I started noticing Tulsi plants in the courtyards of homes while in south India. I wasn’t aware of them in the north. Maybe because so many people live in apartment buildings in the north and there aren’t any courtyards or the climate isn’t suitable, they aren’t omnipresent. I’ve learned that a Hindu household is incomplete without a Tulsi plant.
The Tulsi plant or Holy Basil, sacred and dear to Lord Vishnu, symbolizes purity. Its name comes from Tulasi Devi who was one of Lord Krishna’s eternal consorts. I read that women typically water the plant but I came across this man tending to his Tulsi plant so maybe this no longer is the case. I’m not sure why but all the pots have square sides. I’ve never seen a round one. Although they are sacred, the plants that I’ve seen have all been quite scrawny.
I am not an expert on this subject. Once I started noticing them, they were everywhere and I became intrigued. I also read that according to ancient texts, the Tulsi is the glorification of the one who helps bring people closer to the divine.
This is exactly what I love about India. There is always something fascinating to learn as one explores and unpeels all the gems and nuggets contained in Ma India’s many facets and layers.