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Tulsi Vivah is a Hindu festival; which celebrates the marriage of Tulsi with Lord Vishnu. According to the Hindu lunar calendar; it observes Shukla Paksha Ekadashi of Kartik month. The custom of performing the marriage ceremony of these two divinities- Goddess Tulsi and Lord Vishnu's is practiced with a proper set of ceremonials. Devotees conduct the religious weddings of Tulsi plant and Vishnu idol followed by Vedic rituals. In 2021, Tulsi Vivah falls on Monday, 15 November.
In religious texts, Goddess Tulsi Ji has been called "Vishnu Priya". The use of Tulsi i.e. basil leaves is considered very sacred while venerating Lord Vishnu’s especially on Ekadashi and other related festivals. Without the Tulsi leaves, the worship of Lord Vishnu is considered incomplete. Lord Vishnu and Goddess Tulsi both are seen together as husband and wife and are revered side by side in Hindu religion.
According to scriptures; the Tulsi plant was a woman named Vrinda. She incarnated form of Goddess Lakshmi. She was married to the Asura king Jalandhar, whobecame invincible due to her piety and devotion to Vishne. Even Shiva could not defeat Jalandhar, so he requested Vishnu - the preserver in the Trinity - to find a solution. Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar and tricked Vrinda by touching her. She realized it was not her husband but Vishnu. This destroyed her chastity.
With her chastity destroyed, Jalandhar lost his power and was killed by Shiva. Vrinda cursed Vishnu to become Shaligram and to be separated from his wife, Lakshmi. This was later fulfilled when he was transformed into the black Shaligram stone (actually a fossil), and in his Rama avatar, was separated from his wife Sita, who was kidnapped by the asura king Ravana. Vrinda then drowned herself in the ocean, and the gods (or Vishnu himself) transferred her soul to a plant, which was henceforth called Tulsi.
As per a blessing by Vishnu to marry Vrinda in her next birth, Vishnu – in form of Shaligram - married Tulsi on Prabodhini Ekadashi. To commemorate this event, the ceremony of Tulsi Vivah is performed.
According to Padma Purana, it is auspicious to conduct Tulsi Vivah on the day of Ekadashi. Performing Tulsi Vivah at home is way simple and it can even be done by following easy traditional rites.
- On the propitious day of Tulsi Vivah, one should fast on Ekadashi.
- Install idols of Goddess Tulsi Ji and Lord Vishnu in the house.
- These idols should be decorated with a yellow cloth as yellow is Lord Vishnu’s favorite color.
- Decorate the tulsi plant as a bride and make a pavilion (mandap) with a sugarcane stick around it.
- Adorn Goddess Tulsi’s plant with a red-colored chunari or lanyard.
- After this, the rituals of Tulsi Vivah should be followed in the same way as wedding customs are done.
- If desired, Tulsi Vivah can be done duly by the help of either Pandit or Brahmin, otherwise, it can be done even with mantra (ohm tulsayyah namah).
- On the day of Dwadashi, worship Goddess Tulsi and Vishnu God by keeping a day-long fast.
- After taking the meal, it is auspicious to eat basil leaves that are found around the basil plant.
sweetmeats made of these fruits; sugarcane, amla, and berry, a person gets rid
of all the sins and wrongdoings.