This is the celebration of the marriage ceremony of Srimati Tulsi Devi and Lord Sri Krishna.
Marriage of Shalagrama and Tulasi written by Sri Padmanabha Gosai.
Shri Vasishthaji said that what I have heard in ancient times from Lord Brahma about the marriage of Tulasi I will now describe according to what is written in the Narada-pancaratra. First one should plant Tulasi either in the house or the forest, and after three years one may perform her marriage. The auspicious times when one may perform the marriage of Shalagrama and Tulasi are described as follows. When the sun is moving in the north, Jupiter and Venus are rising, in the month of Kartika, from the Ekadashi to the full moon in the month of Magha, and when constellations that are auspicious for marriage appear, especially the full moon day. – First one should arrange a place for sacrifice (yajna-kunda) under a canopy (mandapa). Then after performing shanti-vidhana, one should install sixteen goddesses, and do the shraddha ceremony for his female maternal ancestors.
One should call four brahmanas learned in the Veda, and appoint one to be the Brahma, one to be the acarya, one to be the rishi, and one to be the priest. One should establish an auspicious waterpot (mangala-ghat) under that mandapa according to the Vaishnava rituals. Then one should establish an attractive shalagrama-shila (Lakshmi-Narayana). After that one should perform home sacrifice (griha-yajna), worship the sixteen goddesses, and do the shraddha ceremony. – When it is dusk one should install a golden Deity of Narayana and a silver murti of Tulasi according to one’s means. With vasa-shanta mantra two cloths should be tied together, with yadavandha mantra the marriage bracelets (kangana) should be tied on the wrists, and with ko’ dat mantra the marriage should be consecrated. Then the host along with the acarya, rishi, and others should make nine offerings in the yajna-kunda. After these marriage rites have been done, the wise gurudeva should offer sacrifice according to the Vaishnava rituals chanting, “Om namo bhagavate keshavaya namah svaha.” – The host with his wife, friends, and relatives should then do parikrama of Tulasi four times with shalagrama-shila. Everyone should then recite the following prayers in front of the yajna-kunda: shatkumbha-sukta, pavamani-sukta, shakti-kadhyaya, nava-sukta, jiva-sukta, and vaishava-samhita.
After this the ladies should blow conch and other similar instruments, sing auspicious songs, and recite mangalacarana. Following this the final sacrifice should be done (purnahuti) and then abhisheka. An ox is to be given to the Brahma, a cow, cloth, and bed to the acarya, and cloth to the rishi. Dakshina should be given to all. – In this way installing Tulasi Devi one should begin her regular worship along with Lord Vishnu. Whoever sees the marriage of Tulasi Devi will have all of the accumulated sins of his life removed. Whoever with devotion plants Tulasi, collects her leaves, or installs her along with Vishnu will achieve liberation, the abode of the Lord, all varieties of enjoyment, and will enjoy along with Shri Hari.
*The author is a well-known Vaishnava Acharya and a Head Priest of the famous Radharaman Mandir in Vrindavana, India.
A Hindu perspective:
Tulsi Vivah or Marriage: This is perhaps the most sentimental but not the least important festival which falls on the 11th day of the bright half of Kartik. This story from padma Puram revolves round Tulsi, the plant Ocimum Sanctum which in her former birth was Vrinda, the daughter of a giant named Nemi, and the faithful wife of demon Jalandhar. Being born in water Jalandhar claims sovereignty over the ocean and demands the 14 treasures churned out of the ocean in Vishnu’s second incarnation. He declares war and becomes a cause of danger to the demigods. More so because of a boon that he would be free drom death till his wife Vrinda was chaste.
As a last resort to kill Jalandhar, Vishnu beguiles Vrinda by assuming her husband’s form. Vrinda in her wrath cruses and turns Lord Vishnu into a Black stone (Salagram) for his deceit. Vishnu too retaliates but in admiration of her impeachable chastity and piety, he transfers her into the sacred Tulsi plant and promises to marry her annually on this day of Kartik. The origin of the ammonite black stone or Salagram found on the bed of the river Gandaki may be attributed to their legend.
As a consequence, all devout Hindu women worship the Tulsi plant with flowers and milk assuming Lord Krishna to be present on it on this auspicious day. Literally a mock marriage is performed between the Tulsi and the Salagram. The belief is that one who performs this ceremony of giving away Tulsi considering them to be one’s own daughters, gets the credit as making a Kanyadan which is regarded as an extremely meritorious act in pur religion. This sacred ceremonial day marks the auspicious opening of the annual marriage season of the Hindus.
Simple Vivaha Prayog:
One can dress Her pot in a nice Red skirt.
One can adorn her branches with red bangles, red kum kum, and red bindhis.
As a mangal sutra one can use a fresh or dried Haldi (tumeric) root.
And garland her with red garlands.
If you have a Shaligram you can perform the Vivaha for them as you would for any yajuman who would undergo it.
Here we have a VERY simplified form of that.
Kanya Sampradanam – Giving of the bride:
The bride is given away by her father or guardian after reciting of her lineage and pedigree together with that of the groom.
