On the day of Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu wakes up after four months of sleep. All auspicious works in Hinduism begin from this day. Along with this, Tulasi and Shaligram Vivah are married on this Ekadashi. In this marriage, Tulsi bride and Shaligram bride are made. Both are married with pomp, just like a human wedding.
The marriage of Tulsi with Vishnu/Krishna resembles the traditional Hindu wedding. The marriage ceremony is conducted at homes and at temples where a fast is observed on the Tulsi Vivah day until evening when the ceremony begins. The bride Tulsi is clothed with a sari and ornaments including earrings and necklaces.
The Story of Tulsi Vivah or the Marriage of Tulsi with Lord Vishnu
Tulsi or the basil plant is deemed highly sacred in Hinduism and is extensively used in the worship of Lord Vishnu. Tulsi Vivah or the marriage of Tulsi with Lord Vishnu is an interesting ceremony that is performed on Prabodhini Ekadashi the eleventh day of Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the moon) or the twelfth day during the month of Karthika (November – December). Here is the interesting story of Tulsi Vivah and the procedure of Tulsi Vivah.
Once upon a time, there was a demon called Jalandhar who was a terror to all the worlds. He had a chaste wife named Brindha. Due to her piousness, the demon had secured immortal powers and became invincible. Unless the chastity of Brindha was challenged, the demon could not be conquered.
Upon the behest of the gods, Lord Vishnu disguised himself in the form of Jalandhar and violated her. Thereupon, the powers of the demon vanished and Shiva killed him in the battle.
Brindha realized the shame that befell her and therefore cursed Lord Vishnu that he would turn black and would get separated from his wife. Her curse came true when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Ram and got separated from his wife Sita.
Brindha burnt herself in atoning for her sin and then became Tulsi plant attaining immortality. As per her prayers, she was married to Lord Vishnu in this form. Since them, worship of Tulsi, offering Tulsi for Lord Vishnu and Tulsi Vivah came to be practiced by the devotees.
On the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi or on the next day, the devotees wake up early in the morning and take a holy bath and clean their homes. Usually, most homes in the Hindu tradition have a Tulsi plant in their house growing in a pot.
This pot is placed in the center of the house and given a holy bath and decorated with auspicious objects like turmeric, vermilion, sacred thread, ornaments, and flowers. The idol of Krishna or a scalogram Shila is decorated with male attire and placed adjacent to the Tulsi plant and preparations for the marriage ceremony happen.
Usually, on the day of Tulsi Vivah, the performers observe day-long fasting and the Vivah takes place in the evening. If possible, there is a priest coordinating with the marriage ceremony and the ladies of the household with the attendees perform the marriage.
After invoking the presence of Tulsi and Krishna, the mantras are chanted and a cotton thread is tied around the statue and plant as a mark of wedding lock.
Tulsi Vivah is performed both in temples and homes. It is believed that performing Tulsi Vivah is a very auspicious thing for childless parents. They perform the role of the parent of Tulsi plant and give their daughter Tulsi in marriage to Lord Krishna.
After the marriage ceremony, the prasadam is distributed to all the attendees. On the night of the ceremony, devotees keep vigil and sing the glories of the Lord and Tulsi concluding the proceedings in the morning.
मंगलम भगवान विष्णु मंगलम गरुड़ध्वज:।
मंगलम पुण्डरीकाक्ष: मंगलाय तनो हरि।।