Tulasi Vivaha

Tulasī Vivāha / Tuḷaśi-ca lagna (तुळशीचं लग्न)

The wedding of Tulasī (the Indian Holy Basil) with Lord Viṣṇu / Kṛṣṇa marks the end of the Diwāli season and commencement of the Hindu wedding season. This is celebrated in many parts of India, but is especially important in Mahārāṣtra and Goa. Traditional Hindu homes in these states have a Tulasīplant in the centre of the front yard in a fixed square block known as the “Tulasī vṛndāvan”. On the wedding day the Tulasī plant is dressed in a saree and is married to Śri Kṛṣṇa in the form of a brass or silver image.

The pūjā ritual mimics a wedding ceremony with a white cloth held between the bride and the groom (अंतर्पाट) and the priest recites wedding mantras (मंगलाष्टक). Today – कार्तिक शुक्ल द्वादशी (12th day of the bright fortnight of theKārtika month) is Tulasī Vivāha / Tuḷaśi-ca lagna (तुळशीचं लग्न).

According to Hindu mythology, Vṛndā, a pious devotee of Lord Viṣṇu, was married to the wicked rākṣasa king Jalandhar, who was invincible as long as his wife remained faithful. Lord Viṣṇu assumed the form of Jalandhar and visited Vṛndā, thereby depriving the rākṣasa of his power. Distraught, Vṛndādrowned herself in the ocean whereby Lord Viṣṇu transferred her soul to the Tulasī plant and blessed her by promising to marry her in her next birth. Tulasī Vivāha / Tuḷaśi-ca lagna is celebrated each year to commemorate this blessing – and Tulasī leaves are used in thr worship of Lord Viṣṇu.