Tulsi is the most sacred plant that has been getting worshipped by most of the Hindu since ancient times. Alternatively known as the holy basil or Ocimum sanctum, tulsi is a common name in most Indian households. The literal meaning of Tulsi is “the incomparable one”. Tulsi got its name from Tulasi Devi, who was one of Lord Krishna's eternal consorts
There are two types of Tulasi. One is called Shyam Tulasi or Krishna Tulasi because it is said to be the same colour as Sri Krishna – purplish black. Shyam means ‘black’ and is one of the names of Krishna. The other is called Rama Tulasi or Swarna Tulasi and is light green in colour. Swarna means ‘plain’. Shyam Tulasi is the more powerful of the two.
Apart from the medicinal benefits of Tulsi plant, Tulsi is worshipped by Hindus as a source of spirituality. The tulsi leaves are very dear to Lord Vishnu and whenever a prasad is offered to God, tulsi leaves sprinkled on it is regarded as auspicious. The mala made from the Tulsi plant carries very spiritual values that have been getting used for the mantra chanting or to worship Lord Vishnu and Avatars in form of Lord Krishna and Lord Ram. Hindus see the tulsi mala - the light, Chandan-coloured one (see right photo) as a way to connect to Vishnu or any of his avatars like Krishna and Rama, while the Buddhists prefer the black tulsi mala (see photo below) to chant and usher in good fortune.
As soon as you wear the tulsi mala, around your neck or around your wrist, you feel protected and focussed. It actually goes a long way in helping you deal with the stress of modern life. If time permits, you can simply chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Some people believe that this mere chant is enough for salvation in this Dark Age called Kali Yuga, but even this seems a difficult task for people to do, such is the manifestation of this age.
The Tulsi Mala is made of Tulsi wood and consists of 108 beads wound around a strong string, with a 109th bead called the Sumeru bead of some other material like a metal or crystal, or a bigger Tulsi bead itself. One starts counting the beads from the bead adjacent to the Sumeru bead of the Tulsi Mala and completes one full round. On second round the Tulsi Mala needs to be counted in the reverse direction again as the Sumeru bead should not be crossed while praying. Depending on the type of the Tulsi plant, the Tulsi Mala is available in various colours like black, brown or sandalwood colour.
The Tulsi Mala worn around the neck or as a bracelet can help an individual to cure various health problems. It also helps in releasing stress or tension from an individual. The touch of this Tulsi mala itself rejuvenates an individual and helps him to connect with to their inner-self and enhances the spiritual power in them. It has also been observed that wearing this mala with lots of faith and believe brings good fortune and propriety to the individual. It also carries an element that helps in maintaining balance in between vata and kaphadosha. It has believed that worshiping Lord Vishnu or his different incarnation by using this Mala helps in getting his blessing easily as they have been considered as a beloved and creator of Tulsi.