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Yuga Dharma Acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

 

 

Daily Darsan
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Prayers
 
 
Srimati Tulasi Devi
Sri Vrndadevi of Vrnda Kunda
Srimati Vrnda Devi of Vrnda Kunda, Vrndavan
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In this essay, compiled as a collection from various lectures, Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja speaks on the significance of worshipping Srimati Tulasi Devi in light of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings and how Srila Prabhupada established the final and highest conclusion.
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Sri Tulasi-Arati

(1)
namo namah tulasi krishna-preyasi namo namah
radha-krishna-seva pabo ei abilasi


(2)
je tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy
krpa kori’ koro tare vrndavana-vasi


(3)
mora ei abhilasa, vilasa kunje dio vasa
nayana heribo sada yugala-rupa-rasi


(4)
ei nivedana dhara, sakhira anugata koro
seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi


(5)
dina krishna-dase koy, ei yena mora hoy
sri-radha-govinda-preme sada yena bhasi

Sri Tulasi Devi


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The Four Main Rasas

yuga-dharma pravartaimu nama-sankirtana
cari bhava-bhakti diya nacamu bhuvana

[CC Adi 3.19]

“I shall personally inaugurate the religion of the age — nama-sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name. I shall make the world dance in ecstasy, realizing the four mellows of loving devotional service.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

In Gaura-lila, santa-rasa is discarded, cari bhava-bhakti diya nacamu bhuvana, Gaura say this. "I’ll go and give these four rasas and make the whole world dance." The four rasas are: dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhurya. Madhurya is the highest.

In madhurya, all rasas are there. Do you understand? Each one of the rasas is more superior, to the next. First is dasya, then comes sakhya. In sakhya, dasya is there. Then comes vatsalya. In vatsalya, dasya and sakhya are there. Then the topmost is madhurya. In madhurya all the rasas are there. That is the topmost rasa and that is the goal.

You have one sambandha [relationship], that is an eternal sambandha. Whether that rasa maybe dasya, sakhya or vatsalya, it may not be madhurya. Do you understand? But our desire is how to achieve the last one, madhurya. How to enter into that madhurya-rasa. Therefore we worship Tulasi Devi.

Prayer to Srimati Tulasi Devi

When we offer that prayer to Tulasi Devi,

tulasi krishna-preyasi,
vraje radha-krishna-seva pabo ei abilasi

Srimati Tulasi DeviI have this desire how I can enter into vraja-lila, do you understand?  Not Vaikuntha or Ayodhya or Dvaraka or Mathura, no. We pray to Tulasi Devi to enter into vraja-lila. I have this desire, radha-krishna-seva pabo ei abilasije tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy, "Oh Tulasi Devi, if someone takes shelter of you, their desire will be fulfilled. So I have this desire."

Devotee: This arati song to Tulasi Devi is sung very casually, people have no understanding what is the meaning.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: They don’t understand. They only sing it like parrots, you see.

And, at last what does this prayer say? Seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi, "Oh Tulasi Devi, please make me one of your maid servants."

Prakrti Means Maid Servant

Devotee: People misconceive that this Tulasi arati is only for woman, dasi...

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: No, no, no, jiva is prakrti, feminine, baba. They say like that? The only one purusa is Krsna. Krsna is the only one purusa Is there any other purusa? Krsna is the only one male. All are feminine. Prakrti means feminine gender, it’s not masculine gender. You are prakrti, so you are feminine, you’re not masculine. Krsna is the only masculine, you aren’t male. Isn’t it? That is our tattva. He is the only enjoyer. Male is the enjoyer, and female will be enjoyed. So you’ll be enjoyed. You are not the enjoyer, therefore we say, 'we are not the enjoyer, the only one enjoyer is Krsna.' Aham bhokta, [Bg. 9.24] Krsna says this in Bhagavad-gita, “You are to be enjoyed.” But coming in contact with maya you think, 'I am an enjoyer.' The bewildered soul thinks like this. He is a maya-baddha-jiva, bewildered soul, who thinks he is enjoyer. We are not the enjoyer.

Devotee: So, does Krsna desire that we all become maid servants?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Does Krsna desire? ...it is natural! What is the question of desire, it is natural, prakrti means maid servant.

