The festival of Diwali and its memories are still fresh on our minds, isn't it? There are a few people who are still in the festive mood. There is one important festival that is celebrated almost 11 days after Diwali.
Tulsi vrat is also called Tulsi pooja or Utwan Dwadashi and it is a festival that is widely celebrated in the southern part of India. It is observed on the 12th day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Karthik.
Tulsi plant is an important part of Hinduism and no household is ever without it in its front yard. It is said to ward off evil and is also considered to be a form of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. It is the holiest of plants and is considered to be a meeting point between Heaven and Earth.
The Legend Behind The Tulsi Pooja:
According to the legend, Lord Vishnu had three wives, namely Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganga. Out of jealousy, Saraswati cursed Lakshmi to be born as a plant. She is then born on earth as a Tulsi plant. From that day on, Tulsi was started to being worshipped as a form of Goddess Lakshmi.
Another legend has it that there was once a woman named Vrinda who was married to the Demon-King Jalandhar. King Jalandhar was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and had impressed God to gain invincible powers.
Lord Vishnu knew the secret of defeating the king. In the guise of battle, Lord Vishnu sent a message to Vrinda saying that her husband died in the battle. He later took the form of King Jalandhar. Seeing her husband alive, she immediately embraced him, thus breaking her chastity.
This was the secret of King Jalandhar's invincible powers and he was immediately defeated. When Vrinda came to know the truth, she cursed Lord Vishnu saying that his wife would be taken away from him. Lord Vishnu then transferred her to a sacred plant and promised to marry her annually.
On this day, the Tulsi plant is worshipped. It is bathed in Water and Kumkum is applied on its leaves. A red cloth is wrapped around the stem.
Fruits are offered and clay lamps are lit. Then, the aarti is performed. After that, people place one leaf inside their mouths. This is done in order to make place for the Goddess inside our mouths.
Details To Know On Tulsi Vivah
The main tradition of this day is the Mock Marriage of Tulsi and Lord Vishnu. A black stone is placed next to the tulsi plant. This represents Lord Vishnu. It is said that, on this day, whoever is said to give away the tulsi plant would get good deeds equal to that of a Kalyadaan.
The women of the house purify themselves after a holy dip. They wear a new dress and offer prayers, water, milk, kumkum, haldi, etc. Holy hymns are sung in praise of Tulsi.
On this day, the gooseberry plant is also worshipped. When the black stone or the Shaligrama is not available, then a part of the Amla tree is worshipped, as it is said to be a representation of Lord Vishnu. Aarti is performed and the tulsi and Amla plants are worshipped.
It is said that Tulsi was the most beloved plant of Lord Vishnu. That is why this plant holds a special place in the Puranas. It is said that worshipping Lord Vishnu with a paste of tulsi leaves will please him. Tulsi leaf water is given to a dying man to ensure that he departs to heaven.
The day of Uttana Dwadashi is said to be very auspicious. Whoever worships Tulsi and Lord Vishnu on that day with utmost devotion will seek their blessings of love and prosperity for their entire family.
The festival of Uttana Dwadashi falls on November 1st this year.