India has always been a country with amazing festivals with equally amazing rituals, one such festival which is celebrated in India is called as the “Tulsi Vivah” where we get the tulsi plant married to Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna. The tulsi plant is considered extremely sacred by the hindus and is also used as a medicinal plant. There is an interesting story which connects Lord Vishnu and Tulsi and is the reason to celebrate “Tulsi Vivah” which goes as follows –
VRINDA’S PURITY SHIELDS JALANDHAR
Once there was a pure pious girl named Vrinda born in the Asura Clan to Kalanemi. Vrinda was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, since her childhood she worshipped the lord with great devotion and as result of her devotion to the lord her husband Jalandhar became invincible. Jalandhar was the king of asuras and had won over the world by defeating the Devas or the demi gods he had become powerful and was impossible to kill, all because of her pious wife whose Tapasya or penace had made him undefeatable.
Jalandhar soon began challenging Lord Shiva for war as he wanted to establish himself as the Supreme God and in the process also tried to abduct Goddess Parvati who was the wife of Shiva. Though he couldn’t abduct her because she became very angry and Jalandhar had to run for his life.
LORD VISHNU’S TRICK
So to put an end to Jalandhar’s wrongdoings Vishnu decided to break the chastity of Vrinda so that Jalandhar could get killed by the Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu then took the form of Jalandhar and went in front of Vrinda who got happy to seeing her husband and therefore invited him to sit beside her. Vrinda then asked Vishnu who was in the form of Jalandhar to circle around Vishnu’s statue with her to signify her devotion to him, both of them circled around the statue but when Vrinda touched Jalandhar’s feet she recognized that it was not Jalandhar. Lord Vishnu then took his real form to which Vrinda got angry as she did not expect Lord Vishnu to cheat her this way and break her chastity.
VRINDA CURSES LORD VISHNU
Vrinda angrily cursed Vishnu to turn into stone, she also said that a day will come when your wife will also be cheated by someone and her chastity will also be broken but when the Devas requested Vrinda to not turn Visnu to stone she reduced her curse and said that Vishnu may return to his original form but will be present on earth as “Shaligram” which will be another form of Vishnu and thereafter ended her life as her purity was maligned which resulted in the killing of the Asura Jalandhar.
LORD VISHNU BLESSES VRINDA
The Lord got extreamely happy with her devotion and blessed that Vrinda will be his most favorite and his worship will be considered to complete only when Vrinda is a part of it, he then blessed Vrinda that even after her death she will remain on earth in the form of tulsi plant and will function as life-giving plant. Vishnu declared that whenever somebody will offer him a tulsi leaf with full devotion he will always bless them.
TULSI VIVAH IS CELEBRATED
It is from that time Tulsi is married to Vishnu which is a way to showcase Lord Vishnu’s love towards his devotee. According to hindu calender “Tulsi Vivah” is celebrated on the “Shukla paksha of Ekadashi” in the Kartik month.
EFFECT OF VRINDA’S CURSE
It is also believed that due to Vrinda’s curse only Rama’s wife Sita was abducted by Demon Ravana and her purity was questioned by the society. The Shaligram which is found on the banks of Gandaki River in Nepal is also a stone form of Vishnu which is the result of Vrinda’s curse.