Om Tulsayei Vidmahe
Vishnu Priyayei Dhimahi
Tanno Vrinda Prachodayat!!
A marriage that is celebrated for decades and eons! It is the auspicious day of Tulsi Vivaah, a marriage that is celebrated by majority of the Indian population, all across the country. Tulsi Vivaah is the holy marriage of Tulsi Devi with Lord Krishna.
Every single year, the wedding is celebrated by people across the country with a lot of devotion. But, whilst we talk about the sanctity of Tulsi Vivaah, there are several modern day marriages that fail, end in violence, separation and divorces. In a country like India, where half its population celebrates divine rituals like Tulsi vivaah, how can heart melting and gruesome marriages exist as well? It is the same people who celebrate these rituals, who also treat their marriage as a legally enforced relation. It is for us to decide and understand the beauty of marriage from the divinely Tulsi Vivaah.
The story of Tulsi Vivaah
An ancient ritual that has been followed for hundreds of years, the story behind this ritual is believed to be originally narrated by Lord Brahma himself to Guru Vashistha. The story is about Tulsi, the herbal plant Ocimum Sanctum who, in her previous birth was princess Vrinda, the daughter of a giant named Kaalnemi, who ruled Mathura. She was married to demon Jalandhar, who was born in water and claimed sovereignty all across the ocean and demanded the Fourteen valuable treasures churn out. However, the Gods refused the demand and Jalandhar began war against them. But, the danger increased as Jalandhar had a boon by Lord Vishnu himself that he would never die as long as his wife Vrinda was chaste.
So, to protect the Fourteen treasures, Lord Vishnu decides to beguile Vrinda by taking her husband Jalandhar’s form. And as Vrinda’s chastity was destroyed, Jalandhar lost all his powers and was killed by Lord Shiva.
But, Vrinda soon realizes Vishnu’s plot and curses him that turns Vishnu into a black stone and also that he will have to separate from his wife soon. With this, she drowns herself in the ocean and the Lords, transfer her pure soul into the sacred Tulsi plant. Worshipping the purity of her soul, Lord Vishnu promises to get married to Tulsi annually on the 11th day of the bright half of Kartik month. And since then, this event is commemorated every year by all hindus. The day also marks to the beginning of the Hindu Marriage season.
The Story of all vivaahs
The story of Tulsi vivaah, like always is about the victory of Good over Evil. It is about how the lords fight evil to maintain sanctity in the universe. Well, the story or better say the reality of new age Vivaah is still the same. There are good and bad marriages. But, making one’s relation work is in the hands of both, the husband and the wife. With mutual understanding and love, every marriage can become pure. But sadly, people fail to do so. And this is the reason why we see several marriages that end in violence (husband kills wife for dowry or wife kills husband over dispute; cheating partners, etc.)
Life can become a boon if we understand the purity of marriage and the meaning of Tulsi Vivaah. It is not just a ritual we need to celebrate every year. It is a lesson we need to remind our self on how to revive our marriage and be happy.
Image Courtesy: kirtanmandalis.net