Three Nights Before Tulsi Devi

Based on Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta 

It was late in the night.A prostitute entered Haridasa Thakura's hutun noticed.Offering obeisances to the Tulasi plant inside,she stood on the threshold of the door. 

Exposing a part of her body to him,she addressed Haridasa Thakura in very sweet words,"O my Thakura! You are so beautiful and young too.Which woman will be able to control her mind after having glanced upon you! My mind has lost its control,I want to have your association."

The prostitute had been sent by Ramacandra Khan,a zamindar of Benapole,now in Bangladesh. Ramacandra was extremely disturbed hearing about the glories of Haridasa Thakura.He wanted to defame Haridasa by hook or by crook.Thinking of this,he had hired a famous prostitute to dishonour Haridasa Thakura. The proud prostitute promised Ramacandra Khan that she would accomplish the task in three nights.Today was just the first.

"No doubt I will fulfil your desires,"assured Haridasa Thakura, "but only after I fulfil my vow to chant the holy names of God.You may have to wait until then.After that,I will satisfy you." Hearing this,the prostitute sat down in anticipation.She waited till dawn hearing the chanting of Haridasa Thakura.Then she left.

Returning to Ramacandra she narrated the whole incidence,but assured him success on the next night.


"Please forgive me," Haridasa Thakura begged humbly."Last night disappointed you,but tonight I will surely accept you onceI finish my vow.Please sit here and attentively hear the holy name of the Lord." Offering obeisances to the nearby Tulasi the prostitute sat down and chanted "Hari! Hari!" Later,seeing that the night was about to end,she became anxious"

I have vowed to chant one crore names of the Lord in this month,"Haridasa Thakura explained to her. "I hope I will finish them tonight and then I can satisfy you."

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport (Caitanya Caritamrta Antya lila 3.100)

Without difficulty one can sit down anywhere, especially on the banks of the Ganges, Yamuna or any other sacred river, devise a sitting place or cottage, plant a Tulasi tree, and before the Tulasi chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra undisturbed … We can follow his example, however, by chanting sixteen rounds of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra on beads every day and offering respect to the Tulasi plant. This is not at all difficult for anyone, and the process of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra with a vow before the Tulasi plant has such great spiritual potency that simply by doing this, one can become spiritually strong. Therefore we request the members of the Hare Krsna movement to follow Haridasa Thakura's example rigidly. Chanting sixteen rounds does not take much time, nor is offering respects to the Tulasi plant difficult. The process has immense spiritual potency. One should not miss this opportunity.


Three Nights Before Tulsi Devi01

History repeated itself on the third night. The prostitute sat down near Haridasa Thakura after having offered obeisances to Tulasi ~ Devi and started chantingharinama. But because of this strong association, by the end of the night, she was completely transformed in the morning. She fell at his feet and narrated the ent ire plan of Ramacandra Khan. She started pleading, "0 Thakura! Because of being a prostitute, I have committed a lot of sins. I am very fallen. Please deliver me."

"I knew about Ramacandra's plan," Haridasa Thakura replied, "I wanted to leave this place on that very day but I stayed behind just to deliver you."

The prostitute was overwhelmed, "Now you are my spiritual master. Please instruct meabout my duty so that I can be liberated from the miseries of this material world."

Haridasa Thakura replied, "You go home and distribute all your wealth to brahmanas. After that come to this cottage and constandy chant the holy names of God. Water this Tulasi plant and serve her, pray to her. Doing this you will very soon attain the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna."

Then, Haridasa Thakura immediately left that place chanting "Hari! Hari!" The prostitute obeyed his instructions and shaved her head and started chanting three lakh names a day, just like her spiritual master. She also started serving T ulasi Devi in the footsteps of Haridasa Thakura.She would accept whatever was offered in charity; if not, then she would fast. As soon as she controlled her senses, love for the Lord manifested in her heart. In this way, a former prostitute became famous as a very exalted devotee of the Lord and many devotees from around would come to receive her darsana. Seeing such an amazing transformation in the prostitute's character, the people started glorifying Haridasa Thakura.

On the oth er hand Ramacandra Khan who had planted the seeds of offence towards Haridasa Thakura soon had to taste its fruits.