Śrīla Prabhupāda on Tulasī Devī | Part 3
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: Nov. 25, 1974
Letter to: Sarada
My Dear Sarada Devī Dasī. Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated October 17, 1974 and have noted the contents. I am very glad to hear that you are engaged in the service of Tulasī Devī. Tulasī leaves are very important for satisfying Lord Krishna. But Tulasī Devī is not pleased by the nice tune of singing but by the nice devotion. So you continue to your best, and you will automatically advance more and more in Krishna consciousness.
Date: Nov. 17, 1971
Letter to: Patty Dorgan
As far as your questions, Krishna is not in need of anything, He is purnam, the Complete Whole. And yet He appreciates our love for Him, just like everyone appreciates if someone exhibits love for them. So He kindly allows us to show that love by considering that if I do not feed Him, Krishna will go hungry, if I do not give Him rest, He will be tired, like that. He reciprocates by pretending to be dependent on me, my slave, just to give us opportunity to find the real object of our loving propensity and to take pleasure by pleasing and serving Him. Everything we do should be for the reason that it gives pleasure to Krishna. Because Krishna’s intimate associates give Him the most pleasure, and because they are His favorites, it pleases Him to see that these associates and close friends are also offered all respect by the devotees. Tulasī Devī is part of Krishna’s entourage, She is Krishna-ised or Krishna Conscious, and in this pure state She has all the qualities of Krishna, and therefore She becomes worshipable just like Krishna. There is a saying, love me, love my dog. It is like that. To approach the President is very difficult, unless you are the friend of His son or daughter, then it becomes very easy. So worship of Tulasī Devī and other of Lord Krishna’s Entourage as part of the total devotional attitude of pleasing Krishna.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) Translations and Purports:
gandhe ’rcite tulasīkābharaṇena tasyā
yasmiṁs tapaḥ sumanaso bahu mānayanti
Although flowering plants like the mandāra, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arṇa, punnāga, nāgakeśara, bakula, lily and pārijāta are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by Tulasī, for Tulasī is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with Tulasī leaves.
The importance of Tulasī leaves is very clearly mentioned here. Tulasī plants and their leaves are very important in devotional service. Devotees are recommended to water the Tulasī tree every day and collect the leaves to worship the Lord. One time an atheistic svāmī remarked, “What is the use of watering the Tulasī plant? It is better to water eggplant. By watering the eggplant one can get some fruits, but what is the use of watering the Tulasī?” These foolish creatures, unacquainted with devotional service, sometimes play havoc with the education of people in general.
The most important thing about the spiritual world is that there is no envy among the devotees there. This is true even among the flowers, which are all conscious of the greatness of Tulasī. In the Vaikuṇṭha world entered by the four Kumāras, even the birds and flowers are conscious of service to the Lord.
salilaiḥ śucibhir mālyair
tulasyā priyayā prabhum
One should worship the Lord by offering pure water, pure flower garlands, fruits, flowers and vegetables which are available in the forest, or by collecting newly grown grasses, small buds of flowers or even the skins of trees, and if possible, by offering Tulasī leaves, which are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It is specifically mentioned herein that Tulasī leaves are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and devotees should take particular care to have Tulasī leaves in every temple and center of worship. In the Western countries, while engaged in propagating the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we were brought great unhappiness because we could not find Tulasī leaves. Therefore we are very much obliged to our disciple Śrīmatī Govinda dāsī because she has taken much care to grow Tulasī plants from seeds, and she has been successful by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Now Tulasī plants are growing in almost every center of our movement.
Tulasī leaves are very important in the method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead… Tulasī leaves are very important for satisfying the Lord, so as far as possible an arrangement should be made for growing Tulasī leaves.