Importance of Basil leaves in Lord Jagannath's worship

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 28, 2024 IST

Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals

Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals. It is believed that Lord Jagannath has a special affinity for tulsi leaves, earning him the title 'Basil Loving God'.

In fact, many devotees may not be aware of the crucial role basil (tulsi) leaves play in the worship of Lord Jagannath. It is believed that Lord Jagannath has a special fondness for basil leaves, making them an indispensable offering. 

 

The leaves are not only used for dressing and adorning the idol but are also a key ingredient in 'Mahaprasad' (sacred food) prepared for devotees. Religious experts assert that basil leaves are essential in all prayers and rituals, earning Lord Jagannath the title of 'Basil Loving God.'

 

Before the Rath Yatra begins, the three deities undergo a ceremonial bath with 108 buckets of holy water on 'Snana Purnima'. According to tradition, the idols then "fall ill" and are placed in the 'Anasara Ghar' (sick chamber) for recovery. During this period, basil leaves are not offered to Lord Jagannath.

 

During the Rath Yatra, the deities wear special floral crowns called 'tahia' and helmets known as 'topar,' both adorned with basil leaves. Lord Jagannath’s six-feet crown is crafted from various plants and trees, with basil leaves used in abundance.

 

So, how are the basil leaves sourced? Given their necessity in nearly all religious ceremonies, the leaves are primarily sourced from 'Koili Baikuntha Niladri Upabana,' a garden within the temple premises. When supplies run low, tulsi leaves are procured from various hermitages in the temple town. Additionally, the Jagannath Ballav Mutt maintains a special garden for basil leaves, ensuring a steady supply for temple rituals.

 

With their integral role in every ritual and ceremony, tulsi leaves have become a vital part of the worship and prayers dedicated to Lord Jagannath.

    Tags
  • Rath Yatra festival
  • Basil Leaves

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Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals
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Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals
Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals
Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals
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Basil, or tulsi leaves, are an essential component of the prayers and offerings to Lord Jagannath, used in all religious ceremonies and rituals
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Rath Yatra

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