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Title: Picking Tulasi's leaves
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-13 15:13:48
NGHK JSG JSP,Jaya Gauranga!Dearest Sri Gaurangapada,
I was looking for information about caring for Shrimati Tulasi and found this,
I have a Tulasi plant in my home. Please tell me how to care for her. The leaves of my Tulasi plant are quite big so when offering food should a full or partial leaf be offered?
Tulasi devi should be worshipped regularly with arotika and kirtana. You should receive the mantra for picking her leaves from your guru. Dried leaves can also be offered, and the dead branches should be used for making beads. Offer the large leaves whole.Gurudeva, can you give me the mantra for 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 in the morning. (You should be as clean as you are for service in the Deity room.)Make sure the following are present for tulasi worship:
a panca-patra with water
arghya (that has been offered to Krsna) in a conch or other container
flower(s)candana Deity caranamrtaprasada garland 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 'vidyam pujam grhna namo 'stu te
O Srimati Tulasi-devi, you were previously created by the demigods and worshiped by both them and the demons. O Srimati Tulasi-devi, kindly take away my ignorance and accept my worship. I offer you my humble obeisances again and again.
2. Then, while sprinkling water on Srimati Tulasi-devi with your right hand from a panca-patra held in your left hand, chant the following mantra:
(om) govinda-vallabham devim bhakta-caitanya-karinim
snapayami jagad-dhatrim krsna-bhakti-pradayinim
I am bathing goddess Tulasi-devi, who is very dear to Govinda, who is the mother of the universe, who gives life to all the devotees, and who bestows devotion to Lord Krsna.
3. While pouring some arghya from a conch or other container on her soil, chant:
sriyah sriye sriyavase nityam sridharam sat-krte
bhaktya dattam maya devi arghyam grhna namo 'stu te
O goddess Tulasi, I offer my obeisances unto you, the shelter and residence of all beauty and opulence. You are even worshiped by the Supreme Lord. O Tulasi, 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.
idam sri-krsna-caranamrtam om tulasyai namah
Offer Tulasi-devi the Lord's bath water.
idam maha-prasada-nirmalyadikam sarvam om tulasyai namah
Offer Tulasi-devi the Lord's prasada garlands and flowers.*
idam acamaniyam om tulasyai namah
Offer Tulasi-devi acamana.
5. Then sing Srimati Tulasi-devi's praises as follows:
adhi-vyadhi-hare nityam tulasi tvam namo 'stu te
O Srimati Tulasi-devi, I offer my repeated obeisances unto you, the mother of maha-prasada. You increase everyone's good fortune and remove all diseases and anxieties.
6. Now offer obeisances to Tulasi-devi, chanting the
(om) vrndayai tulasi-devyai priyayai kesavasya ca
krsna-bhakti-prade devi satyavatyai namo namah
I offer my repeated obeisances unto Vrnda, Srimati Tulasi-devi, who is very dear to Lord Kesava. O goddess, you bestow devotional service to Krsna and possess the highest truth.
7. With your right hand, carefully pick the tulasi leaves or soft tulasi-manjaris, along with their stems-one at a time-while repeatedly chanting the tulasi-cayana-mantra:
(om) tulasy amrta-janmasi sada tvam kesava-priya
kesavartham cinomi tvam vara-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. Please bless me.
Take special care to avoid causing Srimati 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 leaves from the plant. When finished, recite the ksama-prarthana-mantra, begging her pardon:
cayanodbhava-duhkham ca yad hrdi tava vartate
tat ksamasva jagan-matah vrnda-devi namo 'stu te
O Tulasi-devi, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Kindly forgive me if I have caused you pain by picking your leaves and manjaris, O mother of the universe.
Do not pluck tulasi leaves in the morning before daylight or in the evening after dark, nor at any time on Dvadasi-tithi, the day following Ekadasi. Even if the tulasi leaves have become dry because they were cut on the previous day or in the morning, they may still be used in Deity worship.
I personally like to sing the song composed by Shrila Bhakti Pragyana Keshava Goswami Maharaja (Shrila Prabhupada's sannyasa guru) about Tulasi devi and Gauranga Prema on the same lines as tulasi krishna preyasi namo namah. If someone has it typed in English, they can post it.
Yours in service, Swami Gaurangapada.