Tulasi Maharani- One who has no comparison.

Hare Krishna

22nd May, 2014, Gurgaon.

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vrindayai tulasi-devyai
priyayai keshavasya cha
krishna-bhakti-prade devi
satyavatyai namo namaha

TRANSLATION

I offer my repeated obeisances unto Vrnda, Srimati Tulasi Devi, who is very dear to Lord Kesava. O goddess, you bestow devotional service to Lord Krsna and possess the highest truth.

This is in continuation to my last blog where I mentioned how a broken branch of Tulasi got planted again by her sheer mercy. I wanted to share more on how merciful is Tulasi Maharani and that her causeless mercy has no end.

I came back from my trip on 19th night and the first I did on 20th morning was to take her darshan. I was most amazed and delighted to see that not only has she grown but she has called her friends as well ! There were atleast 10-12 Tulasi plants which manifested in last 4-5 days. To be honest I did put dry manjaris in this planter since last 4-5 months, as this particular planter was lying vacant, but nothing would grow. My wife continuously told me that I am wasting my time as we need to change the complete soil but I won’t listen. And now since we have started proper Arti of Tulasi Devi it is amazing to see suddenly so many Tulasi plants coming out, most amazing.  Please see the below picture I clicked today.

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All glories to Tulasi maharani.

After my last blog, a close devotee friend wrote back that my continuous blogs on Tulasi Maharani are nice but some people may take them as a kind of self-glorification for my own `sadhna’. I never thought like that but I saw the point prabhuji made. He suggested that I should put some time gap between these blogs or share them only with some selected devotees over mail as I have already made my point earlier. I thanked prabhuji, it is a blessing to have devotee friends who can write back with such candidness. I replied that  Tulasi Maharani reciprocated and I simply wrote ! I am sharing my realisations on this blog so that devotees can see that even a fallen and materialistic soul can get her mercy and further, we can all have  realisations every week, every day and every minute by the sheer mercy of Vaishnavas. The power is not in my `sadhna’ the power lies in Tulasi Maharani’s causeless mercy, just see how easily, by worshiping her simply with flower, lamp, water and firm faith, she reciprocates in such fascinating ways. We only need to be `tuned in’ to see such benedictions in our daily lives.

Another devotee friend called up some time back and shared that he too had a similar experience with Tulasi Maharani and  he was so happy to read what I wrote. My only sincere request to everyone is that please share such realisation with us. Sri Krishna Hari Prabhu told us in a lecture in Gurgaon last year that writing is a way to improve our `sadhna’ as it requires 100% concentration. I, too, have realised that by writing, at first we collect our thoughts and our own conviction increases and secondly whenever we read other devotee’s realisations our faith increases in the process of Krishna consciousness. We understand that this is a scientific process and we are on the right path. If any devotee would like to share his/her realisation I can open a login and password on these pages, please write back to your servant at giriraj.bcs@gmail.com.

Now, for the pleasure of Tulasi Maharani, and her devotees, I am copying below some more glorification

Asta-Nama-Stava from the Padma Purana (The Eight Names of Vrinda-devi)

  • Vrindavani– One who first manifested in Vrindavan.
  • Vrinda– The goddess of all plant and trees.
  • 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.

Anyone while worshiping Tulasi-devi chants these eight names will get the same results as one who performs the Ashvamedha sacrifice. And one who on the full-moon day of Kartika (Tulasi-devi’s appearance day) worships Her with Tulasi Mantra will break free from the bonds of this miserable world of birth and death, and very quickly attains Goloka Vrndavan.

“Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about, or simply by sowing the tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the Tulasi tree in the above mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha [spiritual] world.” Skanda Purana

As the embodiment of the lila-sakti (pastime potency), Vrinda devi 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. Vrinda devi 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. 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.

Once Srimati Radharani was so pleased by the service of Vrinda devi that with the help of the other gopis she arranged a magnificent throne and had Krishna and Vrinda devi sit on it. Lalita sakhi acting as the priest recited the mantras and performed the marriage cermony of Krishna and Vrinda devi. Thus by the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Vrinda devi got Krishna.

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.

Please read more about Tulasi Devi at http://www.vrindavan-dham.com/vrinda/vrinda-devi.php

All glories to Tulasi Maharani.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Tulasi- Shaligram Vivah

Hare Krishna

2010, Vrindavan.

