Tulasi is the most sacred plant in Hinduism, from worship to death bed Tulasi is required. In other words, Tulasi is an integral part of Hindu rituals.

What is Tulasi - a single jeevatman or a set of jeevatmans?

The possibility of single jeevatman in multiple sharira or mixed avatar of single Tulasi is rejected because only brahman can do that, and clearly Tulasi is not brahman.


2 Answers 2


Jaya Nitaai!

In Gaudiya Vaishnav philosophy, Tulsi Maharani is not a Jivatma at all. She is a manifestation of Krsna's Swarupa Shakti (because she is an amsa of Radharani). This is because, Tulsi is an expansion of Vrndadevi who is one of the gopis of Vrndavana. Being a manifestation of Swarupa Shakti, She therefore possesses the powers of Parabrahman Sri Krsna (such as the ability to manifest into multiple bodies but retain Her identity).Tulsi specifically is described as the eyes and ears of Vrndadevi.

In Brahma vaivarta Purana it is described that when Lord Narayana descended into the form of the Shaligram Shila, Vrnda devi also descended in the form of the plant Tulsi to serve Him. She is not Jiva Tattva, but Shakti Tattva.

In the commentary to Srimad Bhagavatam, verse 10.39.53-55 (where Lord Krsna's potentiates are mentioned), Srila Vishwanatha Cakravarti gives the following commentary:

Sri is the potency of wealth; Pushti that of strength; Gir, knowledge; Kanti, beauty; Kirti, fame; and Tushti, renunciation. These are the Lord's six opulences. Ila is His bhu-sakti, also known as sandhini, the internal potency of whom the element earth is an expansion. Urja is His internal potency for performing pastimes; she expands as the tulasi plant in this world. Vidya and Avidya [knowledge and ignorance] are external potencies who cause the living entities' liberation and bondage, respectively. Sakti is His internal pleasure potency, hladini, and Maya is an internal potency who is the basis of Vidya and Avidya. The word ca implies the presence of the Lord's marginal energy, the jiva-sakti, who is subordinate to Maya. Lord Vishnu was being served by all these personified potencies.

In the 7th verse of His Vrndashtakam, Vishwanatha Cakravarti Thakur also says a similar thing:

tvam kirttyase satvata-tantra-vidbhir lilabhidhana kila krsna-saktih tavaiva murtis tulasi nr-loke vrnde! numaste caranaravindam

Oh Vrinda! Highly qualified sages, who are well-versed in the Tantras of the mode of pure Goodness (the scriptures written by the Lord's pure devotees), have praised you as being the personified energy of Lord Krishna known as lila-sakti (the energy that helps perform His pastimes). You are also very famous in this world for your appearance here in the form of the tree known as Srimati Tulasi Devi. Therefore we offer our most respectful obeisances unto your beautiful lotus feet."

So in conclusion, Tulsi Maharani is not Jiva Tattva, but Shakti Tattva. Shakti Tattva, can manifest in multiple bodies with one identity.


I think Tulasi is single Jiva rather than set of jeevatmans. There is a conversation in Devi Bhagvatam (THE NINTH BOOK , Chapter XXV , On the method of worship of Tulasî Devî)

1-2. Nârada said :-- When the Devî Tulasî has been made so dear to Nârâyana and thus an object for worship?

15. Nârâyana said :-- Bhagavân Hari raised Tulasî to the rank of Laksmî and thus made her fortunate.

18-44. The Bhagavân said :-- The Tulasî trees collect in multitudinous groups; hence the Pundits call it Vrindâ. She appeared in the Vrindâvana forest and therefore known as Vrindâvanî. She is worshipped always in innumerable universes and is, therefore, known as Vis’vapûjitâ (worshipped by all).

Without Tulasî, the Devas do not get pleased, though other flowers be heaped on them; therefore She is considered as the essence of all the flowers. There is nothing in the universe that can be compared to Her; hence She is called Tulasî;

Here is one shloka from Shreemad Bhagvatam about Tulasi , Here She is compared with other plants.

मन्दारकुन्दकुरबोत्पचम्पकार्ण पुन्नागनागबकुलाम्बपारिजाता:।
गन्धेsर्चिते तुलसिकाभरणेन तस्या यस्मिनस्तप: सुमनसो बहु मानयन्ति॥19॥

mandāra-kunda-kurabotpala-campakārṇa-punnāga-nāga-bakulāmbuja-pārijātāḥ|gandhe ’rcite tulasikābharaṇena tasyā yasmiṁs tapaḥ sumanaso bahu mānayanti.

Meaning- Although flowering plants like the mandāra, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arṇa, punnāga, nāgakeśara, bakula, lily and pārijāta are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by tulasī, for tulasī is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with tulasī leaves. SB 3.15.19

There are various types of Tulsi plants like Ram Tulasi , Krishana Tulasi , and also Tulasi is known by various names. Like (Krisnajîvanî. , Nandinî; , Vis’vapâvani (purifying the whole universe), but from this we cant say she is set of jeevatmans. So from above conversation so can say that Tulasi is a single jeevatma because , Tulasi word is used as singular noun here.

  • Two points in this answer that make it doubtful in its authenticity 1) Shriman Narayana worshipping tulasi is opposite to reality tulasi is used to worship Shriman Narayana and is offered in Lord's lotus feet. 2) Countless universe indicates to multiverse metaphysics which is also debatable topic and is unclear if there are multiple universe or single one.
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 8:33
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    @TheDestroyer The answer is edited now
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 15:41
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    @TheDestroyer I dont expect devi bhagwatam to praise Shriman Narayana . I doubt its authenticity due to contradiction with other authentic sources.
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 16:17
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    @TheDestroyer The Devi Bhagwatam is not an authentic purana it is not in the list of Mahapuranas en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puranas#Mahapuranas as well as in the list of Upapuranas en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upapurana#The_Kurma_Purana_list
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 17:59
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    @TheDestroyer Those Few people include great Vedantacharyas who led the foundation stones of modern day vedanta, and later on people started adding interpolations to it and this is one of the case like the Upanishads.
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 18:30

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