Glories of Srimati Tulasi Devi

Glories of Srimati Tulasi Devi
By Bharath Singh

Srimati Tulasi devi is one of the most exalted devotees of Sri Krishna. All scriptures stress the importance of getting the mercy of Tulasi devi if one is to make progress on the path of devotion. In the Skanda Purana it is said:

“Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the Tulasi tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha world.”

Above this material world is the eternal spiritual world comprised of millions of Vaikuntha planets. The topmost planet in Vaikuntha is Goloka, which is presided over by Sri Krishna in His original Form. Here resides Vrinda devi, an intimate associate of and an expansion of Srimati Radharani. Her partial expansion is Tulasi devi in the Vaikuntha planets and they are all considered non-different from Her. Five thousand years Ago, when Sri Krishna descended on Earth to perform His pastimes, Vrinda devi created the proper environment for His pastimes in Vrindavana.

Pastimes of Radha-Krishna

Vrindavana is completely under the control of Vrinda devi. Without her mercy it is not possible to even approach the confidential pastimes of Radha-Krishna, even as an audience. Even being allowed into Vrindavana dhama indicates that one has received some mercy from Vrinda devi. In Krishna lila she appeared as a young gopi friend of Srimati Radharani. Under the instructions of Purnamasya (Yogamaya), she would arrange secret meetings between Krishna and Radha. She would also make all the material arrangements, like saffron, fruits, flowers, music, etc. for Radha and Krishna. Thus she carried on her eternal service in Goloka Vrindavana in the earthly Vrindavana.

Once Srimati Radharani was so pleased by the service of Vrinda devi that with the help of the other gopis, she arranged a magnificent throne and had Krishna and Vrinda devi sit on it. Lalita sakhi, acting as the priest, recited the mantras and performed the marriage cermony of Krishna and Vrinda devi. Thus by the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Vrinda devi got Krishna. In another pastime, Vrinda devi offered all the forests of Vrindavana to Srimati Radharani. Thus Radharani is also known as Vrindavaneshwari, or the Queen of Vrindavana.

Tulasi as the Source of Bhakti

The scriptures are full of pastimes that reveal the potency of Tulasi in developing devotion for the Lord.

The Srimad Bhagavatam talks about this pastime with the four Kumaras, the sons of Lord Brahma, who were very much attached to the impersonal aspect of Godhead.

“When the breeze carrying the aroma of tulasi leaves and saffron from the lotus feet of the lotus-eyed Personality of Godhead entered through the nostrils into the hearts of those sages [the Kumaras], they experienced a change in both body and mind, even though they were attached to the impersonal Brahman understanding.”

Thus by simply smelling the fragrance of the Tulasi leaves, the four Kumaras became pure devotees of the Lord.

In Caitanya lila, Srila Advaita Acarya was very much disturbed to see the growth of irreligiosity. Therefore He decided to call for the Personality of Godhead Krsna to descend by worshiping the Lord with tulasi leaves and the water of the Ganges. When Sri Krishna was pleased by this devotion He descended as Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Haridasa Thakura, a great devotee of Caitanya Mahaprabhu purified a prostitute who had come with the intention of seducing him with instructions to chant the Holy Name and worship Tulasi. She became so elevated by this service that even great Vaishnavas would come to get her mercy.

Glories of Tulasi devi

Quoting from the Gautamiya-tantra, the Hari-bhakti-vilasa states:

jalasya culukena va
vikrinite svam atmanam
bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalah

“Sri Krsna, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasi leaf and a palmful of water.”

In service of Srimati Radharani,
Bharath Singh

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