Peepal (Ashvattha) Tree

Peepal or pipal (Ficus religious) Tree also known as "Ashvattha" in Sanskrit is a very large tree and the first-known depicted tree in India. A seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, one of the cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation depicts the peepal being worshiped.

The word 'Ashvattha' is derived from the Sanskrit roots...
A = not + Shwa = tomorrow + tha = stands/remains (The Hindu philosopher Shankaracharya interprets the name to indicate "One which does not remain the same tomorrow", such as the universe itself.)

Once, all the gods decided to visit shiva. However, narad informed them that it was an inappropriate time for a visit as shiva and parvati were in solitude. But Indra did not heed the advice and assured the gods that there was nothing to fear when he was there to protect them. Narad reported Indra's arrogance to goddess parvati. She cursed the gods that they, along with their wives, would turn into trees. When the gods asked for forgiveness, she promised that as trees, they would attain fame. Thus indra turned into a mango tree, brahma became a palash tree and vishnu turned into a peepal tree.
Once, Agni (the fire god) left the land of the gods, took the form of ashwattha and resided on the peepal tree for a year. Since then, peepal is also known as ashwattha.

Bhagavad Gita : Chapter 15.1,
sri-bhagavan uvaca
urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham
ashvattham prahur avyayam
chandamsi yasya
yas tam veda sa veda-vit
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is said that there is an imperishable Peepal tree that has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas."

Bhagavad Gita : Chapter 15.2,

adhas cordhvam prasrtas tasya

guna-pravrddha visaya-pravalah

adhas ca mulany anusantatani

karmanubandhini manushya-loke

"The branches of this tree extend downward and upward, nourished by the three modes of material nature. The twigs are the objects of the senses. This tree also has roots going down, and these are bound to the fruitive actions of human society."

Bhagavad Gita : Chapter 15.3 & .4,

na rupam asyeha tathopalabhyate

nanto na cadir na ca sampratishtha

ashvattham enam su-virudha-mulam

asanga-sastrena drdhena chittva

tatah padam tat parimargitavyam

yasmin gata na nivartanti bhuyah

eva cadyam purusham prapadye

yatah pravrttih prasrta purani

"The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this strongly rooted tree with the weapon of detachment. Thereafter, one must seek that place from which, having gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything began and from whom everything has extended since time immemorial."

Some believe that the tree houses the Trimurti, the roots being Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves Shiva. The gods are said to hold their councils under this tree and so it is associated with spiritual understanding.

The Brahma Purana and the Padma Purana, relate how once, when the demons defeated the gods, Vishnu hid in the peepal. Therefore spontaneous worship to Vishnu can be offered to a peepal without needing his image or temple.

The Skanda Purana also considers the peepal a symbol of Vishnu. He is believed to have been born under this tree.

In the Upanishads, the fruit of the peepal is used as an example to explain the difference between the body and the soul: the body is like the fruit which, being outside, feels and enjoys things, while the soul is like the seed, which is inside and therefore witnesses things.


Women circumambulate the peepal tree to be blessed with children or to gain a desired thing or person. Peepal tree is planted in the temples of shani and hanuman. The tree is worshipped on saturday, especially in the month of Shravana, because goddess Lakshmi sits under the tree on this day. Any person who waters the tree is believed to earn merit for his progeny, his sorrows are redeemed and diseases cured. The peepal tree is also worshipped to escape from contagious diseases and enemies.

There is also another story about two demons, Aswatha and Peepali who made the peepal treetheir home and attacked and killed all who came near the tree. In the end Shani bhagavandestroyed the two asuras and hence it is believed that it is auspicious to touch the peepal tree on Saturdays.

Tribals in bengal call the peepal tree as vasudev. They water the plant in the month of vaishakh and at times of difficulty. In Bengal, peepal and banyan trees are married.

A peepal tree is planted to the east of the house or temple. Eight or 11 or 12 years after the tree has been planted, the upanayan ceremony is performed for the tree. A round platform is constructed around the tree. Different gods like Narayan, Vasudev, Rrukmini, Satyabhama are invoked and worshipped. All the rituals of the upanayan ceremony are performed and then the tree is married to the basil plant.

In Tamilnadu, peepal and neem trees are planted so close to each other that they mix up as they grow. A naga (snake) idol is placed under them and worshipped. This is believed to bless the worshipper with wealth. Women take an early morning bath and circumambulate these trees.
In Awadh, if a girl's horoscope predicts widowhood, she is first married to a peepal tree on chaitra Krishna or ashwin Krishna tritiya. In olden days, when remarriage was forbidden for girls, young widows were married to the peepal tree and then allowed to remarry.

People belonging to dhantale caste who reside in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh use a branch of the peepal tree in the marriage ceremony. The branch, along with a pot of water, is placed between the bride and groom. The village deity is installed under the peepal tree which also provides a shaded place to hold the panchayat in many places.

On Amavasya, villagers perform a symbolic marriage between the neem and the peepal, which are usually grown near each other. Although this practice is not prescribed by any religious text, there are various beliefs on the significance of 'marrying' these trees. In one such belief, the fruit of the neem represents the Shivalinga and so, the male. The leaf of the peepal represents the yoni, the power of the female. The fruit of the neem is placed on a peepal leaf to depict the Shivalinga, which symbolises creation through sexual union, and so the two trees are 'married'. After the ceremony, villagers circle the trees to rid themselves of their sins.

Scientific Research

Scientific research has revealed that among tress, Peepal is the only tree that produces oxygen in abundant quantity day and night, which is so essential for life. Peepal provides life sustaining oxygen, which proves it to be a life sustainer. Continuously research has also proved that the sound and interacting flow of wind, with peepal leaves, slowly but surely kills infection bacteria as well. According to the book of ayurveda, peepal leaves, fruits and bark are killers of diseases. People tree has both sweet and bitter taste and has a cooling property. Licking honey placed on peepal leaves is believed to cure speech irregularities. Its bark yields the tannin used in treating leather. Its leaves, when heated in ghee, are applied to cure wounds. Ingesting the bark, fruit and buds with different combination of things cures diseases related with phlegm, bile, inflammation swelling and indisposition etc. The soft bark and the bud of this tree cure 'Prameha' (a disease in which sperms emanate through urine). The powdered form of the fruit of this tree increases appetite and cures numerous diseases.

Bel leaf (Bilva Patra)

The word bilva (bel tree) is usually used as bilva-patra (leaf of bel). It is a sacred tree having sacrificial importance. Leaves of this sacred tree are generally trifoliate. This trifoliate leaf is symbolic of Trikal (brahma, vishnu and mahesh), Three eyes of lord shiva, Trishakti (Volition, action and knowledge), three lingas and three syllables of Omkar.
The bilva tree itself is so holy and auspicious that its worship or its significance is mentioned in many puranas and other scirputres at various instances. Here below is a narration of "greatness of bilva" under 22nd chapter in vidyesvarasamhita of shivapurana.
"The bilva is the symbol of lord shiva. It is adored even by the gods. it is difficult to understand its greatness. It can only be known to a certain extent.Whatever holy centre there is in the world finds a place under the root of bilva.He who worships mahadeva in the form of linga at the root of bilva becomes a purified soul, he shall certainly attain shiva.He who pours water over his head at the root of a bilva can be considered to have taken his bath in al sacred waters in the earth. Verily he is holy.Seeing the water basin round the foot of the bilva tree full of water, shiva becomes greatly pleased.The man who worships the root of a bilva tree offering scents and flowers attains the region of shiva his happiness increases, his family flourishes.He who places a row of lighted lamps at the root of bilva tree with reverence becomes endowed with the knowledge of truth and merges into shiva.He who worships the bilva tree abounding in fresh tender sprouts becomes free from sins.If a man piously feeds a devotee of shiva at the root of a bilva tree he reaps the fruit thereof, ten million times more than in the usual course.He who makes a gift of rice cooked in milk and ghee to a devotee of shiva at the root of a bilva tree will never become poor."

