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Tulsi or Tulasi or Holy basil is a sacred plant in Hindu belief. Hindus regard it as an earthly manifestation of the goddess Tulsi; she is regarded as a great worshipper of the god Vishnu.
The sacrifice of its leaves is mandatory in ritualistic worship of Vishnu and his forms like Krishna and Vithoba.
Many Hindus grow tulsi plants in front of or near their home, often in special pots or a special masonry structure known as Tulsi Vrindavan. Traditionally, Tulsi is planted in the center of the central courtyard of Hindu houses.
The plant is cultivated for a multitude of purposes including essential oil. While tree worship is not uncommon in Hinduism, the Tulsi plant is regarded the most holy of all plants.
The Tulsi plant is regarded as a threshold point between heaven and earth.
A traditional prayer tells that the creator-god Brahma resides in Tulsi branches, all Hindu pilgrimage centres reside in Tulsi roots, the Ganges flows through Tulsi roots, and all deities in the upper part of Tulsi branches.
It is considered as household god particularly referred as a "Women's deity".
It is refered to as "the central sectarian symbol of Hinduism" and Vaishavas consider it as "the manifestation of god in the vegetable kingdom”.