Most of us would be having a Tulsi plant at home which we all tend to worship daily. In Hindu customs, a Tulsi plant is considered equivalent to God. As a kid, I still remember how my mother watered the plant daily, offered flowers to it (like we normally offer flowers to a deity) and also applied “Haldi-Kumkum” to its “Brindavana”(the special-shaped pot on which the Tulsi sapling is usually planted). According to the ancient Hindu beliefs, in the auspicious month of Karthik, which usually falls during the months of November-December, Lord Krishna is said to reside in the Tulsi plant, which is why, extra care is taken care of the plant, especially during this month.
The story behind TulsiVivah
As per ancient Hindu mythology, the story of Tulsivivah is as follows:
Once upon a time, there was a demon named Jalandhar. He had a wife named Vrinda (Brinda as per Hindu scriptures). Due to her immense devotion to Lord Vishnu, she became invincible which caused Jalanshar to have super-powers. He was a very strong demon; even the most powerful of Gods could not defeat him. So Lord Shiva approached Lord Vishnu for his help. Once it so happened that Lord Vishnu disguised himself in the form of Jalandhar and approached Vrinda who was tricked by Him into believing that He was her husband. This led to Vrinda into losing her pure form and all of Jalandhar’s powers were destroyed. He was instantly defeated by Lord Shiva. However, Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu that he would turn into a ‘black stone’ or Shaligram and be separated from his wife. This happened when Lord Vishnu attained the avatar of Lord Ram who turned into a black stone and got separated from his wife Sita (when she was kidnapped by the demon Ravana). Vrinda then died by jumping into the ocean and her soul was transferred to a plant (by Lord Vishnu Himself) which was named “Tulsi”.
Vrinda was blessed by Lord Vishnu that she would be married to Him in her next birth; which is why this whole ceremony of TulsiVivah takes place.
What exactly is TulsiVivah?
Tulsivivah is the marriage ceremony of the Tulsi plant with Lord Vishnu. It is conducted like a normal marriage ceremony. It usually falls on the twelveth day in the month of Karthik and is conducted on Prabodhini Ekadashi day.
On the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi, all the devotees are up early. The entire house is cleaned in advance in preparation for the ceremony. The Tulsi plant is decorated with flowers, Haldi, and kumkum. Some people may also decorate the Tulsi plant with some ornaments and jewelry just like a bride is decked on her wedding day. The idol of Lord Krishna (or shaligram) is decorated with flowers and is placed beside the Tulsi pot. In some places, a priest is appointed in order to chant mantras. All the rituals are followed like a normal wedding ceremony. Most of the people present in the house take part in the wedding ceremony. Many devotees observe a fast for the entire day and the marriage ceremony usually takes place towards the end of the day. Towards the end of the ceremony, a cotton thread is tied around the Tulsi plant and Lord Krishna in order to symbolize the wedding; just like a mangalsutra is tied around a girl’s neck in a normal wedding ceremony!!!
This year, the ceremony of Tulsivivah will be conducted on 9th November. So friends, now that we know how the entire ritual is conducted, we can perform it religiously and attain the blessings of the Lord!!!