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  • Hare Krishna!

    Please Accept My Humble Obeisances.

    We should never pluck Tulsi leaves on Dvadashi. 

    Srimati Tulsi Maharani, the pure devotee of the Lord, fasts on Ekadashis and since she is weak, takes rest, on Dvadashi. Therefore, we should not disturb or hurt her, and thus we must refrain from plucking her leaves.

    We must follow the principle of advance savings i.e. reserve some Tulsi leaves for Dvadashi for offering purposes. Alternatively, we may pick the leaves fallen on the ground around the pot and then after thoroughly washing it, we can use it for offering.

    Following are Vedic Scriptural Injunctions that strictly prohibit us from disturbing Tulasi-devi on Dvadashi:

    (1) Hari Bhakti Vilasa (7.353) mandates:

    samkranty adau ni siddho'pi

    tulasyavacayah smrtau param

    srI visnu bhaktastu

    dvadasyam eva nesyate

    "It is generally forbidden to pluck Tulasi on Sankranti, Purnima, Amavasya, Dvadashi, Sunday, according to the strict rules of the Smritis, but the most important rule according to Shrila Sanatana Goswami which the Vaishnava devotees should certainly follow is to not pluck Tulasi leaves on Dvadashi.

    (2) Hari Bhakti Vilasa (7.354) enjoins the following:

    na chindyat tulasim vipra

    dvadasyam vaisnavah kvacit

    "Oh brahmanas, a Vaisnava never picks Tulasi leaves on Dvadashi, (the day after Ekadashi)."

    (3) Garuda Purana instructs the following also stated in Hari Bhaktha Vilasa (7.355):

    bhanuvaram vina durvam

    tulasim dvadasim vina

    jivitasya avinasaya

    na vicinvata dharma vit

    "A scripturally learned and religious person, if he does not want to destroy his balance duration of life, he should not pick Tulasi leaves on Dvadashi days and Durva grass on Sundays."

    Consequences if Tulasi leaves are plucked on Dvadashi:

    Hari Bhaktha Vilasa (7.353) elaborates on the conversation between Lord Krishna and Shrimati Satyabhama as elucidated in the Padma Purana as:

    dvadasyam tulasi patram

    dhatri patras ca kartike

    lunati sa naro gacchet

    nirayan ati garhitan

    "Any person, who picks Tulasi leaves on Dvadashi or Amalaki leaves...falls into a grievously hellish planet to suffer."

    Atonement: 

    Following mantras should be recited while plucking the leaves of Sri Tulasi:

    tulasy amrta janmäsi

    sadä tvam kesava-priyä

    kesavärthe vicinvämi

    varadä bhava sobhane

    “O tulasi of effulgent beauty, you have been produced from nectar during the churning of the milk ocean. You are always dear to Lord Kesava. I pick your leaves only for the worship of Sri Krsna. May you bestow upon me the benediction that my worship of Krsna will obtain success.” 

    To Beg Forgiveness after picking leaves/manjaris:

    cayanod-bhava dhukham

    cha yad hrdi tava vartate

    tat ksamasva jagan maatha

    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.”

    One can also atone by reciting Sri Tulasi Stava of Sristi-kanda of the Padma Purana:

    Here is short excerpt from the Padma Purana - 

    The Brahmin said: "Srila Vyasadeva, we have heard from you the glories of Tulasi Devi’s leaves and flowers. Now we would like to hear from you the Tulasi Stava (prayer)"

    Srila Vyasadeva replied: "Previously a disciple of Shatanand Muni had approached him with folded hands and inquired about the Tulasi Stava".

    Disciple: "Oh top most of all devotees of Lord Krishna, kindly relate that Tulasi Stava, which you had heard from the mouth of Lord Brahma."

    Shatanand replied: "Just by taking the name of Tulasi Devi one pleases Lord Krishna and destroys all sinful reactions."

    tulasi amrita janmasi sada twam keshava priya
    keshavartham chinomi twam varada bhava sobhane
    twadang sambhavai aniyam
    pujayami yatha hatim
    tatha kuru pavitrangi
    kalou mata vinashini

    One who chants this mantra while picking Tulasi leaves and then offers them to Lord Krishna’s lotus feet, the results of that offering is increased millions of times.


