Friday, May 26, 2006
Twenty Years Ago...
A friend of mine sent me this picture a while back. What a little bunch we were! That’s me, bottom left. Heh. Still haven’t grown into those ears, but that’s ok. This is only a handful of some of my old buddies. I wish a couple more were in the picture. Just looking at the faces I see how much we have grown, and in so many directions.
In case anyone is wondering, in the photo we are all standing around tulasi plants. Growing up, these were considered to be most sacred. As with most everything in Hinduism or Krishna Consciousness (as it is known amongst devotees), there are extensive histories and stories behind the religious practices or beliefs involved. Here is the full story of Tulasi Devi and how she assumed a spiritual body to reign as goddess amongst the flowers and trees. Or for those who have short attention spans, the following is a sampling of the blessings and curses said to have come from tulasi plants. Included in these (10th one down) is the reason I used to wear neck beads. I'll probably get around to blessings 5 and 9 in a future post.
1. "Whoever will be moistened or anointed with the water that has been sanctified by Tulasi leaves, will reap the benefits of having bathed in all the sacred rivers and performed all kinds of sacrifices.”
2. "Lord Hari will not be as pleased with the gift of a thousand jars of honey as with one Tulasi leaf.”
3. "Offering one such leaf as a gift will bring the same reward obtained by offering millions of cows.”
4. "If one offers Tulasi leaves during the month of Kartika, he gets the same rewards as those just mentioned.”
5. "If, at the time of death, one drinks or gets the Tulasi-leaf water, one will be freed of all his sins and proceed to Vaikuntha.”
6. "Whoever drinks the Tulasi-leaf water daily will be redeemed in his lifetime and receive the benefit of a dip in the Ganges.”
7. "Whoever plucks a Tulasi leaf, keeps it on his person, and then leaves his body in a holy place, will go to Visnuloka.”
8. "Anyone who worships Me with this leaf daily will reap the blessings of a hundred thousand horse sacrifices.”
9. "Anyone who leaves his body holding a Tulasi leaf in his hands will be saved from all sins.”
10. "Anyone who wears a necklace composed of Tulasi wood, will surely, at every step, get the reward of a horse sacrifice.”
11. "Whoever breaks his promise while holding the Tulasi leaf will go to the Kalsutra hell for as long as the sun and moon last.”
12. "Anyone who gives false evidence in the presence of the Tulasi leaf, will go to the Kumbhipaka hell for as long as the lifespans of fourteen Indras.”
13. "Whoever at the time of death drinks or gets a little Tulasi-leaf water will certainly proceed to Vaikuntha, leaving in a jewelled airplane.”
14. "Lord Hari will decapitate that person who, on the day of the new moon or the full moon, or on the twelfth or last day of the lunar month, or after being anointed with oil just before taking a bath, or at noon, night, daybreak or sundown, or in a state of impurity or in one's night dress--will cull or pluck the Tulasi leaf.”
15. "O chaste one, even if such a leaf is kept for three nights and becomes dry, it can still be employed in connection with funeral ceremonies, vows, gifts, consecration of temples and the worship of demigods.”
Michael 6:38 PM