Mahant Rama Shankar of Banaras wrote quoting the Skanda Purana and explained the origin of Bilva tree, "One day while Parvati was resting some drops of sweat fell from her forehead on the mountain Mandara, from which grew the bel tree, Girija lives on the root of the tree, Maheswari on its shoulder, Dukshayani on its branches, Parvati among its leaves, Katyayani in its fruit, Gaori in its flowers while in thorns the numerous Saktis find a home. It is also believed that Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, also lives in the bel tree." Those who perform the puja of Shiva and Parvati devoutly, using the leaves, will be endowed with spiritual powers.
Lakshmyaascha stana utpannam Mahaadeva sadaa priyam,
Bilva vriksham prayachchhaami eka bilvam Shivaarpanam.
Darshanam bilva vrikshasya sparshanam paapanaashanam,
Aghorapaapasamhaaram eka bilvam shivarpanam.
Born from the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi, the Bilva tree is ever dear to Mahadeva. So I ask this tree to offer a Bilva leaf to Lord Shiva. To have darshan of the Bilva tree, and to touch it, frees one from sin. The most terrible karma is destroyed when a Bilva leaf is offered to Lord Shiva.Sri Bilva Shtakam (v. 6–7)

The proportion of sattva component is more in bilva patra and hence it has more capacity to absorb and emit sattvik frequencies. This has various effects. One of them is the reduction of raja-tama particles present in the atmosphere. A sattvik leaf like bilva patra when brought in proximity of a person suffering from negative energy distress then the black energy present within him is reduced.

Whenever a person is affected by the distress due to negative energies then his control over his physical body, mind and intellect is reduced and control of negative energy increases. Such a person when comes in contact with an environment not conducive for negative energy for instance in a sattvik environment then there is a battle between the negative energy and the satva predominant environment. This battle can manifest at various levels. The manifestation can vary from such simple thoughts like running away from the place to destructive thoughts also. Sometimes the negative energy present in the person manifests in gross form like sudden burst of anger, shouting, throwing articles and in fact any type of destructive act like actually breaking and plundering articles etc.

Tridalam TrigunakaramTrinetrancha Triyaayudham

Trijanma Paapa SamharamEka Bilvam Shivarpanam

The meaning of this above Sanskrit shloka offering of a bilvapatra to the three eyed god Shiva who holds a Trishula (weapon with three sharp edges) will wash away the sins committed in the past 3 lives.

Medicinal uses

* Prepare a drink from the bael fruit by mixing it with jaggery and cardamom (elaichi) powder. This drink helps you to quench excessive thirst and also prevents bad breath. Not just that, this drink also can be used in case of bleeding gums.
* Eating bael fruit with jaggery or sugar helps to clear phlegm.
* Eating bael fruits is highly recommended for diarrhea and dysentery.
* Powder 5 grams of Bael leaves and add 1 tsp of honey to it and take this twice daily, that is, early in the morning and evening to get relief from asthma.
* Powder dried roots, leaves and fruits of this tree add ghee and have it. This helps your wounds to heal quickly.
* For swellings in your joints, deseed the fruit and extract the insides to mix with mustard (rai) oil and massage it well.
* Powdered fruit added to boiled milk helps to cure anemia.
* Those with hypertension (high B.P) as also expectant mothers who have morning sickness should eat bael fruits.
* Extract juice from 100 leaves of bael, add 10 gms of pepper and have it in the morning and evening to cure jaundice.
* Bael fruit, eaten with sugar and butter is supposed to improve your memory power.
* Cometic uses: Use this Bael fruit face pack for a sagging skin.


Durva(Agrostis linearis) is a special type of sacred grass. The word Durva is derived from the words duhu and avam. Duhuavam means that which is far away and means that which brings closer.

Durva has greater capacity of attracting and constantly enhancing principles of three deities namely AadiShiv, AadiShakti and AadiGanesh. Generally tender shoots of durva are used in puja ritual of a deity. These tender shoots have highest capacity to absorb principles of deities present in the dew drops fallen on their leaves. This benefits the worshipper. If durva bear flowers, they are not used in puja ritual. Flowering plant denotes the ripeness. Ripening causes decrease in the vitality of the plant. This further reduces its capacity to attract the frequencies of deity principle.


Once there was an Asura (demon) named Analasura. He was so terrible that the earth would tremble by his voice and his eyes used to emit fire. So everybody was very scared of him. Even the Gods were terrified. So all the gods prayed to Ganesha so he would rescue them from the clutches of Analasura. Ganesha became into a child and assured all the Gods that they would be saved from Analasura. Ganesha started “Sarvkasha” war. Analasura’s powerful eyes oozess out fireballs and destroyed surroundings of Ganesha. At the end Analasura tried to gulp Ganesha but Ganesha himself showed his “virat “ roop and gulp Analasura to destroy but due to increased heat in body Ganesha could not even lie down. He was restless. He applied sandal paste all over the body even though the body’s heat was unbearable. At this moment all Gods decided to make a foundation of the moon on his head and Ganesha is also known as “Bhalachandra. Lord Vishnu gave his lotus therefore Ganesha is also known as “Padmapani”. Lord Shankara removed a cobra from his neck and tied it to Ganesha’s hip. Lord Varuna, Rain God showered plenty of water, heat was not subsided. Some of sages who came there with bunch of 21 Durvas and put on his head and a miracle happened. Ganesha became all right. Ganesha uttered that most of the Gods tried to help but only ‘Durva’ a simple grass made my agony into normal. With this he announced that whoever with devotion offer me Durva would be pious and get Punya.

Secondly it is said that there was a most beautiful Apsara who devotionally loved and prayed to get married with Ganesha. Ganesha also used to like her. But Parvati, Ghanesha’s mother cursed Apsara to become a simple grass form on the earth where nobody would look at her. But Durva begged for pardon and asked for ushaap.
Parvati forgave her and told her that even though she is in the grass form she would be adored by Ganesha.

Thirdly the story of Durva is as follow: Sage Kaundinya was telling the importance of Durva to his wife Ashraya. But Ashraya had a doubt about it. So sage Kaundinya gave a bunch of 21 Durva and told Ashraya to get the gold equivalent to Durva from Lord Indra who is God of all other Gods. She went to Lord Indra and asked about gold. Indra sent her to “Kubera” who is the treasurer of Gods. When Durva was weighing along with Gold more and more gold which resulted in a whole treasure was empty but could not be weighed to Durva. All the other Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh arrived and sat along with Gold but weighing of Durva was more . Everybody was perplexed. When all Gods went to see sage Kaundinya at his ashrama and confessed the importance of Durva. Kaudinya said that Ganesha is king of all states and there is no one superior to him.


Offer the Durva with three or five leaflets to Sri Ganeshji. They are called durvankur. The middle leaflet of durvankur attracts the Principle of Primal Ganesh and the other two leaflets attract Primal Shiva and Primal Shakti Principles. The minimum number of Durva to be offered to Sri Ganesh ji should be 21. Tie the Durva together and offer them to Sri Ganesh ji after dipping into water. The entire idol of Sri Ganesh ji excluding the face should be covered with Durva. Thus the fragrance of Durva spreads around the idol.
Sri Ganesh ji is ritualistically worshipped by offering a Durva with each chant of ‘i’ or with each utterance of the one thousand Names of Sri Ganesh ji. This is called ‘durvarchan’. In this the offering of Durva begins from the Holy Feet of iGanesh idol.

Effects of Durvarchan

The Principle of a Deity is emitted in higher proportion through the Holy Feet of the idol. So the Durva offered in the beginning attracts Ganesh Principle in higher proportion. This Principle is then transferred to the Durva offered later on. This Principle is spread up to the top by the Durva offered in sequence. Due to this the Chaitanya frequencies are emitted from the idol in higher proportion.

As a result of the durvarchan done in this manner, the Ganesh Principle is attracted to the venue of the worship in higher proportion. The Nirgun frequencies of Principles of Deities are attracted in the idol. These frequencies are transformed into Sagun frequencies in Sri Ganesh idol and they are then emitted through the idol because of which the worshipper gets more benefit.

It is thus clear that due to the emission of the Deity’s Principle through the Durva, the adverse influence of the raja-tama-predominant Principles in the environment is reduced. This is the reason why a person suffering from negative energies feels distressed when he comes in contact with the Durva.

Padma or Lotus

Lotus Flower is one of the most popular symbols in Hindu religion. According to Hinduism, within each human inhabiting the earth is the spirit of the sacred lotus. It represents eternity, purity and divinity and is widely used as a symbol of life, fertility, ever-renewing youth and to describe feminine beauty, especially the eyes.

