TULASI (VRINDA) – GLORIES, NAMES & ROLE IN RADHA KRISHNA LILAS!
EIGHT NAMES OF TULASI (VRINDA)
VRINDAVANI : One who first manifested in Vrindavan.
VRINDA : The goddess of all plant and trees ( even if one Tulasi plant is present in a forest it can be called Vrindavana.)
VISHVAPUJITA : One whom the whole universe worships.
PUSHPASARA : The topmost of all flowers, without whom Krishna does not like to look upon other flowers.
NANDINI : Seeing whom gives unlimited bliss to the devotees.
KRISHNA-JIVANI : The life of Sri Krishna.
VISHVA-PAVANI : One who purifies the three worlds.
TULASI : One who has no comparison.
(A) TULASI (VRINDA)’s ROLE IN THE LILAS OF KRISHNA
Tulasi (Vrinda), an intimate associate of and a partial expansion of Srimati Radharani, resides in the topmost planet in the group of Vaikuntha Planets , Goloka which is presided by Krishna in His original form.
As the embodiment of the lila-sakti (pastime potency), Tulasi (Vrinda) is the organizer of all the transcendental pastimes between Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani.
In Goloka, every thing is animate (cit) and only for the pleasure of Sri Krishna. Tulasi (Vrinda) makes this happen. She is assisted by many confidential associates (which include two parrots) and with their help she
makes sure that every thing is pleasing to Sri Krishna.
(Krishna Rings, dollars, Tulasi mala, etc. – Necessary or Not? READ HERE!)
She controls how the wind blows, when and where it rains, how the trees bend, and so many other things for the pleasure of the Divine Couple.
Five thousand years ago when Sri Krishna descended on Earth to perform His pastimes, Tulasi (Vrinda) created the proper environment for His pastimes in Vrindavana.
Millions of years before the descent of Sri Krishna, Tulasi (Vrinda) had appeared as the daughter of the pious Emperor Kedera. Then she performed penances for sixty thousand years. Pleased by her penances, Lord Vishnu gave the benediction that any austerities performed in Vrindavana would be very potent.
Thus Tulasi (Vrinda) sanctified the place and it got the name Vrindavana. Later Vrinda devi once again descended here as Tulasi devi, the daughter of King Kushadvaja to perform penances and attain perfection here.
Vrindavana is completely under the control of Tulasi (Vrinda) Without her mercy it is not possible to watch the confidential pastimes of Radha-Krishna. Even being allowed into Vrindavana indicates that one has received some mercy from Tulasi (Vrinda).
In Krishna’s pastimes with Radharani, Vrinda devi was a young gopi friend of Srimati Radharani.
Under the instructions of Purnamasya (Yogamaya), she would arrange secret meeting between Krishna and Radha. She would also make all the material arrangements, like saffron, fruits, flowers, music etc., for Radha Krishna.
Thus she carried on her eternal service in Goloka Vrindavana also in the earthly Vrindavana.
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.
(Procedure to wear Kanti (Tulasi) mala around neck! READ HERE!)
(B) TULASI DEVI’S ROLE IN OUR DEVOTION TO KRISHNA
This can be understood with a few examples:
(1) IN SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM:
The four Kumaras, the sons of Lord Brahma were very much attached to the impersonal aspect of Godhead, not directly to Krishna.
When the breeze carrying the aroma of tulasi leaves and saffron from the
lotus feet of the lotus eyed Personality of Godhead (Krishna) entered through the nostrils into the hearts of 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 the pure devotees of the Lord.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(HOW TO GROW, MAINTAIN AND PLUCK THE TULASI PLANT? READ HERE!)
GLORIES OF TULASI DEVI
(1) Hari-bhakti-vilasa states quoting from the Gautamiya-tantra:
‘Sri Krsna, who is very affectionate towards His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasi leaf and a palmful of water.’
(2) Nectar of Devotion states that the service to Tulasi is glorified as one of items of devotional service.
(3) Srimad Bhagavatam (3.15.19) says that although flowering plants
like the mandara, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arna, punnaga,
nagakesara, bakula, lily and parijata are full of transcendental fragrance,
they are still conscious of the austerities performed by tulasi, for tulasi
is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with tulasi
(4) SRIMAD BHAGAAVATHAM (2.3.23) STATES:
The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord’s pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body. And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasi leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing. – Saunaka Rsi
(5) Skanda Purana has a statement praising the Tulasi tree as follows: ‘Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Tulasi tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or
touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases.
(WEAPONS TO BEAT MAYA – TILAKA, TULASI BEADS AND PRASADAM! READ HERE!)
Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulasi tree, one
can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamaraja [the
King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a tulasi tree
somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Krsna. And when the tulasi leaves are offered in devotion at the lotus feet of Krsna, there is the full development of love of Godhead.’
(5) Padma Purana:
Padma Purana has many glories of Tulasi Maharani. They are:
(i) Tulasi is the essence of all devotional activities.
(ii) The leaves, flowers, roots, bark, branches, trunk, and shade of Tulasi Devi are all spiritual.
(iii) One who with devotion applies the paste of Tulasi wood to the Deity of Krsna will always live close to Krsna.
(iv) One who puts mud from the base of the Tulasi tree on his body and worships the Deity of Lord Krsna, gets the results of one hundred days worship each day.
(TULSI VIVAH (MARRIAGE) WITH SALAGRAMA (KRISHNA) – COMPLETE DETAILS AND HOW TO CELEBRATE IT? READ HERE!)
(v) One who offers a Tulasi manjari to Lord Krsna gets the benefit of offering all other varieties of flowers, and he goes to the abode of Krsna.
(vi) One who sees or comes near a house or garden where the Tulasi plant is present gets rid of all his sinful reactions, including that of killing a brahmana.
(vii) Lord Krsna happily lives in the house, town, or forest where Tulasi Devi is present.
(viii) A house where Vrinda Devi is present never falls on bad times, and it becomes purer than all holy places.
(ix) The fragrance of Tulasi Devi purifies all who smell it.
(x) Lord Krsna and all the demigods live in a house where mud from the base of the Tulasi tree is found.
(xi) Without Tulasi leaves, Lord Krsna does not like to accept flowers, food, or sandalwood paste.
(xii) One who worships Lord Krsna daily with Tulasi leaves attains the results of all kinds of austerity, charity, and sacrifice. In fact, he has no other duties to perform, and he has realized the essence of the scriptures.
(xiii) One who puts into his mouth or on his head Tulasi leaves that have been offered to Lord Krsna attains Lord Krsna’s abode.
(xiv) In Kali-yuga, one who worships, remembers, plants, keeps, or performs kirtana before Tulasi burns up all sinful reactions and quickly attains Lord Krsna’s abode.
(xv) One who worships Lord Krsna with Tulasi leaves releases all his ancestors from the realm of birth and death.
(xvi) One who remembers the glories of Vrinda or tells others about them will never take birth again.
(HOW TO PERFORM TULASI PUJA (WORSHIP)? READ HERE!)