This was during my initial days of spiritual journey. I had started going to Vrindavan, alone, staying for a day or two, not knowing what exactly to do besides attending temple program. I did not know a single soul there besides Deities. So, mostly I would attend all the morning programs, have breakfast prasadam at Govinda, come back to room to read, sleep a bit, back in the temple at 4-5pm, have dinner prasadam at Govinda, come back to room, read a bit and sleep by 9pm for next day’s Mangal Arti. This is what I still aspire for.

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I was again in Vrindavan Dhama and after Mangal Arti there was announcement that it is very special day (what day isn’t special in Vrindavan) and a bus will be leaving for Vrinda Kunda for the marriage of Tulasi and Shaligram. I had never ever heard in my life about this event and I don’t know why my heart prompted me to board that bus to the Lila sthali of Vrinda Devi. I went for it.

It was two bus load of devotees, with hardly any Indian on board. We reached the temple after a long bumpy ride, it was in middle of the fields, with no road after the final turn towards temple.

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I could see a beautiful small temple decorated in very simple and traditional Indian way. There was a slight buzz around the place. I found that a group of devotees had done all night kirtan the previous night. Jai ! As we entered it was announced that we will get some prasadam, we sat on the mats and were served a very delicious puffed rice prasadam, it was dry and salty, with a banana. I still remember the taste of that prasadam after so many years. I still hanker for it, even that time I had greedily taken extra portions and kept on munching it for a long time.  After the prasadam was over most of the devotees got busy with some service. The temple was getting ready for the marriage. The whole setting was completely rural. I wondered around,  bought and read a book, a devotee had put the book stall. I was too naive to beg for any service.

I was told that an Malaysian couple has been sponsoring this event for some time. As the time came for the marriage we had ISKCON pujaris and local temple priest who presided over the ceremony complete with mantras and, later, pheras. The local priest explained how the `Braja’ scriptures are different from what our Acharayas have written. The Malaysian couple, wife was Indian and husband a native Malaysian, did the kanyadaan. Shaligrama shilla and Tulasi walked around the havan kund in their laps. Many devotees had brought nice gifts for the newly weds. Amid all the kirtan, marriage, vidai (bride leaves for husband’s home) not for a single moment I felt that I was not attending a traditional Indian marriage.

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After the marriage there was a feast for the local Brajawasis, we served each one of them with sumptuous prasadam. Once they  finished then it was our time to honour the prasadam. Kirtan continued almost throughout the time. It was the first time that I came contact with the non-Indian ISKCON devotees and I was completely ashamed to see their devotion during the whole ceremony. I am sure I have never worked so hard, as they did, in any of my cousin sister’s marriages (I don’t have a real sister).  I still vividly remember one devotee feeding leftover prasadam to a street dog with such affection as if feeding his own son. I would not have even gone close to that dog in normal times. Consciousness of all these devotees was very pure and I felt being the odd one out.

We came back in the evening. I will felt purified till my inner core. Sometimes when I look back, I think it was after attending this ceremony and being in touch with so many pure devotees that my spiritual journey got on the track.

I also feel that we do not appreciate enough what role ISKCON plays in making such `Lila sthali’ accessible to a common man. Had it not been for ISKCON, every devotee would be on the mercy of local `panda’ or priest, as in most traditional Indian temples. I don’t remember being charged for this for the trip, and even that would be some very reasonable amount to cover the cost, got association of devotees, blessings of attending Tulasi Shaligram marriage, heard melodious and impromptu kirtans by devotees, sumptuous prasadam, opportunity to serve Brajavasis. I do not know any other organization in India, or the whole world, which would serve so much and that too for a non-member like me and with no other motive than to please Krishna.

It is a pity when I see so many temples in India, at prime locations in cities and various Dhams, in dilapidated condition. They should all handover the management to ISKCON and see the difference in service to Deities and preaching in the area, which is the purpose of a temple.

We can know more about Tulasi vivah and the Vrinda Devi temple, now under ISKCON, at

http://www.iskcondesiretree.net/page/tulasisaligrama-vivaha

Sri Vrindadevi and Vrinda Kunda

( All pictures are file pictures, which I took from the Vrinda Devi temple website)

All glories to Tulasi- Shaligrama Vivah.

All glories to ISKCON.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.