Srimati Tulasi Devi Can Change Your Rasa

Srimati Tulasi Devi

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: you should be enjoyed, a maid servant. Do you understand?  That prayer is with Tulasi Devi. The fourth verse, seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi, please give me this right to serve and make me one of your maid servants, then I’ll have access to the kunja and be able to serve, otherwise I cannot have access.

This is a prayer for the highest thing, the last rasa, a prayer for madhurya-rasa. It’s a question of madhurya-rasa. Do you understand?  So this desire we have and if you deserve, if you’re so anxious... so eager, always offering prayers, if Tulasi Devi will fulfill your desire, then your rasa will be changed. Your rasa will be changed from dasya, sakhya, vatsalya to madhurya, maybe. Do you understand me?

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Gives the Highest Rasa

Vrndavana

Devotee: Yes, but Krsna has eternal friends...

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes.

Devotee: and eternal servants.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes.

Devotee: We read about it, Vrndavan was filled with friends and family.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, trees and Yamuna river, mountains, Govardhana mountain, peacocks, insects like this. Those who are in Vrndavan are all servants of Krsna.

Devotee: So, do they all act in this madhurya-rasa?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: No, differences are there. Not all are the same rasa. Some are santa, some are dasya, some are sakhya, some are vatsalya. The gopis, manjaris, sakhis are madhurya. They are all headed by Radharani. Why should all be madhurya? But we have this desire. How to achieve that highest thing. How to enter into that rasa-sambandha. Therefore we offer such prayer to Tulasi Devi.

Srimati Tulasi Devi Gives Entrance into Madhurya Rasa

Gopis in SeparationWhy you will worship Tulasi? Because if Tulasi Devi showers mercy then it will be possible to enter into madhurya-rasa, otherwise it is not possible. So we worship Tulasi. Mahaprabhu gives the highest rasa. It is madhurya-rasa.

Do you understand what Mahaprabhu gives? Mahaprabhu Himself is in Radha-bhava, isn’t it? Radha-bhava is predominating in Mahaprabhu. He is always crying, crying, always “O Krsna-nanda-kula-candramah.” Where is that Krsna, son of Nanda Maharaja? Where is that Krsna who plays so sweetly with His flute? mandra-murali-ravah, where is that Krsna, on whose crest the sikhi-candra-kalankrtih peacock feather is there? Do you understand? This is tattva. Rasa-rasa-tandavi, where is that Krsna who dances in rasa? Kahan gele kahan mandra-murali-vadana, kahan pana nanda-nandana? Where shall I go? Where shall I find that murali-vadana with that flute on the lips. Where shall I go? Who will help me? Can anybody help me to find out that son of Nanda Maharaja? Saying this thing and crying, Mahaprabhu is crying. So He Himself is Krsna, but He is crying for Krsna, this Radha-bhava is predominating. He gives that highest thing to you. Do you understand what Gaura gives? [Lalita-Madhava, 3.45]

Devotee: So if we come in the fold of this movement of Lord Caitanya that desire should be cultivated?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. So we worship Tulasi and offer this prayer. We have this desire how to achieve the highest rasa. That is madhurya-rasa. Do you understand?

All Are Servants of Sri Krsna

Devotee: I was listening to a lecture saying, “We have a desire to be just a speck of dust at the lotus feet of Krsna."

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, that is dasya-bhava.

Devotee: That seems like a long distance from...

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. This is also tattva. We are dasas, servants. Do you understand? We are servants, and servitorship is based on love. Without love you can not become a real servant. Do you understand?

krsna-premera ei eka apurva prabhava
guru-sama-laghuke karaya dasya-bhava

[Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 6.53]

Love for Krsna has this one unique effect: it imbues superiors, equals and inferiors with the spirit of service to Lord Krsna.

This is the wonderful effect of Krsna-prema, it makes everybody servant. It is based on love. One who is gurujan, a superior, he is a servant of Krsna. One who is equal, he is a servant and one who is inferior - all become servants. The example is Nanda Maharaja and Mother Yasoda, they are superiors. They say, “We are servants.” The cowherd boys who are equal to Krsna they say, “We are servants.” Do you understand? It is all in Caitanya-caritamrta and Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, you will find it mentioned there.

