This is the celebration of the marriage ceremony of Srimati Tulasi Devi with Lord Sri Krishna. Tulasi is considered an incarnation of Sri Mahalakshmi who was born as Vrinda. The festival of Tulasi Vivaha is widely celebrated in India. Tulasi Vivaha falls on the twelfth day in the first fortnight of the month Karthika.
On this day, the Tulasi pot (Vrinda devi) is colored and decorated as a bride. A bright colored cloth is draped on the Tulasi plant. A full meal of rice, puri, kheer, pieces of sugarcane, amla and tamarind are offered to the Tulasi plant.
Tulasi Vivaha ceremony takes place in the late evening. Tulasi Devi takes the sacred phera with Shaligrama. The priest brings the Shaligrama with him. In a basket – saree, blouse, mehendi, sindoor, bangles, etc., are kept. This suhaag basket is offered to Tulasi Devi. Various dishes are also offered to Lord Krishna.
Marriage of Shaligrama and Tulasi
As written in the Narada-pancharatra – one should first 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 Shaligrama and Tulasi are described as follows:
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; one should arrange a yajna-kunda in a mandapa. Then after performing shanti-vidhana, one should install sixteen goddesses, and perform shraddha ceremony for his female maternal ancestors.
Four brahmanas learned in the Vedas should be invited. One of them to be appointed as Brahma, one as an acharya, one as a rishi, and one as the priest. A mangala-ghat should be set up under the mandapa according to the Vaishnava rituals followed by an attractive Shaligrama-shila (Lakshmi-Narayana). After that one should perform griha-yajna, worship the sixteen goddesses, and do the shraddha ceremony.
When dusk sets in 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 bracelets, should be tied on the wrists, and with the ko' dat mantra the marriage should be consecrated.
After this, the host along with the acharya, rishi, and others should make nine offerings in the yajna-kunda. After these procedures, the marriage rites have been done, the 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 circumambulate the Tulasi four times with Shaligrama-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 vaishnava-samhita. After this the ladies should blow a conch and other similar instruments, sing auspicious songs, and recite mangalacharana. This should be followed by the purnahuti and the abhisheka. Dakshina should be given to all.
Anyone who witnesses 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.