Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tulsi Vivah in 2012

Tulsi Vivah is performed as a ceremony by Hindus
Tulsi Vivah in 2012 is on 25th November. Tulsi Vivah is one of the important festivals of Hindus. Tulsi is considered to be the Goddess in Hinduism. Tulsi Vivah marks the ceremonial wedding of the plant Tulsi or holy basil to the Hindu God Vishnu. The Vivah is performed anytime between the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi –the eleventh lunar day of the bright fortnight in the Hindu month of Kartik till the full moon of the month i.e. Kartik Purnima. Tulsi Vivaah is usually performed on the eleventh or twelfth lunar day in the month of Kartik. The Vivah of Goddess Tulsi marks the end of monsoon season and the beginning of the wedding season for Hindus. Tulsi is regarded very pious and considered as an incarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi. In her incarnation she was born as Brinda (Vrinda).

Legend Behind Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi is a Goddess and considered as the wife of Lord Vishnu. Tulsi is also called as Vishnupriya, the beloved of Vishnu. Padma Purana contains the legend behind Tulsi Vivah. In Hindu mythology, the woman named Brinda was the Tulsi plant. She is also the synonym of Tulsi.  Brinda was married to the demon king, Jalandhar. She was heartily devoted to Lord Vishnu. Due to her devotion her husband became unconquerable. Even God Shiva, failed to defeat Jalandhar. Then Lord Shiva requested Vishnu, who is the preserver of trinity- to find a solution to defeat Brinda’s husband. Then Lord Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandar and reached Brinda and assaulted her. The chastity of Brinda was destroyed by Lord Vishnu. Jalandhar was then killed by Shiva. Vishnu was cursed by Vrinda and became black. He was also cursed to face separation from his wife. Vishnu was then transformed into a black Shaligram stone. In his incarnation as Lord Rama, he also faced separation from his wife. His wife Sita was kidnapped by Ravana and thus separated. Brinda was so embarrassed that she burnt herself in the funeral pyre of his husband and killed herself as a sacrifice by burning. Lord Vishnu transferred her soul to the plant, which later came to be known as Tulsi. Vishnu blessed Brinda to marry in the next birth. Vishnu, in the form of Shaligram, married Tulsi on the Prabodhini Ekadashi of Kartik month. This event is commemorated as Tulsi Vivah. Vishnu Puja is considered to be incomplete without Tulsi leaves. Therefore, Tulsi Vivah in 2012, like every year, is going to be celebrated with great fervor and joy.

Rituals Associated With Tulsi Vivah

The marriage of Tulsi and Vishnu is just like any Hindu wedding. The rituals and customs of Tulsi Vivah and Hindu marriage resembles each other. The marriage ceremony of Tulsi takes place at homes or temples. Most of the women observe fast on the day of Tulsi Vivaah till evening. A Mandap is built in the house just as in Hindu marriage around the Tulsi plant. It is believed that the soul of Vrinda resides in Tulsi at night and leaves it as the dawn arrives. Tulsi is clothed as a bride in a red sari and beautiful ornaments that includes earrings and necklaces. A face made of paper is attached to the plant and bindi is applied to the face along with the nose ring. The groom is the picture or idol of Lord Vishnu. A Shaligram stone can also be used. The image of Vishnu is clothed in cotton dhoti. Tulsi and Vishnu are bathed and both are decorated with flower garlands. Just as in Hindu marriage a knot is tied between bride and groom, in Tulsi Vivaah a knot from thread is tied between Tulsi and Vishnu.

Like every year, the wedding mantras will be chanted during Tulsi Vivah in 2012. Chanting the wedding Mantras is very important to make a marriage complete. Without chanting Mantra, the wedding is said to be formally incomplete. At last, vermillion and rice are sprinkled on Tulsi and Vishnu and the wedding ceremony is concluded with the word ”Savadha”, meaning “you are united now”. Lord Vishnu is offered sandalwood paste, a sacred thread and clothes. The bride Tulsi is offered saris, turmeric, vermillion (Roli) and a wedding necklace, known as “Mangalsutra”.

Delicious sweets are made and food preparations are done. A prasad is also offered to the people, usually made up of coconuts, sugarcane and fruits.

On Tulsi Vivah, the marriage ceremonies that take place are identical to Hindu marriage. At some places, Tulsi Vivaah is more elaborate. Lord Vishnu comes with “Baraat” to the bride Tulsi’s place and after the marriage; he heads back to his land with the plant Tulsi.

Tulsi Vivaah is celebrated with great zeal and devotion by Hindus. The Tulsi Vivah marks beginning of wedding season in Hinduism. The holy basil or Tulsi is given a special important place in almost all the religious ceremonies in Hinduism. Tulsi represents purity, tranquility, serenity, peace, happiness, prosperity and good health. Meaning of word Tulsi is “incomparable”. She is held sacred to the Gods Vishnu as well as Krishna, the another incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

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