Reflect on Tulasi
Two trees were planted this fall at the Brick Works, a popular destination for walking lovers. The labels wrapped around each of this young growth reads “Thornless Common Locust.” I feel a bit guilty. I should know all my trees by now. I pass by them everyday. If you can’t tell the model of a car in this modern age due to a certain disdainment towards them, then at least you should know your ever present trees, by name.
Now with leaves of trees, having taken to the descending process, it becomes somewhat more difficult to discern whatever I can identify as far as these large plants are concerned.
Tomorrow will be the day to honour a certain sacred small tree known as Tulasi. She grows not in the ravine that I’ve currently taken to walking in. The temperature is far too frigid for this sensitive growth of green also known as a member of the basil family. She likes the climate of India and other such warm places.
In the purport of verse 11.55 of the Gita, our guru Srila Prabhupada, comments on how one can get close to the Divine by showing a sensitivity and love for the Tulasi plant. “One can cultivate a garden. Anyone who has land in India, at least, any poor man has a certain amount of land – can utilize that for Krishna by growing flowers to offer Him. One can sow Tulasi plants, because Tulasi leaves are very important and Krishna has recommended this. Krishna desires that one offer Him either a leaf, or a flower, or a fruit, or a little water – and by such an offering He is satisfied. This leaf especially refers to the Tulasi.”
Someone might argue her relevance if the plant can’t naturally grow in one’s climate. The answer could be that as an indoor plant she can do well. Her aroma is something else. If anyone would like proof of her ability to take to an indoor or greenhouse environment then I suggest to go on foot (pilgrimage) or otherwise to visit ISKCON in Burnaby, British Columbia where they have perhaps the healthiest growth of this sacred green anywhere in the world.
For those who want some auspiciousness in their day taste, smell, water or reflect on Tulasi this day.