Tulsi Mala

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Tulsi wood, which is in the family of basil, is the most sacred of all wood in the Hindu tradition. Tulasi mala are considered to be auspicious for the wearer, and believed to put them under the protection of Hanuman against evil spirit. They have such a strong association with Vaishnavas.

Tulasi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. It is mentioned in the Charaka Samhita. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of "elixir of life" and believed to promote longevity.

Tulasi leaves is an essential part in the worship of God Vishnu (Narayana) and his Avatars including God Krishna, God Rama and other male Vaishnava deities like Hanuman, Balarama, Garuda and many others. Tulasi is a sacred plant and is worshipped as the avatar of goddess Lakshmi. Tulasi, which is Sanskrit for "the incomparable one", is most often regarded as a consort of Krishna in the form of Lakshmi. According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, tulasi is an expression of Sita.

There are two types of tulasi worshipped in Hinduism: "Rama tulasi" has light green leaves and is larger in size; "Shyama tulasi" has dark green leaves and is important for the worship of Hanuman. Many Hindus have tulasi plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special pots. Traditionally, tulasi is planted in the center of the central courtyard of Hindu houses. It is also frequently grown next to Hanuman temples, especially in Varanasi.

As per the legend, during Samudra Manthana when the gods win the ocean-churning against asuras, Dhanvantari came up from the ocean with Amrita in hand for the gods. Dhanvantari (the divine medico) sheds happy tears and when the first drop falls from Amrita it formed Tulasi. In the ceremony of Tulasi Vivaha, tulasi is ceremonially married to Krishna annually on the eleventh day of the waxing moon or twelfth of the month of Kartika in the lunar calendar. This day also marks the end of the four-month Cathurmasya period, which is considered inauspicious for weddings and other rituals, so the day inaugurates the annual marriage season in India. The ritual lighting of lamps each evening during Kartika includes the worship of the tulasi plant, which is held to be auspicious for the home. 

Design: Knotted in thread in traditional style with a tassel. 

Length: 14 inches (36 cm) approx
Circumference: 28 inches (72 cm) approx

The word ‘japa’ means ‘to rotate’.  One way the rotation of consciousness is achieved is by use of the tool of a ‘mala’, a garland or string of beads.  A japa mala (rosary) usually consists of 108 beads in addition to the merubead. The number 108 has several meanings. Some of them are:
27 constellations x 4 padas (parts) = 108
12 zodiac houses x 9 planets = 108
Upanishats  Scriptures of the Vedas = 108
In other words, 108 beads represent the entire universe.
Benefits of chanting mantra on a Japa Mala?
The primary purposes of this practice is to purify the mind and release us from the samskaras (past impressions) and vasanas (future desires). Our real nature is not our normal state of anxiety, excitement and tension.  Our nature is Samadhi, pure consciousness, calmness, tranquility, equanimity. We can use the comparison of a mirror that is obscured by layers of grime and dust.  Clean the mirror and its natural quality will be revealed, which is to reflect all objects. It is the restlessness of the mind which causes all unhappiness and complexes, but these are only impositions.  Calm and purify the mind through your sadhana (practice)and experience your true self”
How to use a Japa mala:
1. Keep the index finger and thumb spread so that they are perpendicular to each other.
2. Make a group of rest of the three fingers and bring them together to make them perpendicular to the index finger.
3. Place the mala on the middle finger while keeping the index finger pointing away from you. Index finger symbolizes our ego. So, we need to ensure it does not touch any bead. In other words, we must park our ego separately during meditation.
4. Start chanting the mantra from bead next to the Guru bead, i.e. starting bead is above the Guru bead so that the Guru bead is not crossed.
5. Continue chanting the mantra for each bead till you reach the Guru bead.
When the Guru bead is reached, mala should be turned around to start the next cycle of chanting from the last bead(108th). As a matter of respect to the Guru, while counting the beads, Guru bead should never be crossed. Also, remember that the movement of beads should always be towards you, to invite the auspicious Divine Energy into you.

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Tulsi wood, which is in the family of basil, is the most sacred of all wood in the Hindu tradition. Tulasi mala is considered to be auspicious for the wearer, and believed to put them under the protection of Hanuman from evil spirit.
No. of beads: 108+1
Length: 14 inches (36 cm) approx
Circumference: 28 inches (72 cm) approx
Diameter of beads: 6 mm approx

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