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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Tulasi - Glorification and practise of Tulasi worship

Advaitadas - Sun, 04 Jan 2004 18:55:50 +0530
Sri Hari does not accept any offering without Tulasi. Tulasi’s supremacy is described in the Skanda Purana – “To benefit mankind with all medicinal juices, Sri Hari created Tulasi at the time the milk ocean was churned.” The best Tulasi comes with green, unbroken leaves and elegant buds (manjaris). When these leaves are offered to the Lord they destroy all sins, destroy the enemies and bestow wealth, pious merit, liberation, residence in Sri Vaikuntha, love of God and all else that is desired. All the Puranas proclaim that the act of donating Tulasi in the months of Kartika, Magha, Vaishakha and Caturmasya bestows great bounty. An unbathed person should not pick Tulasi. Although formally it is prohibited to pick Tulasi on Dvadasi, Sankranti, at the end of the lunar fortnight or on Sunday, the devotees only follow the rule of not picking on Dvadasi. Before picking Tulasi one should pronounce the proper mantra for picking Tulasi, hold the Tulasi tree with one hand and pick the the best leaves plus the bud in between gently with the right hand. Also old Tulasi leaves and powder of Tulasi leaves are very dear to the Lord. The glories of Tulasi are further explained in the Tulasi morning song by Krishna Das (tulasi krishna preyasi) and in the evening song by Candrasakhi (tulasi maharani vrinde ji maharani).
Sri Haridas Dasji, Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana, page 311
Madhava - Sun, 04 Jan 2004 20:00:07 +0530
The following mantras and prayers for Tulasi are noted in Siddha Krishnadas Baba's Sadhanamrita-candrika.

1.31 -- Tulasi-pranama:

zrI-tulasyAH praNAmaH --

yA dRSTvA nikhilAgha-saGgha-zamanI-spRSTA vapuH-pAvanI
rogAnAm abhivanditA nirasanI siktAntaka-trAsinI |
pratyAsatti-vidhAyinI bhagavataH kRSNasya saMropitA
nyastA tac-caraNe vimukti-phaladA tasya tulasyai namaH ||

"Upon seeing her all the multitudes of sins vanish, upon touching her form one becomes liberated,
upon offering prayers to her all diseases are cast out, upon watering her all fears come to an end,
upon being in her proximity devotion for Krishna is implanted in the heart,
and upon casting oneself at her feet the fruit of the greatest liberation is attained --
to this Tulasi I offer my homage."

2.1 -- Mantra for collecting Tulasi-leaves

tatrAdau tulasI-patra-maJjarI-cayanaM kuryAt | mantrau yathA skAnde—

tulasyAmRta-janmAsi sadA tvaM kezava-priye |
kezavArthaM vicinomi varadA bhava zobhane ||
tvad-aGga-sambhavaiH patraiH pUjayAmi yathA harim |
tathA kuru pavitrAGgi kalau mala-vinAzini || (HBV 7.347-8)

Then, one collects leaves and manjaris from Tulasi. The mantra, as in the Skanda:

"Tulasi, you are born of nectar and always dear to Keshava,
For the sake of Kesava I approach you; in your magnificence, please bless me.
With the leaves born of your limbs I worship Hari;
may the impurity of the age of Kali vanish as I touch your purifying limbs."

2.30 - Worship and mantras for arghya (offering water), worship (puja), praise (stuti) and prarthana (prayer)

Description of Tulasi-puja

prAg dattvArghyaM tato’vyarcya gandha-puSpAkSatAdinA |
stutvA bhagavatIM tAM ca praNamet prAhRtya daNDavat || (HBV 9.99)

"First one offers arghya (water), then worships with candana, faultless flowers and so forth,
offering prayers to Bhagavati, and offering pranama in the way of a stick (dandavat).

The mantra for arghya (water)

zriyaH zriye zriyAvAse nityaM zrIdhara-satkRte |
bhaktyA dattaM mayA devi arghyaM gRhNa namo’stu te || (HBV 9.100)

"O Sriya, unto you, who are the abode of joy and prosperity, and with whom Sridhara is always worshiped,
with devotion I offer this arghya, O Devi, please accept it. Obeisance unto you."

iti paThitvA idam arghyaM zrI-tulasyai namaH |

Having said that, one offers arghya with the following mantra: idam arghyaM zrI-tulasyai namaH.

The mantra for puja (worship)

nirmitA tvaM purA devair arcitA tvaM surAsuraiH |
tulasI hara me pApaM pUjAM gRhNa namo’stu te || (HBV 9.101)

"In ancient days the Devas ceremoniously celebrated you; both the Suras and the Asuras worship you.
Tulasi! Take away my sins, and accept this worship. Obeisance to you."

The mantra for stuti (praise)

mahA-prasAda-jananI sarva-saubhAgya-vardhinI |
Adhi-vyAdhi-haro nityaM tulasi tvaM namo’stu te || (HBV 9.102)

"O mother of great mercy, the bestower of all good fortune,
who always removes anxiety and torment; Tulasi, I offer obeisance unto you."

The mantra for prarthana (prayer)

zrIyaM dehi yazo dehi kIrtim Ayus tathA sukham |
balaM puSTiM tathA dharmaM tulasi tvaM prasIda me || (HBV 9.103)

"Bestow prosperity, bestow fame, glory, long life, happiness,
strength, nourishment and religiosity; O Tulasi, bestow your grace unto me."
TarunGovindadas - Sun, 04 Jan 2004 20:07:35 +0530

thank you, dear friends.

we just recently got a very nice Tulasi plant.

wish us luck that she might stay!
Attachment: Image
braja - Sun, 04 Jan 2004 21:09:50 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Jan 4 2004, 08:25 AM)
Tulasi’s supremacy is described in the Skanda Purana – “To benefit mankind with all medicinal juices, Sri Hari created Tulasi at the time the milk ocean was churned.”

Anyone have opinions on whether or how Tulasi can be used by Vaisnavas for medicinal purposes? This Sk. P. quote seems to justify such a use. Many Ayurvedic medicines contain Tulasi, especially for respiratory related issues, but it never seemed right to me to use her when she was grown commercially simply as a herb, although I guess even our beads are often made in similar circumstances.
Mina - Tue, 13 Jan 2004 23:50:35 +0530
Nitai claims that Tulasi leaves completely cured him of malaria and he has never had a relapse.
Mina - Tue, 13 Jan 2004 23:55:02 +0530
Be careful not to sow too many Tulasi seeds at once. I once ended up with about 120 plants and it was difficult to care for all of them, especially since I was living in a small efficiency apartment on campus at the University of Chicago at the time. They thrived for a couple of years, until they were attacked by an infestation of white flies. Spider mites were never a problem, though.
Mina - Wed, 14 Jan 2004 00:01:57 +0530
As far as all of the beads that are sold as Tulasi in India, I understand that most of them are made out of some other type of wood. Unless you made them yourself, or know the maker, there is no way to really tell. I was fortunate enough to be handed a dead Tulasi bush by the pujari at our temple in Nadabwip, after he pulled it out of the Ganga as it floated by us. I carved a nice kunti mala from it, with some very large beads.