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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Picking Tulasi's leaves

Title: Picking Tulasi's leaves

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-03-30 20:35:00


NGHK JSG JSP,Jaya Gauranga!Dearest Shri Gaurangapada,

I was looking for information about caring for Shrimati Tulasi and foundthis,

I have a Tulasi plant in my home. Please tellme how to care for her. The leaves of my Tulasi plant are quite big so whenoffering food should a full or partial leaf be offered?

Tulasi devi should be worshipped regularly with arotika and kirtana. Youshould receive the mantra for picking her leaves from your guru. Dried leavescan also be offered, and the dead branches should be used for making beads.Offer the large leaves whole.Gurudeva, can you give me the mantrafor picking her leaves?Thank you very very much!Vrinda devi ki jaya!Tulasi Maharani ki jaya!


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:


The Full Tulasi-puja from the Pancharatra Pradipa:


You may perform the following worship of Tulasi-devi after the other Deities'morning worship is completed. If that is not possible, then worship her later inthe morning. (You should be as clean as you are for service in the Deityroom.)Make sure the following are present for tulasi worship:


a panca-patra with water

arghya (that has been offered to Krishna) in aconch or other container

flower(s)candana Deity caranamrtaprasadagarland or prasada flowers

a container for collecting tulasi leaves.


The procedure is as follows:


1. First recite the following prayer:

nirmita tvam pura devair arcita tvam surasuraih

tulasi hara me 'vidyampujam grhna namo 'stu te

O Shrimati Tulasi-devi, you were previously created by the demigods andworshiped by both them and the demons. O Shrimati Tulasi-devi, kindly take awaymy ignorance and accept my worship. I offer you my humble obeisances again andagain.


2. Then, while sprinkling water on Shrimati Tulasi-devi with your right handfrom a panca-patra held in your left hand, chant the following mantra:

(om) govinda-vallabham devim bhakta-chaitanya-karinim

snapayamijagad-dhatrim krishna-bhakti-pradayinim

I am bathing goddess Tulasi-devi, who is very dear to Govinda, who is themother of the universe, who gives life to all the devotees, and who bestowsdevotion to Lord Krishna.


3. While pouring some arghya from a conch or other container on her soil,chant:

shriyah shriye shriyavase nityam shridharam sat-krte

bhaktya dattam maya deviarghyam grhna namo 'stu te

O goddess Tulasi, I offer my obeisances unto you, the shelter and residenceof all beauty and opulence. You are even worshiped by the Supreme Lord. OTulasi, please accept this arghya I am offering with devotion.


4. Then offer the following items with the appropriate mantras:

idam sagandha-puspam om tulasyai namah

Offer Tulasi-devi a flower with sandalwood pulp.

idamshri-krishna-caranamrtam om tulasyai namah

Offer Tulasi-devi the Lord's bathwater.

idam maha-prasada-nirmalyadikam sarvam om tulasyai namah

OfferTulasi-devi the Lord's prasada garlands and flowers.*

idam acamaniyam omtulasyai namah

Offer Tulasi-devi acamana.


5. Then sing Shrimati Tulasi-devi's praises as follows:

maha-prasada-janani sarva-saubhagya-vardhini

adhi-vyadhi-hare nityamtulasi tvam namo 'stu te

O Shrimati Tulasi-devi, I offer my repeated obeisances unto you, the mother ofmaha-prasada. You increase everyone's good fortune and remove all diseases andanxieties.


6. Now offer obeisances to Tulasi-devi, chanting the


(om) vrndayai tulasi-devyai priyayai kesavasya ca

krishna-bhakti-prade devisatyavatyai namo namah

I offer my repeated obeisances unto Vrnda, Shrimati Tulasi-devi, who is verydear to Lord Kesava. O goddess, you bestow devotional service to Krishna andpossess the highest truth.


7. With your right hand, carefully pick the tulasi leaves or softtulasi-manjaris, along with their stems-one at a time-while repeatedly chantingthe tulasi-cayana-mantra:


(om) tulasy amrta-janmasi sada tvam kesava-priya

kesavartham cinomi tvamvara-da bhava sobhane

O Tulasi, you are born from nectar. You are always very dear to Lord Kesava.Now, to worship Lord Kesava, I am collecting your leaves and manjaris. Pleasebless me.


Take special care to avoid causing Shrimati Tulasi-devi any pain.Pluck her leaves with your right hand while holding the branch in your left,taking care not to break it. Do not use scissors or a knife to cut the leavesfrom the plant. When finished, recite the ksama-prarthana-mantra, begging herpardon:


cayanodbhava-duhkham ca yad hrdi tava vartate

tat ksamasva jagan-matahvrnda-devi namo 'stu te

O Tulasi-devi, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Kindly forgive meif I have caused you pain by picking your leaves and manjaris, O mother of theuniverse.


Do not pluck tulasi leaves in the morning before daylight or in the eveningafter dark, nor at any time on Dvadasi-tithi, the day following Ekadashi. Even ifthe tulasi leaves have become dry because they were cut on the previous day orin the morning, they may still be used in Deity worship.


I personally like to sing the song composed by Shrila Bhakti Pragyana KeshavaGoswami Maharaja (Shrila Prabhupada's sannyasa guru) about Tulasi devi andGauranga Prema on the same lines as tulasi krishna preyasi namo namah. Ifsomeone has it typed in English, they can post it.


Yoursin service, Swami Gaurangapada.