The following is a transcription of a discourse delivered by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja in Kuala Lumpur, on February 12, 2000


[On Advaita Ācārya’s Āvirbhāva-tithi, because Advaita Ācārya called for the appearance of Lord Caitanya by offering Tulasī and water, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja spoke on the glories of Tulasī.]

Prema-prayojana Prabhu: We have heard how seeing the terrible condition of the world, Śrī Advaita Ācārya’s heart was melting, feeling compassion for all the jīvas. So He wanted to call Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu into this world. While He was thinking of how to do it, then, a verse from Śrīmad Gautamīyatantra came into His mind.

jalasya culukena vā
vikrīṇīte svam ātmānaṁ
bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ

[“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers Him merely a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water.”]

In this verse, the Supreme Lord is saying, “If someone worships Me with only the leaves of Tulasī and water, then ‘svam ātmānaṁ,’ he purchases Me, My very self.” Svam ātmānaṁ – my ātmā. Who is the ātmā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa? Śrīmatī Rādhikā.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why is she the ātmā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa?

Prema-prayojana Prabhu: Because she is the life and soul of Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: We should satisfy Kṛṣṇa, He gives Himself – as a property.

Prema-prayojana Prabhu: He can be purchased by those jīvas who serve Vṛnda-devī, and He can give to them the service of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Our Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has written so beautifully:

tvad-ājñayā pallava-puṣpa-bhṛṅga-
mṛgādibhir mādhava-keli-kuñjāḥ
madhvādibhir bhānti vibhūṣyamāṇā
vṛnde! numas te caraṇāravindam

Śrī Vṛndā-devyāṣṭakam, Verse 4

[By your order, the buds, blossoms, flowers, bees, deer, and all other kinds of animals and birds, as well as the six seasons headed by spring, brilliantly decorate the kuñjas where Śrī Mādhava enjoys His playful pastimes. O Vṛndā, we offer praṇāma to your lotus feet. ]

We should know that all the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in Vraja are arranged by Yogamāyā, Paurṇamāsī. But she has one special department; her manifestation for that department is Vṛnda. Vṛnda-devī is a very dear sakhī, and she is in charge of one special department of Kṛṣṇa’s līlā-nikuñja-līlā – the very sweet, amorous and confidential pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in the groves of Vṛndāvana.

Tvad-ājñayā pallava-puṣpa-bhṛṅga, “By the order of Vṛnda-devī, Vṛndāvana looks beautiful, as if decorated with all the qualities of the spring season. By her order the flowers blossom and spread their fragrance everywhere, the wind blows, the bumble bees are maddened and intoxicated by the sweet honey of the lotus flowers, and they are buzzing here and there. The peacocks are dancing, and deer are also dancing here and there. So, by the grace of Vṛnda-devī, on her order, Vṛndāvana becomes so beautiful and provides the most wonderful playground and setting for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s līlās.”

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa always sees Himself indebted to Vṛnda. With all paraphernalia, she serves in such a way that Kṛṣṇa always thinks He cannot repay her. So if anyone gives Tulasī to Kṛṣṇa, He becomes shy, and He thinks that “He has purchased Me.” You can also make an experiment and test whether it is right or wrong. You should give water to Tulasī and her leaves at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. And if you offer anything, you should put tulasī leaves on each preparation. Then He surely accepts and is happy, and then He will try and please that devotee. He will say, “What do you want? What do you want?” So you should all try and worship Tulasī. Daily you should give water and offer a lamp. You should circumambulate four times and sing the tulasī ārati.

Prema-prayojana Prabhu: Kṛṣṇa is always eager to meet with Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravati Ṭhākura has written;

tvadīya-dūtyena nikuñja-yūno-
ratyutkayoḥ keli-vilāsa-siddhiḥ
tvat-saubhagaṁ kena nirucyatām tad
vṛnde! numas te caraṇāravindam

Śrī Vṛndā-devyāṣṭakam, Verse 5

[Your adeptness at acting as a messenger makes it possible for the Youthful Couple of the kuñjas to accomplish Their playful, amorous pastimes, for which They are so eager. Who can properly describe your good fortune? O Vṛndā, we offer praṇāma to your lotus feet.]

Who can enumerate the glories and good fortune of Vṛnda-devī? It is by her acting as a messenger that Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa can meet. Kṛṣṇa is so indebted to her. Anyone, therefore, who worships Vṛnda-devī, Kṛṣṇa will think, “How can I repay them? You have purchased Me by your service to Vṛnda-devī.” So Advaita Ācārya has established this siddhānta and this very wonderful rapid progress in bhakti to the service of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: If anyone wants to have love and service to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa conjugal, they must worship Tulasī, and very easily they can be benefited. If one doesn’t have prema but is offering Tulasī, will Kṛṣṇa accept his offering or not? If Tulasī is given, it means everything has been given – and Kṛṣṇa must accept.

Prema-prayojana Prabhu: If he is offering Tulasī and he has no guru, will Kṛṣṇa still accept?

Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Kṛṣṇa will be pleased and send a guru.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: If Tulasī is given then Kṛṣṇa will have to accept – guru or no guru. You will have to reconcile it. Kṛṣṇa will take the person’s śraddhā. So it will be beneficial; it will not go in vain. You will have to reconcile it. Whether there is a guru or no guru, if you are chanting the holy name, will there be an effect or not? There will be so many results. You can go to Svarga, have a very elevated position in this world; you can go to Vaikuṇṭha – so many things. What will be the result if there is no sādhu-saṅga and you are chanting?

Prema-prayojana Prabhu: From that chanting sādhu-saṅga will come.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes. It will be beneficial in so many ways. It will not go in vain. If you are offering anything along with Tulasī, even if there is no guru, if there is śraddhā, then because of that śraddhā, Kṛṣṇa will gradually bring that person in line. You cannot say that if one is offering Tulasī, but there is no prema, Kṛṣṇa will not accept. Otherwise all śāstra will be useless. If anyone is not chanting the holy name with love and affection, will there be any effect or not?

Rādhānātha Prabhu: Yes, he will get sukṛti.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Not only sukṛti.

Rādhānātha Prabhu: With that sukṛti he will get sādhu-saṅga.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: The birth of sukṛti.

jayati jayati nāmānanda-rūpaṁ murārer
katham api sakṛd āttaṁ mukti-daṁ prāṇināṁ yat
paramam amṛtam ekaṁ jīvanaṁ bhūṣaṇaṁ me

(Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛtam 1.9, Sanātana Gosvāmī)

“All glories, all glories to the all-blissful holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which causes the devotee to give up all conventional religious duties, meditation, and worship. When somehow or other uttered even once by a living entity, the holy name awards him liberation. The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is the highest nectar. It is my very life and my only treasure.”

These are related to Kṛṣṇa, Tulasī, Yamunā, Ganges, mahāprasādam, Nāma and so on. Somehow it touches anyone – even persons like Jagāi and Mādhāi. So you cannot explain like that.

Gaura premānande!


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Unless indicated differently, all verse translations and quotes are from the books by Śrīla Prabhupāda (

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