In this madhurya-rasa the gopis and Radharani, they say, “We are servants," kinkari. And Rukmini, Satyabhama and the wives in Dvaraka, they also say, “We are kinkari.” They all say we are servants. Do you understand?

anera ki katha, baladeva mahasaya
yanra bhava — suddha-sakhya-vatsalyadi-maya

tenho apanake karena dasa-bhavana
krsna-dasa-bhava vinu ache kona jana

[Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 6.76-77]

What to speak of others, even Lord Baladeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is full of emotions like pure friendship and paternal love. He also considers Himself a servant of Lord Krsna. Indeed, who is there who does not have this conception of being a servant of Lord Krsna?

sahasra-vadane yenho sesa-sankarsana
dasa deha dhari’ kare krsnera sevana

[Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 6.78]

He who is Sesa, Sankarsana, with His thousands of mouths, serves Sri Krsna by assuming ten forms.

Lord Balaram Serves Sri KrsnaWhat to speak of others, even Lord Balaram says, “I am servant.” Dasa deha dhari’ kare krsnera sevana, Lord Balaram serves Krsna assuming ten bodies. So this servitorship is everywhere. It is in all rasas. Do you understand me? Therefore, please accept me as a speck of dust at Your lotus feet is there, yes because the mood of servitor is everywhere. It is in all rasas. But according to rasa-vicara, rasa-sambandha, we have this desire, to elevate ourselves to that madhurya-rasa, therefore we offer prayer to Tulasi Devi. We have developed such desire and therefore we pray to Tulasi Devi. Only if Tulasi Devi showers this mercy, then it is possible, otherwise it is not possible. Do you understand? So we worship Tulasi, both morning and evening and offer this prayer.

Srila Gurudeva praying to Srimati Tulasi DeviDevotee: In that Tulasi arati it says can you make me a resident within the pleasure groves of Vrndavan? Vrndavana-vasi and then in the next verse, it says, therefore, within my vision I can behold the beautiful pastimes of Radha and Krsna.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes! Heribo yugala rupa rasi, constantly only see... yugala means Radha and Krsna, two, always see those two, the Divine Couple, and Their pastimes, yes.

Devotee: So when we say somebody is a vrajabasi, that means that if they’re a vrajabasi then they must be beholding the beautiful pastimes of Radha and Krsna?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. Yes. Inhabitants of Vrajabhumi, they see. Yes. Everything is there. But last thing is seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi, the last part of the prayer is 'please make me one of your maid servants. This is my only desire. My only desire.' Then this madhurya-rasa comes in, the last, highest rasa comes. Do you understand? When the last one comes, then previous ones are canceled. Do you understand? Purvapara. Between previous and last, the last one, the latter is predominating, the past is no more, all previous ones are canceled. Isn’t it? Previous are canceled. So in madhurya-rasa it is said all the rasas are there. So, if I achieve madhurya, then I have achieved all of them, sri-radha-govinda-preme sada yena bhasi, yes.

Srimati Tulasi Devi & Sri Salagram Sila

Vrinda DeviDevotee: We heard once a story about Tulasi Devi how she was cursed by Radharani. Is this correct?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, correct. This is in the Brahma-vaivarta purana.

Devotee:
Because she was having some loving dealings without Radharani’s permission?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, that is the will of Radha Govinda, otherwise, how Tulasi will be here in the material world? How Salagram will be here in the material world?  They would not be here if this curse would not have been given. This is Their wonderful will. Do you understand? This is Their wonderful will. Tulasi is Vrnda Devi, Vrnde. Vrnda is one of the gopis, you see. She became Tulasi plant here. So she was apparently cursed by Radharani.

Devotee: So she has that power to give such a benediction?

Sudhama GopaSrila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, she is very dear, tulasi krsna-preyasi, very dear. You don't know that story in Brahma-vaivarta purana?

Devotee: Some English translation was given but it was about something else about a cowherd boy, Sridhama.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, the cowherd boy, Sridhama Gopa. So once there was an exchange of glances between Vrnda Devi and Sridhama Gopa. An exchange of glances between them, yes. So Radharani cursed Vrnda to go take birth on the Earth planet, "You cannot stay here." And Sridhama Gopa was cursed to go and become a demon. Sridhama Gopa became a demon. His name was Sankhacuda.

