TULSI-Ocimum sanktum- or holy basil is a herb that was spread to India 5 thousand years ago and it grows in India up to 1800 meters of above see level. It is a perennial plant growing up to 1 meter having its stalk straight, furcate and lignificated at its base. Leaves are elliptical even oval, comose and serrate on their edgings. A colour can gradate from green into reddish. Little flowers can be white even reddish purple. Fruits are brownish-red.
We know esspecially sweet basil from our gardens.Genus of basil has a number of types. A drug is a top whose essential oil contains:citral, eugenol, methylcugenol, methylchavicol, chavibetol and so on.Additionally the herb contains alcaloids, glycosids, saponins and tanins, ascorbic acid and carotene. TULSI contains a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances – isotymusin, isotymoin and so on.
In ajurveda TULSI is very respected as a drug having a broad effect for a treatment of heard, lungs, blood, liver, kidney, respiratory system, digestive tract, nervous system, metabolism, reducing of blood sugar, for reducing of effects of toxins, for malaria, allergy, for insect bite, for infertility. It relieves of stress. It is used during the treatment of cancer and after chemotherapy and also for a whole reinforcement of organism. Usually it is prepared as a tea or one even two leaves to the meal.¨
TULSI has also a primary spiritual meaning that it is mentioned in old wordings of Bagavadgita. The herb is namely dedicated to Krshna and Vishnu gods and it is considered as a reincarnation of Vishnu wife Lakshmi – the goddess of happiness, longevity, beauty and prosperity. It is a quite surprise its adoration in some ceremonies in Greek Orthodox Church, where it came few thousands years later from India and it is considered as Christ´s Gift.
The time of my pilgrimage in India was drawing to an end. I had lots of time on my own, time for reflection and meditation and time for healing.
On these visits to his hut, he too, being alone,and very ill, was in deep reflection about life, about himself and his obligations.
We all carry some responsibilities in life and although at times we seem unconcerned, deep down inside, especially when we are alone, we ponder. Thus it was with this priest and so he felt at ease to discuss some things with me and he asked my opinion. We were all there in a retreat.
I look back and see how lucky we were. What a grace it is to have a whole year to seriously look at our life, not to be struggling to survive like most people, but to have that time to stop and look at our lives and make some discernment as to how we were as travellers on the Path.
Shantivanam,had many resources. Besides the spiritual people who lived there, besides some of the wonderful travellers and pilgrims, besides also the readings we listened to during the prayers, they also had an excellent library. I took advantage of this resource and spent many long hours reading and taking notes.
Looking over my journal, I am surprised at the books that I was able to read and take notes.
I found a quote from Nisirgadata Maharaj:
“It is like looking at a burning incense-stick; you see the stick and the smoke first : when you notice the fiery point, you realise that it has the power to consume mountains of sticks and fill the universe with smoke.
Timelessly the self actualizes itself without exhausting its infinite possibilities.
In the incense stick similarly the stick is the body and the smoke is the mind.
As long as the mind is busy with its contortions, it does not perceive its own source.
“The Guru comes and turns your attention to the spark within.
By its very nature the mind is outward turned; it always tends to seek for the source of things among the things themselves; to be told to look for the source within is, in a way, the beginning of a new life.
Awareness takes the place of consciousness.
There is the “I” who is conscious, while awareness is not a thought.
There is no “I” in awareness.
Consciousness is an attribute while awareness is not; one can be aware of being conscious, but not conscious of awareness.
God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all being and not-being”
(I am That, Nisirgadata Maharaj)
Words of St Francis of Assisi:
“I am, as I am, in the eyes of God, nothing more, nothing less.”