Tulsi Vivah – The legend behind the Celebration
Tulsi Vivah is celebrated on the 11th day of the bright half of Kartik. The tulsi plant is held sacred by the Hindus as it is regarded as an incarnation of Mahalaxmi who was born as Vrinda.
According to a legend, Vrinda was married to demon king Jalandhar. Being born in water Jalandhar claimed overeignty over the ocean and demands the 14 treasures churned out of the ocean in Vishnu’s second incarnation. He declared war and becomes a cause of danger to the gods. But she prayed to Lord Vishnu that her demon husband would be protected, 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 Vrinda. When the truth emerged after Jalandhar’s death, Vrinda crused Vishnu and turned him to stone (Shaligram) and collapsed. Vishnu too retaliated but in admiration of her impeachable chastity and piety, he transfers her into the sacred Tulsi plant and promises to marry her annually on this day of Kartik. The origin of the ammonite black stone or Salagram found on the bed of the river Gandaki may be attributed to their legend.
On this day tulsivrindavan is coloured and decorated as a bride. Sugarcane and branches of tamarind and amla trees are planted along with the tulsi plant. Only vegetarian food is cooked on this day. At midday, a full meal consisting of rice, moongachi gathi, puri , sweet potato kheer , red pumpkin vegetable cooked with pieces of sugarcane, amla and tamarind is offered to Tulsi Vrindavan. Tulsi vivah ceremony takes place in the late evening. Various poha dishes are offered to Lord Vishnu. Then prasad is distributed among family members and friends.
With Ganesha’s Grace,