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Tulsi Vivah 2021

Tulsi Vivah in 2021

15

November, 2021

(Monday)

On the Ekadashi Tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha, also known as Dev Uthani Ekadashi, the ceremonial marriage of Tulasi plant and Shaligram is conducted. It is believed that performing this ritual pleases Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. According to the Padma Purana, Goddess Tulasi is the incarnation or Avatar of Goddess Lakshmi. Shaligram is the manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The legend of their incarnation is found in the ancient text of Brahmavaivarta Purana. As per the scripture, conducting the marriage of Holy plant Tulasi and Shaligram brings peace and prosperity in life. Therefore in Sanatan Dharma, the tradition of conducting the marriage of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram is followed with utmost devotion. 

The significance of Tulasi Vivah

Tulasi is considered sacred and has special significance in Hinduism. Along with religious significance, Tulasi is known for its scientific significance as well. From the scientific perspective, the Tulasi plant is well-known for its rich medicinal properties. In the Hindu religion, Goddess Tulasi is considered the incarnation of Devi Lakshmi, and she is married to Shaligram. Shaligram is depicted as the manifestation of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Ekadashi Tithi of Ashadha Shukla Paksha, also known as Devshayani Ekadashi, marks the four-month sleeping period of Lord Vishnu in Kshira Sagara. 

Lord Vishnu wakes from his four-month-long sleeping period on the day of Dev Uthani or Devutthana Ekadashi. Goddess Tulasi is very dear to Lord Vishnu, and he loves listening to the prayers of Tulasi when he wakes from sleep. On Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Goddess Tulasi is married off to Shaligram. If a person doesn’t have a daughter and can’t earn the ‘Punya’ of Kanyadan (giving away the daughter in marriage), then he should perform Tulasi Vivah, the ceremonial marriage of the Tulasi plant to earn the Punya of Kanyadan. It is believed that people who worship Tulasi in their home always prosper with an abundance of wealth. With Tulasi Vivah, auspicious ceremonies like wedding, etc., restart after the four-month hiatus. The Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi of Kartik month is the day dedicated to the marriage of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram.  

Why is Goddess Tulasi married off to a stone? 

On the day of Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu wakes up from his sleep after four months. Onwards this day, all the auspicious ceremonies restart in the Hindu religion after the hiatus of four months. The marriage of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram is also conducted on Dev Uthani Ekadashi. A Tulasi plant is decorated like a Hindu bride with a wedding Saree draped around her, and Shaligram is the groom; during the wedding ceremony, all wedding rituals are observed with full devotion.   

Due to a curse, Lord Vishnu turned into a stone (Shaligram)

According to a legend, just when Vrinda’s vow was broken due to Vishnu’s trick, her husband Jalandhar was killed in the battle, and his head fell off in her courtyard. Vrinda was shocked to see the head of her husband. When she turned and asked her companion who he was as? Then, Vishnu revealed his true identity as he was disguising himself as Jalandhar and deceived Vrinda to break her vow made to Jalandhar. Feeling betrayed, Vrinda cursed Vishnu. She cursed Vishnu to go through the pain of separation from his wife just as she went through the pain of separation from her husband. The way you betrayed me by disguising yourself, your wife will be abducted by deception. You will be forced to live through the separation of your wife. Then Vrinda said, you have deceived me into breaking my vow; now you will turn into a stone. Henceforth, Lord Vishnu came to be called Shaligram. It is believed that due to this very curse of Vrinda, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Rama, the son of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya, and suffered the pain of separation from his wife, Sita. 

The association between Vrinda and Tulasi plant

As per the legend associated, the Tulasi plant originated at the exact spot where Vrinda became Sati. As the Tulasi plant shares its origin with the place where Vrinda died, Tulasi came to be known as Vrinda. It is said that when Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu, he repented his deed by honoring Vrinda to become his consort in the form of Tulasi. Vishnu said he respected her integrity, and thus she would live forever with him as Husband and wife. 

Lord Vishnu further added that anyone who will conduct my marriage with you on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi would become worthy of my blessings, and I will fulfill every worldly and non-worldly desire of that person. Henceforth, the tradition of performing the ceremonial marriage of Shaligram and Tulasi on Dev Uthani Ekadashi started. Furthermore, Tulasi has special significance in the worship of Lord Vishnu. Without Tulasi leaves, the worship of Lord Vishnu is considered incomplete.   

Tulasi Vivah is helpful for people who don’t have a daughter.

The day of Kartik Shukla Ekadashi is considered most auspicious for Tulasi Vivah. This day is dedicated to the celebrations of the wedding of Goddess Tulasi with Shaligram. The wedding is performed by following all the important rituals of a Hindu wedding. Hence, any couple who doesn’t have a daughter should perform the rituals of Tulasi Vivah to earn the Punya of Kanyadan.   

