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Thread: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

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    Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    I got a set of neck beads and a japa mala of tulasi. I want to wear the neck beads; of course I know it would be permanent. I got two sets, an 18" which may be too tight, and a 48" which will go around twice at 24" which is very good. I can also string them together to go around three times at 22" which is even better.

    I found instructions on how to offer them to Lord Krishna before using. I've also found conflicting information on how many times to go around the neck. But conflicting is as conflicting does, i.e., everyone has an opinion.

    This is the article about offering:

    Japa-mala and kanthi-mala must be purified and offered before they are taken into use. The rite of sanctifying the mala should performed by gurudeva or another senior Vaishnava. In their absence, one may also do it himself.

    To purify the mala, you should first bathe it in sacred water. Then, place it on a tray and bathe it with pancha-gavya, or the five substances of cow (milk, yoghurt, ghee, cow dung and cow urine), followed by the pancha-amrita, or the five nectarine substances (milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey and sugar-water).

    Having completed the bathing, chant the eighteen-syllable Krishna-mantra and the kama-gayatri eight times each over the mala. Then, worship the mala with the touch of the fumes of incense, chanting the sadyojAta-mantra:

    sadyojAtaM prapadyAmi sadyojAtAya vai namo namaH |
    bhave bhave nAtibhave bhavasva mAm bhavodbhavAya namaH || mnu 17.1

    “I seek shelter in the giver of new life, I salute him again and again. Do not leave me amidst the mundane world, lead me beyond; Obeisances to the one at the source of the worlds!”

    With this rite, new life is invoked into the mala for the deliverance of the sadhaka. Before employing the mala, one should pray to the sacred mala, offering it to Krishna. One should never employ a mala without offering it first:

    haraye nArpayed yas tu tulasI-kASTha-sambhavAm |
    mAlAM dhatte svayaM mUDhaH sa yAti narakaM dhruvam || hbv 4.310

    “That fool, who accepts the mala made of tulasi-wood without offering it to Hari, will attain a permanent hell.”

    Having duly offered the mala to Thakur by wearing it around his neck or touching it to his hand, and then touching it to the heads of his companions and the guru-varga, one may employ it himself. If a kanthi-mala has been sanctified, it should be bound around the neck with the following mantra:

    tulasI-kASTha-sambhUte mAle kRSNa-jana priYe |
    bibharmi tvAm ahaM kaNThe kuru mAM kRSNa-vallabhaM || hbv 4.312

    “Born of the branches of Tulasi, mala, dear to Krishna’s people; I carry you in my neck, make me dear to Krishna.”

    If a japa-mala is been sanctified, it should be taken with folded hands and placed into the bead bag with the following prayers:

    avighnaM kuru mAle tvaM hari.nAma-japeSu ca |
    zrI-rAdhA-kRSNayor dAsyaM dehi-mAle tu prArthaye || mbd 4.223

    “O mala, I implore you: Make my harinama-japa free of obstacles, bestow me the servitude of Radha and Krishna!”

    tvaM mAle sarva-devAnAM sarva-siddhi.pradA matA |
    tena satyena me siddhiM dehi mAtar namo’stu te || mbd 4.225

    “You, O mala, we know as the abode of all gods and the bestower of all perfections. Thus, verily, bestow perfection unto me; Obeisances unto you!”
    I don't have access to cow dung or cow urine. I can make a panchamrit to bathe them with, and I can say the prayers. But I am wondering if it's also OK to put them on the altar when I do puja and offer panchamrit (without bathing them) and other offerings, then accept them as prasad just like the panchamrit and other offering(s), and use them.

    Now, I'm not Gaudiya or ISKCON, but I thought wearing the tulsi neckbeads would be a nice gesture to show devotion to Sri Krishna, not to mention using the mala for japa.

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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    I got a set of neck beads and a japa mala of tulasi. I want to wear the neck beads; of course I know it would be permanent. I got two sets, an 18" which may be too tight, and a 48" which will go around twice at 24" which is very good. I can also string them together to go around three times at 22" which is even better.

    I found instructions on how to offer them to Lord Krishna before using. I've also found conflicting information on how many times to go around the neck. But conflicting is as conflicting does, i.e., everyone has an opinion.

