॥ ॐ नमः शिवाय ॥

THE STORY OF TULASῙ DEVῙ


from

«Puranic Encyclopaedia»


 

CONTENT:


 

The curse of Sarasvatī

Goddesses Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī
Goddesses Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī

Sarasvatī, Gaṅgā and Lakṣmī were all, in the beginning, wives of Mahāviṣṇu. The Lord loved all the three equally. One day all the four were sitting together when Gaṅgā sent lustful glances at Viṣṇu which was immediately noticed by both Sarasvatī and Lakṣmī. Sarasvatī got angry and rising up caught hold of the hair of Gaṅgā and dragged her to the ground. Lakṣmī then caught hold of Sarasvatī to prevent further assault but Sarasvatī then poured all her rage on Lakṣmī and cursed her to be born as a plant on earth. Gaṅgādevī could not bear this and she cursed Sarasvatī to be born as a river on earth. Sarasvatī retorted with a curse that Gaṅgā also would be born as a river. When the whole tumult was over Viṣṇu called Lakṣmī to his side and said "Oh Devī, do not worry. Things have happened as predestined. You go and be born as the daughter of Dharmadhvaja and grow up there. From there by divine grace you will be transformed into a plant sacred enough to make all the three worlds pure. That plant will be named Tulasī. When you will be thus living as Tulasī, a demon named Śaṅkhacūḍa with part of rny virile strength will be born and he will marry you. Then you can come back to me. The holy river Padmāvatī will also be another form of your spirit."


The story of Dharmadhvaja

Sage Kaśyapa
Sage Kaśyapa

Who was this Dharmadhvaja to whom was born Mahālakṣmī as a daughter? In times of old there was a Manu called Dakṣasāvarṇi who was extremely virtuous and a part of Viṣṇu. Descending from Dakṣasāvarṇi were Brahmasāvarṇi Dharmasāvarṇi-Rudrasāvarṇi-Devasāvarṇi-Indrasāvarṇi Vṛṣadhvaja. This last named was a great devotee of Śiva and because of his great affection for this devotee Śiva lived a whole period of a deva-yuga in the āśrama of Vṛṣadhvaja. King Vṛṣadhvaja by an edict prohibited the worship of any other deity than Śiva in his country. Even the worship of Mahālakṣmī ordained by the Vedas during the month of Bhādra (September) became extinct. All Yagas and worship of Viṣṇu came to a stop. Sūrya (Sun-god) got angry at this belittling of other gods than Śiva and cursed the King Vṛṣadhvaja that he would cease to be prosperous. Śiva did not like it and he went to punish Sūrya holding his trident in his hand. Sūrya was frightened and he approached his father Kaśyapa. Kaśyapa and Sūrya went to Brahmā and acquainted him with all details. Brahmā also was helpless in the matter and so all the three of them went to Mahāviṣṇu. They prostrated before Viṣṇu and told him all. At that time Śiva also came there. Addressing all of them Viṣṇu said "Oh, Devas, within this half an hour twentyone yugas have passed by on the earth. He about whom you have come to speak to me is dead and gone. Even his son Rathadhvaja is dead. The latter has two sons named Dharmadhvaja and Kuśadhvaja. They are dull and splendourless now because of the curse of Sūrya and are now worshipping Lakṣmī" Saying thus Viṣṇu disappeared.


Birth of Tulasī

Tulasī Devī