Lotus flower is frequently mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit Hindu scriptures, as padma (pink lotus), kamala (red lotus), pundarika (white lotus) and utpala (blue lotus). The earliest reference can be found in the Rg Veda.

The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open up and expand with the light of knowledge. The lotus grows even in slushy areas. It remains beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances.

The lotus leaf never gets wet even though it is always in water. It symbolizes the man of wisdom (gyaani) who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrowand change. This is revealed in a shloka from the Bhagwad-Geeta:

Brahmanyaadhaaya karmaani
Sangam tyaktvaa karoti yaha
Lipyate na sa paapena
Padma patram ivaambhasaa

He who does actions, offering them to Brahman (the Supreme), abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains unaffected by the water on it.

From this, we learn that what is natural to the man of wisdom becomes a discipline to be practiced by all saadhakas or spiritual seekers and devotees. Our bodies have certain energy centers described in the Yoga Shaastras as chakras.

Each one is associated with lotus that has a certain number of petals. For example, a lotus with a thousand petals represents the Sahasra chakra at the top of the head, which opens when the yogi attains Godhood or Realisation. Also, the lotus posture (padmaasana) is recommended when one sits for meditation. A lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma originated from it to create the world. Hence, the lotus symbolizes the link between the creator and the supreme Cause.

It also symbolizes Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma. The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.

Another Hindu version of creation portrays the emergence of the heavenly man, Purusha, from the mundane egg which grew about him after "desire first arose in It," thrilling life through the sleeping spaces to create the first differentiation. The creation of Vishnu followed: he slept on a lotus, and a lotus stem issued from his navel. In The Secret Doctrine Blavatsky says that the growth of the lotus from Vishnu's navel, as he rests in the waters of space on the serpent of infinity, illustrates the universe's evolution from the central sun, "the ever-concealed germ" (1:379). The waters are the womb of space and the stalk is the umbilical cord.

From this lotus grew Brahma, the creator, who seated himself in the natal position on the lotus, contemplating the eternal, thus dispersing darkness and opening his understanding. Then he began his creative work as demiurgos, an act which comprises the efforts of heat and water (spirit and matter) in relation to the mundane and divine creators. This may be why Hindus use the lotus to represent nature's productive power working through the agency of fire/water or spirit/matter.

Vishnu's consort and feminine aspect, Lakshmi, at her birth surged forth from the ocean standing upon the white lotus, which is her emblem. Goddess of wisdom, love, and beauty, she corresponds to the European Venus, who also was born by rising from the water amid flowers. Lakshmi is the symbol of eternal being. As the mother of the world, she is eternal and imperishable; just as Vishnu is all pervading, so also is she omnipresent.

Hindu scriptures say that the Atman dwells in the lotus within the heart. Visualize within yourself a lotus, centered right within the center of your chest, right within your heart. Try to mentally feel and see the heart as a lotus flower right within you. Within the center of the lotus, try to see a small light. Hindu scriptures state that the Atman within the heart looks like a brilliant light about the size of your thumb--just a small light. This light is an emanation of your effulgent being. It is dwelling right within. The Self God is deeper than that. The lotus is within the heart, and the Self God dwells deep within that lotus of light.


A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water. Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it. A red or white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamond-shaped pattern. The pot may be decorated wit designs. Such a pot is known as a kalasha. When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as purnakumbha representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.

Purnakumbha literally means a "full Pot" (Purna = full, Kumbha = Pot). The Purnakumbha is a Pot full of water, with fresh leaves of the mango tree and a coconut (Sriphala) placed on the top. The pitcher may be made of mud, brass, copper or silver. Sometimes the pot is decorated with designs like Ashtalakshmis or a Swasthika.

Purnam means completion and the significance is that the endeavour undertaken must be successfully completed. It is a main part of all Hindu rituals

The Purna-Kalasha is considered a symbol of abundance and "source of life" in the Vedas. Purna-Kumbha is preeminently a Vedic motif, known from the time of Rigveda. It is also called Soma-Kalasha, Chandra-Kalasha, Indra-Kumbha, Purnaghata, Purna-Virakamsya, Bhadra ghata, or Mangala ghata. It is referred to as "overflowing full vase" (purno-asya Kalasha) in the Vedas.

The Purna-Kalasha is believed to be a symbol of auspiciousness embodying either Ganesha, remover of obstacles, or his mother Gauri, the goddess of household bounty or Lakshmi.

A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional house warming (grihapravesa), wedding, daily worship etc. It is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome. It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy personages.

Why do we worship the kalasha?
Before the creation came into being, Lord Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean. From His navel emerged a lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma, the creator, who thereafter created this world.

Kalasa was generated during the Samudramanthan or great churning of ocean. Lord Vishnu held Kalash filled with nectar during Samudramanthan. All deities reside in the kalash. Therefore it has an important place in puja ritual.

There is a certain space in the kalash which generates subtle sound vibrations which are of white colour. The manifest principle of a deity having yellow colour is seen getting attracted to the kalash. The blue circles seen inside the kalash is indicative of aap element (absolute water element). The circles and particles of chaitanya (divine consciousness) are seen projecting from the medium of kalash.

The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged. It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe. The leaves and coconut represent creation. The thread represents the love that “binds” all in creation. The kalasha is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped.

The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalasha and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka.

The consecration (kumbhaabhisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on the top of the temple. When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of nectar, which blessed one with everlasting life.

Thus the kalasha also symbolizes immortality. Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify with the infinite Truth (poornatvam). They brim with joy and love and respect all that is auspicious. We greet them with a purnakumbha ("full pot") acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a "full heart".

Kalash in ritualistic worship.

The kalash is used for creating seat for invoked deities during the puja ritual. First it is filled with water and then leaves of mango tree or that of betel vine are kept in it. These leaves are known as leaves of deity’s seat. The deity principle gets maximaly attracted to these leaves of seat. The water inside the kalash keeps this seat pure till the ritual of Pranapratishta (invoking deity into an image, idol, coconut or betelnut). Thus the invoked deity principle stays for a long period.

In this kalash betel nut or some coins are then put. Thereafter a coconut is set up on the mouth of the kalash. The tuft of coconut attracts the deity principle from the atmosphere and it is then transmitted to the water in the kalash through the body of cococnut.

The neck of the pot is tied with a white, yellow or red colored thread or cloth. The water is pure and clean to the highest extent. That is the reason it is able to attract the sattvik particles of frequencies of deities. But it contains less quantity of raja particles and therefore has poor capacity to project the sattva particles.

Putting a coin is symbolic of sacrifice. Through this medium there is sacrifice of wealth and jiva (embodied soul)’s attachment is reduced. This qualifies the worshipper to benefit more from the sattvikta of puja ritual. A copper coin is put in the kalash. The copper has more capacity to project sattvik frequencies. It helps in emanation of sattvik frequencies present in the water into the atmosphere.

Also a betel nut is kept in the kalash meant for puja ritual. Betelnut enhances sattva and raja components in the water of the kalash. This increases the capacity of the water to emit manifest principle of deity.The betel nut contains particles related to absolute earth element which are useful in binding of sattva particles related to sattva component.This then easily helps in retaining the sattvikta of water for along time. Five precious stones like pearl, diamond, emerald, blue sapphire, ruby and gold are also added to the water of kalash. The five precious stones and gold have capacity to attract and emit the principles of five superior deities. This benefits the worshipper. But with changing times the use of five preious stones and copper is reduced and replaced by alloys which are spiritually of less benefit.

Shankham (Conch)

Shankham" comes from the two Sanskrit words "Shum" which means something good and the "Kham" meaning water. Hence the meaning of "Shankam" is "The conch holding the sacred water".

As the story goes, the demon Shankhaasura defeated devas, the Vedas and went to the bottom of the ocean. The devas appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. He incarnated as Matsya Avataara - the "fish incarnation" and killed Shankhaasura. The Lord blew the conch-shaped bone of his ear and head. The Om sound emanated, from which emerged the Vedas.

All knowledge enshrined in the Vedas is an elaboration of Om. The conch therefore is known as shankha after Shankaasua. The conch blown by the Lord is called Paanchajanya. He carries it at all times in one of His four hands.

It represents dharma or righteousness that is one of the four goals (purushaarthas) of life. The sound of the conch is thus also the victory call of good over evil.

