Tulsi Vivah (1st November 2017)
Tulsi is venerated as a goddess in Hinduism and sometimes considered a wife of Vishnu, sometimes with the epithet Vishnupriya, “the beloved of Vishnu”. The Tulsi Vivah is the ceremonial marriage ritual of the Tulsi plant (holy basil) to the Shaligram or Vishnu or his Avatar Krishna. This ceremony can be performed any time between Prabodhini Ekadashi – the eleventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu 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.
A day prior to the marriage, the Tulsi – Vrundavan (a special structure in which the holy basil plant is grown) is painted and decorated. Sugarcane and marigold flowers are offered on the Vrundavan; tamarind and Amla are kept at its base.
The marriage ritual is performed in the evening. The Vrat which is observed during the consecutive Hindu lunar months of Ashadha, Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwin and Kartik (Chaturmas), are fulfilled on twelfth day of bright fortnight of Kartik when the Tulsi marriage is done. Then the food items which were restricted during the previous months are consumed only after offering it to needy persons. Tulsi is the symbol of spiritual purity, the marriage of Tulsi with Shri Vishnu means that “God likes purity as a quality”. The meaning of the word marriage is the merging and oneness of the embodied soul (Jivatma) and God (Paramatma).
All around the courtyard of the house, cow dung water is sprinkled. If the Tulsi plant is in a pot then the pot should be painted white. A Rangoli is drawn around the Tulsi plant and then its ritualistic worship is done. On this day Shri Vishnu’s principle of preservation is activated on earth to a greater extent. The principle is more active around the Tulsi plant. One should chant Shri Vishnu’s name. After the puja the surrounding becomes very Satvik (spiritually pure).
On the eve of Tulsi marriage the subtle frequencies of Shri Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi subsume the Universe. On this day Goddess Lakshmi in the form of Tulsi and Shri Vishnu in the form of Shaligram are worshipped. To welcome them and to imbibe the maximum benefit from their frequencies, a marriage ritual is performed in the evening.
On the day of Tulsi – Vivah, the marriage is to be performed at an auspicious time. During this time, the force of activation of Shri Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi principle increases and they merge with each other. So to get the maximum benefit from the spiritually pure (Sattva) component in the atmosphere it is recommended to perform the marriage during this given time.