Lord Ganesha is worshipped before doing any auspicious work, endeavours or doing any Pooja ceremony. It is believed that Lord Ganesha has the power of removing any obstruction even Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu have worshipped Lord Ganesha at times to get their work done. During Lord Ganesha’s Pooja all sorts of sacred flowers, fruits and sweets are allowed except Tulsi leaves. Although Tulsi is considered as the most holy plant in India but due to involvement of curse it is prohibited to use Tulsi leaves at the time of Lord Ganesha’s Pooja.
Story behind Tulsi Leaves not offered to Lord Ganesha
Tulsi is the daughter of Dharmaraja (god of righteousness) in her youthful days she was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once Lord Ganesha was engaged in deep meditation, there came Tulsi. Being the Son of Maa Parvati and Lord Shiv, you can visualize the beauty of Lord Ganesha in that meditative state.
The moment she saw Lord Ganesha, she fell in love with him and requested him to take her as his wife. But Lord Ganesha had turned down the offer and said that he had no intention of marriage. Moreover any person in deep meditation state looks more beautiful and at that time Lord Ganesha was a brahamchari which is natural for any mediator, because in meditation one has to be detached and mediator tries to explore oneself rather than going in a relationship. So Lord Ganesha politely refused Tulsi’s Offer for marriage. This irritated Tulsi. She took it as her insult. In her fury she cursed Lord Ganesha saying that “you will certainly get married against you wishes and you will get married twice”. Click here to read about the marriage of Lord Ganesha.
On hearing this Lord Ganesha cursed her back in revenge saying Tulsi that she will be married to an Asura (demon) then under a curse from the saints become a plant. Listening this curse, Tulsi realized her mistake and she begged Lord Ganesha for forgiveness and prayed to him with heavenly hymns. Listening her sincere prayers Lord Ganesha became pleased and he said that you will be regarded as supreme among the plants. All Gods will be happy with your fragrance and Lord Vishnu will be especially glad to receive the worship with your leaves. But you will always be unacceptable by me in worship” saying this, Lord Ganesha left the place.
Tusli married the demon King, Shankhachuda
Later on, as per the curse Tulsi married the demon king called ‘shankhachuda’. She was a very devoted wife and they lived happily for a number of years. Then one day her husband was killed in a battle with Gods. On getting the blessings from Gods she became Tulsi (holy basil).
Tulsi is often planted in the courtyard of Hindu households. It is also planted in temples. Women often worship Tulsi. Tulsi leaves are never chewed or used in cooking where they are subjected to heat. Tulsi is a very gentle and holy plant and best is to add Tulsi leaves in copper pot filled with water. Drink that water next day as it gets the benefits of Tulsi and copper. When a Tulsi plant dies, it is immersed into a holy river, pond or lake, but it is never offer to lord Ganesha.
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