Today is celebrated as Uthhana Dwadashi (a sacred festival commemorating the awakening of Gods from sleep, and also a day on which the marriage of Tulsi to Lord Vishnu is celebrated in South India), that is the day we celebrate Gods waking up.
It is also called Devothhana Dwadashi or the small Deepawali. It means to awaken the Godliness that lies within each one of you, because the Divinity is sleeping within each one of you and needs to be woken up. You awaken the Gods within you and then pray to them to fulfil your wishes and your work.
So how do you waken the Divinity within? By doing meditation, worship, chanting and creating that awareness within you.
Traditionally today, they worship the Tulsi plant, the Holy Basil plant. They put oil lamps around the Basil plant and then perform the marriage of the Basil plant with the Gooseberry plant.
They bring a few sticks of the Gooseberry plant and perform a wedding of the two and celebrate the same. That means, the Gooseberry and the Tulsi are two plants that strengthen the immune system. Now, winter is about to set in and the two most needed things now are Amla (Indian gooseberry) and Tulsi. Both make our system strong. They are rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins, and help in protecting us from many illnesses. That is why these two plants are considered to be very sacred.
Every house should have a Tulsi plant. Both Tulsi and Amla rejuvenate our system.
You know, there is a scientific angle to why it is recommended to keep both of these at home, and why one should have it.
The Chyavanprash (an Indian Ayurvedic preparation known to boost immunity and vitality) is made using these two. Having these two strengthens your immune system so that by the time Spring season comes, you are healthy and not affected by the problems such as the pollen in the air.
Many people have said that our Chyavanprash is the best in the world. Many companies make Chyavanprash by adding so many artificial ingredients, so there is no quality. But in our preparation, the gooseberry is added along with natural herbs and other ingredients that genuinely boost the system. All the substances that are necessary for making Chyavanprash are used strictly as prescribed by the scriptures.
Today is the day when the gooseberries actually arrive in the markets. You will often see them being sold with the sticks. Have you all seen it? So people today worship the herbs and ask blessings (for good health and prosperity) from the herbs.