Vrnda Devi was born as a daughter of a king in South India and she was named Tulasi. From her very childhood Tulasi was worshiping Krsna and underwent very severe vow, penance, vrata, tapasya how to get Krsna as her husband. Brahmaji was pleased by her vow and penance. Brahmaji appeared before Tulasi and said, "yes, your desire will be fulfilled, you must marry this demon, Sankhacuda then your desire will be fulfilled." How? Why? I marry a demon? "Oh Yes, you marry that demon." Because that exchange of glances was there, you see. "So you must marry that demon Sankhacuda, then your desire will be fulfilled." Brahmaji said like this. So she married. She was chaste lady, very chaste. That demon had that curse that if the chastity of your wife will be spoiled then he will be killed, otherwise he cannot be killed. That boon or curse, whatever you may say, was there.

So he became unconquerable. As long as his wife's chastity was not spoiled and remained pure, then nobody could kill him. He was unconquerable. So he conquered the heavenly planets. All the demigods headed by Brahma and Siva where in panic. He couldn't be killed, you see, unless his wife's chastity is spoiled. Fighting was going on in the heavenly planets and Sivaji was fighting Sankhacuda.

Tulasi VivahaSo the demigods offered prayers to the Supreme Lord Krsna. Krsna said, "Do not worry, I am going." So Krsna came in the form of Sankhacuda, that demon. His wife, Tulasi was there. She thought, "Oh my husband has returned from the battle field unhurt. He came out victorious in battle, and has returned. He has came back from the battle field with no injury on his body, nice looking." So she thought like that but Krsna has come in disguise, in the form of that demon. So at night when there was conjugation, then she could understand, no something different, this is not my husband. "Who are you? Who are you? You are not my husband!" Then Krsna showed His real form, "I am your real husband." Tulasi said, "You have spoiled my chastity and now my husband will die." At that time he died, he was killed by Sivaji. That demon was killed.

Tulasi cursed Krsna, "You are so cruel! You are a cruel-hearted person. Your heart is as hard as block of stone, so you become stone, a block of stone, I curse You to become a block of stone." Krsna smiling said "I accept your curse, Tulasi PlantTulasi Devi, I accept your curse gladly, I will become Salagram-sila now." That is Salagram-sila. But your body will become My bed, because the wife is the bed of the husband. So your body will be my bed. That your body is the bed of the Gandaki River. So I will lie there on the bed as Salagram-sila. So Salagram-silas are collected from the bed Gandaki River. That is a river in Bihar. And your hair will be the Tulasi plant. The manjaris and leaves will come and they will be offered to Me. If food is not offered with Tulasi leaves, I will not accept it, and the puja I will not accept.

So this is the story how Tulasi came here as a plant, so we worship her. Salagram-sila and Tulasi. This story is in the Brahma-vaivarta purana, yes. Otherwise in the material world how we would have Salagram-sila and Tulasi here? So They are here. This is the will of the Lord, it is nothing else.

Sri Tulasi Devi

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Kisora-Krsna

Anukulyena Krsna

Kisora Krsna, Who is ten, twelve year old Krsna, Who is the all beautiful Krsna is to be worshiped, not Mathura-Krsna or Dvaraka-Krsna. And his dear land, Vrndavan is similarly to be worshiped. Krsna should be worshiped as the damsels of Vrajabhumi have offered worship, with pure prema. So this is anukulyena-krsna silanam.

All Are Defeated by Srimati Radharani

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his, Saranagati, Gitavali, Gitamala, Kalayana-kalpataru has sung many songs in this way. You will find that his desire has been expressed in his songs. Many songs are there written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Here is one of the songs:

saci-laksmi-satya saubhagya bolane
parajita hoy janhara carane
 
krsna-vasikare candravali-adi
parajay mane hoiya vivadi
 
hari-dayita radha-carana prayasi
bhakativinoda sri-godruma-basi

[Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Radhikastakam Song 3, Gitavali]

This is a nice song written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. How Bhaktivinoda Thakura begs mercy from Radharani. Saci-laksmi-satya saubhagya bolane, parajita hoy janhara carane, Saci, Laksmi - Goddess of Fortune, Satya means Satyabhama and others, the wives of Krsna you see. They are all defeated at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani.

