Who is Tulasī Devī?

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Reference
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrī Vṛndādevy-aṣṭakam, Text 7
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrī Vṛndādevy-aṣṭakam, Text 4

Tulasī Devī is found all over the world and is worshipped and respected by many. We, as aspiring Vaiṣṇava’s worship her and serve her daily; she is constantly wrapped around our necks, our fingers rub her body throughout the day, she is in our homes and temples, she gives us service and nurtures us in hopes that we will become devotees. Despite our lives being imbued with her mercy, most of us do not know who she is, or why we worship her. Our ācāryas explain that Tulasī Devī is Vṛnda Devī:

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s Śrī Vṛndādevy-aṣṭakam Text 7

tvaṁ kīrtyase sātvata-tantra-vidbhir
līlābhidhānā kila kṛṣṇa-śaktiḥ
tavaiva mūrtis tulasī nṛ-loke
vṛnde namas te caraṇāravindam

“O Vṛnda Devī, I offer my respectful obeisances to your lotus feet. Those who have studied the Sātvata-tantra glorify you. You are Lord Kṛṣṇa’s potency for performing pastimes, and you are known as Tulasī Devī in the human society.”

The brushing of the wind, the soft beds of flowers, the jeweled thrones, the humming bees, the singing birds, the decorated kuñja’s of Vṛndāvan, Vṛinda Devī arranges everything for the Divine Young Couples’ past times.

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s Śrī Vṛndādevy-aṣṭakam Text 4

tvad-ājñayā pallava-puṣpa-bhṛṅga-
mṛgādibhir mādhava-keli-kuñjaḥ
madhav-ādibhir bhānti vibhūṣyamāṇā
vṛnde namas te caraṇāravindam

“O Vṛnda Devī, I offer my respectful obeisances to your lotus feet. Because of your order, the groves where Lord Mādhava performs His pastimes appear very splendid, decorated with blossoming flowers, bumblebees, deer, and other auspicious animals, flowers, and birds.”

Every morning at her kunḍ she and her companions scheme the days activities. She is the playwright, the doorkeeper of Vṛndāvan, the bestower of devotional service and unalloyed divine love, She is the mother of devotion.

Vṛinda is jagad-dhātri, the mother of all the residents of the universe. She is the soft nurturing mother always guiding her rebellious children to their sweet, sweet home. Unconditional love is the nature of a mother, so much so that even if her child was to disrespect her, neglect her, or forget about her, she would always keep the deepest crevices of her heart open to her child. We constantly disrespect, neglect, and forget about our most loving divine mother, we don’t even understand that it is by her mercy we desire to desire to serve the Divine Young Couple and their servants. As an infant child does not know where its sustenance comes from, who is feeding them, who is bathing them, who is clothing them, who is giving them so much affection, we do not understand who is taking care of us, who is it that has given such mercy to allow us to try to chant the holy name? Who is holding our hands, dragging us to the soft dust of Vraj?

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