    This is the article about offering:



    I don't have access to cow dung or cow urine. I can make a panchamrit to bathe them with, and I can say the prayers. But I am wondering if it's also OK to put them on the altar when I do puja and offer panchamrit (without bathing them) and other offerings, then accept them as prasad just like the panchamrit and other offering(s), and use them.

    Now, I'm not Gaudiya or ISKCON, but I thought wearing the tulsi neckbeads would be a nice gesture to show devotion to Sri Krishna, not to mention using the mala for japa.
    Wearing a Tulsi maalaa is seen a very sacred and strict vow to be a true Vaishnava. Are you ready to strictly follow the Vaishnava path ? You have to decide.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    haraye nArpayed yas tu tulasI-kASTha-sambhavAm |
    mAlAM dhatte svayaM mUDhaH sa yAti narakaM dhruvam || hbv 4.310

    That fool, who accepts the mala made of tulasi-wood without offering it to Hari, will attain a permanent hell.”
    In my opinion dhruva should not be translated here as permanent but as certainly or surely.
    No place in the material world is permanent.
    tadetadAtAravilochanasri / sambhAvitASeza vinamragarvam
    muhur murArer madhurAdharoztham / mukhAmbujam chumbati mAnasam me

    kRSNa karNamRtam 85

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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Namaste, and thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Wearing a Tulsi maalaa is seen a very sacred and strict vow to be a true Vaishnava. Are you ready to strictly follow the Vaishnava path ? You have to decide.

    OM
    I see.

    Well, for me Lord Krishna is Superme Lord, and my devotion, worship and thoughts are always on Him. I haven't become fully vegetarian yet (I don't eat anything with fur anymore) but I'm working towards it the best I can. I don't drink, smoke, gamble (heck, I don't even play the lottery) or have illicit, casual sex. My goal is to please Him and reach Him. But given my non-veg status I am second-thinking wearing the neck beads.

    Quote Originally Posted by anadi View Post
    In my opinion dhruva should not be translated here as permanent but as certainly or surely.
    No place in the material world is permanent.
    Hmm... translations are always a problem. Saying that Lord Hari would condemn someone to hell for eternity sounds too much like... well, you know... And I don't think any of us accept that.

    I'm glad I asked because that article jolted me. How many people use tulsi japa malas without an offering? Lots, I suppose. And nothing came with the beads saying they were already offerd or blessed. When I ordered my puja set from Rudra Center, I spent enought to get a free rudraksha mala. Rudra Center sends a note saying everything is blessed properly before being shipped.

  5. #5

    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    It may very well be that your japa mala beads are indeed, blessed. However, if it were me, I'd have them blessed by a priest to be 100% certain.

    Since I buy plenty of malas as gifts, I have them all blessed by a priest and he does put them on an altar when doing so. I'd be very interested to hear from other people about the various methods that they encounter for the blessings.
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS ~

  6. #6

    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    For me the term offer the mala to Hari is not only the ritual,
    the meaning is , when you wear it but not offer yor action of wearing it to Hari , that is not respect God.
    How to offer it ? offer it by action life like "TouchedbytheLord" said, we must life in Vaishnavas way.

    OM. VAJRA. VISHNUYA. SVAHA
    OM. VAJRA. GARUDA. CALE CALE. HUM PHAT


    OM. AMOGHA VAIROCANA. MAHA-MUDRA. MANI PADMA JVALA PRAVARTTAYA. HUM

    Om Saha Nau-Avatu |
    Saha Nau Bhunaktu |
    Saha Viiryam Karava-Avahai |
    Tejasvi Nau-Adhii-Tam-Astu Maa Vidviss-Aavahai |
    Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||


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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    N My goal is to please Him and reach Him. But given my non-veg status I am second-thinking wearing the neck beads.
    In my humble opinion that would be highly appropriate as seeing a person wearing a kanthi mala and eating meat is unthinkable.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Namaste all, and thanks. You learn something new every day.

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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    In my humble opinion that would be highly appropriate as seeing a person wearing a kanthi mala and eating meat is unthinkable.

