Along with Christmas wishes, wishes of Tulsi Pujan have been afloat on social media and WhatsApp groups since morning. It is not surprising that not many of us have heard of Tulsi Pujan which is celebrated on the day of Christmas. Only those who are practitioners of Dharma or who spend a considerate amount of time on social media discussing Dharma are appraised of this Hindu festival.
Hindu Dharma and Plants
Before we jump to Tulsi Pujan, let’s discuss the connection of plants with Hindu Dharma; rather, the importance of one in the other’s life. To preserve, protect and worship plants has been integral to the Sanatan way of life since antiquity. Our scriptures present the Kalpavriksha and the Chaityavriksha as deities, and indicate that worshiping them can bring us peace, health, good luck and prosperity. Trees like Asoka, Neem, Banyan, and Peepul have specific tithee on which they are worshiped.
Significance of Tulsi in Hindu Itihaas
The Tulsi plant, Holy Basil in English, has prominent significance in our itihaas and numerous mentions in our scriptures. Pooja of Bhagwan Vishnu remains incomplete without a pair of Tulsi leaves as offering. There is a famous legend of Tulabhram that narrates the story of Satyabhama and Rukmini, two wives of Bhagwan Krishna, poles apart from each other in characteristics and temperament. Satyabhama got tricked in into a tempting challenge thrown by Maharshi Narad. She set out to outweigh Krishna with all her worldly treasures, but when her repeated attempts failed, Rukmini placed a Tulsi leaf on the scale opposite to Krishna, and up went the scale on which the 8th avatar of Vishnu was seated!
Since ages, Hindus have been celebrating Tulsi Vivah on Prabodhini Ekadashi, to commemorate the marriage of Tulsi with Vishnu as Shaligram.
Why is Tulsi Pujan Celebrated on 25th December?
Tulsi Pujan, to be celebrated on December 25th, was started as the period from 25th December to January 1st sees a steep increase in consumption of alcohol, and other products of addiction. Suicide rates, accidents and a lot of untoward incidents take place during these seven days when the world is absorbed in the hedonistic joy of welcoming a new year as per the Gregorian calendar.
Hence, these seven days are picked to perform various poojas seeking welfare of the planet and the ones inhabiting it. The occasion starts with Tulsi Pujan and Jap-mala pujan, Gau pujan, hawan, Gau-Geeta-Ganga-Jagruti Yatra, and satsang are held during this time.
The process of the pooja is very simple. After taking bath and wearing fresh clothes, light a diya at the Tulsi pedestal and apply Kumkum to the plant. Thereafter, perform an aarti. Then offer her water, preferably mixed with Ganga jal. While you offer the water, chant the following mantra:
महाप्रसादजननी सर्व सौभाग्यवर्धिनी
आधि व्याधि हरा नित्यं तुलसी त्वं नमोस्तुते
You may complete the pooja by taking 7, 11, 21 or 111 rounds of the plant, as per your convenience. Those who have missed performing Tulsi pujan on the morning of 25th December, can perform it during other days between 26th December to 1st January.
Our busy and demanding schedules do not allow us, but if you can manage with your time, nothing like evoking Tulsi mata everyday and offering her water after bath every morning. As per Vastu Shastra, the plant brings you wealth and prosperity if positioned on the North-eastern corner of your house. Point to remember is, never pluck a Tulsi leaf on the day of Ekadashi, Sunday or Tuesday.
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