The Fascinating Story of Tulsi Vivah: A Tale of Curse and Boon

We at Vedic Story believe that Indian mythology is a vast ocean of stories as well as the seeds of all stories in Hinduism. And from this ocean of Hindu tales, today we have come to the story of Tulsi Vivah 2023 with Sri Shaligram, a rock form of Lord Vishnu.

In ancient texts and Sanatan Dharma, several trees and plants are given holy status, such as the peepal tree, the banana tree, the banana plant, and so on. However, the Tulsi plant is considered the holiest and worshipped as Vrinda, an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi. Vrinda is the first incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi, and Tulsi is the second birth of Sri. She is famously known as Holy Basil and is regarded as a symbol of chastity, devotion, and purity.

Tulsi is found in Indian homes and Hindu culture. Tulsi puja is performed in Indian homes every day, and Tulsi Vivah is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm in the country. However, to get the blessing of Tulsi Mata, one must worship Tulsi with her eight names. Vrindavani, Tulasi, Viswapavai, Puspasara, Visvapujita, Nandini, Vrinda, and Krsna Jivani.

Many people don’t know what the significance of the story of Tulsi Vivah is in Hinduism. Why is a Tulsi plant worshipped and given the status of a holy plant? Let’s find out!

Legends of Tulsi in Hinduism

Vedic Story 1: A Tale of Love and Faith of A Gopi

In the Indian Vedic scriptures, several stories are mentioned about Tulsi. One legend says that Tulsi was a Gopi who was in love with Krishna. Radharani, the divine consort of Lord Krishna, came to know about the infatuation and cursed her to be born on Earth as a Tulsi plant.

Vedic Story 2: A Tale of Queens Satyabhama and Rukmini

Once, Sage Narada, the son of Lord Brahma, and the gods in heaven were missing Lord Vishnu a lot and his presence in his Vaikuntha. Thus, they decided to hatch a plan to get Krishna back to his divine home. Sage Narada plays the role of cosmic instigator and is allowed to wander Trilokas, Heaven, Earth, and Patala by the curse of his brother Daksh Prajapati, which eventually turned into a boon for him as he was the great devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Sage Narada Visited Dwarka to Meet the Queens

Narada sneaks in and out whenever he wishes and makes progress on any plan by the Trimurti and any gods and goddesses.

During the time of Krishna in Dwapara Yuga on Earth, he was enjoying the pastime with his beloved wives, sons, friends, and families. One fine day, Narada visited Lord Krishna’s two wives, Satyabhama and Rukmani.

Satyabhama Gave Away Krishna in Daan to Sage Narada

Queen Satyabhama, infatuated with Krishna, wanted to know if she would be the wife of Sri Hari in her next life or not. Narada Rishi truthfully told Satyabhama that if she wanted to know about her future with Lord Krishna, she should give away Krishna as a daan to him. They agreed to give away Lord Krishna and leave immediately for heaven so that their husband could go back to Vaikunth and be born soon.

However, Rukmini and Stayabhama began to miss Krishna a lot and requested that Sage Narada bring him back.

Satyabhama and Her Weighing Balance Scale

Narada informed them that they have to give something equal to the weight of Krishna if they desire the return of their husband from heaven.

Satyabhama, one of the ashtabharya of Lord Krishna, proud of all her jewels and valuables that Krishna gave, set up a large weighing balance scale. She asked Lord Krishna to sit on one side and brought all of her jewels, gold, and silver to weigh against Krishna.

Queen Satyabhama was a little arrogant due to the love she received from Krishna. However, the more valuables she piled onto the balance, the lighter her side became. She could not understand why Krishna was getting heavier and heavier. She began to reduce her angry tears and gave up.

Rukmini and Her Pure Love for Krishna

Satyabhama requested that Rukmini do something and help her. Queen Rukmini, the first ashtabharya of Lord Krishna, removed all the valuables—gold, silver, and gems—from the balancing scale.

Thereafter, she plucked a few leaves of the wild tulsi from her chamber garden and put them all on the scale with her pure love. The tulsi leaves were heavier than the Krishna leaves. Krishna smiled a little and returned to earth to be with his beloved wives.

This event shows the importance of spirituality and the significance of the Tulsi leaves.

Vedic Story 3: A Tale of Vrinda and Lord Vishnu

According to the Purana and ancient texts, Tulsi was an incarnation of Vrinda, the wife of the demon King Jalandhar, a son of Lord Shiva who was born from his third eye to reduce Indra into ashes.

However, Sage Brahspati, the advisor of King Indra, requested that he forgive him. Lord Shiva could not bring his anger inside again; thus, he released the anger of fire into the ocean. From the fire, a boy was born who came to be known as Jalandhar.

Jalandhar Married Vrinda

Jalandhar married Vrinda, a demon princess and the daughter of Kalnemi. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and worshipped him with all her devotion and love.

As a result, the King possessed all the power and became the Asura King of Triloka, Heaven, Earth, and Pataala. The gods were worried about his power and the havoc he spread. Vrinda’s chastity made him immortal, and thus no one could kill him until her wife, Vrinda, remained loyal.

All the gods requested Lord Vishnu to take the form of Jalandhar and destroy Vrinda’s chastity so that they could defeat Jalandhan. Vrinda spends the entire night and quality time with the disguised Jalandhan, unable to recognize him as Lord Hari.

Vrinda Cursed Lord Vishnu

The chastity of Vrinda broke, and she was not able to protect Jalandhan anymore, which helped the gods kill her husband.

Vrinda was enraged with the action of Lord Vishnu and wanted justice for her purity and loyalty towards her husband. She cursed Lord Vishnu to turn into a stone, as he had cheated her and her devotion.

As a result, Lord Shiva gave her a boon so that she would be reborn as Tulsi, the holiest plant in the world.

Lord Vishnu promised her to marry in her next incarnation as Tulsi and that no prayer to him would be completed without her.

Thus, the Tulsi Vivah happened.

Tulsi and Shaligram’s Vivah Story

Tulsi Vivah happens on Ekadashi, the eleventh day of the waxing moon in Kartik month, October–November. Devotees of Krishna and Tulsi perform Tulsi vivah, or ceremonial marriage of Tulsi and Shaligram, as per the traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in the house and temple.

Tulsi and Shaligram’s marriage ceremony starts in the evening. Devotees perform Tulsi puja and fast until the Tulasi Vivah. Hindus believe that the soul of Vrinda lives in the Tulsi plant at night and leaves in the morning.

Thus, the wedding mandap is installed at night in the courtyard where the Tulsi plant resides. Tulsi is bathed by the devotees and dressed in a red sari with jewelry. Thereafter, Vishnu, as a Shaligrstone, was also bathed and wrapped in a dhoti for the wedding procession.

Mantras of the traditional Hindu wedding are recited, and then rice and kumkum are also sprinkled on the couple. The bride, Tulasi, is offered gifts such as a sari, jewelry, sweets, and mangal-sutra.

After that, a traditional wedding feast happens.

Thus, the significance of the Vedic story of Tulsi Vivah puja is the beginning of the annual marriage season in India.

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