Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tulsi Vivah or Tulasi Shaligram Vivaha

‘Tulsi vivah’ refers to an age-old ritual of Tulsi Devi’s marriagewith lord Vishnu or his incarnation Krishna. Tulsi Vivah is an auspicious ritual observed in Kartik month of Hindu Calendar. Tulsi vivah is performed by Hindu communities during different period. Any day starting from the Ekadasi (after Amavasi) in Kartik month to Purnima (the full moon day) in Kartik Month is chosen to perform Tulsi Vivah. Majority of the people perform Tulsi Vivah on the Ekadasi day. On this day Tulsi is married to Saaligram. This year, Tulsi Vivah will be celebrated on 17th November 2010.

Tulsi vivah is an important ritual observed in the month of Kartik (October – November). It is the symbolic wedding of Tulsi devi to Shaligram shila. Tulsi vivha marks the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season. Popular belief is that performing the wedding ceremony of marrying Tulsi to Vishnu considering her as their daughter is equal to performing Kanyadan.

Tulsi is worshipped as a deity. She is considered as an incarnation of Sri Mahalakshmi who was born as Sri Vrinda. Tulsi devi is also known as an exalted devotee of Lord Krishna. The glories of Tulsi devi are mentioned in Skanda purana, Pdama purana and other devotional literature of Hindus.

Legend and celebrations of Tulsi vivah :

When Tulsi devi was on the earth, she was married to demon Jalandar. He was the king of oceans and had immense powers. When demoniac people get powers they exploit it by harassing others. Demon Jalandar did the same thing. He started exploiting everyone around. But as he was married to a great devotee, with the result that no god was able to harm him. However on the request of the other gods, Lord Vishnu took the form of Jalandhar and stayed with the unsuspecting Tulsi. When the truth emerged after Jalandhar's death, Vrinda crused Vishnu and turned him to stone (Shaligram) and collapsed. From her body emerged the tulsi plant. That is why Vishnu pooja is considered incomplete without tulsi leaves. As per a blessing by Vishnu to marry Vrinda in her next birth, Vishnu in form of Shaligram – married Tulsi on Prabodhini Ekadashi. To commemorate this event, the ceremony of Tulsi Vivah is performed.

Another minor legend narrates that Lakshmi – the chief consort of Vishnu – slew a demon on this day and remained on earth as the Tulsi plant.

The very name Tulsi, that which cannot be compared, the "incomparable one", has spiritually uplifting qualities. Tulsi has been found to possess extraordinary powers of healing. Tulsi, or the Holy Basil, is the sacred plant of the Hindus and symbolizes purity and is famous for its medicinal properties.

Happy Tulsi Vivah

Vrindaayai Thulasee Devyai,
Priyaayai KesavyasyaCha,
Kesavaarthe sinomi
Dhwaam Varadhaa bhava sarvatha

Om Tat Sat

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