Spiritual Master

Tulasi Devi

romapada swami on tulsi devi
Written by Romapada Swami

Question: Tulasi Devi is a Jiva Tattva and is an individual like all living entities. How do we understand her manifestation into unlimited
number of plants?

Answer by Romapada Swami: Tulasi Devi is sakti-tattva.

See SB 10.39.53-55

Encircling the Lord and worshiping Him were Nanda, Sunanda and His other personal attendants; Sanaka and the other Kumaras; Brahma, Rudra and other chief demigods; the nine chief brahmanas; and the best of the saintly devotees, headed by Prahlada, Narada and Uparicara Vasu. Each of these great personalities was worshiping the Lord by chanting sanctified words of praise in his own unique mood. Also in attendance were the Lord’s principal internal potencies — Sri, Pusti, Gir, Kanti, Kirti, Tusti, Ila and Urja — as were His material potencies Vidya, Avidya and Maya, and His internal pleasure potency, Sakti.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains the Lord’s potencies mentioned in these verses: “Sri is the potency of wealth; Pusti that of strength; Gir,knowledge; Kanti, beauty; Kirti, fame; and Tusti, renunciation. These are the Lord’s six opulences. Ila is His bhu-sakti, also known as sandhini, the internal potency of whom the element earth is an expansion. Urja is His internal potency for performing pastimes; she expands as the tulasi plant in this world. Vidya and Avidya [knowledge and ignorance] are external potencies who cause the living entities’ liberation and bondage, respectively. Sakti is His internal pleasure potency, hladini, and Maya is an internal potency who is the basis of Vidya and Avidya. The word ca implies the presence of the Lord’s marginal energy, the jiva-sakti, who is subordinate to Maya. Lord Visnu was being served by all these personified potencies.

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