The end of the monsoon and the beginning of the wedding season in Hinduism is denoted by a Hindu festival called Tulsi Vivah. Tulsi Vivah is a ceremonial marriage of Tulsi with God Shaligram or Amla Branch The ceremonial festival is performed anytime between Prabodhini Ekadashi and Kartik Poornima.
Tulsi has great significance in Hindu mythology, it is venerated as a goddess and is sometimes called“Vishnupriya”, which means the beloved of Lord Vishnu. The legend behind Tulsi Vivah and its rites are told in the scripture, Padma Purana.
The legend behind Tulsi Vivah is that the Tulsi plant was a woman named Vrinda and she was married to the Asura king Jalandhar, who due to her piety and devotion to Vishnu, became invincible. Even the Devas were unable to defeat Jalandhar, so they asked Vishnu - the preserver of the Trinity - to find a solution. Before leaving for war she promised her husband to pray for his victory and that she will be doing Sankalpa till he returns gloriously. Lord Vishnu knew about her promise and disguised himself as Jalandhar, Vrinda saw him and came to him by leaving the Sankalpa. With her Sankalpa destroyed, Jalandhar lost his power and was killed by Shiva and his head fell in Vrinda’s palace. As she saw this, she realized it was not her husband but Lord Vishnu. Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu to become Shaligram and to be separated from Lakshmi, his wife. The latter was fulfilled when he was turned into the black Shaligram stone, and in his Rama avatar, he was separated from his wife Sita, who was kidnapped by the asura king Ravana. Vrinda with utmost pain then drowned herself in the ocean, and the gods transferred her soul to a plant, which was henceforth called Tulsi.
On Prabodhini Ekadashi, Vishnu - in the form of Shaligram - married Tulsi as per a blessing from Vishnu to marry Vrinda in her next birth. Tulsi Vivah is performed to commemorate this event. On the day of Tulsi Vivah, a fast is observed until the evening when the ceremony begins at homes and temples. Tulsi and Vishnu's marriage is similar to a traditional Hindu wedding and is conducted with the same piety and prosperity.
Other legends claim that Goddess Lakshmi slew a demon on this day and remained on earth as the Tulsi plant.
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