The Shanka verse recited in pooja is:

"Shankham chandrakadaivatwam kukshouvaruna daivatam
prusthe prajapatirdaiva mugre ganga saraswati
Pruthivyam yani teerthani vasudevasyachagyaya
Shankhe tisthanti viprendra tasmat shankham prapoojyayet"

The conch-shell is said to be the preserve of several gods and goddesses: Brahma on the seat (shankhapitha or shankhadhara), Surya in the middle and Chandra at the tip. On the right side are seated Aditya, varuna, Soma, Vayu and Agni. Shankha is presided over by the twin gods Sun and Moon, and Varuna is it’s deity; at the back of the conch-shell is Prajapati, and in front the river goddesses Ganga and Sarasvati. So even to look at a conch-shell, or to touch it, would mean eradication of sins, like darkness disappearing on sunrise. The shankha is one of the four attributes that Vishnu holds in his hands. Hence the Shankha should be worshiped. According to Tantric belief, the shankha keeps away evil spirits and saves one from calamities.

According to Tantric belief, the shankha keeps away evil spirits and saves one from calamities.

"Shankha Madyesthitam Thoyam Brahma Hatyadhikam Daheth
Anga Lagnam Manushyanam Mruthyu Samsara Bheshajam"

The water from the Shankha purifies the sinner and can cure all the ailments which cannot be cured by the other medicines. It is a cure for the physical ailments in humans, from the the fear of death and gives liberation from the eternal cycle of birth and death. Shankha powder is used in several Ayurvedic medicines.

Mythologically speaking there are Six main types of Shankh:

Vamavarti Shankha

The shankhas that open towards left hand are Vaamavarti Shankhas. These are the most commonly available shankhas and used for all religious purposes. In fact, most of the conches are Vaamvarti, that is, their bulge opens towards left side (facing North).
The special geometry of a natural shankha creates a positive energy field and so they are used as Yantras. Some astrologers also recommend the types of shankha and the location where these are to be placed to control negative planetary effects. Different methods of worshipping the shankhas are also described in the Indian scriptures for benefits varying from wealth, success and peace of mind to health, healing and hypnotism. The blowing of a Vaamavarti shankha removes the ill effects of negative energies and it purifies our surroundings and soul.

Dakshinavarti Shankha

The shankhas that open towards the right hand are called Dakshinavarti Shankhas. These shahkhas are rare and are available in white color with brown lines on them that run towards the right or South. Lord Kuber (God of wealth) resides in South and so this shankha represents wealth and prosperity. The sizes differ and can be from the size of a wheat grain to as large as a coconut. Dakshinavarti type of shankhas come from deep seas and are very rare. Dakshinavarti shankha is considered very auspicious when kept at any sacred place or the place of worship or the locker in the house. It should be kept after being wrapped in a white cloth. This shankha is said to bring good luck and prosperity to the individual and his family.
This Shankha is the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi. It is said that she removes sorrows and gives intelligence, success, and worldly freedom. Traditionally, a Dakshinavarti shankha is similar in its piousness from the earthly incarnation of Vishnu or Lakshmi themselves and the blessings of Lakshmi literally flow out of the remaining shell on their own. Dakshinavarti shankhas not only bring wealth but also purify the atmosphere. All the negatives energies are swept out of the place.
From the ancient scriptures we find there were two types of Dakshinmukhi Sankhas—one is male or Rurusa and the other is female Scankhinii distinguishable with its characteristic variations. The purusa got a thicker crust than the finer Sankhini.

Ganesha shankha

Ganesha shankha is another precious and largely worshiped shankha. This shankha represents Lord Ganesha and is worshipped to remove obstacles, for learning, for success, for luck and prosperity to family. This shankha is considered a very auspicious item for protection from evil effects and is to get good luck and prosperity to family.Ganesha shankha is best when kept in the Pooja Ghar (place of worship) daily or on all auspicious occasions and during religious festivals. It can also be kept in the locker of the house so that the family never faces any dearth of money. However it should be kept on red cloth in the worship room or wrapped in red cloth if kept in a locker.

Gaumukhi Shankha

Gaumukhi means face of cow.This Shankha resembles face of Cow.Cow is considered very sacred in Hinduism and so is this shankha.Keeping this shankha in temple/pooja place gives all the benefits (punya) of keeping a cow. It helps in bringing peace, harmony and happiness.A must to have Shankha for every Altar.
Kauri Shankha

Kauri Shankha is a very rare shankha which when kept in your house can bring all luck and prosperity. It is said since ancient times that the possession of Kauris is considered to bring wealth and all round prosperity. That is the reason why it was a part of the marriage attire of the brides. Kauri is a rare sacred product found in the ocean. As per Hindu mythology, "Kauri" was obtained from "Samudra Manthan" along with "Lakshmi" and other rare divine and holy products. From a very ancient time "Kauri" was used as the currency and then was used in the ornaments and also used as the key of gambling. As per Hindu Shastras, "Kauri" is said to be the loving product of "Maha Lakshmi". It is also related to Lord Shiva because the hairs of Lord Shiva are similar to "Kauri". Indians also use "Kauri" to decorate Nandi, the devotee of Lord Shiva. It is also said to be a great tool to save the children from devil effects. Kauri Shankha is more powerful than kauris because it is a shankha plus a Kauri. This shankha is usually kept in the cash box for financial prosperity and to protect the owner from a financial debacles. Whoever keeps a "Kauri Shankha" during the prayer of "Goddess Lakshmi", gets blessings and gains success, prosperity, wealth and fame in life.

Moti Shankha

These shankhas shine like a pearl, very rare and difficult to find. These shankhas have the luster of a pearl and is generally round in shape. This is a precious variety of shankha and available in all big and small sizes.
Why Do We Blow The Conch

When the conch is blown, the primordial sound of Om emanates. Om is an auspicious sound that was chanted by the Lord before creating the world. It represents the world and the Truth behind it.

Another well-known purpose of blowing the conch and the instruments, known traditionally to produce auspicious sounds is to drown or mask negative comments or noises that may disturb or upset the atmosphere or the minds of worshippers.

Correct method of blowing shankh

Blowing of shankh the frequencies consisting raja-tama particles are destroyed and at the same time the saviour and destroyer principle of a deity is awakened. Now let us see the correct method of blowing the shankh.

First slightly raise your neck and bend it little backwards and keep the mind focused. Take a deep breath and start to blow with increasing intensity. One should keep in mind that blowing of shankh should be completed in one single breath. When the shankh is blown in this way Sushumna channel of the individual gets activated and it helps in keeping a correct balance of raja and sattva particles related to Tej and Vayu elements. This awakens the saviour and destroyer principle of adeity according to the need.

Why should the person blowing the conch raise his neck?

The person blowing the conch should raise his neck upwards (towards God) and fully concentrate on the task at hand. When blowing the conch, the eyes should be closed and a spiritual emotion should be nurtured that one is beckoning the subtler frequencies of the unmanifest, destroyer form of God'. This posture activates the Sushumnanadi (Central Channel) in the body of the conch-blower. It also helps in maintaining a perfect balance between the raja-tama particles in the frequencies related to the absolute air and absolute fire elements that emanate from the mouth. Thus, as per the requirement - the saviour and destroyer principles of the Deity get activated.

When blowing the conch, close the eyes and cultivate a bhav that the marak (destroyer) frequencies of the unmanifest form of God are being received from above.

Blowing of the conch in a single breath: As far as possible, take a deep breath and fill the lungs with air, and then blow the conch in a single breath. This way the resonance of the vibrations (the resonance of subtle sound in the environment) lasts for a longer period. Due to the strength of the sound vibrations in the resonance, it becomes possible to tear apart the black covering surrounding the aerial body of the negative energies in the vicinity in a short time.

The sound of the conch should go from a low to a high pitch: When blowing the conch, the sound should start from a low and go to a high pitch which should be maintained till the conch-blower stops.

Manifestation of negative energies due to the sound of the conch: Due to the sound energy generated by blowing the conch, subtler frequencies flowing down from the universe get activated. They cause disintegration of raja-tama particles in the atmosphere within a short time. Due to the momentum of frequencies of sound energy emanating from the conch, there is friction between raja–tama particles, resulting in subtle flames. As a result the sheath around the aerial bodies of negative energies starts to burn. That is why negative energies are unable to tolerate the sound of a conch. They are compelled to manifest because of this sound. However, some of the more powerful sorcerers from the negative subtle region pretend to be unaffected, despite the distress caused by the sound of the conch!

