Gem of an Indian Aangan

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Gem of an Indian Aangan

The word ‘aangan’ may seem somewhat dated to an urbanite. After all, apartment living doesn’t allow the expansive luxury of a courtyard. Over time, things that were once an essential part of our life, have given way to modern necessities. The aangan has been replaced byits modern equivalent – the space-saving balcony.

But that’s not to say that we have lost touch with the true essence of our courtyard. An Indian household still holds onto Tulsi – the herb thatcontinues to reign supreme, for more reasons than one.

In Hinduism, Tulsi is not just a plant – it’s considered to be an earthly manifestation of Goddess Tulsi.  In fact, religious beliefs about Tulsiare embedded in our collective consciousness – so much so that our relationship with it is rooted in these long-lived myths.

Interestingly, the reason why the plant is never kept inside the house can be traced back to a mythical narrative. After Tulsi’s husband died, Lord Vishnu accepted her as his companion. He gave her a special place in his heart, but not inside his house, given that he was married to Goddess Laxmi. Since then, Tulsi’s rightful place has been outside the house.

The courtyard Queen is known to shield the house from the influence of negative energies, and harmful atmospheric pollutants. In Ayurveda, Tulsi is highly revered for its potentmedicinal benefits, and is rightly known as the ‘destroyer of all doshas.’Consuming 2-3 Tulsi leaves every morning helps strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of viral infections. In the Indian subcontinent, the Tulsi and adrak (ginger) chai is a popular drink consumed on a day-to-day basis. The treatment of conditions like diabetes, heart ailments, and respiratory disorders also benefits highly from this ‘elixir of life.’

The use of Tulsi also extends to herbal beauty products thanks to its detoxifying and antibacterial properties. Topical use of its paste brings dull skin to life, while also helping with acne and scars. Forest Essentials’ Hydrating Facial Moisturizer combines the goodness of Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Sandalwood and Orange Peel to nourish and heel your skin, protecting it from the damage caused by free radicals.

The Tulsi Goddess expects her devotees to diligently pay their respects in return for her generosity.Tulsi is to be worshipped twice daily, at sunrise and sunset.It is believed that regularly cleaning and worshipping Tulsi bridges the gap between heaven and earth, enabling you to attain the transcendent state of ‘moksha’.

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Douglas Henry
Douglas Henry
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