    OM
    In my humble (and probably heretical) opinion - you will not got to hell, or be damned for wearing Tulasi Kanthi Mala.

    I wore them for a year whilst consuming meat - in fact, the constant reminder of them around my neck helped me go to a full vegetarian diet. When my mind digresses they tighten in my mind. Her tears burn my heart and lighten up my conciousness. Will I go to hell for that? Was that the price for the help? - that's not the way I frame it.

    I was given mine by a devotee - before becoming interested in the tradition. - did she condemn me to hell? She was a very sincere devotee, one of the most spiritual people I have met.

    Many people I know feel that it is of great benefit to gift Tulasi Mala to non devotee's as it is a blessing to them on their spiritual path.

    I've heard one who is not initiated should not wear it in a three round manner - I don't follow this, I am not initiated and I prefer the three round. Do what you feel to be right inside - and watch your mind for any taint of superstition or unintelligent fundamentalism.

    I met a very senior Guru once, who felt anyone could wear Tulasi Mala. It seems to be a personal opinion. I have also been gifted them many times by Sadhu's whilst travelling.

    I wouldn't worry about people saying you are going to go to hell for wearing Tulasi and eating meat - you are not doing it to offend. You are working towards a vegetarian life style and with Mother Tulasi's blessing - you will get there. Stay respectful, stay concious and avoid associating with hell condemning fundamentalist types - because if you do go to hell, you are sure to meet them there.

    The FEAR of hell is no reason to take up vegetarianism and it is no reason to not wear Tulasi Mala.

    Hare Krishna.
    He is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind,
    sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body,
    and tears flow from his eyes like waves.
    I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.
    :cool1:

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    Re: Tulasi Kanthi & Japa Mala

    Quote Originally Posted by Quark23 View Post
    In my humble (and probably heretical) opinion - you will not got to hell, or be damned for wearing Tulasi Kanthi Mala.

    I wore them for a year whilst consuming meat - in fact, the constant reminder of them around my neck helped me go to a full vegetarian diet. When my mind digresses they tighten in my mind. Her tears burn my heart and lighten up my conciousness. Will I go to hell for that? Was that the price for the help? - that's not the way I frame it.

    I was given mine by a devotee - before becoming interested in the tradition. - did she condemn me to hell? She was a very sincere devotee, one of the most spiritual people I have met.

    Many people I know feel that it is of great benefit to gift Tulasi Mala to non devotee's as it is a blessing to them on their spiritual path.

    I've heard one who is not initiated should not wear it in a three round manner - I don't follow this, I am not initiated and I prefer the three round. Do what you feel to be right inside - and watch your mind for any taint of superstition or unintelligent fundamentalism.

    I met a very senior Guru once, who felt anyone could wear Tulasi Mala. It seems to be a personal opinion. I have also been gifted them many times by Sadhu's whilst travelling.

    I wouldn't worry about people saying you are going to go to hell for wearing Tulasi and eating meat - you are not doing it to offend. You are working towards a vegetarian life style and with Mother Tulasi's blessing - you will get there. Stay respectful, stay concious and avoid associating with hell condemning fundamentalist types - because if you do go to hell, you are sure to meet them there.

    The FEAR of hell is no reason to take up vegetarianism and it is no reason to not wear Tulasi Mala.

    Hare Krishna.
    Oh, my God ! So much obsessed with Hell !! I think you must have come to SD from some Abrahimic religion.

    My dear friend, did I mention anywhere in my post that one would go to hell for such & such act ? I didn't. I simply mentioned that wearing a Tulsi Mala is considered very sacred ... it comes with a vow to lead a Vaishnava life-style & that includes avoiding meat-eating. This is a tradition. If you are waering a Tulsi mala and eating meat, you are violating the accepted Vaishnava custom, that is all. In fact, you would be creating a wrong impression in someone's mind by doing this.

    Now, whether it would lead you to hell or not ... I don't think it should. Personally, I don't believe in any hell or heaven ... except one's own creation by one's own thoughts ... being a Non-dualist. However, this is a purely Vaishnava thing and a Vaishnava alone can tell us what is right.

    Where are Smaranam, Grames and others ? Please throw some light. I am unable to see clearly here !

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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