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Tulsi Vivah – When Indian festival gets wedded

Posted on November 9, 2011 | FestivalsNo Comment

India believes in a lot of traditions, legends and cultures which are intriguing and interesting. The Tulsi Vivah is one such Indian festival with a lot of pomp and glory. Celebrating the wedding of the holy basil or Tulsi to the Indian God Lord Vishnu is a great festival for all.

This Indian festival is performed on the 11the lunar day of the Hindu Month of Kartik. It can be done upto the Kartik Purnima or the full moon of the Kartik Month. But people normally prefer to do it on the 11th day. The wedding of Tulsi indicates that monsoon has ended and the Hindu wedding season can begin.

Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi in Hindu mythology is Lord Vishnu’s wife. Also known by the name of Vishnupriya the tulsi plant was actually a lady called Vrinda. This lady was married to Jalandhar a demon who was a king. Because of her immense devotion to Lord Vishnu, this demon king got powers of invincibility. Lord Shiva is believed to be the destroyer in Hinduism. Even he could not destroy this demon. So Lord Shiva had to take Lord Vishnu’s help. Lord Vishnu, the preserver in Hindu mythology came to Vrinda in the guise of Jalandhar and violated her privacy. As Vrinda lost her chastity she cursed Lord Vishnu in anger and turned him into a black colour and cursed he be away from his wife. Lord Vishnu got transformed into a black shaligram stone. The curse came true when in his incarnation of Lord Rama, he was separated from his wife Sita after she was captured by the demon king Ravana. Vrinda immolated herself in a pyre. The soul of Vrinda was converted into a plant which is the Tulsi plant. Lord Vishnu blessed that Tulsi be wedded to the Shaligram stone and thus the event of Tulsi Vivah or Tulsi wedding began. There is another belief that believes that Goddess Lakshmi remains in earth in the form of Tulsi.

The wedding is done as it is normally done in Hindu traditions. There is a fast that is observed on that day. The mandap or the marriage arena is decorated well and the Tulsi vrindavana or the brick mould in which Tulsi is kept is revered. It is said that the soul of Vrinda lives in the plant at night and leaves early morning. So the bride Tulsi is donned a sari with earrings and other jewellery. A human face is attached to Tulsi. A picture of Vishnu is kept or the Shaligram stone is kept and a dhoti is clad on this picture or stone. Then with lot of flowers and garlands and a cotton thread joining them, the wedding is performed.

Tulsi Vivah in India

In the state of Maharasthra, a white cloth is normally held in between the groom and the bride while the Mangal Ashtaka is recited by the priest. A lot of rice and vermilion is showered on the Tulsi and the shaligram and the word “savdhan”meaning attention is said to indicate that they are united. Mainly celebrated by women, this Indian festival has fruits, groundnut, coconut chips and sugarcane as the Prasad.

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