Tulasi or Vrinda or Tulsi is the hallowed name of Srimati Vrinda Devi who is the worshippable plant which can be seen flourishing in any home who are following Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism. One can always find her growing nicely in the courtyards of the houses.
Shaligrama is a sanctified stone form of Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna who appeared as a form for his devotees. This form of lord is found in the Gandaki river which flows in the Indo Nepal border. One who takes a dip in the holy river can find these Shaligrama shila in their hands.
This Vivaha ceremony is performed in Bheeshma panchaka of the month of Kartik. Out of the five days, it can be celebrated on any of them which is decided as per the auspicious constellations.
The legend behind Tulasi-Shaligrama Vivaha
As per Padma Purana, Tulasi devi was known as Vrinda in her past life. He was the utmost chaste wife of Jalandhar. Jalandhar was born out of Lord Shiva’s anger. Lord Shiva, who once became extremely angry opened his third eye and let his krodhhagni come out which was then dumped into ocean.
From this, Jalandhar was born who tried to claim his right over the 14 gems which came out of ocean during the churning. He was the husband of Vrinda, who was devotedly dedicated to service of her husband. She had a blessing indicating that her chastity was the cause of her husband being invincible.
In order to restore the peace in the celestial planets, Lord vishnu came is disguise of her husband to supposedly dismantle her purity. When she came to know that it was Lord Vishnu in disguise, she was angry at him and therefore cursed him to become a black stone since he performed an act done by stone hearted people.
And Lord Vishnu gave her the blessing that she would be his greatest devotee and she would take her next life in the form of tree worshippable by everyone. No offering to the lord shall be complete without her presence.
Procedure of marriage
Bhishma panchaka or Vishnu panchaka are the five days of the last month of Chaturmasya i.e. the four months of austerities to be practised by spiritual seekers. They are the last five days of the auspicious month of Kartik. They are Kartik Shukla Ekadashi, Dwadashi, Trayodashi, Chaturdashi and Purnima.
As per Mahabharata, Bhishma deva observed a strict fast during last five days in order to prepare for his death. As a result of his austerity, Lord Krishna became very pleased with him and blessed him with pure devotional service.
Benefits of Fasting
For the one who is observing chaturmasya vrata for the four months should intensify the austerities or these five days and one must observe fast from grains for the last five days.
Srimati Kunti devi is one of the main characters of Mahabharata who is famous for her surrender to the supreme lord Sri Krishna, who is by all means accessible to his devotees under all circumstances.
Kunti Maharani was the daughter of Shurasena and foster daughter of King Kuntibhoja. He is the sister of Vasudev, the father of Sri Krishna, therefore, she is the aunt of Lord Krishna.
Although she is elder in her age, still she offers her prayers to the supreme lord since she understands that Krishna is the supreme personality of godhead.
While she was in the house of her foster father Kuntibhoja, she selflessly served the Rishi Durvasa and he, in return, being pleased by her service, gave him a mantra using which she could call any demigod and he will reward him a gift.
Out of her own curiosity, she called Suryadev and when he arrived, he asked her to ask for a boon to which she told the reality. But suryadev replied that he is duty bound to give him a reward and gave him Karna, his son.
Afraid of the world, she put Karna in a basket and rendered afloat in the river. She was married to king Pandu and then, by the fate King Pandu was cursed by Rishi Kindama to die as soon as he would try to indulge in sensual gratification.
Eventually, King Pandu asked Kunti to beget sons and she begot 3 sons, Yudhishthira, Bheema and Arjuna. When further persuaded, she asked him to stop and wait for one year.
Due to her misfortune, his husband died when he tried to embrace his another wife, Madri and she was left alone alongwith 5 Pandavas.
When the Pandavas returned to Hastinapur, there was a succession crisis. Duryodhana claimed to be the next heir for the kingdom. Dhritarashtra named Yudhishthira as his heir, enraging Duryodhana. With the help of Shakuni, Duryodhana planned to burn the Pandavas and Kunti in a Lakshagraha while they were on a festival at Varnavat. But with early warning and aid from Vidura, the Pandavas and Kunti fake their death and escape the burning house. They travel the countryside, disguised as brahmins.
