By: Mahanidhi Swami
Caretakers and householders should treat Tulasi-devi like a member of the family. She is a person and like all individuals, Tulasi thrives on attention, love and tender care. Tulasi-devi is a divine being, a Maharani, fully engaged in Sri Krishna’s loving seva, who kindly agrees to live with us like a loving friend and a family member. She reciprocates with our loving attention, and cooperates with us to better serve our Thakuraji and Thakurani Sri Sri Radha Giridhari.
Like yourself or your beloved family members, Tulasi-devi needs proper food and nourishment; protection from the elements and aggressive living entities; and believe it or not, a daily bath!!! [that’s for India] And Tulasi-devi also needs attractive colorful clothing and various coverings in different seasons.
From the copious info available on Net, we collected a few key points on Tulasi-devi loving care, and hope they will be of use to you.
PROBLEMS CHECK DAILY:
- Over watering
- Spider Mites & bugs (inspect leaf tops & bottoms)
- Fungus or Powdery Mildew
- Insufficient light (Tulsi needs daily 12-14 hours; especially afternoon sunshine)
- Pots with poor drainage
- Insufficient soil nutrients, fertilizer. (seen in yellow or pale green leaves)
- Watering too much or little.
DAILY TULSI CARE:
- Pluck all flowers, buds aka manjaris and yellow leaves. Wash & offer to your Krishna Thakuraji.
- Remove dried leaves from base of Tulasi
- Loosen top soil carefully with spoon or fingers.
- Rotate Tulasi pot ½ turn daily to insure straight growth.
- Daily Bath (India): Summer spray bottle Tulasi 10:00 a.m. and about 2:30. She loves it as seen in Her green effulgence. DAILY bathing (although it takes some time; it is an expression of our love), and it is the best way to keep Tulasi Maharani healthy and disease/insect free.
*** DON’T PLUCK ON DWADASI, AMAVASYA OR PURNIMA!!
One Net article warned thus: “Puranas say Lord Hari will decapitate that person who plucks Tulasi on Dwadasi, Amavasya or Purnima; or one in state of impurity or anointed with oil; at noon, daybreak or sundown; or in one’s night dress!”
- Humbly approach Tulasi-devi and offer obeisances with mantra:
vrindayai tulasi devyai, priyayai keshvasya ca
krishna bhakti prade devi, satyavatyai namo namah
“I offer repeated obeisances unto Tulasi-devi, who is known as Vrnda-devi and Satyavati (the embodiment of truth). O Tulasi-devi! You are very dear to Lord Keshava and the giver of Krishna bhakti.”
- Respectfully clap hands three times.
- While plucking, chant this mantra:
tulasy amrta janmasi, sada tvam keshava priya
keshavartham chinomi tvam, varada bhava shobhane
“O Tulasi devi! You were born from nectar and are forever dear to Keshava Sri Krishna. Now to worship Sri Keshavaji, I am collecting your leaves and manjaris. O beautiful Tulasi, please bless me.”
- After picking, chant:
cayanodbhava duhkham ca, yad hrdi tava vartate
tat ksamasva jagan matah, vrnda devi namo stu te
“O mother of the universe, Vrnda devi! I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Kindly forgive me if I have caused you any pain by picking your leaves and manjaris.”
- Offer obeisances again & chant mantra #1.
WATERING PROCEDURE: Insert finger in soil: if wet, don’t water; if dry, water. Best to look at Tulasi-devi, feel her presence in your heart and communicate with her needs. Supersoul Sri Krishna will guide you in this detail of proper watering. If there is love and will, Sri Krishna will show the proper way.
TLC Tulasi Loving Care ki jai!
Srimati Vrnda-devi, Tulasi Maharani ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!