The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes The Origin of Dhatri and Tulasi which is chapter 23 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the twenty-third chapter of the Karttikamasa-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 23 - The Origin of Dhātrī and Tulasī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1. From the seeds sown there three plants grew up, viz. Dhātrī, Mālatī (Jasmine) and Tulasī.

2. Dhātrī is remembered as having been born of Dhātrī (the Earth); Mālatī is remembered as born of Mā (Lakṣmī) and Tulasī is born of Gaurī. These have the GuṇasTamas, Sattva and Rajas (respectively).

3. On seeing the plants in the form of women, O king, Viṣṇu got up with great excitement. His flurry and perturbation was mainly due to the excessive beauty of Vṛndā.

4. On seeing them he began to solicit due to fascination with a passionate mind. Tulasī and Dhātrī looked at him with sincere love and attachment.

5. Since the seed was offered formerly by Lakṣmī with malice and jealousy, the woman originating therefrom became malicious and jealous with him.

6. Hence she (it) later received the despicable name Barbarī. But Dhātrī and Tulasī accorded great pleasure and delight to him always due to their attachment and love for him.

7. Then Viṣṇu forgot all his misery. Becoming delighted, he went to Vaikuṇṭha along with them. He was then bowed to by all the Devas.

8. Hence while concluding the Kārttika Vrata, Viṣṇu is worshipped at the root of the Tulasī plant, since it is remembered as very pleasant to him.[1]

9. The house in which there is a grove of Tulasī plants is a Tīrtha, O king. The servants of Yama do not come there.

10. Those excellent men who grow the Tulasī grove that is destructive of all sins and always grants all desired objects, never see the son of the Sun-god (Yama, the god of Death).

11. These three are said to be equal (in efficacy): seeing Narmada, taking a holy bath in Gaṅgā and association with the grove of Tulasī plants.

12. If it is planted, guarded, watered, seen and touched, Tulasī burns down the sins of men accumulated through words, thoughts and physical activities.

13. He who worships Hari and Hara with bunches of Tulasī, is not reborn in any other womb. He shall certainly attain salvation.

14. Tīrthas including Puṣkara, rivers including Gaṅgā and Devas including Vāsudeva dwell on the leaf of the Tulasī plant.

15. Even Yama is incapable of looking at the person who gives up his life with a bunch of Tulasī (on his person), though he may have committed hundreds of sins.

16-18. He attains Sāyujya with Viṣṇu. O excellent king, this is certainly true. One who wears a twig of the Tulasī plant with sandal paste is never contaminated with sins even if they are committed. Wherever there is the shade of Tulasī grove, Śrāddha should be performed unto the Manes there. The Śrāddha thus offered is of everlasting benefit.

19-21a. One who takes his holy bath with the waters mingled with fruits of Dhātrī and with leaves of Tulasī attains the benefit of holy bath in Gaṅgā.

If a man performs the worship of the Lord with leaves and fruits of Dhātrī, he shall attain the benefit of a worship with gold, jewels and multitudes of pearls.

In the month of Kārttika, when the Sun is in the Zodiac Libra, all the Tīrthas, sages, Devas and Yajñas perpetually resort to Dhātrī.

21b-22. One who plucks the leaves of Tulasī on the twelfth day and those of Dhātrī in the month of Kārttika falls into the most despicable of all the hells.

Even the Four-faced Lord is not capable of recounting the greatness of Dhātrī and Tulasī as that of the Śārṅga-bearing Lord (Viṣṇu).

23. He who listens to or expounds devoutly the cause of the origin of Dhātrī and Tulasī becomes rid of all his sins. He goes to heaven along with his ancestors seated in superior aerial chariots.

Footnotes and references:


The whole episode of Vṛndā explains the rite of Viṣṇu-worship performed at the root of a Tulasī plant at the conclusion of Kārttika Vrata.

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