By Sadhaki dasi
I’m serving Tulasi Devi in my local temple and have noticed that someone (I have not yet discovered the culprit…) has been snapping off her “dead” branches.
This has happened on several occasions over a few months. On speaking to one devotee about this, he mentioned that one sannyasi who had recently visited condoned this practice in situations where Tulasi’s branches are old and woody, as apparently it conserves her energy. Although I have served Tulasi for many years this is something I have never heard of (except perhaps in a life-threatening emergency), although it may be conducive in mundane gardening.
Personally I find it distressing that Krsna’s pure devotee is being treated like this, and was hoping that perhaps some other readers may be able to present their experiences or contribute some advice about whether such an action is ever permissable. According to the Tulasi handbook this type of action is described as extremely offensive, and I can also imagine that it would be very displeasing to Srila Prabhupada. Please does anyone have any feedback on this?
Does anyone know if “trimming” Tulasi Devi’s branches is permissable if done with a motive for her health and wellbeing? I’m hoping that whoever is responsible will read this and think carefully about whether or not its appropriate to continue.