Srimati RadharaniKrsna-vasikare candravali-adi
, parajay mane hoiya vivadi, even Candravali is defeated, she couldn't capture Krsna, she couldn't please Krsna so much as Radharani does. She is defeated. Parajay mane hoiya vivadi, Candravali is the right wing and Radharani is the left wing. They are opponents. Radharani and Candravali are opponents, left wing and right wing. But Candravali is defeated. She cannot capture Krsna as Radharani captures. Parajay mane hoiya vivadi, hari-dayita radha-carana prayasi, prayasi means I desire to take shelter of Radha's lotus feet. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says like this.

Crying For the Mercy of
Srimati Radharani

In another song:

e heno radhika-carana-tale
bhakativinoda kandiya bole  

`tuwa gana-majhe amare gani’
kinkori koriyarakho apani’


[Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Radhikastakam Song 7, Gitavali]

Crying, kandiya means crying. Crying at the lotus feet of Radharani. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Oh Radharani please keep me in one of your groups of maid servants. `tuwa gana-majhe amare gani’, please accept me in your group of maid servants, kinkori koriyarakho. Please keep me and accept me as one of your maid servants, Oh Radharani. Then I will be able to serve Krsna giving the topmost pleasure, otherwise I cannot, unless I will be one of Your maid servants, Oh Radharani.

Prayer to Srimati Tulasi Devi

Srimati Tulasi DeviWhen we worship Tulasi what do we say? Seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi. Oh Tulasi, krishna-preyasi, Tulasi you are so dear to Krsna, you are very, very merciful, Oh Tulasi, so I beg your mercy. The last part of the song says: seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi, "Please accept me as one of your maid servants and give me that opportunity to serve Krsna. Without your mercy I cannot serve Krsna, I cannot render such loving service unto Him, please make me one of your maid servants, Oh Tulasi Maharani." Therefore we worship Tulasi everyday, morning and evening, and beg for this mercy and sing the Tulasi arati song.

Radha-krishna-seva pabo ei abilasi, vraje radha-krishna seva. "This is my desire, please fulfill my desire, Oh Tulasi Maharani. In Vrajabhumi I will get this opportunity to serve Radha Krsna. Yes.  Seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi. Please accept me as one of your maid servants, Oh Tulasi Devi then I will be able to render such loving service unto Radha Krsna otherwise I cannot. This is prayer.

Sri Tulasi Devi

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Why We Worship Srimati Tulasi Devi

yoga-sruty-upapatti-nirjana-vana-dhyanadhva-sambhavita-
svarajyam pratipadya nirbhayam ami mukta bhavantu dvijah
asmakam tu kadamba-kunja-kuhara-pronmilad-indivara-
sreni-syamala-dhama-nama jusatam janmastu laksavadhi
(Isvara Puri, Sri Padyavali, Verse 18)

Those who are meditational yogis, astanga-yogis, so-called brahmanas, they do astanga-yoga sadhana. They study the Vedas. Some of them stay in solitary places doing meditation. Also some householders travel to different holy places, tirtha-paryatana. What is their aim? Why do they do this? What is their goal? Their goal is liberation.

But Isvara Puripada says, "Alright let them be liberated by doing this sadhana. Let them be liberated, but we don't want this liberation, janmastu laksavadhi. Let there be lakhs, lakhs of lives, we don't want liberation. Na dhanam, na janam, na sundarim. This is Mahaprabhu's teaching in Siksastaka. Life after life I don't want liberation. Life after life I'll render loving service unto Your lotus feet and give You pleasure. That is our goal, kadamba-kunja-kuhara. What do we say when we offer worship to Tulasi Devi?

tulasi krsna-preyasi namo namah
radha-krsna seva pabo ei abhilasi

je tomara sarana loy tara vancha purna hoy
krpa kori koro tare vrndavana-basi

Please shower mercy on me so that I'll be vrndavana-basi, a resident of Vrndavana.

more ei abhilas, vilas kunje dio vas
 nayane heribo sada jugala-rupa-rasi

Vrnda Devi in the KunjaThat is my desire. Abhilas means desire. More ei abhilas vilas kunje dio vas, Tulasi Devi this is my desire. Je tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy, one who takes shelter of you has his desire fulfilled so I have this desire. What is it? Abhilas, vilas kunje dio vas, I'll get a place in the vilas kunja of Radha and Krsna. Kunja means grove. Radha and Krsna are there in the kunja. I'll get a place there and serve Radha and Krsna there. That is my desire. So one who takes shelter of your lotus feet, Oh Tulasi Devi, their desire is fulfilled. Please fulfill my desire.

vilas kunje dio vas
nayane heribo sada jugala-rupa-rasi

Always I'll see Radha and Krsna, the two beautiful forms of Radha and Krsna. This is my desire to see Radha and Krsna in the kunja. To see Them in the grove, this is our desire. Therefore we offer worship to Tulasi Devi.

