Monday, January 23, 2012

Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi Vivah


Tulsi Vivah is the ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi plant (holy basil) to the Hindugod Vishnu or his Avatar Krishna. This ceremony can be performed any time between Prabodhini Ekadashi - the eleventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of theHindu month Kartik to the full moon of the month (Kartik Poornima) but usually it is performed on the eleventh or the twelfth lunar day. The day varies from region to region. The Tulsi wedding signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season.



Tulsi Vivah or Marriage: 

 This is perhaps the most sentimental but not the least important festival which falls on the 11th day of the bright half of Kartik.  This story from padma Puram revolves round Tulsi, the plant Ocimum Sanctum which in her former birth was Vrinda, the daughter of a giant named Nemi, and the faithful wife of demon Jalandhar. Being born in water Jalandhar claims sovereignty over the ocean and demands the 14 treasures churned out of the ocean in Vishnu's second incarnation.  He declares war and becomes a cause of danger to the gods. More so because of a boon that he would be free drom death till his wife Vrinda was chaste.  As a last resort to kill Jalandhar, Vishnu beguiles Vrinda by assuming her husband's form. Vrinda in her wrath cruses and turns Lord Vishnu into a Black stone (Salagram) for his deceit.  Vishnu too retaliates 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 Poonam.




Performing Tusli Vivah Festival-A Tulsi Pooja

Tulsi Vivah, is observed at dusk in homes. The place is cleaned up and rangolis are drawn in front of Tulsi Vrindavan. Tulsi plant, being treated as the bride is smeared with turmeric and vermilion. Small bangles are hang on the tender branches. A small cloth is wound around the plant. A Shaligrama is placed next to the Tulsi as the symbol of Mahavishnu, the groom. A priest is summoned and all rites, involved in a formal wedding are conducted. 

In some places, a cloth is held in front of the plant, which acts like a screen, while mantras are chanted. At the end of the mantra recitation, the cloth is removed as a mark of culmination of the wedding.

The performance of this pooja bestows prosperity, a cordial relationship between partners and all other material boons. When done with proper understanding of its essence, it bestows self realisation, the end of all spiritual pursuits.

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