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Mangalore: ‘Tulsi Puja’, a Rich Tradition of Prostrating before Mother Nature

Mangalore: ‘Tulsi Puja’, a Rich Tradition of Prostrating before Mother Nature
by Manju Neereshwallya
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (SP)

Mangalore, Oct 30: Like the reverred ‘Nagabana’, Tulunadu in unison, performs the ‘Tulsi puja’ on Utthana Dwadashi day. On the evening of Friday October 30, people of all walks of life will perform this year's Tulsi puja by painting the Talsi platform, performing Arati, singing Bhajans, and distributing Prasadam in the form of a sweet made of beaten rice. After observing fast the previous day, people normally eat sweet Dosa (Surnali in local parlance) on the morning of Dwadashi. The Tulsi plant is decorated like a bride and is then married to the idol of Lord Krishna of the gooseberry plant.










Tulsi plant (holy basil) finds a permanent place in the courtyards of almost all the houses in the Tulunadu.

As per mythology, Tulsi was the wife of a demon called Jalandhar. Because of her austerities, total devotion and loyalty to her husband, her husband gets immense power, and hence could not be killed by even gods, who try to annihilate him because of his evil deeds. To save the good from evil Jalandhar, Lord Vishnu, at the request of the gods, approaches Tulsi by appearing in the physical form of Jalandhar. When Tulsi touches Lord Vishnu, thinking him to be Jalandhar returning from war, her loyalty to her husband gets diluted, and Jalandhar is killed in the war.

An angered Tulsi curses Lord Vishnu before immolating herself by sitting on a pyre, saying that he would suffer separation from his wife in future. This curse comes true in Ramayana. It is said that Lord Vishnu took the form of Indian gooseberry and married Tulsi, who had taken the form of holy basil, as per Lord Vishnu's blessings. Tulsi thereafter, took birth as Rukmini and married Krishna incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This marriage had occurred on the twelfth day of the waxing moon half of Kartika month. To commemorate this occasion, the marriage of Tulsi plant is conducted with the gooseberry plant on Utthana Dwadashi Day.

It is believed that Lord Vishnu, who goes to sleep after taking hot bath on Naraka Chaturdashi day, gets up on Utthana Dwadashi day. Irrespective of the mythological importance of the occasion,  the existence of  Tulsi plant in the nature needs to celebrated and rich tributes need to be paid to it, because of the multifarious benefits people derive from it, right from the use of its twigs for religious occasions, as an effective medicine for various ailments, as a repellant for mosquitoes, for beauty treatments etc.

Comments on this article

  • Jyothika Shetty

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Really missing my olden days of tulsi pooja that was celebrated in a grand manner. Also thanks daiji for the mythological story attached to this ritual. It was really very informative. Nice pictures....Happy Tulsi Parba.

  • vishwa

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Nice to see Mr.M.Namdev shenoy's familly celbrating Tulaci pooja @ Dhanvantari Nagar, V.T ROAD, Mangalore Happy Tulaci pooja

  • vishwa

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Happy tulasi pooja, this is also worship of nature and medicinal plants. India is device, every thing is natural here and here we have place for every thing and every thing in place.

  • Sudhakar Panchal

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    This festival is celebrated in north karnataka also. Here in our dist all villagers come together and start the tulsi pooja from one house to another house. many hindu sub cate people celebrate together.

  • Ayub

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    Wish you all a happy tulsi puja

  • Manjunatha Bangera

    Sat, Oct 31 2009

    You are right Mr. Achar. Even we used to save some crackers of Deepawali for Tulasi Pooja. We used to decorate the Tulasi with sugarcane, mango leaves, gooseberry plant, etc. I really miss those days of my childhood, nostalgic. Hope that I will be at home (kasaragod) during the next Tulasi Pooja. God bless.

  • Prashanth Bangera

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    HAPPY TULSI PUJA TO ALL

  • BALAKRISHNA POOJARY

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    HAPPY TULSI POOJA ALL INDIANS

  • Shridhara Achar

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    Tulsi pooja is a age old tradition in undivided Dakshina Kannada district which included Kasaragod area. We as children used to save some crackers which we got for Deepavali for Tulsi Pooja. Importance of Tulsi as medicinal plant need not be stressed again and again. So worshipping it during Tulsi Pooja is nothing but natural.

  • Harish Balalya

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    Wish you all Happy Tulasi Puja, Thanks to daiji world.

  • Pais

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    Happy Tulsi Puja Everyone.. Missing all the fun and celebrations that happen in Mangalore..

  • rajeev shetty

    Fri, Oct 30 2009

    WISH U ALL A VERY HAPPY TULSI PUJA.