Sri Tulasi Devi

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Srimati Tulasi Devi Gives Krsna-Prema

Tulasi WorshipSrila Gour Govinda Swami: We worship Tulasi, tulasi krsna-preyasi. Don’t you chant this prayer?

Devotee:
Yes, but mostly we chant the Sanskrit but we do not understand what we are chanting.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami:
Like parrot, parrot-like? You see, Tulasi is the beloved of Krsna. So if Tulasi is satisfied, we will get krsna-prema.

Devotee:
She is the mother of devotion.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami:
Yes, and in that prayer all these things are there, tulasi-krsna-preyasi. Therefore vaisnavas, those who are premi-bhaktas, those who are after krsna-prema, they worship Tulasi. Tulasi is a premi-bhakta of Krsna. Do you understand? They ask for her mercy and get Krsna.

Speak Only Krsna, Chant Hare Krsna

Tulasi ManjariEverything relating to Tulasi is very, very auspicious and can give krsna-prema. Therefore Tulasi leaf is always offered to Krsna. When we offer prasada we offer to Krsna with a tulasi manjari on it.

We also put on Tulasi beads around our neck, touching the vocal cords so there is no slackness. They should touch the vocal cords. Therefore we get the mercy of Tulasi. Whenever we speak something we will speak only Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna. Therefore we put Tulasi beads around our neck. This is the main reason.

Devotee: Some have said if you die and you are wearing Tulasi then you go back to Godhead.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami:
That is... [secondary], this is mukhya, principal reason. Others are secondary.

Devotee:
So that is true if you are wearing Tulasi...?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami:
It must touch the vocal cord, vocal cord is here, do you understand? No slackness.

Devotee:
It should always be three times?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami:
Three, three, because there are three words there: Hare, Rama, Krsna. Hare, Krsna, Rama.

Sri Tulasi Devi

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Srimati Tulasi Devi Needs No Installation

Srimati Tulasi Devi

Srimati Tulasi Devi at ISKCON, Sri Sri Radha Gopaljui Mandir, Gadei Giri, India

The Caitanya Bhagavata mentions the four manifestations of Krsna that need no installation:

bhagavata, tulasi gangaya, bhaktajane
caturdha vigraha krsna ei cari sane

[Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-lila 21.81]

Srimad-Bhagavatam, Tulasi-devi, the Ganges, and the devotees. Wherever these four things are found, Krsna is always present.

There are four manifestations of Krsna in this material world: Ganga, Tulasi, Bhagavata [Srimad Bhagavatam] and Bhakta. From their very appearance Krsna is manifested. There is no need of installation.

But sri-vigraha is worshiped when prana-pratistha is there. A vaisnava will do prana-pratistha. He will invoke or call, offering prayers to the Lord to manifest in this murti. Then it will be worshiped. That is known as prana-pratistha. That is vigraha-pratistha. jivanyasa karile sri-murti pujya haya. [CB. Madhya 21.82] Then it will be worshiped, otherwise it will not be worshiped. The deity maker is making deity, shall we worship the murti there? No. Unless a vaisnava does prana-pratistha it can not be worshiped. The Lord will never manifest. Yes, that is prana-pratistha, vigraha-pratistha. That word pratistha is there.

Please Grant me This Desire Oh Srimati Vrnda Devi

Srimati Tulasi DeviVrnda Devi's manifestation is here as Tulasi Devi. Vrnda Devi is the Tulasi plant. Tulasi plant is not an ordinary plant, not a mere plant. It is Vrnda Devi of Vrndavan. Krsna-preyasi, she is very dear to Krsna. Tulasi krsna-preyasi, we worship her and if she will shower her mercy on us, then we will develop this prema-bhakti, vilasa kunje dio vasa, ei mora abhilasa. "This is my desire, Oh Vrnda Devi, please grant me this desire, let me have a place there in the vilasa-kunja of Radha and Krsna." That is Vrnda Devi’s mercy. Nayana heribo sada yugala-rupa-rasi, "By your mercy I will be able to see Radha and Krsna, yugala-rupa always. Please shower this mercy on me, Oh Vrnda Devi, Tulasi Devi." Namo namah tulasi krishna-preyasi. We chant and offer worship to Tulasi Devi and circumambulate. Pray for this.