Medicinal and Puranic significance of Tulasi plant

Tulasi is an important plant from a medicinal and health perspective. Brewing a few Tulasi leaves with tea will not just enhance its taste but also boost your immunity and keep you energetic throughout the day. These medicinal properties of Tulasi have made it an important ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines and preparations. Tulasi holds high significance from a health as well as a religious perspective. On the one hand, Tulasi is beloved to Lord Vishnu, and on the other, she has deep animosity with Lord Ganesha. Usage of Tulasi leaves in any form is forbidden during Ganesha Puja. 

This miraculous legend associated with Tulasi Vivah

There are many legends associated with Tulasi Vivah, and one of them narrates the story of a particular Nanad-Bhabhi. As per the story, Nanad was an ardent devotee of Goddess Tulasi and would worship her with full devotion. But her sister-in-law (Bhabhi) did not approve of her worshipping Tulasi. She used to get angrily shout and taunt her Nanad that she would only get a Tulasi plant as a wedding gift or dowry. Furthermore, she would only serve Tulasi leaves in the reception dinner to the wedding guests and Baratis (groom’s side).  

Soon, the Nanad was old enough to be married off, and her wedding day arrived. Bhabhi broke the Tulasi plant in front of Baratis. But with God’s grace, all the leaves and soil turned into a sumptuous meal. This exasperated the Bhabhi even more, and instead of adorning her Nanad with golden jewellery, she put a Tulasi’s seed garland around her neck. But the very next moment, that Garland transformed into a beautiful gold necklace. Bhabhi did not stop there, and instead of giving bridal clothes to her Nanad, she gave her Janeo to wear. But that Janeo transformed into a beautiful silk Saree. Witnessing the incident, Nanad’s new family, that is, her husband’s family, praised her wholeheartedly. Seeing all those miracles, Bhabhi understood the importance and power of Tulasi Puja.   

Goddess Tulasi bestows boon only to her true devotees.

It is common knowledge that the offering of all your delicious sweets, fruits, and flowers would mean nothing if you don’t have devotion in your heart. But if you have true devotion in your heart for a deity, and worship them without any selfish interest, then a single flower would be enough to become worthy of God’s grace. This theory is justified by the next incident of the Nanad-Bhabhi story told above. According to the story, when the Nanad got married and went to live with her husband, the Bhabhi came to understand the importance of Tulasi Puja. She instructed her daughter to worship Tulasi.    

However, the daughter paid no heed to her mother’s instructions. Then, Bhabhi thought if she behaved with her daughter the same way she behaved with her sister-in-law during the latter’s wedding, maybe Goddess Tulasi bestows boons on her daughter as well. She repeated all her actions during her daughter’s wedding. But no miracle happened this time, and the broken Tulasi pot did not turn into delicious food, Tulasi garland did not transform into gold jewellery, and Janeo remained as it is. All these actions of the Bhabhi made them a subject of ridicule in society, and everyone criticized them.   

When Jowar transformed into gold and silver

The story of Nanad-Bhabhi further goes like this. After all that happened during the wedding, the Bhabhi never invited her sister-in-law home even for a day. One day, the brother thought that he should go and meet his sister. He shared these thoughts with his wife and proposed to bring along some gifts for his sister. To this, the Bhabhi put a handful of Jowar grain in a bag to be presented to the Nanad and handed it to her husband. Seeing this behaviour of his wife, the brother felt very bad. He thought it would be very awkward and inappropriate to gift Jowar to his sister, and he emptied the bag in front of cows in a cowshed on his way.   

But with the grace of Goddess Tulasi, all Jowar grains transformed into gold and silver. The cow owner was astonished to see this and asked the brother as to why he offered all that gold and silver to the cows. Brother was also stunned to see the miracle and shared the complete incident with the cowherd. Then the cowherd said it was all because of the blessings of Goddess Tulasi. Brother proceeded happily and reached his sister’s place. Seeing the precious gift, the sister and her family were overjoyed with happiness. 

The legend of Tulasi-Shaligram marriage 

Shaligram is the Avatar of Lord Vishnu. As per the Puranic legend, apart from Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya, Lord Shiva had one more son, and his name was Jalandhar. But Jalandhar had demonic qualities in him. He considered himself the most powerful, mighty, and formidable warrior among all the Gods and demons. He used to misuse his powers to trouble Gods. Jalandhar was married to an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, Vrinda. As Jalandhar would persistently bother Gods and try to snatch their kingdom, the trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva conceived a plan to kill him.   