Scientific significance

Leaving aside the mythology part, the conch shell's significance can also be corroborated by science. If you try holding a shankha near your ear, the sound of the gently humming ocean can be heard. This is actually the natural vibration or cosmic energy of the Earth which gets magnified on entering the conch shell.
The vibrations from these conch shells can overpower evil forces from the Earth and at the same time also clear environmental pollution including healing the hole in the ozone layer which causes global warming. According to science, the blowing of a conch shell enhances the positive psychological vibrations such as courage, determination, hope, optimism, willpower, etc. in the blower as well as those around him. Following type of Shankhas are considered very sacred and pure in Hinduism

Bell (Ghanta)

Why Do We Ring The Bell In A Temple?
Invariably in almost all Hindu temples there are one or more bells hung from the top near the entrance to the garbha griha. Hindus go to the temple to have "Darshan" (vision) of the Lord first before starting the worship or prayer. The purpose of Darshan is to establish communication between ones own "Aatman" (the divinity within you) and the "Paramaatman" (the Supreme Divinity). Darshan of the Lord is an essential and primary part of the Hindu faith, even before any form of worship is started. The devotee rings the bell as soon as he enters, thereafter proceeds to have Darshan of the Lord, following it with prayer or worship.
The Bell, known in Sanskrit as the Ghanta/Ghanti is used in all poojas for invoking the Gods.The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It produces the sound of "OM" the Universal name of the Lord. Most Mantraas (prayers) and vedic chants start with OM. All auspicious actions begin with OM. It fills the mind with peace, makes it focussed and replete with subtle sounds.. The ringing of the bell drowns any irrelevant or inauspicious sound, and pervades the whole atmosphere.This reminds us of all pervasive nature of the supreme (Sarva-vyaapi). Even while doing the ritualistic "Aarathi" the bell is rung. It is sometimes accompanied by conch blowing, beating drums, clashing of cymbals and other musical instruments. Hindus chant the following prayer while ringing the bell to start their daily worship.

According to the Skandpuran, the ringing of temple bells absolves man from sins committed over hundred births. Let us now see how the energy is emitted from the bell and what exactly happens with the help of a subtle drawing.

The dome shaped body of the bell and the clapper when strike with each other create circles of chaitanya which are projected in the atmosphere. The sound generated simultaneously also emits frequencies of chaitanya predominant in Akash tattva (absolute ether element). We can see them in yellow colour. The stroke of clapper emits red coloured divine energy rays. The particles of divine energy which spread in the atmosphere and are of red colour are also seen here. The divine energy and chaitanya generated by the sound of bell drives away the negative energies.

Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam

gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam

Kurve ghantaaravam tatra

devataahvaahna lakshanam

Means: I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.


The coconut (Sanskrit: Sriphala = God's fruit) alone is also used to symbolize 'God'.

In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a coconut. Coconut plays a vital role in all puja rituals. The coconut is a satvic fruit. It is sacred, pure, clean, and health giving, endowed with several properties. It is also offered on occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. It is offered in the sacrificial fire whilst performing homa. The coconut is broken and placed before the Lord. It is later distributed as prasaada. The marks on the coconut are even thought to represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva and therefore it is considered to be a means to fulfill our desires.

Why is a coconut offered in prayer?

Adi Shankara, the spiritual Guru par excellence, was instrumental in ensuring that this undesirable practice of 'Narabali' was discontinued at many spiritual centres. He denounced the practice as having no spiritual sanction whatsoever. The coconut was chosen as a suitable substitute by people who did not want to give up the practice of 'bali' sacrifice of other beings, but wanted a similar ritual for fulfilment of their desires!

Why was the coconut chosen?

The coconut resembles the human head in many ways - the coir outside resembles the human's tuft of hair, the hard nut the skull, the water inside the blood and the kernel is akin to the mental space. Another interpretation equated the outer shell to the human being's gross physical body and the kernel to the subtle body.

Some other legends

Coconut plays a very vital role in our offering. Coconut, which has a hard outer cover is broken in temple as an offering for our prayers. But it has more meaning than just presenting Him with coconut. The tender coconut is covered by layers of fiber. The stripping of fiber is to emphasize the fact that we should be devoid of desires. Coconut’s hard cover resembles the head of a human being. Once the coconut is broken, we find a white or grayish kernel. There is also juice present within the coconut. The breaking of coconut is considered as breaking of our ego or Ahankara, because He expects his devotees to be egoless and pure. The kernel within represents our brain. It is filled with inner juice. This represents the internal tendencies of our brain to be jealous, egoist, selfish human being. Usually the inner juice is poured out before offering the coconut to Him, which means that we should remove our vaasanas. So, breaking of coconut stands for surrendering to Him with utmost devotion and love.


According to Hindu mythology, the coconut was created by Sage Vishwamitra to prop up King Satyavrata who was attempting to gain entry into swargaloka (heaven) as a mortal but was thrown out by the Gods.

Satyavrata was a famous king of the solar dynasty. He was a pious ruler and was greatly religious. Satyavrata had only one desire. He wished ascend to swargaloka with his mortal body intact.

Once while Vishwamitra was away performing tapsya a great drought swept the land. Satyavrata saved Vishwamitra’s family by giving them food. In gratitude, Vishwamitra agreed to help the king achieve his only desire. He started a yagna (sacrifice to the Gods) and with the powers of his prayers, Vishwamitra made Satyavrata ascend towards the sky. As he neared the gates of heaven, Indra – the king of the Goda pushed the king back to earth. As Satyavrata fell he cried out to Vishwamitra, who cast a spell to stop him mid-air. Enraged Vishwamitra declared his intention to redesign the cosmos and create a heaven for Satyavrata. Peace was restored and a compromise was reached. The Gods allowed Satyavrata to stay mid-air. However, the sage realised that Satyavrata would fall back to ground once the spell weakened. So, he held him with a long pole. In time this pole became the trunk of the coconut tree and Satyavrata’s head became the fruit. Since, Satyavrata was suspended between space and earth; he got the epithet Trishanku – ‘one who is neither here nor there’.


The coconut is also associated with Lord Ganesha. At the beginning of any auspicious task or a journey, people smash coconuts to propitiate Ganesha – the remover of all obstacles. They also break coconuts in temples or in front of idols in fulfillment of their vows.

In all sacrificial rites, the coconut is offered as an oblation to the sacred fire. Some people believe that this ritual as well as the customary breaking of coconuts on the altar of deity is associated with the fact that the coconut fruit resembles human head.

The association of human fertility cult with coconut is prominently manifested during wedding rituals across India. The fruit is often placed in a pot which is a metaphor for the womb, while the nut itself, a symbol or life, confers fertility on the bridal couple. In Gujarat it is customary for the bride to present the coconut to the groom at the time of the marriage. The coconut is then preserved as a precious memento by the husband throughout his life.

The members of the Prabhu caste of Maharashtra move a coconut around the head of the bridegroom several times and then throw out its pieces in all directions. This they believe will ward off evil spirits.

The Nair community of Kerala place a coconut inflorescence inside a wooden barrel filled with paddy grains as the auspicious centerpiece in the kalyanamandapam (traditional wedding podium) of the. In Kerala as well as in the other southern states, during marriages as well as during festivals such Navarathri, it is considered auspicious to distribute coconuts among married women as a part of the tambulam. Among the Tamils, the tali (an important symbol of marriage consisting of a gold ornament stung from a yellow thread) are initially tied around the coconut before it is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom. In north India, when a woman wants to conceive she would go to the temple priest and get coconut.

The Gonds and the Bhils of Rajasthan, Gujarat and M.P., a ceremony referred to as the ‘Golgothero’ is organised at the time of the Holi festival. Some jaggery and a coconut is tied on a tree at a good height and all eligible males and females dance around the tree in two separate circles. Any boy who tries to break up the inner female ring is resisted by broomstick beatings. When the boy succeeds in getting the coconut, he is at liberty to select any girl from the formation.