Devotee: The mantra we say while offering obeisances to Srimati Tulasi Devi:

vrndayai tulasi-devyai
priyayai kesavasya ca
krsna-bhakti-prade devi
satyavatyai namo namah

[Sri Tulasi Pranama]

Sometimes it is said Visnu-bhakti and not Krsna-bhakti?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Same thing, krsna-bhakti or visnu-bhakti. Krsna is here, and as we are followers of Gauranga Mahaprabhu who is Prema-Purusottama, who gives prema indiscriminately, krsna-prema, gopi-prema...

Udupi Sri Krsna

Lord Krsna being worshipped by TulasiDevotee: Tulasi leaves can be offered to all visnu-tattva? For worship of Lord Ramacandra or...?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, yes, yes. For all visnu-tattva Tulasi leaves should be offered, yes. Some say visnu-bhakti, some say krsna-bhakti it is the same thing.

Devotee: and Bhakti Devi is a different person?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Bhakti Devi, Vrnda Devi, Yoga Maya they are manifestations of Radharani. There are many.

In order to get bhakti we have to offer prayers and worship to Vrnda Devi and Nrsimhadeva who is bhakti-raksaka, the protector of bhakti. Nrsimhadeva destroys that obstacles coming in the path of bhakti, devotion.

We offer prayers to all vaisnavas and beg for their mercy so that we can develop bhakti, vaisnava-krpa. Bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-sangena parijayate, [Brhan-naradiya Purana, 4.33]. Only by the association of a bhagavata-bhakta will bhakti develop, otherwise it is not possible. Therefore, we offer prayers to all the vaisnavas, all the dear devotees of the Lord, how we can develop bhakti. That is the only thing required, only thing, only purpose, only goal to achieve, yes.

Tulasi Manjaris in baskets

 

Sri Tulasi Devi

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Srila Rupa Goswami's Desire to Offer Govinda Khir

Srila Rupa GoswamiRupa Goswami once thought I will prepare and offer some very nice sweet rice for Govinda. Rupa Goswami was living in Vrndavan with the other Goswamis. They did not eat very much. They eat very little. He would prepare khir in meditation. They had nothing. They had no money to buy nice rice, milk, sugar, etc. no nothing. He wanted to cook sweet rice for Govinda, so how could he do it? So Radharani came in the form of a young girl. She said, “Oh Swamaji, Swamaji, Swamaji, I have brought a presentation for you, I have brought some nice rice, milk and sugar, please accept it.” He said, “Who are you?" Radharani said, "I am a girl from this village. My mother has sent all these things for you, please accept it.” Radharani came and gave all these things. It is customary here in India that people will bring some nice presentations: ghee, rice, vegetables, sugar and offer to the sadhus. Yes it is customary.

He just thought like this. “I think if I can prepare some very nice sweet rice and offer it to Govinda…” just thinking like this then immediately Radharani came and gave all these things.

So he prepared the sweet rice and offered it to Govinda. Everything he offered. He didn’t eat any of the prasadam, he just had one grain, just one grain, only to honor the prasad. He distributed the prasadam to all the sadhus staying there and some cowherd boys. But in the morning he couldn’t get up. He couldn’t come out of his cottage, you see. He was sick, he was very, very sick. So nearby people came and asked why is Swamaji not getting up? They understood Swamaji is sick. So they called for a physician. The kaviraja came and touched the pulse and said, “Oh, too much milky food, milk, milk, he has taken too much.” So he is sick, you see. How is it?

So Sanatana Goswami came. Sanatana Goswami is the elder brother. Rupa Goswami is the younger brother. So elder brother means master and he chastised him. “Why? Why did you engaging Radharani in your service? You should not do like this anymore.” He chastised Rupa. "You engaged Radharani, bhah!"

