salilaih sucibhir malyair
tulasya priyaya prabhum
salilaih—by use of water; sucibhih—being purified; malyaih—by garlands; vanyaih—of forest flowers; mula—roots; phala-adibhih—by different kinds of vegetables and fruits; sasta—the newly grown grass; ankura—buds; amsukaih—by the skin of trees, such as the bhurja; ca—and; arcet—should worship; tulasya—by the tulasi leaves; priyaya—which are very dear to the Lord; prabhum—the Lord.
One should worship the Lord by offering pure water, pure flower garlands, fruits, flowers and vegetables, which are available in the forest, or by collecting newly grown grasses, small buds of flowers or even the skins of trees, and if possible, by offering tulasi leaves, which are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It is specifically mentioned herein that tulasi leaves are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and devotees should take particular care to have tulasi leaves in every temple and center of worship. In the Western countries, while engaged in propagating the Krsna consciousness movement, we were brought great unhappiness because we could not find tulasi leaves. We are very much obliged, therefore, to our disciple Srimati Govinda dasi because she has taken much care to grow tulasi plants from seeds, and she has been successful by the grace of Krsna. Now tulasi plants are growing in almost every center of our movement.
Tulasi leaves are very important in the method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this verse the word salilaih means “by the water.” Of course, Dhruva Maharaja was worshiping on the bank of the Yamuna. The Yamuna and the Ganges are sacred, and sometimes devotees in India insist that the Deity must be worshiped with water of the Ganges or Yamuna. But here we understand desa-kala to mean “according to time and country.” In the Western countries there is no River Yamuna or Ganges—water from such sacred rivers is not available. Does this mean that the arca worship should for that reason be stopped? No. Salilaih refers to any water—whatever is available—but it must be very clear and collected purely. That water can be used. The other paraphernalia, such as flower garlands, fruits and vegetables, should be collected according to the country and according to their availability. Tulasi leaves are very important for satisfying the Lord, so as far as possible an arrangement should be made for growing tulasi leaves. Dhruva Maharaja was advised to worship the Lord with the fruits and flowers available in the forest. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna frankly says that He accepts vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc. One should not offer Lord Vasudeva anything other than what is prescribed herein by the great authority Narada Muni. One cannot offer to the Deity according to one’s whims; since these fruits and vegetables are available anywhere in the universe, we should observe this small point very attentively.
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