On May 26 the temple room of ISKCON Vancouver will be transformed into a sacred grove resembling Vrindavana, Lord Krishna's abode, as devotees celebrate the Maha Tulsi Puja Festival, or the "great Tulasi worship festival." The program is tentatively scheduled to begin at 6pm. His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami will lecture.
ISKCON Vancouver is world-famous for its cultivated Tulasi (holy basil, ocimum sanctum), which are notoriously difficult to maintain in a potted state for more than two years. The temple's success in growing Tulasi plants to an unusually large size was highlighted in ISKCON's official magazine, Back to Godhead. It's said that Tulasi worship is a barometer of devotion. If so, then the Vancouver temple is doing something right, if only to give this intimate devotee—who takes the form of a delicate shrub.
In her original spiritual form, Tulasi is known as the goddess Vrinda, one of the Lord's consorts and a great devotee. She is in charge of making suitable arrangements for Krishna's pastimes in the spiritual world. Indeed, the name "Vrindavana" means a grove or forest of Tulasi bushes and the use of her leaves is an essential part of Deity worship for Vaishnavas. It is only one reason why she is known as the "mother of devotion" to Lord Krishna.
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