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Śrīla Prabhupāda on Tulasī Devī | Part 1

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The following article consists of excerpts about Śrīmatī Tulasī Devī from the letters, lectures, conversations, and books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Prabhupāda.

Date: Dec. 19, 1970
Location: Surat
Bhagavatam Class

Just as a pet dog has got a collar, similarly we are pet dogs of God. So we have got this collar. And Yamarāja, the Lord of Death will understand that he, the devotee, is God’s dog; he should not be shot down.

Date: Dec. 29, 1970
Location: Surat
Letter to: Jagadīśa

The presence of Tulasī is proof of true devotional atmosphere there. Please offer Her all respects and carefully tend and Srīmati Tulasī will be pleased upon you in gaining the auspicious favor of the Lord.

Date: April 7, 1970
Location: Los Angeles
Letter to: Govinda Dasī

Tulasī leaf is very, very dear to Viṣṇu. All Viṣṇu-tattva Deities require profusely Tulasī leaves. Lord Viṣṇu likes garland of Tulasī leaves. Tulasī leaves mixed with sandalwood pulp and placed on the lotus feet of the Lord is the topmost worship. But we must be very careful that Tulasī leaves cannot be placed on the feet of anyone else except Lord Viṣṇu and His different forms. Tulasī leaves cannot be placed even on the lotus feet of Rādhārani or on the lotus feet of the Spiritual Master. It is entirely reserved for being placed on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. We can place, however, Tulasī leaves in the hands of Rādhārani for being placed on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, as you have seen on the Govinda Album.

Date: Oct. 25, 1976
Location: Vrindaban
Letter to: Vidyā Dasī

If it is not possible for Tulasī to survive the winters when planted in the ground, then a suitable house should be provided for her. Even in the Canadian temples which are in a much colder climate are keeping Tulasī nicely. Why should there be so much difficulty in Los Angeles, which has such a nice climate. Just do everything very carefully. Tulasī flourishes where there is love and devotion.

In answer to your questions; 1) Tulasī is one devotee who appears wherever there is devotion to Kṛṣṇa. 2) Tulasī’s body is spiritual. 3) Yes, jewelry is alright. 4) If possible. 5) Tulasī leaves should be offered to the Deity. 6) If possible. 7) Yes. 8) Yes. 9) You may cut the dead branches, but what is the necessity. 10) I never said that. 11) No. 12) Yes. 13) Use the wood for beads as far as possible, the balance may be placed within the earth. 14) I said no chemical sprays. 15) Undisturbed means what? 16) Use common sense and if you have none then consult with others. 17) No. 18) Don’t try to introduce something new. The most important thing is the love and devotion.

Date: Aug. 21, 1972
Location: Los Angeles
Bhagavatam Class

Tadīya means those who are in relationship with Viṣṇu, tadīya. Just like His devotee, tadīya. Tulasī-vṛkṣa. Tulasī is tadīya or temple tadīya, preaching tadīya. Tadīyānāṁ samarcanam. This is bhāgavata. So Lord Śiva recommends that “Of all methods of worship, Viṣṇu worship is the best, and better than Viṣṇu worship is to worship His devotee or things in relationship with Him.” Tadīyānām, that is bhāgavata.

Here it is also said, tadīyānām, bhāgavata-sevayā. This book bhāgavata, spoken by the devotee bhāgavata, this should be taken very seriously daily. Otherwise you…, we do not understand what is Bhagavān. Therefore it is recommended here, nityam, daily, or constantly, twenty-four hours. We have to mold our life in such a way that twenty-four hours, not a single moment leaving aside, we should be engaged in bhāgavata-sevayā, in the service of Lord’s relationship.