THE NINTH BOOK
On the method of worship of Tulasî Devî
1-2. Nârada said :-- When the Devî Tulasî has been made so dear to Nârâyana and thus an object for worship, then describe Her worship and Stotra (the hymn of Tulasî) 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. Sûta said :-- Hearing these words of Nârada, Nârâyana, laughing, began to describe this very holy and sin-destroying account of Tulasî.
4-15. Nârâyana said :-- Bhagavân Hari duly worshipped Tulasî, and began to enjoy her with Laksmî; He raised Tulasî to the rank of Laksmî and thus made her fortunate and glorious Laksmî and Gangâ allowed and bore this new union of Nârâyana and Tulasî. But Sarasvatî could not endure this high position of Tulasî owing to Her anger. She became self-conceited and beat Tulasî on some quarrel before Hari. Tulasî became abashed and insulted and vanished off. Being the Îsvarî of all the Siddhis, the Devî, the Self-manifest and the Giver of the Siddhiyoga to the Jñânins, Tulasî, Oh! what a wonder, became angry and turned out as invisible to Srî Hari even.
Not seeing Tulasî, Hari appeased Sarasvatî and getting Her permission went to the Tulasî forest. Going there and taking a bath in due accord, and with due rites, worshipped with His whole heart the chaste Tulasî and then began to meditate on Her with devotion. O Nârada! He gets certainly all siddhis who worships Tulasî duly with the ten lettered mantra :-- Srîm Hrîm Klîm Aim Vrindâvanyai Svâhâ, the King of mantras, yielding fruits and all gratifications like the Kalpa Tree. O Nârada! At the time of worship, the lamp of ghee, was
lighted and dhûp, sindûra, sandal, offerings of food, flowers, etc., were offered to Her. Thus hymned by Hari, Tulasî came out of the tree, pleased. And She gladly took refuge at His lotus feet. Visnu, 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. Nârada said :-- O Highly Fortunate One! What is Tulasîs dhyân, stotra and method of worship? Kindly describe all these.
17. Nârâyana said :-- When Tulasî vanished, Hari became very much agitated at her bereavement and went to Vrindâvana and began to praise her.
18-44. The Bhagavân said :-- The Tulasî trees collect in multitudinous groups; hence the Pundits call it Vrindâ. I praise that dear Tulasî. Of old, She appeared in the Vrindâvana forest and therefore known as Vrindâvanî. I worship that fortunate and glorious One. She is worshipped always in innumerable universes and is, therefore, known as Visvapûjitâ (worshipped by all). I worship that Visvapûjitâ. By whose contact, those countless universes are always rendered pure and holy; and therefore She is called Visvapâvani (purifying the whole universe). I am suffering from her bereavement, I remember the Devî. Without Tulasî, 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 Nandinî; so may She be pleased with me. There is nothing in the universe that can be compared to Her; hence She is called Tulasî; I take refuge of that clear Tulasî. That chaste dear one is the life of Krisna, hence She is known as Krisnajîvanî. Now may She save my life. O Nârada! Thus praising, Ramâpatî remained there. The chaste Tulasî then came to His sight and bowed down to His lotus feet; when She becoming sensitive out of the insult, began to weep. Bhagavân Visnu, seeing that sensitive dear one, immediately took her to His breast. Taking, then, Sarasvatîs permission, He took her to His own home and brought about, first of all, the agreement between her and Sarasvatî. 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 Visnu, the Devî Tulasî became very glad.
Sarasvatî then attracted her to her side, made her sit close to her. Laksmî and Gangâ both with smiling faces attracted her and made her enter into the house. O Nârada! Whosoever worships her with her eight names Vrindâ, Vrindâvanî, Visvapûjitâ, Visvapâvanî, Tulasî, Puspasârâ, Nandanî and Krisna Jîvanî and their meanings and sings this hymn of eight verses duly, acquires the merit of performing Asvamedha Yajña (horse sacrifice). Specially, on the Full Moon night of the month of Kârtik, the auspicious birth ceremony of Tulasî is performed. Of old Visnu worshipped her at that time. Whoever worships with devotion on that Full Moon combination, the universe purifying Tulasî, becomes freed of all sins and goes up to the Visnu Loka. Offerings of Tulasî leaves to Visnu in the month of Kârtik 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 Nârada! Thus it has been mentioned how to chant stotra to her. Now hear her dhyân and method of worship. In the Vedas, in the Kânva Sâkhâ branch, the method of worship is given. You know that one is to meditate on the Tulasî plant, without any invocation (âvâhana) and then worship her with devotion, presenting all sorts of offerings as required to her. Now hear Her Dhyânam. Of all the flowers, Tulasî (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 Tulasî, 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 Jîvanmukti, mukti and devotion to Srî Hari. I worship Her. Thus meditating on Her and worshipping Her according to due rites, one is to bow down to Her. O Nârada! I have described to you the full history of Srî Tulasî Devî. 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 Tulasî Devî in the Mahâpurânam Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.