SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 9 CHAPTER 25

THE NINTH BOOK

Chapter XXV

On the method of worship of Tulasī Devī

1-2. Nārada said:

When the Devī Tulasī has been made so dear to Nārāyaṇa and thus an object for worship, then describe Her worship and Stotra (the hymn of Tulasī) now.

O Muni! By whom was She first worshipped? By whom were Her glories first sung? And how did She become therefore an object of worship? Speak out all these to me.

3. Sūta said:

Hearing these words of Nārada, Nārāyaṇa, laughing, began to describe this very holy and sin-destroying account of Tulasī.

4-15. Nārāyaṇa said:

Bhagavān Hari duly worshipped Tulasī, and began to enjoy her with Lakṣmī; He raised Tulasī to the rank of Lakṣmī and thus made her fortunate and glorious.

Lakṣmī and Gangā allowed and bore this new union of Nārāyaṇa and Tulasī.

But Saraswatī could not endure this high position of Tulasī owing to Her anger. She became self-conceited and beat Tulasī on some quarrel before Hari.

Tulasī became abashed and insulted and vanished off. Being the Īśvarī of all the Siddhis, the Devī, the Self-manifest and the Giver of the Siddhi yoga to the Jñānins, Tulasī, Oh, what a wonder, became angry and turned out as invisible to Śrī Hari even.

Not seeing Tulasī, Hari appeased Saraswatī and getting Her permission went to the Tulasī forest. Going there and taking a bath in due accord, and with due rites, worshipped with His whole heart the chaste Tulasī and then began to meditate on Her with devotion.

O Nārada! He gets certainly all siddhis who worships Tulasī duly with the ten lettered mantra “Śrīm Hrīm Klīm Aim Vrindāvanyai Svāhā,” the King of mantras, yielding fruits and all gratifications like the Kalpa Tree.

O Nārada! At the time of worship, the lamp of ghee, was lighted and dhūp, Sindūra, sandal, offerings of food, flowers, etc., were offered to Her.

Thus hymned by Hari, Tulasī came out of the tree, pleased. And She gladly took refuge at His lotus feet.

Viṣṇu, then, granted her boon that:

“You will be worshipped by all; I will keep you in My breast and in My head and the Devas also will hold you on their heads.”

And He then took her to His own abode.

16. Nārada said:

“O Highly Fortunate One! What is Tulasī’s dhyāna, stotra and method of worship? Kindly describe all these.”

17. Nārāyaṇa said:

When Tulasī vanished, Hari became very much agitated at her bereavement and went to Vrindāvana and began to praise her.

18-44. The Bhagavān said:

The Tulasī trees collect in multitudinous groups; hence the Pundits call it Vrindā. I praise that dear Tulasī.

Of old, She appeared in the Vrindāvana forest and therefore known as Vrindāvanī. I worship that fortunate and glorious One.

She is worshipped always in innumerable universes and is, therefore, known as Viśvapūjitā (worshipped by all). I worship that Viśvapūjitā.

By whose contact, those countless universes are always rendered pure and holy; and therefore She is called Viśvapāvani (purifying the whole universe).

I am suffering from her bereavement, I remember the Devī. Without Tulasī, the Devas do not get pleased, though other flowers be heaped on them; therefore She is considered as the essence of all the flowers.

Now I am in sorrow and trouble and I am very eager to see her, who is of the nature of purity incarnate.

The whole universe gets delighted when the Bhaktas receive her; hence She is called Nandini; so may She be pleased with me.

There is nothing in the universe that can be compared to Her; hence She is called Tulasī; I take refuge of that clear Tulasī.

That chaste dear one is the life of Kṛṣṇa, hence She is known as Kṛṣṇajīvanī. Now may She save my life.

O Nārada! Thus praising, Ramāpatī remained there. The chaste Tulasī then came to His sight and bowed down to His lotus feet; when She becoming sensitive out of the insult, began to weep.

Bhagavān Viṣṇu, seeing that sensitive dear one, immediately took her to His breast. Taking, then, Saraswatī’s permission, He took her to His own home and brought about, first of all, the agreement between her and Saraswatī.

Then He granted her the boon:

“You will be worshipped by all, respected by all, and honoured by all; and all will carry you on their heads. I will also worship, respect and honour you and keep you on My head. “

Receiving this boon from Viṣṇu, the Devī Tulasī became very glad. Saraswatī then attracted her to her side, made her sit close to her. Lakṣmī and Ganga both with smiling faces attracted her and made her enter into the house.

O Nārada! Whosoever worships her with her eight names:

Vrindā, Vrindāvanī, Viśvapūjitā, Viśvapāvani, Tulasī, Puṣpasārā, Nandanī and Kṛṣṇajīvanī and their meanings and sings this hymn of eight verses duly, acquires the merit of performing Aśva Medhā Yajña (horse sacrifice).

Especially, on the Full Moon night of the month of Kārtik, the auspicious birth ceremony of Tulasī is performed.

Of old Viṣṇu worshipped her at that time. Whoever worships with devotion on that Full Moon combination, the universe purifying Tulasī, becomes freed of all sins and goes up to the Viṣṇu Loka.

Offerings of Tulasī leaves to Viṣṇu in the month of Kārtik bring merits equal to those in giving away Ayuta Cows. Hearing this stotra at that period gives sons to the sonless persons, wives to the wifeless persons and friends to friendless persons.

On hearing this stotra, the diseased become free of their diseases, the persons in bondage become free, the terrified become fearless, and the sinners are freed of their sins.

O Nārada! Thus it has been mentioned how to chant stotra to her. Now hear her dhyāna and method of worship. In the Vedas, in the Kāṇva Śākhā branch, the method of worship is given.

You know that one is to meditate on the Tulasī plant, without any invocation (Āvāhana) and then worship her with devotion, presenting all sorts of offerings as required to her. Now hear Her Dhyānam:

Of all the flowers, Tulasī (the holy basil) is the best, very holy, and captivating the mind. It is a flame burning away all the fuel of sins committed by man.

In the Vedas it is stated that this plant is called Tulasī, because there can be made no comparison with Her amongst all the flowers. She is the holiest of them all.

She is placed on the heads of all and desired by all and gives holiness to the universe. She gives Jīvanmukti, mukti and devotion to Śrī Hari. I worship Her.

Thus meditating on Her and worshipping Her according to due rites, one is to bow down to Her.

O Nārada! I have described to you the full history of Śrī Tulasī Devī. What more do yo want to hear now, say.

Here ends the Twenty-fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the method of worship of Tulasī Devī in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.