Please Make me the Dasi of Srimati Radharani

Devotee: In this pastime Srimati Radharani is serving Her manjaris. Does that happen in Goloka Vrndavan?

Srimati Vrnda DeviSrila Gour Govinda Swami: The manjaris are very intimate to Radharani. They are Radharani's dear girl companions. They serve under the guidance of Radharani or under the guidance of the dear sakhis, asta-sakhis, like this.

So that is our goal of life. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, kabe hoibo radhara-dasi [Siddhi Lalasa, Song 1, Gitavali] “Oh when shall I be a maid servant of Radharani and serve Krsna?” That is our goal. When we offer worship to Tulasi Devi, we cherish this desire, je tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy. "Oh Tulasi Maharani, Oh Tulasi Devi, you are so dear to Krsna, krishna-preyasi, very dear to Krsna. One who takes shelter of you, all his desires are fulfilled. I have this desire, vraje radha-krishna-seva pabo ei abilasi, I have this desire how I can get an opportunity to serve Radha and Krsna in Vrajabhumi"

Srimati Tulasi DeviThe last part of the prayer is seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi, nayana heribo sada yugala-rupa-rasi, I want to constantly see the beautiful form of Radha and Krsna in the kunja. Kunja-seva adhikara, please give me... please fulfill my desire to serve Radha and Krsna in the kunja. It is kunja-seva adhikara. But no male is allowed there in the kunja, grove. Do you understand? No male is allowed. Only females are there, all are females. Then you have to become a sakhi or manjari, otherwise how can you go there and serve. So that is our desire. When we offer Tulasi puja, Tulasi prayer, we sing this. The last part is seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi. “Oh Tulasi Maharani please make me one of your maid servants and under your guidance, leadership I will serve Radha Krsna in the kunja.” That we offer and this is our desire, yes.

Devotee: A disciple who is cent-per-cent surrendered at the lotus feet of a paramahamsa-guru that means he has already achieved that relationship of serving Radha and Krsna in the kunjas?

Srila Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, that is one of the facets of guru, nikunja yuno rati keli siddhi, he is a radha-priya-sakhi, he is a dear girl companion of Radharani. So that is guru, yes. Two things are there in guru-tattva. You will find in guruvastakam:

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

This is the first one, then the second:

nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai
ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tratrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya
vande guroh sri caranaravindam

These two facets of the guru are mentioned here. In all sastras, it is said saksad hari, he is as good as Lord Hari. He is very dear to Lord Hari, mukunda-prestha. He is very dear and he is as good as Lord Hari. Prabhor yah priya, very dear and very intimate, this is one side.

The other side is nikunja yuno, he is very expert in uniting Radha and Krsna in the kunjas, in the grove. Rati-keli-siddhyai, he is very expert in these loving affairs, rati-krda, loving affairs of Radha and Krsna uniting, very expert. That means sakhi manjari. Two sides, this is guru. Yes, this is guru-tattva.

Devotee: There is a pastime where out of appreciation for Vrnda Devi’s service to Radha and Krsna, Radharani made a throne and seated Krsna on it and then She seated Vrnda Devi next to Krsna.

Srila Gurudeva offering water to Sri Tulasi DeviSrila Gour Govinda Swami: yes, Tulasi, Vrnda Devi is very dear, very dear to Krsna, yes. She is also very merciful. Therefore we offer worship to Tulasi. She has become Tulasi plant here. That story is there in the Brahma-vaivarta purana, how Vrnda Devi came to be Tulasi plant here. Therefore, we offer worship. I always put Tulasi with Krsna on the altar. We offer worship morning and evening and circumambulate, chant and beg her mercy in order to fulfill this desire. If Tulasi Devi will shower her mercy on us then we will become Radha’s dasi. Then we will become a maid servant of Radharani. That is our goal of life. Yes, that is a fact.

It is mentioned, by the mercy of Tulasi Devi once Lord Sivaji could see the rasa dance from a distance and Narada Muni also once saw the rasa dance by the mercy of Tulasi. Tulasi is so merciful. Therefore we offer worship to her and pray and beg her mercy.

Alright, thank you.

 

Srimati Vrnda Devispacer

 

Gauranga Prema
Yuga Acarya
His Divine Grace
Srila Gour Govinda Swami Srila Gurudeva

 

 

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