Fishing communities along the peninsular coasts believe in appeasing the sea God (Lord Varuna) with offerings of coconut during the monsoon. On the fifteenth day of the bright fortnight of shravana, fishermen especially in Maharashtra celebrate the festival of ‘Nariyal Purnima’. On this day fishermen paint their boats and decorate them with flags. With much rejoicing they throw coconuts into the sea, with prayers for a plentiful fish catch.

This festival is a an ode to Sea- god, Varun, a Vedic deity. According to the ritual, coconuts are thrown into the sea as offerings to Varun. Hence, this day has come to be known as Narial Purnima. On this day people go to the sea-shores or river-banks and offer coconuts to the Sea-god. It is believed that with the Varuna's blessings sea-trade will become fruitful and prosper. Hindu married women gather together, play games, sing and dance and put kumkum tilak (Vermilion mark) on each others forehead as the symbol of good luck. They eat together, enjoy the festival and then bid farewell to each other. Fisher-folk welcome this day as the heavy rains finally stop.

The coconut also symbolises selfless service. Every part of the tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc. Is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc. It takes in even salty water from the earth and converts it into sweet nutritive water that is especially beneficial to sick people. It is used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and in other alternative medicinal systems.


Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is a widely grown, sacred plant of India. It belong to the labiateae family. It is also called by names like Manjari/Krishna tulsi (Sanskrit), Trittavu (Malayalam), Tulshi (Marathi) and Thulsi (Tamil & Telegu). It is called Holy Basil in English.

The 'tulsi' plant is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition. The name 'tulsi' connotes "the incomparable one". Tulsi is a venerated plant and Hindus worship it in the morning and evening. Tulsi grows wild in the tropics and warm regions. Dark or Shyama tulsi and light or Rama tulsi are the two main varieties of basil, the former possessing greater medicinal value. Of the many varieties, the Krishna or Shyama tulsi is commonly used for worship.

Tulsi As A Deity:

The presence of tulsi plant symbolizes the religious bent of a Hindu family. A Hindu household is considered incomplete if it doesn't have a tulsi plant in the courtyard. Many families have the tulsi planted in a specially built structure, which has images of deities installed on all four sides, and an alcove for a small earthen oil lamp. Some households can even have up to a dozen tulsi plants on the verandah or in the garden forming a "tulsi-van" or "tulsivrindavan" - a miniature basil forest.

8 names of Tulasidevi

Vrindavani: One who first manifested in Vraja.
Vrinda: The goddess of all plants and trees.
Visvapujita: Worshiped by the whole universe.
Puspasara: The topmost of all flowers.
Nandini: Seeing whom gives bliss to the saints.
Krishna-jivani: The life of Sri Krishna.
Visva-pavani: One who purifies the three worlds.
Tulasi: One who has no comparison.
Tulasi devi becomes a Plant

Once Tulasi devi descended as the daughter of King Kushadvaja. She was married to Jalhandara. It is said that Samudra deva the demigod controlling the nether regions had Lakshmi devi as a daughter (since she appeared from him at time of the churning of the ocean) and Jalandara (one who is born from water).

Jalandara was married to Tulasi devi and drew strength from her purity and chastity. So firm was her chastity that even Lord Shiva could not defeat Jalandara in battle and all the demigods went to Lord Vishnu for help.

At this time, Lord Vishnu went to Tulasi devi assuming the form of her husband, Jalandara. When Tulasi devi greeted Him, thinking Him to be her husband, her chastity was momentarily broken. Taking advantage of this the demigods killed Jalandara.

When Tulasi devi understood what happened, Lord Vishnu revealed His original form. An enraged Tulasi devi cursed Lord Vishnu for His stone hearted behavior to become a stone. Honoring His pure devotee, Lord Vishnu accepted this curse and promised to appear as the Saligrama shila in the Gandika river (now in Nepal). He also gave Tulsai devi the benediction that she will eternally reside with Him as His consort in Vaikuntha. He said that for the benefit of every one she will assume the form of a plant which will be most auspicious for anyone performing devotional service.

Thus devotees never offer anything to Krishna without a Tulasi leaf. He always adorns Himself with a Tulasi garland. The goddess of fortune, Laksmi, is sometimes envious of the Tulasi leaves which are placed at the lotus feet of the Lord, for they remain fixed there and do not move, whereas Laksmiji, although stationed by the chest of the Lord, sometimes has to please other devotees who pray for her favor. Laksmiji sometimes has to go to satisfy her numerous devotees, but tulasi leaves never forsake their position, and the Lord therefore appreciates the service of the tulasi more than the service of Laksmi.

Tulsi Vivah or Marriage: This is perhaps the most sentimental but not the least important festival which falls on the 11th day of the bright half of Kartik. As story goes, Tulasi was the devoted wife of Shankhachuda, a celestial being. She believed that Lord Krishna tricked her into sinning. So she cursed Him to become a stone (shaaligraama). Seeing her devotion and adhered to righteousness, the Lord blessed her saying that she would become the worshipped plant, tulasi that would adorn His head. Tulsi plant and promises to marry her annually on this day of Kartik. The origin of the ammonite black stone or Salagram found on the bed of the river Gandaki may be attributed to their legend.

As a consequence, all devout Hindu women worship the Tulsi plant with flowers and milk assuming Lord Krishna to be present on it on this auspicious day. Literally a mock marriage is performed between the Tulsi and the Salagram. The belief is that one who performs this ceremony of giving away Tulsi considering them to be one's own daughters, gets the credit as making a Kanyadan which is regarded as an extremely meritorious act in pur religion. This sacred ceremonial day marks the auspicious opening of the annual marriage season of the Hindus.

This is because according to another legend, the Lord blessed her to be His consort. Satyabhama once weighed Lord Krishna against all her legendary wealth. The scales did not balance till a single tulasi leaf was placed along with the wealth on the scale by Rukmini with devotion.Thus the tulasi played the vital role of demonstrating to the world that even a small object offered with devotion means more to the Lord than all the wealth in the world.

From the Padma Purana - Glories of Tulasi Devi from Patalakanda

Lord Siva said; "My dear Narada Muni, kindly listen, now I will recite to you the wonderful glories of Tulasi Devi.
One who hears Tulasi Devi's glories will have all his sinful reactions, stored from many births, destroyed and very quickly attain the Lotus-Feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
The leaves, flowers, roots, bark, branches, trunk and the shade of Tulasi Devi are all spiritual.
One whose dead body is burnt in a fire, which has Tulasi wood as fuel, will attain the spiritual world, even if he is the most sinful of sinful persons, and that person who lights up that fire will be freed from all sinful reactions.
One, who at the time of death, takes the name of Lord Krsna and is touching the wood of Tulasi Devi, will attain the spiritual world.
When the dead body is being burned, even if one small piece of tulasi wood is put in the fire, then that person will attain the spiritual world; by the touch of Tulasi all other wood is purified. When the messengers of Lord Vishnu see a fire which has Tulasi wood burning in it, they immediately come and take that person, whose body has been burned, to the spiritual world. The messengers of Yamaraj will not come to that place when Tulasi wood is burning. That person's body which has been burned by Tulasi wood, goes to the spiritual world, and on his way, all the demigods shower flowers on him. When Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva see that person on his way to the spiritual world, They become happy and bless him and Lord Krsna comes before him and taking his hand, He takes him to His own abode.
One who happens to go to a place where Tulasi wood has been burned will become purified of all sinful reactions. That brahmin who is performing a fire sacrifice and places amongst the other wood Tulasi wood will get the results of one agnihotra yajna (fire sacrifice) for each grain offered in that fire.
One who offers Lord Krsna incense made of Tulasi wood will get the result of one hundred fire sacrifices and of giving one hundred cows in charity.
One who cooks an offering for Lord Krsna on a fire which has Tulasi wood in it, will attain the same benefit as one who gives in charity a hill of grains as large as Mount Meru, for each grain of such an offering to Lord Krsna.
One who lights up a lamp to be offered to Lord Krsna with a piece of Tulasi wood will attain the same benefit as one who offers ten million lamps to Lord Krsna. There is no-one more dear to Lord Krsna than that person.
One who applies the paste of Tulasi wood to the body of the Deity of Lord Krsna with devotion will always live close to Lord Krsna.
That person who puts the mud from the base of Tulasi Devi on his body and worships the Deity of Lord Krsna gets the result of one hundred days worship for each day.
One who offers a Tulasi Manjari to Lord Krsna gets the benefit of offering all the varieties of flowers, after which, he goes to the abode of Lord Krsna.
One who sees, or comes near, a house or garden where the Tulasi plant is present, gets rid of all his previous sinful reactions, including that of killing a brahmin.
Lord Krsna happily resides in that house, town, or forest, where Tulasi Devi is present.
That house, where Tulasi Devi is present, never falls on bad times, and due to Tulasi Devi's presence, that place becomes more pure than all the holy places.
One who plants a Tulasi tree near the temple of Lord (Krsna, goes to) Krsna's abode. NB: bracketed section not actually in my copy and because the statement makes no sense without it, I made an assumption as to the missing content. (Ed.)
Wherever the smell of Tulasi Devi is taken by the wind, it purifies everyone who comes in contact with it.
In that house where the mud from the base of Tulasi Devi is kept, all the demigods along with Lord Krsna will always reside.
Wherever the shade of Tulasi Devi falls is purified and is the best place for offering fire sacrifices.

