This website is dedicated to the care of Srimati Tulasi devi.
While there are other websites dedicated to Tulasi devi, many of them do not have details on her care other than the information in the Tulasi Handbook. One exception is the information compiled by Rudrani devi dasi and Sananda dasa of the Vancouver, BC temple, who are exemplary servants of Tulasi devi.
For those who are unfamiliar with Tulasi, she is a pure devotee of the Lord, in the form of a plant. She is a confidential associate of the Lord, and one of the two holiest places is named after her. While this may seem strange or inconceivable, it is declared in the sastra, or scripture. Many such quotes are available on the Quotes page where we have compiled statements from Srila Prabhupada’s books, lectures, and conversations.
Those who do not recognize Srimati Tulasi devi’s transcendental nature will unknowingly commit offenses. Such offenses due to ignorance or lack of knowledge result in less reaction than those made in knowledge. Many people only consider Tulasi to be a type of basil used for making tea, and this is certainly an offense made without knowledge – but it is a greater offense for devotees to use Tulasi for such purposes.
Tulasi devi is very merciful, which means she tolerates so many offenses and still bestows the highest benediction – for those who seek it.
What is that benediction? Look to the Tulasi prayer on the Prayers page to find out. It is something of no value to those determined to stay in this material world. It is something that is inconceivable to those who are not totally devoted to God. And it is the heart and soul of the devotees of Krsna.
It is well known that devotion is the primary requirement for Tulasi’s care. However, real devotion means that no detail will be left unattended, and thus we should be expert in her care. Tulasi may tolerate our mistakes, but we should not tolerate them ourselves.
As Srila Prabhupada said, service is the proof of love.
Vaishnavas (devotees of Krsna) use beads made of Tulasi wood for chanting the Holy Names. Vaishnavas wear beads made of Tulasi wood around their necks. Every Vaishnava does these, irrespective of disciplic lineage.
Such is the importance of Srimati Tulasi devi in the execution of devotional life.
This site is particularly meant for devotees in temperate climates. Tulasi can be kept outdoors in tropical and sub-tropical climates, but not in temperate ones. Many devotees struggle to care for Tulasi, particularly when she has to come indoors for winter.
This is a humble attempt to share some things I’ve learned – and continue to learn – so that maybe you won’t have to make the same mistakes I have. It is a work in progress, and you may find pages under construction here and there.
There are several places online where you can ask questions of devotees who have some experience. I know of two such places on Facebook: Servants of Srimati Tulasi Devi and Tulsi – and there are undoubtedly others.
Yours in the service of Srimati Tulasi devi,