The Holy Basil, or perhaps better known as Tulsi is the most sacred plant in Hinduism. Symbolizing purity, Tulsi remains tried and tested for its medicinal properties and can be found in almost every Hindu house.
With so much historic significance and use in everyday life, it comes to no surprise that the humble Tulsi has its very own festival. Tulsi Vivah is a very special kind of festival, one like no other. Let’s see why.
A marriage like no other.
You’ve probably seen all sorts of marriages in your lifetime. But marrying a plant and the second most powerful Hindu god? Now that’s something interesting. It is believed that Tulsi is an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu. The Tulsi wedding signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season.
A tale of Legends
But how did this unique ritual even come to be?
There was a woman named Brinda. She was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. She was a very pious woman and was devoted to her husband the demon king) Jalandhara, who was said to be the demon son of Lord Shiva. He was said to be very powerful and evil that he went on a spree to defeat all the gods and become the King of Asuras. There was no way to kill Jalandhar as long as his wife Brinda remained faithful to him.
So in order to demolish Jalandhara, Lord Vishnu decided to take the form of Jalandhara and went to meet Brinda, at the request of other gods. Brinda was not able to recognise the disguise and spent a night with Lord Vishnu in her husband’s disguise.
Jalandhara lost the battle with the gods and was eventually killed as his wife could no longer protect him. Brinda got extremely upset and angry to know what the Lord had done to her.
Lord Vishnu wanted to compensate for what he had done to Brinda. This is why he transformed her soul to the Tulsi plant. Lord Vishnu also said that he would marry Brinda in her next birth to make up for the wrongful act that he did to Brinda.
And thus began the unique ritual.
Tulsi Vivah – Fun Fact #1
The is the symbol of spiritual purity (sattvika). The marriage (Vivah) of Tulsi with Lord Vishnu means that God likes purity as a quality. The meaning of the word marriage is the merging and oneness of the embodied soul (Jiva) and God .
Tulsi Vivah – Fun Fact #2
On the day of Tulsi Vivah, a tulsi plant is elaborately decorated with a sugarcane pavilion. Leaves are sometimes also used. The whole tulsi mandap is dressed up like a bride who’s ready to get married. Marriage rituals take place shortly. More often than not, a priest is called to perform the ceremony the right way.
Tulsi Vivah – Fun Fact #3
The Tulsi Vivah signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season. Which means the wedding season kicks off in Goa with great pomp starting with Tulsi Vivah.
Are you celebrating Tulsi Vivah too? Let us know about any other rituals or special celebrations that your family has been following since ages.
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Featured image credits-indiamarks.com