720106 - Letter to Radhavallabha written from Bombay
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ISKCON 89 Warden Road,
January 6th 1972
My Dear Radhaballabha das,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your first and second copies of your letter dated December 18th, 1971 which were sent to Bombay and Madras respectively. I am very glad to know that you are seriously taking to Srimati Tulasi Devi worship. Tulasi Devi is a pure devotee of Krishna and she should be treated with the same respect given to all Krishna's pure devotees. Simply by worshiping her faithfully, a devotee can get himself free of from all material miseries. In the Nectar of Devotion I have given two verses from the Skanda Purana, one of which is: "Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about, or simply by sowing the tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the Tulasi tree in the above mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha world." So from this verse we can understand how pure is the service which Tulasi offers to Sri Krishna. So we should always endeavor after becoming servant of Tulasi Devi. I do not know who has taught you that part of a Tulasi plant may be cut off and then replanted? From the Tulasi plant you can cut off only leaves for offering them to Krishna, never for cutting and planting. That is an offense. The manjaris (seeds) can be offered in water and it makes the water fragrant and tasteful. And the manjaris can be planted for growing new Tulasi plants. Yes, the prayer you have enclosed is bona fide. Tulasi Devi never goes back to Godhead, she is always with Godhead. She is a pure devotee and thus she has appeared on this planet to render service to Krishna by being offered in all temples throughout the world by being offered up to the lotus feet of Krishna.
Chanting japa should be done early in the morning with full concentration preferably during the Brahma Muhurta time. Concentrate fully on the sound vibration of the mantra, pronouncing each name distinctly and gradually your speed in chanting will increase naturally. Do not worry so much about chanting fast, most important is the hearing. A devotee should always be grave and silent which means that he only discusses topics relating to Krishna Consciousness. Yes, spend your time chanting and reading and taking Krishna Prasadam and automatically your tongue will come under control. If you sincerely engage 24 hours daily in devotional service according to the instructions of the Spiritual Master, chant daily 16 rounds, attend the arati ceremony of Lord Krishna, associate with the devotees and adhere strictly to the regulative principles then Krishna will reveal Himself personally to you.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami