The Brihaddharma Purana (abridged)

by Syama Charan Banerji | 1915 | 50,976 words

The English translation of the Brihaddharma Purana, one of the several minor or Upa Puranas, and represents an epitome of several important (Major) Puranas. In this book one can observe the attempts made to reconcile the three main forms of Hindu worship, viz. the Shaiva Vaishnava and Tantrika (worship of God in the form of Kali, Durga, Ganga, and ...

Chapter 8 - History of Tulsi plant (continued)

In due course of time the Tulsi plant sprang into existence one fine morning on the last day of the dark half (amavasya) of the month of Kartika, and the gods Vishnu and Siva came down to see it.

Tulsi, on seeing the gods, assumed the form of a woman. She was an extremely beautiful young woman of a dark complexion, and a natural smile played on her lips. Her dress was White, and she held a Lotus flower in one hand and a couch in the other. Her body was adorned With ornaments and a sweet fragrance emanated from her. She prayed to Vishnu and Siva with fervent devotion and stood reverently awaiting their commands.

Then Vishnu addressed her saying, “Tulsi, I am well pleased with you, and, hereby ordain that your leaves shall be used in my worship as long as the sun, moon and stars endure. The gods will hold you in reverence, and no worship or sacrifice will be of any use in which your leaves are not used. The man who offers me one single leaf of yours in the month of Kartika[1] shall reap the reward of giving away one thousand cows in charity. He who worships me with your leaves in the month of Magha[2] shall be considered to have performed the Asvamedha sacrifice. I shall go the length of making over my person to the man who makes me a bed of your leaves in the month of Baisakha[3]. Bathing me in water strewn with your leaves in the month of Asharha[4] will entitle a man to residence in the sea of milk; and the man who offers me water scented with your leaves in that month, will be liberated from future births. If your leaves fall down on the ground, I shall pick them up and place them on my head. The man who takes a false oath by your leaves will have to undergo the torments of the worst hell for innumerable ages. The man who wears beads made of your wood, or anoints himself with a paste made by rubbing your wood, I will follow like his son.”

After saying this Vishnu and Siva went away, and Tulasi since then has been a great Tirtha in all the three worlds.

An area of twelve cubits on all sides of a Tulasi plant should be kept clean, and should not be entered into with shoes on or in an unclean state of the body. Except for the worship of Vishnu, Tulasi leaves should not be plucked on Amavasya[5] Purnima[6] Sankranti[7] or in the evening, or at night. When plucking the leaves care should be taken not to break the boughs or shake the plant violently.

Footnotes and references:










New moon.


Full moon.


The day on which the sun passes from one Zodiacal sign to another.

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