    Tulasi Stava:
    1 munayah sidha-gandharvah
    Patale nagarat svayam
    Prabhavam tava deveshi
    Gayanti sura-sattama

    2 na te prabhavam jananti
    devatah keshavadrite
    gunanam patimananutu
    kalpakotisha-tairapi

    3 krsna-anandat samudbhnutu
    kshiroda – mathanodyame
    uttamange pura yena
    tulasi-vishnu na dhrita

    4 prapyaitani tvaya devi
    vishno-rangani sarvashah
    pavitrata tvaya prapta
    tulasim tvam namamyaham
    5 tvadanga-sambhavaih patrai
    puja-yami yatha harim
    tatha kurushva me vighna
    yato yami para gatim

    6 ropita gomati-tire
    svayam-krsnena palita
    jagaddhitaya tulasi
    gopinam hita-hetave

    7 vrindavane vicharata
    sevita vishnuna svayam
    gokulasya vivriddhyath
    kamsasya nidhanaya cha

    8 vashishtha vachanat purvam
    ramen sarayu-tate
    rakshasanam vadharthaya
    ropit-tvam jagat-priye
    ropita-tapaso vridhyai
    tulasi-tvam namamyaham

    9 viyoge raghavendra-sya
    dhyatva tvam janak atmaja
    ashokavana-madhye tu
    priyena saha-sangata

    10 shankarartha pura devi
    parvatya tvam himalaye
    ropita sevita siddhyai
    tulasi-tvam namamyaham

    11 dharmaranye gayayam cha
    sevita pitribhih svayam
    sevita tulasi punya
    atmano hita-michhata

    12 ropita ramachandren
    sevita lakshmanena cha
    sitaya palita bhaktya
    tulasi-dandake vane

    13 trailokya-vyapini ganga
    yatha-shastre-shu giyate
    tathaiva tulasi devi
    drisyate sacharachare

    14 rishyamuke cha vasata
    kapirajen sevita
    tulasi balinashaya
    tarasangam-hetave
    15 pranamya tulasi-devi
    sagarot tkramanam kritam
    krit-karayah prahusthascha
    hanuman punaragataha

    16 tulasi grahanam kritva
    vimukto yati patakaih
    athava munishardula
    brahma-hatyam-vyapohati

    17 tulasi patra-galitam
    yastoyam-sirasa vahet
    ganga-snanam avapnoti
    dasha-dhenu phala-pradam

    18 prasid devi deveshi
    prasid hari vallabhe
    kshirod-mathanod bhute
    tulasi tvam namamyaham

    19 dvadasyam jagare ratrou
    yah pathet tulasi stavam
    dvatrim-shadaperadhans cha
    kshamate tasya keshavah


    Translation:

    (1) O goddess, the munis, siddhas, gandharvas, the naga kings in Patala, and the great demigods sing your glories.

    (2) Even though they have counted many millions of your virtues, the demigods, except for Lord Keshava, do not understand the full extent of your powers and glories.

    (3) Born from Lord Krishna’s bliss as He churned the milk ocean, Tulasi was carried by Lord Vishnu on His head.

    (4) O Tulasi, I offer obeisances to you. When you are placed on Lord Vishnu’s limbs, you purify everyone.

    (5) As with your leaves I worship Lord Hari, please remove the obstacles before me. I take shelter of you.

    (6) To bring auspiciousness to the world and to benefit the gopis, Lord Krishna planted you and cared for you on the shore of the Gomati River.

    (7) To bring opulence to Gokula and to become able to kill Kamsa, Lord Vishnu served you in Vrindavana.

    (8) O you who are dear to the worlds, in order to become able to kill the rakshasas, by Vasistha’s order, Lord Rama planted you on the shore of the Sarayu. Planting you is like performing great austerities. To you, O Tulasi, I offer my respectful obeisances.

    (9) When in the grove of asoka trees Sita-devi was separated from Lord Rama, she meditated on you and for this reason she attained the company of her beloved.

