Ayurveda, the science of life, offers a prescription for living a life in harmony.
According to Swami Krishnananda in his commentary on the Chandogya Upanishad, we are here to live a life of harmony through intimate knowledge of ourselves, one another, the Earth and her elements.
The simple act of planting the correct plants in and around our homes, offices or schools may help us purify the surrounding environment to achieve harmony.
An overly passionate and unsettled mind is rajasic; a dull mind, incapable of empathy is tamasic. We see evidence of these imbalanced states in acts of violence that reflect terrible passionate action coupled with a disquieting lack of empathy.
The antidote to rajas and tamas is the cultivation of sattva, or purity. Sattva is goodness manifesting as intelligence, virtue and joy. When the mind is in a sattvic state, it is at peace.
In Ayurveda, Tulsi Occimum Sanctum is known as the “Queen of the Herbs” for its sattvic properties. Prashanti de Jagar, founder of Organic India, instructs that Tulsi can be easily grown indoors or out and that “even the ground beneath Tulsi is sacred.”
We sip Tulsi for its healing benefits, but what benefit might we gain by growing tulsi?
Dr. Bharat Vaidya instructs to his students to grow Tulsi, among other sattvic plants and herbs. In this way, we bring the sattvic qualities of the living Tulsi plant into our personal space and she blesses our environment with her uplifting aroma. Wherever the aroma of Tulsi is carried, the atmosphere is purified.
Use Tulsi as an ornamental annual near the entrance of your home, school or office to infuse the air with uplifting fragrance, purify the environment and calm the mind. The Dalai Lama reminds us:
With our thoughts we make our world. Our mind is central and precedes our deeds. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you like a shadow that never leaves.
Tulsi prefers rich, loamy soil, an abundance of water, and strong sunlight. Plant her and then watch her grow as you sing to her:
O Tulasi, mother of devotion! O Narayani, I offer my obeisances to you again and again. By seeing you or even by touching you, all sins are destroyed. Your glories are described in the Vedas and Puranas.
(from the Sri Tulasi-arati by Candrasekhara Kavi)
Tulsi seeds are available for purchase online and are easily grown indoors or out. Make it a practice of giving her the attention of abundant water and sunlight, and sing regularly to Tulsi Ma!
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