GREATNESS OF TULASI (from Padma Purana)
Everything of the Tulasi plant, leaves, flowers, fruits, roots, twigs, skin and even the soil around is holy. The soul of a dead one whose dead body is cremated using Tulasi twigs for firewood would attain a permanent place in Visnuloka. Even great sinners would be absolved of their sins if their dead bodies are cremated with Tulasi twigs. If at the time of death one thinks of God and utters His name and if his dead body is later cremated with Tulasi twigs, he would have no rebirths. Even he who has done a crore of sins would attain moksa if at the time of cremating his dead body a piece of Tulasi twig is placed at the bottom of the funeral pyre. Just as all waters become pure by the union with Ganga water, all firewood is made pure by the addition of a small piece of Tulasi twig. If the dead body of one is cremated using Tulasi twigs alone, one’s sins for a crore of kalpa years would be washed away. Yamadutas would keep away from one whose dead body is cremated with Tulasi twigs and servants of Visnu would come near. If a light is burnt for Visnu with a Tulasi stick it would be equal to burning several lakhs of lights for Visnu. If one makes the Tulasi leaves into a paste and smears it on one’s body and then worships Visnu for one day, one would be getting the benefit of a hundred ordinary worships and also the benefit of doing a hundred go-danas.
(Chapter 24, Padma Purana).