The prayers offered by her to Lord Krishna represent the feeling of surrender of a devotee. She prays to Lord Hari as (Srimad Bhagwatam 1.8.18-20)
īśvaraṁ prakṛteḥ param
antar bahir avasthitam
na lakṣyase mūḍha-dṛśā
naṭo nāṭyadharo yathā
kathaṁ paśyema hi striyaḥ
Lord Sri Krishna is the supreme personality of godhead who appears every 4 billion years in his original form in the Dwapara yuga which is followed by Kaliyuga and in other dwapara yugas, one of his quadruple expansions appear as Krishna.
Krishna is the resident of the transcendental planet Goloka Vrindavan which is the topmost spiritual abode, full of madhurya rasa or sweet amorous pastimes of the lord with his most beloved gopis, headed by Srimati Radharani.
As stated in Bhagwad Gita (4.7-8)
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
Whenever we enter a temple to attend an aarti, we see that the Brahmin priests come out of the deity altar with a conch shell and blow it very loudly, three times. Only after that, the aarti starts.
As stated in Hari Bhakti Vilas,
“0 king, a person who sounds a conch shell in Lord Kesava’s temple becomes free of all sins. He goes to Brahmaloka where he enjoys with Lord Brahma.”
The conch shell is very dear to the supreme lord Sri Krishna and hence, in his quadruple expansions, he keeps the conch shell in one of his four hands. The conch shell was offered to the Supreme lord by Shankhachuda, a demon who had Srimati Tulasi as her wife. Actually, Shankhachuda is an eternally liberated devotee from the abode of the supreme lord, who was cursed by Srimati Radharani to take that form.
Blowing conch shells is considered very auspicious. It is said that wherever the sound of the conch shell reaches, ghostly species and all sorts of negative energies run away from that place, making it completely pure. The conch shell produces the universal sound vibration, “Om” and this sound form of Krishna is ever purifying. It purifies all directions and terrorizes the negative energies.
The blowing of conch shell has tremendous effect on the blower as well as the listener. The one who blows conch shell is freed from all sorts of respiratory and mental disorders and the listener from all sorts of mental diseases.
The sound vibration emanating from the conch shell resonates with the natural human body frequency and hence, creates a stream of positive and healthy vibrations. These vibrations have a positive feedback and hence, provide the listeners with a peaceful aura. One can himself feel very happy and peaceful when someone sounds a conch shell.
Sounding a conch shell invite Sri Lakshmi Devi to one’s house and let her stay there for a longer time.
There are some conch shells which cannot be blown, but are worshipped. They are known as Dakshinavarti conch shells. They are worshipped in Mahalakshmi Puja.
For arranging a Mahalakshmi puja, you can contact us at www.shubhpuja.com .
This is daily Gita and Bhagwatam Series in which we present their timeless and valuable teachings.
dṛṣṭvemaṁ sva-janaṁ kṛṣṇa
sīdanti mama gātrāṇi
mukhaṁ ca pariśuṣyati
Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a ﬁghting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.
Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualiﬁcations by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities. As such, Arjuna, just after seeing his kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battleﬁeld, was at once overwhelmed by compassion for them who had so decided to ﬁght amongst themselves. As far as his soldiers were concerned, he was sympathetic from the beginning, but he felt compassion even for the soldiers of the opposite party, foreseeing their imminent death. And while he was so thinking, the limbs of his body began to quiver, and his mouth became dry. He was more or less astonished to see their ﬁghting spirit. Practically the whole community, all blood relatives of Arjuna, had come to ﬁght with him. This overwhelmed a kind devotee like Arjuna. Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna’s bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but he was also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord. It is said therefore:
yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
“One who has unﬂinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualiﬁcations that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy.” (Bhāg. 5.18.12)