Mumbai: Tulsi vivah, a holy marriage, is celebrated in various parts of India on Ekadashi according to the Hindu calendar in the month of Kartik. The marriage is conducted between Tulsi (basil plant) and Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to the Hindu scriptures, all the living beings including plants have a sense of consciousness transfusing in them. Tulsi becomes the best example of this preaching and thus this marriage is considered sacred.
There are several legends associated with the Tulsi vivah and its rites are mentioned in the scriptures of Padma Purana. Going by one of the stories described in Hindu texts, Tulsi plant was a woman named Vrinda, a synonym of Tulsi which means incomparable.
She was married to a demon-king named Jalandhar who had pleased Lord Vishnu by his devotion. After being blessed by Vishnu and being granted the boon of remaining invincible, Jalandhar became arrogant and started creating havoc. The Devas were fed up of his actions and requested Lord Vishnu to intervene.
Since there was no other way to annihilate Jalandhar, Vishnu out of exasperation decided to disguise himself as the demon to dupe Vrinda. The only way he could eliminate Jalandhar was by destroying her chastity.
It was only after Jalandhar’s death that Vrinda was avail of the truth. She then cursed Shri Vishnu by saying that he would turn black and become stone-like. This stone came to be known as Shaligram.
Knowing that Vrinda was not at fault, Vishnu assured her that she would be born as Tulsi in her next birth and become his consort.
Hence, people annually perform Tulsi Vivah by getting her married to Shaligram.