Why we avoid Tulsi Leaves in Ganesh Puja? What is the story of Tulasi leaves and Ganapathi Pooja? This story is associated with Ganesh cursing Tulasi…
The story goes like this….
Tulsi, the daughter of Dharmaraja. the God of righteousness, was roaming about in the world in ecstatic devotion to Lord Narayana, in her youthful days White thus going about, she came upon the banks of the sacred river Ganga. There she wandered into a serene ashram full of fragrant flowers and plants swaying in cool breeze. She saw Ganeshji, who was in the prime of his youth, beautifully dressed in yellow silks, and lost in deep contemplation on Lord Krishna. She was captivated by the beauty of Ganeshji, and entreated him to marry her.
Ganeshji turned down the proposal, saying that he was least interested in married life. Tuisi became angry and cursed Ganeshji saying : “You shall surely marry !”, whereupon Ganeshji also pronounced a counter—curse on her : “You too shall get married, but to an Asura, and thereafter you shall be cursed to be born as a plant by the wise men”.
Realising her mistake, Tulsi pleaded for mercy, and extolled Ganeshji with divine hymns. Ganeshji relented and said: “Though you shall be born as a plant, you will inherit the essence of all fragrance. All the gods will be happy with your fragrance, and Lord Hari will be specially glad to receive worship with your leaves. But you shall not be acceptable in the worship offered to me”. So saying, Ganeshji left that place and went to Badrikashram.
Hearing this Tulasi became depressed and pleaded Ganesha to forgive her. Pleased Ganesha excluded the curse from Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja. Hence, Tulsi leaves are included in Eka Vimshati Patra Puja (Ganesh Pooja with 21 Types of leaves).