Tulsi or the Holy Basil is thought to be one of the most sacred wood in India and a traditional Indian household is considered incomplete without a Tulsi plant in the courtyard. An aromatic plant, there are 3 varieties of Tulsi: Ram Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissiumum).
It is believed that the Divine can be propitiated by offering a single Tulsi leaf, which is available even to the poorest among the poor. There is a well-known story of how Lord Krishna was placed on a weighing scale and the entire wealth of his consort Satyabhama could not outweigh him but a single leaf of Tulsi proved to be heavier than Krishna Himself! The Tulsi plant is believed to be the incarnation of the Divine itself. Apart from its religious significance it is of great medicinal significance. It is used extensively in Ayurvedic treatment. It is said to balance the kapha and the vata dosha (bodily humours representing the water and air elements, as per Ayurveda)
The Tulsi Maala, also called prayer beads or power beads, is made of the wood or the seeds of Tulsi and is used for chanting and worship. It is used to develop spiritual growth and helps attain a clear and balanced mind. The Tulsi Maala has purification qualities that keep an individual focused and increases awareness during meditation.
The Tulsi Maala is also used to worship Lord Ram and Krishna, different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, who is one of the gods in the Hindu trinity and the beloved of the Tulsi. Depending on the type of the Tulsi plant, the Tulsi Maala is available in various colors like black, brown or sandalwood color. The Tulsi Maala can be worn on the neck or tied around the wrist.
The benefits of the leaves of Tulsi is well proven, and owing to its spiritual and physical healing powers, the touch of the Tulsi wood acts as a rejuvenator for the stressed mind and brings the spiritual self of a person closer to God. Wearing the Tulsi Maala is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the devoted wearer. The continuous use and wearing of the maala helps in strengthening the aura, healing and maintaining positive energy. The mantra vibrations are absorbed in the maala and when continuously used the maala will start pulsating itself.