf that is joined with the stem, or else pick soft mañjarīs (flower buds) that are joined with the leaves and stem. each leaf is to be picked with the right hand, individually and very carefully, so that tulasī-devī will not experience any kind of pain. After picking her leaves, recite the prayers begging for forgiveness (aparādha-kṣamāprārthanā-mantra), for having caused her any pain. [...] For others (non-Vaiṣṇavas), picking tulasī is prohibited on certain days. For pure Vaiṣṇavas though, picking tulasī is only prohibited on the day of dvādaśī. one may use unoffered tulasī leaves from the previous day or dried tulasī leaves picked many days before. One should not put tulasī on the feet of śrī gurudeva.

Moreover, while picking tulasī, do not pick with the pointer finger and do not use your fingernails. One should pick tulasī leaves with the sole intention of using them in the service of Bhagavān, nothing else. One should not pick flowers or tulasī once the sun has started to set.

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Tulasī (तुलसी) refers to:—A sacred plant most dear to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose leaves and blossoms are used by Vaiṣṇavas in the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; tulasī wood is also used for chanting beads and neck beads (tulasī-mālā). (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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India history and geography

Source: Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1

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.

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 mythology, zoology, 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.

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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

1) Tulasi in India is the name of a plant defined with Ocimum americanum in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Ocimum canum var. integrifolium Engl. (among others).

2) Tulasi is also identified with Ocimum basilicum It has the synonym Plectranthus barrelieri (Roth) Spreng. (etc.).

3) Tulasi is also identified with Ocimum gratissimum.

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Beskr. Guin. Pl. (1827)
· Amoenitates academicae (1755)
· Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences (1985)
· Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis (DC.) (1848)
· Thaiszia (1997)
· Journal of the Indian Botanical Society (1986)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Tulasi, for example pregnancy safety, extract dosage, health benefits, chemical composition, diet and recipes, side effects, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
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This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

tulasī : (f.) the basil plant.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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)

Pali book cover
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and 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 Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

tulasī (तुलसी).—See tuḷasa.

context information

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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Tulasi (तुलसि).—(Metrically for tulasī),

-tulasikā See तुलसी (tulasī); वाचश्च नस्तुलसिवद्यदि तेऽङ्घ्रिशोभाः (vācaśca nastulasivadyadi te'ṅghriśobhāḥ) Bhāgavata 3.15.49; तुलसिका- दूर्वाङ्कुरैरपि (tulasikā- dūrvāṅkurairapi)... परितुष्यसि (parituṣyasi) 5.3.6.

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Tulasī (तुलसी).—[tulāṃ sādṛśyaṃ syati, so-ka gaurā° ṅīp śaṃkadhvā. Tv.] The holy basil held in veneration by the Hindus, especially by the worshippers of Visnu.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Tulasī (तुलसी).—f. (-sī) A small shrub held in veneration by the Hindus, Tulasi or holy basil, (Ocymum sanctum.) E. tulā resemblance, and ṣo to destroy, affixes ṅa and ṅīp; being unparalleled: this plant is said to be a female metamorphosed. tulāṃ sādṛśyaṃ syati so-ka gaurā0 ṅīṣ .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Tulasi (तुलसि):—metrically for , [Bhāgavata-purāṇa iii, 15, 49.]

2) Tulasī (तुलसी):—[from tulasi] f. holy basil (small shrub venerated by Vaiṣṇavas; commonly Tulsī), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Vāyu-purāṇa] and, [Padma-purāṇa] (produced from the ocean when churned), [Brahma-purāṇa] (produced from the hair of the goddess Tulasī, [ii, 19].)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Tulasī (तुलसी):—(sī) 3. f. Holy basil (Ocymum sanctum).

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Tulasī (तुलसी) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Tulasī.

[Sanskrit to German]

Tulasi in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Tulasī (तुलसी) [Also spelled tulsi]:—(nf) the holy basil plant —Ocymum sanctum; —[dala/patra] a basil leaf; —[vana] a basil grove.

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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

Tulasī (तुलसी) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Tulasī.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Tulasi (ತುಲಸಿ):—[noun] any of a genus (Ocimum) of fragrant plants of the mint family, esp. a white-flowered garden herb (Ocimum sanctum which is religiously regarded as a goddess).

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Tuḷasi (ತುಳಸಿ):—[noun] any of a genus (Ocimum) of fragrant plants of the mint family, esp. a white-flowered garden herb, Ocimum sanctum, which is religiously regarded as a goddess.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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