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Tulsanji sets the perfect example for a humble service attitude

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imageproxy.jpgTulsanji is a Sakhi in the Lord’s eternal Lila so why would she not be so consciencious? Her guru, Shri Gusainji is the form of Shri Candravaliji.

VARTA 4.1

Tulsan, disciple of Shri Acharyaji Padmanabhdasji’s daughter.

***Bhavaprakasha***

In the eternal Lila, Tulsanji is Padmanabhdasji’s Sakhi. Padmanabhdasji is Campakalata and Tulsanji her Sakhi Manikundala.

Tulsanji was of a very pure and peaceful nature and was as bright as the effulgence of diamond earrings. She was always ready to serve Padmanabhdasji.

*******PART 1 ********

Once a disciple of Shri Acharyaji visited Tulsanji’s home at the time of the aarati at lunchtime for Shri Mathuranathji. Tulsanji suggested to that Vaishnava that he take his bath and then partake of Shri Mathuranahthji’s Prasad. However, the Vaishnava replied that he would bathe and  have Prasad at home. Tulsan did not say anything and the Vaishnava went home. Tulsanji felt much regret that the Vaishnava had gone home without Prasad.

***Bhavaprkasha***

The Vaishnava had not taken Prasad due to his adherence to rules of caste and that is why she had not insisted. He was a Gaud Brahmin and, in the eternal Lila, he is a Sakhi of Shri Lalitaji named Saurabha who is always emitting the sweet smell of roses.

He is Lalitaji’s Sakhi whereas she is a Sakhi of Campakalata with whom Shri Mathuranathji was happily residing, and that is why he had refused the Prasad. His reasoning was that he would need Shri Lalitaji’s permission to do so. Therefore he went home and hence Tulsanji was upset.

Tulsani thought to herself, “He didn’t partake of the sakadi Prasad here because of the considerations of caste. But tomorrow I will offer puris [fried breads] which are anasakadi and hopefully he will partake. She sieved the flour, prepared them kept them ready. Then she went to sleep without taking Prasad herself.

That night, Shri Mathuranathji appeared to her in a dream and told her “That Vaishnava will again come here and this time you will have the chance to feed him.

***Bhavaprakasha.***

The Lord told Tulsanji, “Don’t worry, the Vaishnava will come back tomorrow and accept the Prasad. Shri Thakurji next went to the Vaishnava and asked him why he had not had Prasad at Tulsanji’s home. He told the Vaishnava, “Tomorrow you must eat there. It is Shri Lalitaji’s wish.”

Shri Lalitaji herself told him to take Prasad there because there was no difference between hers and Tulsanji’s love for the Lord.

*******Part 2 *******

In the morning, Tulsani cooked the puris. She awoke Shri Mathuranathji and began to bathe and dress Him. Whilst she was doing so, that same Vaishnava, having finished his own home Seva early, came to Tulsanji’s home. Tulsanji made the offerings and then stepped outside. Seeing the Vaishnava there, she greeted him with the Lord’s name and suggested that he might take a bath and then worship the Lord. The Vaishnava replied that he had already bathed.

When Tulsanji received the Lord’s offerings back as Prasad and performed the aarati ceremony, the Vaishnava had Darshan of Shri Mathuranathaji. She then closed the Lord’s room for the afternoon rest period and set a place for the Vaishnava to take his Prasad.

The plate was of puri, crushed sugar, yoghurt and salad. She invited the Vaishnava to eat but he refused, saying that he wanted to have the sakadi Prasad. Tulsanji said he should not worry and that she understood his reasons for not taking. The Vaishnava said, “This is true, that is what I thought at first. But now I have been given the order to partake and therefore please feed me the sakadi Prasad. Tulsanji gave him a plate containing both types of preparations. He happily ate them before returning home. Tulsanji felt very happy.

***Bhavaprakasha***

One should always respect any Vaishnava who comes to the home. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam there is a comparison made between a snakes hole and a home where there is not any Prasad to share. Tulsanji was very strict about adhering to this rule of honouring guests.

****PART 3*******

Another time, Shri Gusainji came to Tulsanji’s home. She served him very nicely. She treated him as if he were more important than even Shri Thakurji. Shri Gusainji was very happy with her service.

One day when he had finished his meal and was taking rest, Tulsanji read to him from the Shrimad Bhagavatam and he was extremely gratified. Shri Gusainji declared “It is only natural that Padmanabhdasji’s children would be as good as you.

***Bhavaprakasha***

Tulsanji is a Sakhi in the Lord’s eternal Lila so why would she not be so consciencious? Shri Gusainji is the form of Shri Candravaliji. Her relationship with Shri Thakurji is classed as ‘parakiya’ [in other words not that of a wife to Him], so they enjoyed a lot of humour together.

Once he asked Tulsanji with a cheeky glance of the eyes “Does Shri Thakurji grant you the Bliss of His Form?  You are His Sakhiji and you serve Him so you must have developed a togetherness?! You and I are partners in this!” In this way he joked with her. However, Tulsanji was totally satvik in her heart [very pure and proper] and so she was not so cheeky in character.

*****PART 3****

Then Shri Gusainji asked her whether her Shri Thakurji spoke to her directly. Tulsanji replied, “I just eat my belly full and sleep deeply. I can only say that I daily look at Shri Acharyaji’s written instructions. Shri Gusainji was very pleased to hear such an answer.

***Bhavaprakasha***

There are several levels of explanation for this statement. The most important  implication is that “Shri Thakurji grants me as much experience of which I am worthy -as much as I can digest. And that I enjoy good sleep together with My Lord. The Lord is my husband [svakiya bhava] and therefore I am happy and have no worries.”

The next interpretation is that Tulsanji is telling her Guru “O, Maharaj, I have spent many births separated from my Beloved Lord, but have now come to Him. In none of those other births did I feel satisfaction from hunger, neither did I enjoy sound sleep. Now, through your Grace I have surrendered to this Path of Grace. It is in this birth that I am satisfied and also able to sleep contentedly in the shelter of my Lord. All the other births were spent in the sadness of ignorance.

From the point of view of the mood of humility, Tulsanji is stating “Why would the Lord speak directly to me? I am only like an animal that eats and then sleeps and I only do service when I am forced to like a donkey that only moves when it is beaten.

I like eating and I only do Seva because otherwise people would criticize me for being Padmanabhdasji’s daughter and not serving. I only do it to impress them so why would Shri Thakurji let me have His direct experience?”

Surdasji has sung “Who would bother to speak to one as fallen as I am and who only likes to eat and sleep?” Tulsanji says,  “I am one of these fallen beings who seeks comfort of the body. However I do read Shri Acharyaji’s teachings every day.”

Even if one doesn’t fully comprehend the inner meaning of his writings, the simple regular reading of these teachings will be blessed by the Lord with His experience. She did not infer this reading to be a religious duty by which she would fulfill some scriptural obligation but rather was extolling the power of Shri Acharyajis written teachings which brought with them the Grace of the Lord. Shri Gusainji felt very happy to hear Tulsanji’s wise and loving words.

*****PART 3*****

Tulsanji was thus a very accomplished Vaishnava. Shri Gusainji was always very pleased with her. There is truly no end to her lilas.

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