The solemn marriage of Lord Vishnu with Tulsi plant, known as Tulsi Vivah, marks the beginning of the Hindu wedding season. So gear up for the upcoming festivities and read on to know more about the rituals and celebrations associated with this day !
Tulsi Vivah is the nuptial bond between Lord Vishnu and the Tulsi plant, also called the Holy Basil. Tulsi literally means something that’s unexampled. In Hinduism, Tulsi plant has a particular and an incomparable significance. No Hindu household is believed to be complete without a Tulsi plant at the entrance. It is believed that by planting it at the entrance of the house, one makes way for positive energy and good fortune to come in.
This year, Tulsi Vivah will be celebrated on the 11th of November.
As per the popular belief, Tulsi is considered to be a personification of Goddess Lakshmi, the beloved of Lord Vishnu. The ceremony of Tulsi Vivah can be carried out anytime between Prabodhini Ekadashi and Kartik Purnima, in the Hindu month of Kartik. This ceremony not only acknowledges the marital bond between Lord Vishnu and the Tulsi plant but also marks the end of Monsoon season and the onset of Hindu wedding season. Apart from the spiritual associations, the Tulsi plant has innumerable medicinal qualities as well. The Tulsi plant is known to cure a myriad of mental and physical diseases.
TULSI VIVAH CEREMONY
According to the customs, Tulsi Vivah is performed on the subsequent day after Kartik Ekadashi. Performing Tulsi Vivah endows the doer with the opportunity of performing Kanyadaan, as per popular beliefs.
The ritual of Tulsi Vivah begins with dressing up the Tulsi plant in red clothes and bedecking her with ornaments, just as a bride. A stone or an image of Lord Vishnu is used to portray the groom. Then the bride and groom are tied together lightly by a cotton thread, symbolizing the gathbandhan of the couple. This is followed by the Mantra Ucharan and the marriage is solemnized by sprinkling vermillion mixed rice on the holy couple of Shaligram (the stone avatar of Lord Vishnu) and Tulsi.
On the occasion of Tulsi Vivah, a special vegetarian meal is prepared to put forth as an offering to Shaligram and Tulsi. The felicitous day marks the onset of the Hindu wedding season.
TULSI VIVAH LEGENDS
There are many different legends linked to Tulsi Vivah. As per one of the legends, Tulsi was born as Vrinda, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, and was married to a demon king called Jalandhar. As she could do nothing to stop her husband from doing bad deeds, she prayed regularly to nullify the adverse effects of his actions and ensure his safety from the Devas. But Jalandhar’s end was inevitable. To avoid breaking Vrinda’s heart, on the request of all Devas, Lord Vishnu took the form of Jalandhar and began living with Vrinda. On finding out the truth, Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu and to punish him, changed him into a stone called Shaligram. She also cursed him to face separation from his wife in his next birth as Lord Rama. Vrinda couldn’t bear the death of her husband and collapsed to take the form of Tulsi plant from her remains. Since then the ritual of using Tulsi leaves while worshipping Lord Vishnu came into existence. As she was adored by Lord Vishnu, every year their holy union is celebrated as Tulsi Vivah.
According to another legend, Lord Krishna once fell in love with a princess who was an incarnation of Tulsi. When Lord Krishna’s beloved found out about this she cursed Tulsi.
In another legend, at an auspicious event, Lord Krishna’s wife Satyabhama insisted on weighing him against gold and donating all of it. In spite of putting all the gold against Lord Krishna, he still weighed more than the gold. Seeing this, Lord Krishna’s other wife Rukmani suggested to put a Tulsi leaf on the gold pan. The gold pan immediately outweighed Lord Krishna.
TULSI VIVAH: SIGNIFICANCE OF TULSI
Tulsi plant and Tulsi Pujan is an integral part of every Hindu household. Tulsi plant is known to have countless medicinal traits apart from its spiritual facet as per which the Holy Basil is considered to be a Hindu Goddess.
The Tulsi plant ebbs the pollution levels and purifies the air. Apart from being a purifier, this plant is also a mosquito and flies repellent. Also, Tulsi oil is an antidote to common health issues such as headaches, common cold and cough.
Before planting Tulsi, the place or the pot is cleaned thoroughly. After putting the plant in its place, its leaves are smeared with Kumkum. Women light Diyas around Tulsi and perform Arti either at dawn or at dusk.
In Indian culture, a parallel is often drawn between the characteristics of a woman and that of Tulsi. A woman is believed to be a personification of Tulsi with all its virtues and misery. Women worship the Holy Basil with utmost devotion and sincerity.
Tulsi Vivah is celebrated each year with much joy and fervor, especially amongst women.
We at AstroSage, wish you a very Happy Tulsi Vivah !
Let us invite the positivity and prosperity into ours lives by celebrating this auspicious occasion of Tulsi Vivah which celebrates the pious union of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Tulsi!