Honouring of the groom. The groom is given a seat and is honoure Tie the kankabandanam red thread to each of Them.(symbolically His right wrist Her left wrist)
Meditate upon anointing Their wrists with oils and chandan, and just touch it to Their bodies.
Mala Dharanam – exchange of garlands:
Place a nice garland on the Tulsi plant and the Swayamvyakta Shaligram. Exchange the garlands three times. Her’s garlands Him and then His garlands Her, like that. Tulasi first to garland her lord, claiming her swayamvarya rite.
Sindhur Danam – anointing the bride with sindhur:
On His behalf mark her leaves and upper trunk with sindhur three times, His claiming her as His own.
OM SINDHUR IVA PRADHVANE SUGHANASO
VATA PRAMIYAH PATAYANTI YAHVAH
GHRTASYA DHARA ARUSO NAH VAJI
KASTHA BHINDAN URMIBHIH PINVAMANAH
Mangal Sutra Dharanam – Placing of the sacred Tali:
The sacred thread and ornament (mangal sutra) are sanctified and then tied around the bride’s neck as a symbol of her marital status, the sister of the groom helps him with this and is given a present by the bride’s family. A girdle symbolizing chastity is tied around her waist (can be tied around the pot or laid on the soil as if her waist.
mangal yatantunanena bhartr jiva ahetunaa
kanthe bandhnami subhage saa jiva saradah shatam
Vastra Bandhanam – Tying their cloth, making their bond strong:
Trying the upper clothes. Granthi banadhanam – binding their marriage bond. The Shaligram will need an angavaastra specially for this which can be tied to the upper part of the vaastra that Tulsi is wearing – keep these bound for seven nights from now. Sprinkle the bonded cloth with waster from the samanya arghya.
Laja Homa – Offering of Puffed Rice for the longevity of the husband, and fertility of wife:
This ritual is done to pray for the well-being of the bride and her future offspring as well as prosperity and happiness for all the family.
You may have to meditate upon this only.
OM IDAM ASMANAM AROHA
ASMEVA TVAM STHIRA BHAVA
MA CA TVAM DVISATAM ADHAH
“Mount this stone, and like a stone be steadfast in devotion at the feet of the Lord. Annihilate those who would dare harm you. May you never fall under their influence.”
Saptapadi Grahanam – The symbolic taking of seven steps representing seven great sacrifices of Vivaha:
The couple take seven steps together symbolic of the journey of life which they are beginning and in which they will be inseparable companions. Each step is sanctified with a blessing.
1. OM EKAM ISE VISNUH TVA NAYATU
“One: May Lord Visnu lead you to strength.”
2. OM DVE URJE VISNUH TVA NAYATU
“Two: May Lord Visnu lead you to power.”
3. OM TRINI VRATAYA VISNUH TVA NYATU
“Three: May Lord Visnu lead you to uphold your vows.”
4. OM CATVARI MAYOBHAVAYA VISNUH TVA NAYATU
“Four: May Lord Visnu lead you to happiness.”
5.OM PANCA PASUBHYO VISNUH TVA NAYATU
“Five: May Lord Visnu lead you to plenty of cows.”
6. OM SAD RAYAS POSAYA VISNUH TVA NAYATU
“Six: May Lord Visnu lead you to multiplying spiritual wealth.”
7. OM SAPTA SAPRABHYO HOTRABHYO VISNUH TVA NAYATU
“Seven: May Lord Visnu lead you to maintain these seven sacrifices.”
Pani Grahanam – Joining Them in wedlock:
Taking of the Hand. The groom formally accepts the bride and takes her hand while reciting ritual formulae. Meditate upon Their holding hands and recite the following.
“For good fortune I join your hands so that you may attain old age in the company of your husband. The four Kumaras have given you to him for performance of household duties.
“Be gentle-eyed, protecting your husband. Be kind to the animals, be good minded, beautiful. Be the mother of heroes, mother of life, and dear to Lord Krsna, bringing the highest happiness. In this way be good to us all, both man and beast.
“May Vishnu generate progeny for you. May Lord Krsna keep you together until old age. Enter now your husband’s house, with auspiciousness. In this way be good to us, both man and beast.
“Oh Vishnu, impregnate her, make fine, strong sons in her. Put ten sons in her, make eleven men in their house.
“Be the ruler of your husband’s father. Be the ruler of your husband’s mother. Be the ruler of your husband’s sisters. Be the ruler of your husband’s brothers.
“May your heart be fixed on life’s higher goals. May your mind follow after that of your husband. With body and soul be devoted to his words. May Lord Visnu join you together.”
Shower them with akshata (dry uncooked rice coloured with tumeric).
OM ASMIN VIVAHA KARMANI
ANGA HINAM KRIYAN HINAM VIDHI HINAM CA YAD BHAVET
ASTU TAT SARVA ACCHIDRAM KRSNA KARSNA PRASADATAH
YAT KINCIT CAIGUNYAM JATAM
TAD DOSA PRASAMANAYA
SRI VISNU SMARANAM KAROMI
“May all deficiencies in rules and activities of the vivaha ceremony be absolved by the mercy of Lord Sri Krsna and His devotees. I now remember that Supreme Lord Vishnu in order to nullify whatever faults there may be there in the proceedings.”