But for Vrinda’s virtue and faithfulness, nobody could kill Jalandhar. To get the solution to this problem, Gods decided to ask the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu made the plan of breaking Vrinda’s vow, which was protecting her husband. To execute their plan, Lord Vishnu disguised as Jalandhar and deceived Vrinda to break her vow. This way, the trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva succeeded in killing Jalandhar. Vrinda felt tormented knowing about the betrayal of Lord Vishnu, of whom she was an ardent devotee. In her anguish, Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu to turn into a stone. All Gods implored Vrinda to take her curse back, and she capitulated. To repent for his betrayal, Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the form of a stone and henceforth came to be known as Shaligram. 

Puja Vidhi of Tulasi Vivah

As per the tradition, the ceremonial marriage of Tulasi, called Tulasi Vivah, is conducted on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi. On this day, Lord Vishnu also wakes after four months of the sleeping period, which begins on Dev Shayani Ekadashi. This Ekadashi also marks the resuming of auspicious ceremonies, like a wedding in Hinduism after the hiatus. As per the beliefs, Lord Vishnu, in his Shaligram Avatar, marries Tulasi on this day. Those who perform this ceremony earn Punya equivalent to Kanyadan. 

  • During the evening, before the marriage, draw a beautiful Rangoli and an eight-leaf lotus by using Geru powder.  
  • Then set up a Mandapa by using sugarcane. 
  • Place two Chowkis inside the Mandapa. Now place a Tulasi pot on one Chowki and either Shaligram or Lord Vishnu’s idol on another. 
  • Place Tulasi pot on the right-hand side of Shaligram. 
  • On Shaligram’s Chowki, draw an eight-leaf lotus and place a Kalash on it. Also, draw a Swastika on the Kalash. 
  • Put Tilak on mango leaves using Roli and decorate them around the brim of Kalash. Now, wrap a coconut with a red cloth and place it over the Kalash. 
  • Light a Ghee-Deepak in front of Tulasi pot and start the wedding ceremony. 
  • Then, dip a flower in Gangajal and sprinkle it on the Tulasi pot while chanting the Mantra - Om Tulsaya Namah. Sprinkle some Gangajal on Shaligram also.  
  • Put Roli Tilak on Tulasi and sandalwood Tilak on Shaligram. 
  • Wrap a red Chunari or Saree around Goddess Tulasi and offer Suhag-items, like bangles, Henna, etc. 
  • Perform the Abhishekam of Shaligram with Panchamrita and make an offering of yellow clothes. 
  • Offer flowers on the Kalash. Put a flower garland each on Tulasi and Shaligram.  
  • Then, put a betel nut, flowers, a few cardamoms, and Dakshina (money) in a cloth. 
  • A male member of your family should carry Shaligram in hands and make seven rounds around Tulasi. 
  • After completing Pheras or seven rounds, make Goddess Tulasi seated on the left-hand side of Shaligram. 
  • Offer sesame to Shaligram and perform his Aarti with camphor. 
  • After completing all rituals, offer the Bhog of sweets and Kheer-Puri to Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram. 
  • After the Puja, donate all the Puja-Samagri (items used during the Puja) along with the same Tulasi pot in a temple.  
  • If possible, plant Amla along with Tulasi at your home and perform Panchopachar Puja. 

One should never pluck Tulasi leaves after the sunset. Our scripture has made Tulasi plucking forbidden on certain days and Tithis, which are - new moon day, Chaturdashi Tithi, Sunday, Friday, and Saptami Tithi. Furthermore, don’t pluck Tulasi leaves without any reason. If you need Tulasi leaves during one of those aforementioned forbidden days, then use the fallen leaves of the Tulasi plant gathered around the pot, or you can pluck the leaves one day prior and use them during the forbidden days. Tulasi is a sacred plant, don’t pluck her leaves unless you need them. The leaves that you have used during the Puja can be reused after washing them with clean water.

Performing Tulasi Vivah confers a person with Punya Phal

It is believed that conducting Tulasi Vivah with devotion end all the problems coming in your marriage. Those who are finding it difficult to get married should also perform Tulasi Vivah to get the blessings of Goddess Tulasi and Lord Vishnu. Tulasi Vivah also confers one with the Punya equivalent to Kanyadan. 

Perform Tulasi Vivah with Manglashtaka Mantra

Tulasi Vivah is conducted by following the rituals of a Hindu wedding. Manglashtaka Mantra is chanted during the wedding rituals. In the same way, during the wedding rituals of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram, Manglashtaka Mantra should be chanted. It is believed that the power of these mantras sanctifies the whole environment and increases positive energy. 

The benefits of conducting the Tulasi Vivah

Tulasi Vivah is performed on Dev Uthani Ekadashi. As parents, marrying off Goddess Tulasi to Shaligram bestows the fruits equivalent to Kanyadan. Those who don’t have a daughter should perform Tulasi Vivah by following all rituals to earn the Punya of Kanyadan. Couples who are facing a troubled relationship in their married life should perform Tulasi Vivah for a happy marriage. Conducting Tulasi Vivah with devotion confers peace and prosperity in your life and success to your children.  

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You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.