NOTE_One must only use Tulasi wood which has been attained after Tulasi Devi has dried up. One must never take Tulasi wood from a tree which has not dried up.

From the Padma Purana - Glorifications of Tulasi Devi - Sristrikand

Kartikeya inquired, "My dear Father (Lord Siva), which tree or plant is capable of giving love of God?"

Lord Siva replied, "My dear son, of all trees and plants, Tulasi Devi is the topmost, She is all auspicious, the fulfiller of all desires, completely pure, most dear to Lord Krsna, and the topmost devotee.
Long ago, Lord Krsna, for the welfare of all conditioned souls, brought Vrindadevi in the form of a plant (Tulasi) and planted Her in this material world. Tulasi is the essence of all devotional activities. Without Tulasi leaves, Lord Krsna does not like to accept flowers, food stuffs, sandalwood paste; in fact, anything without Tulasi leaves is not looked upon by Lord Krsna.
One who worships Lord Krsna daily with Tulasi leaves, attains the results of all kinds of austerities, charities, fire sacrifices. In fact, he does not have any other duties to perform and he has realised the essence of all scriptures.
Just as the Ganges river is purifying all who bathe in her, so Tulasi Devi is purifying the three worlds.
It is not possible to describe the full benefit of offering Tulasi Manjaris (flowers) to Lord Krsna. Lord Krsna, along with all the demigods, lives wherever there is Tulasi Devi. For this reason, one should plant Tulasi Devi at one's home and offer worship daily. One who sits near Tulasi Devi and chants or recites prayers will attain the results much faster.
All forms of ghosts and demons run away from that place where Tulasi Devi is planted and all kinds of sinful reactions are destroyed when one comes close to Tulasi Devi. One who makes a garden of Tulasi Devi gets the results of all charities and of one hundred fire sacrifices.
One who puts into his mouth or on his head the Tulasi leaves, after they have been offered to Lord Krsna, attains the abode of Lord Krsna. In Kali-yuga, one who worships, performs kirtan in front of, remembers, plants, or keeps Tulasi, burns up all his sinful reactions and attains Lord Krsna's abode very quickly.
One who preaches the glories of Tulasi Devi and also practices what he preaches, becomes very dear to Lord Krsna.
One who worships Tulasi Devi has already satisfied his guru, the brahmins, demigods, and all the holy places.
One who offers a Tulasi leaf to Lord Krsna becomes a Vaisnava very quickly. What is the need of all the scriptures for one who has offered the wood or leaves of Tulasi Devi to Lord Krsna, for he will never have to taste the milk from the breast of a mother again (he will never take birth again).
One who has worshipped Lord Krsna with the leaves of Tulasi Devi has already released all his ancestors from this realm of birth and death.
My dear Kartikeya, I have told you many of the glories of Tulasi Devi. If I was to describe Her glories for eternity, I still would not be able to reach their conclusion.
One who remembers or tells others these glorifications of Tulasi Devi will never take birth again."

Glories of Tulasi - Brahma Purana
"dhatri phalani tulasi hy antakale bhaved yadi
mukhe caiva sirasya ange patakam nasti tasya vai"
"If one has amalaki fruits or Tulasi leaves in one's mouth or on one's head or body when one dies, one is guaranteed not to suffer in hell."
Glories of Tulasi - Skandapuran

"Every home with a Tulasi plant is a place of pilgrimage, and no diseases, messengers of Yama, the God of Death, can enter it."

Shri Tulasi Pradaksina Mantra
yani kani ca papani
catani tani pranasyanti
pradaksinah pade pade

Translation: "By the circumambulation of Srimati Tulasi Devi all the sins that one may have committed are destroyed at every step, even the sin of killing a brahmana."

Shri Tulasi Pranama

vrndayai tulasi-devyai
priyayai kesavasya ca
visnu-bhakti-prade devi
satyavatyai namo namah
Translation: "I offer my repeated obeisances unto Vrnda, Srimati Tulasi Devi, who is very dear to Lord Kesava. O goddess, you bestow devotional service to Lord Krishna and possess the highest truth."

Health Benefits of Tulsi (Sciance)

- It acts as anti bacterial and anti parasitic, therefore is widely used in infectious diseases.- Tulasi act on nervous system providing them strength, relieves stress and helps in relieving pain.
- It work as appetizer and promotes digestion by helping in secretion of digestive enzymes.
- Tulsi juice when mixed with ginger juice is very effective in abdominal disorder in children.
- It helps in preventing flatulence and avoids constipated stool.
- It is an effective natural cure for upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).
- Tulasi works as good expectorant relieving from wet cough.
- It is very useful in bronchitis and asthmatic conditions.
- It works as antibiotic eliminating the bacteria.
- It is widely used in fever as it act as antipyretic, pain reliever, and provides strength to our body. Take powder of Tulasi leaves with saunth (dried ginger) and sugar with hot water in fevers.
- It also possesses anti-cancerous properties.
- Tulsi juice drops are very effective in earache.
- Keep powder of tulsi root in water for overnight and take it early morning for diabetes natural cure.
- It works as a powerful antioxidant thereby helps in preventing early aging signs and makes the skin young.

Wearing Tulsi Beads Around The Neck

Tulsi is thought to be the most sacred of woods in India and Indian worship, and the plant of Tulsi is believed to be the incarnation of the Divine itself. The Tulsi Mala is made of the wood or the seeds of Tulsi and is used for name chanting and worship.

Moreover, the Tulsi Mala is said to have incredible spiritual and physical healing powers apart from helping the mind to focus during prayers. Like the Sphatik Mala and the Rudraksh Mala.

The Tulsi Mala is made of Tulsi wood and consists of 108 beads wound around a strong string, with a 109th bead called the Sumeru bead of some other material like a metal or crystal, or a bigger Tulsi bead itself. One starts counting the beads from the bead adjacent to the Sumeru bead of the Tulsi Mala and completes one full round. On second round the Tulsi Mala needs to be counted in the reverse direction again as the Sumeru bead should not be crossed while praying. Depending on the type of the Tulsi plant, the Tulsi Mala is available in various colors like black, brown or sandalwood color.

The Tulsi Mala can be worn on the neck or tied around the fist. The benefits of the leaves of Tulsi is well proven, and owing to its spiritual and physical healing powers, the touch of the Tulsi wood acts as a rejuvenator for the stressed mind and brings the spiritual self of a person closer to God. On top of that, wearing the Tulsi Mala is supposed to bring good luck and fortune to the devoted wearer. It is said to balance the kapha and the vata dosha. Tulsi clears the aura, and its subtle smell fills the heart with sensation of the divine. The Tulsi Mala is used to worship Lord Ram and Krishna, different incarnations of Lord Vishnu who is believed to be the creator and the beloved of the Tulsi.