    (10) To attain Lord Shiva, Parvati planted you, O goddess, in the Himalayas. To you, O Tulasi, I offer my obeisances.

    (11) You are served by the pitas in the Dharmaranya forest of Gaya. You, O sacred Tulasi, are served by they who desire auspiciousness.

    (12) O Tulasi you were planted by Lord Rama, served by Laksmana, and with great devotion protected by Sita devi in the Dandaka forest.

    (13) As the Ganges, which flows through the three worlds, is glorified in the shastras, so Tulasi Devi is seen by the moving and unmoving creature.

    (14) To meet Tara, and kill Vali, the king of monkeys served you Tulasi, in Rsyamukha.

    (15) Bowing down to Tulasi Devi, Hanuman crossed the ocean, and, happy and his mission accomplished, returned home again.

    (16) By touching Tulasi, one becomes free of all sins. O tiger of sages, in this way, one becomes feree of the sin of killing a brahmana.

    (17) If one holds on his head the water that has washed a Tulasi leaf, he attains the result of bathing in the Ganges or the result of giving ten cows in charity.

    (18) O goddess, O queen of the demigods, please be kind! O beloved of Lord Hari, please be kind! O Tulasi born from the churning of the milk ocean, I offer my respectful obeisances to you.

    (19) Lord Keshava forgives 32 offences for one who, staying awake on Dwadasi night, recites this prayer to Tulasi.

    One who worships Tulasi Devi on the Dwadasi (12th day) and chants this Tulasi Stava destroys all 32 kinds of sinful reactions. Lord Krishna becomes very happy with that person.

    Asta-Naam-Stava

    Eight names of Tulasi Devi

    Vrindavani, vrinda, visvapujita, pushpasara,
    Nandina, krsna-jivani, visva-pavani, tulasi

    Vrindavani – one who first manifested in Vrindavan.
    Vrinda – The goddess of all plants and trees (even if one Tulasi plant is present in a forest it can be called Vrindavan.).
    Visvapujita – one whom the whole universe worships.
    Pushpasara – the top most 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 Krishna.
    Visva-pavani – one who purifies the three worlds.
    Tulasi – one who has no comparison.

    Anyone while worshipping Tulasi Devi chants these eight names will get the same result as one who performs the Asvamed Yagna and one who on the full moon day of Karttik (Tulasi Devi’s appearance day) worships her with this mantra will break free from the bonds of this miserable world of birth and death, and very quickly attain Goloka Vrindavan. On the full moon day of Kartika, Lord Krishna Himself worships Tulasi Devi with this mantra. One who remembers this mantra will very quickly attain devotion to Lord Krishna’s lotus feet.

            

    Some Key points to remember while plucking and offering Tulasi Leaves for offering to Lord Krishna:

    1. The leaves should be washed 3 times before offering and kept in a bowl of fresh water inside of a refrigerator. If They are not kept like this They turn limp and pale . If They are kept in water, but not in a refrigerator They will turn brown.

    2. Be sure to change the water in the bowl everyday, and clean the sides of the bowl so that no film grows. 

    3. Estimate the required amount of leaves needed a day and try to pick about the same amount each day and in that way we will always have a supply and She will feel regular. (Sometimes in the case of manjaris, there will be an extra amount of mercy.

    4. Don' t pick Her leaves sporadically, but aim for the same time, same amount, every day. It depends on how healthy and bushy the plant is. If there are hundreds of leaves on Her, it won't hurt to take a few. However, if there are only 13 or 14 leaves, don' t take any at all unless they are about to drop off . It depends on the size and health of the plant . Use your discretion in the matter.

    5. Srila Prabhupada has stated that dried leaves are just as offerable as fresh green ones. So rather than strip a weak Tulasi of Her few greatly needed leaves, the devotees can use dried leaves in case of non-availability.

    Planting, watering, protecting, maintaining, circumambulating, seeing, bowing down to, praying to, and glorifying are all ways of serving and worshiping Shrimati Tulasi-devi. 

    For more, you may go through my reply in this link: Shrimati Tulasi-devi.

    Your Servant,

    Mathura Vasi Devi Dasi.

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