The Lord says that one who wears the beads made out of the wood of Tulsi in one's neck, even if he is untidy and ill- charactered, will undoubtedly attain Me only. Sri Krishna will grant the fruit of being the resident of Dvarka immediately to those who wear Tulsi beads around the neck. The sins of the person who wears neck beads made of Tulsi with devotion after offering to Sri Vishnu will get vanquished and Devakinandan Sri Krishna will always remain pleased with him, he does not need to undergo further atonement, no more sins remain in his body. In Kaliyuga, one, who is bedecked with the beads made of Tulsi, performs ritual activities and activities pertaining to ancestors and demigods, obtains crores times more results. The messengers of Yama will flee away by the sight of the Tulsi beads just as leaves are blown off by wind.
In Skanda-puran it is stated :- Those who wear neck beads made of Tulsi after offering it to Sri Hari are definitely foremost among the devotees of Lord. After presenting the mala, it should be purified with panca-gavya; after that the mula -mantra should be recited followed by the recitation of the gayatri mantra for eight times. Touching with incense, worship with this
Sadyojata -mantra with utmost devotion:
Om sadyojatah prapadyami sadyojataya vai namo namah.

Bhave tave nadi bhave bhajeswamam bhavod-bhavaya namah After that, this prayer should be made, "Oh! Mala ! You are made of Tulsi and are dear to Vaisnavas . I wear you around my neck; you make me dear to Sri Krishna. 'Ma' means 'me', 'La' means 'to give'. Oh Hari-Vallabhe ! You have given me to Vaisnava devotees, hence you are known as mala . Those Vaisnavas who pray in accordance with rituals in this manner and first offer the mala in the neck of Sri Krishna and then puts it to themselves attain the Lotus feet of Sri Vishnu." It is stated in Padma Purana : either during morning ablutions or bathing or eating or at any state which is clean or unclean, Tulsi mala has to be worn always; that means mala should not be removed under any circumstance.


Indians make an offering of food to the Lord and later partake of it as prasaada - a holy gift from the Lord. What we offer to God is Naivedyam. When it comes back to us, it becomes Prasada.

Literally, a gracious gift. Anything, usually edible, given by a saint, Perfect Master or the Avatar to their followers. Anything, usually edible, that is first offered to a deity, saint, Perfect Master or the Avatar and then distributed in His name. The prasad has the deity's blessing residing within it.

In its material sense, prasada is created by a process of giving and receiving between a human devotee and the divine god. For example, a devotee makes an offering of a material substance such as flowers, fruits, or sweets -- which is called naivedya. The deity then 'enjoys' or tastes a bit of the offering, which is then temporarily known as bhogya. This now-divinely invested substance is called prasāda, and is received by the devotee to be ingested, worn, etc. It may be the same material that was originally offered, or material offered by others and then re-distributed to other devotees.

A flower accepted for one’s sense gratification is material, but when the same flower is offered to the Supreme personality of Godhead by a devotee, it is spiritual. Food taken and cooked for oneself is material, but food cooked for the Supreme Lord is spiritual prasäda. This means the mercy of the Lord. Thus, the food we eat after it is offered to the Lord becomes a means for our purification and spiritual development.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says, “All that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” So offering what we eat to the Lord is an integral part of bhakti-yoga and makes the food blessed with spiritual potencies. Then such food is called prasadam, or the mercy of the Lord.

The Lord says in the Gita :

"Patram Pushpam Phalam Toyam Yo Me Bhaktya Prayacchati;
Tadaham Bhaktyupahritamasanami Prayatatmanah" –

Whoever offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water with devotion, that I accept, offered as it is with a loving heart".
Thus, we can see that the Lord does not need anything, but if one offers fruits, grains, and vegetarian foods, He will accept it.

Prasadam is also called Bhagwan Bhog or Sacred food which we offer to god and then distribute to every one for blessings.

To most of us, prasada means something edible and that is all ! But the real meaning of prasada is “purity, cheerfulness, bliss, joy, peace”. This is our true gain upon tuning our minds with the Lord during the worship. The real prasada is the feeling of peace we experience in our hearts while looking at the idol of the Lord after we have performed our daily puja with love and devotion. Experiencing the peace and joy is how we tune our minds to the Lord.There is a Bhavana, an attitude involved in it. This attitude is born of the vision of God. Prasada is not an object. It is purely born of understanding. The understanding of the reality is the basis for prasada.

Now, let us go a little deeper. The result that an action produces, whether it is more or less, or equal or opposite, comes from God. This is the appreciation of God and that is maturity. So we accept that God is the author of the result of our actions. The result thus becomes prasada since it comes from God. Thus result of every action must be looked upon as prasada from the Lord, irrespective of whether it is what we expect or opposite. This is Sameness of mind (called samatvam in the Gita). This is born of understanding and cannot be forced upon anybody. It is always born in the wake of some knowledge of reality. So we have to be alive to the reality of our being the doer of action and God being the giver of the result. Therefore, even if I do not get what I expected, I still accept the result as prasada and having become wiser, work harder. A person ultimately becomes wiser by the attitude of prasada. We welcome whatever comes to us and our whole life becomes a learning experience.

Thus we arrive at the meaning of prasada as the cheerful acceptance of the situation as it comes to me. Thus prasada-buddhi becomes the attitude of glad acceptance.

Anything that comes from the Lord is Grace or Prasada. Let us learn to look upon the results of out actions given to me by the Lord as prasada.

When a ceremony is performed all the devotees should share the prasad and thus receive the blessings of the Deities. There is no restriction of any kind in taking prasad. Time, place or condition does not affect one. Prasad is all purifying. Prasada is the most sacred object for a devotee. One should consider himself lucky to take the Prasada, and there is no restriction of any kind in taking Prasada.
Why do offer food to the Lord before eating it?

According to Hinduism, food is verily an aspect of Brahman (annam parabrahma swaroopam). Because it is a gift from God, it should be treated with great respect. The gross physical body is called annamayakosh or the food body, because it is nourished by food and grows by absorbing the energies from the food. Traditional Hindus offer food to God mentally before eating.

Food is identified with the element of earth. According to Prasna Upanishad, "Food is in truth the Lord of Creation (Prajapathi). From food is produced retas (the sexul energy or semen) and from it beings are born." According to Manu, "Food, that is always worshipped, gives strength and manly vigor; but eaten irreverently, it destroys them both." Food should be eaten for the survival and strength of the body, with a religious attitude, to practice austerities and gain self control, but not for pleasure. Eating is therefore any other human activity which can be made into either a sacrificial act that would help in the liberation of soul or a mere pleasure activity that would lead to bondage and suffering.

The Bhagavad-gita (17.8-10) divides foods into three classes: those of the quality of goodness, those of the quality of passion, and those of the quality of ignorance. The most healthful are the foods of goodness. "Foods of the quality of goodness [milk products, grains, fruits, and vegetables] increase the duration of life; purify one's existence; and give strength, health, happiness, and satisfaction. Such foods are sweet, juicy, fatty, and palatable."

Foods that are too bitter, sour, salty, pungent, dry or hot, are of the quality of passion and cause distress. But foods of the quality of ignorance, such as meat, fish, and fowl, described as "putrid, decomposed, and unclean," produce only pain, disease, and bad karma. In other words, what you eat affects the quality of your life. There is much needless suffering in the world today, because most people have no other criterion for choosing food than price and sensual desire.

Bhagavad Gita (3.13):

Yajna-sistasinah santoMucyante sarva-kilbisaihBhunjate te tv agham papaYe pacanty atma-karanat

“The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sin because they eat food, which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin”.

The Lord is fully satisfied in Himself. He is the creator of all so everything is already His. He supplies us with food through nature, but we give thanks to Him by offering it back in a mood of loving devotion. So if His devotee offers something with love, out of His causeless mercy God accepts it. This is exemplified by the Hindi words "tera tujko arpan"– I offer what is Yours to You. Thereafter it is akin to His gift to us, graced by His divine touch.

Knowing this, our entire attitude to food and the act of eating changes. The food offered will naturally be pure and the best. We share what we get with others before consuming it. We do not demand, complain or criticise the quality of the food we get. We eat it with cheerful acceptance (prasaada buddhi).

Before we partake daily meals we first sprinkle water around the plate as an act of purification. Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the table acknowledging the debt owed by us to the : Divine forces (devta runa) for their benign grace and protection. Our ancestors (pitru runa) for giving us their lineage and the family culture. The sages (rishi runa) as our religion and culture have been "realised" maintained and handed down to us by them. Our fellow beings (manushya runa) who constitute society without the support of which we could not live as we do and Other living beings (bhuta runa) for serving us selflessly.

The purpose of food, however, is not only to increase longevity and bodily strength, but also to purify the mind and consciousness. Therefore the spiritualist offers his food to the Lord before eating. Such offered food clears the way for spiritual progress.