Tulsi Vivãh is when Tulsi (former birth known as Vrundã) and Shaligrãm (stone form of Lord Vishnu) are married. Tulsi Vivãh start on the first Ekãdashi (Dev-Prabodhini) after Divãli and lasts till Punam (15th day). Every year, different people take the role of their parents.
Tulsi is sacred in a Hindu household. The leaves from a Tulsi tree is offered in every pujã of Bhagvan. Tulsi is plant (Ocimum Sanctum or Holy Basil) found near a holy river called Gandaki. Shree Vishnu said that He will stay on the banks of the Gandaki River in the form of Shãligrãm to remain with Tulsi forever.
Vrundã was the daughter of King Kushdhavaj. He was a true bhakta of Bhagvãn and his two daughters were also devout satsangi’s. One was Vrundã and the other named Vedãvanti. From a young age both sisters had renounced the material world and were fully devoted to Bhagvãn. Both sisters had decided that they wanted Bhagvãn Himself to be their husband and so they both began to mediate and perform penance (taap). After a long and difficult penance, Bhagvãn became pleased and appeared before them, and He asked then for a boon (vardãn).
Vedãvanti's wish was granted and she devoted her life in the service of Bhagvãn. However, Vrundã, who was unaware of this, had been cursed by Shree Ganapati and became the wife of a demon. This demon was called Jalandhar, and was the son of Sãgar (the dev of the sea).
Jalandhar was very strong and had exceptional magical and illusionary powers. Vrundã became very loyal to him and as she was very beautiful, Jalandhar gave her all the happiness that she deserved. Vrundã remained a devoted wife (pati-vratã), undertook regular penance and followed the true path of dharma (righteousness). Vrundã’s pati-vratã devotion to Jalandhar was so strong that it became a powerful force and protected him. He fought battles with Indra and other devs, defeating them all. Now, Jalandhar decided that he would fight Shree Shivji and defeat Him as well. The battle between Jalandhar and Shree Shivji lasted a long time, with Jalandhar emerging victorious. Jalandhar's ego now knew no bounds. Shree Shivji was now very angry with Jalandhar and they engaged in a fierce battle. This battle was long and harsh, and so fierce, that it cannot be described.
When Jalandhar realised he may be defeated, he used his illusionary powers to create an illusion, which deceived Shree Shivji. Jalandhar then took the form of Shree Shivji and went to cheat Pãrvati. When he saw beautiful Pãrvati, he became filled with passion. Pãrvati realised that this was not her husband and that Jalandhar would dishonour her, so she became frightened. Then, through her powers, became invisible to Jalandhar. She then prayed to Bhagvãn who appeared before her. Pãrvati asked Bhagvãn to save her from the evil clutches of this demon who had taken the form of her husband. Bhagvãn assured Parvati that He would protect her and that He would find a way to defeat Jalandhar.
The only way Jalandhar could be defeated was to break the loyalty (pati-vratã vow) of his wife Vrundã. Bhagvãn therefore set out to cheat Vrundã. He took the form of a tyãgi and went into the forest and started His meditation.
Then, as per Bhagvãn’s wish, Vrundã had a dream. In this dream, she saw her Jalandhar in strange circumstances. She saw him naked and covered in oil, and riding a bull-buffalo. He was wearing garlands made from black flowers, was surrounded by meat eating creatures, and was travelling in a southerly direction. She also saw that her city was submerged in the ocean and that the sun appeared to have one hundred holes in its body and was rising without any light.
With such a frightening nightmare, Vrundã became very worried and thought that something very bad was about to happen. She was very frightened and began to cry. Vrundã became very restless and began to roam here and there, completely confused. She left her home, and with her two friends, went into the garden and out into the forest. She was crying very loudly and calling for help. Then, she saw two demons with faces of ferocious tigers. She became extremely frightened thinking that she would be eaten alive. She ran very fast and then saw a man meditating. He was very calm and appeared to be full of compassion. Vrundã fell to his feet and asked to be saved from the demons. Bhagvãn, who had taken the form of this tyãgi, roared loudly at the demons, who then disappeared into the forest.
Having been saved, Vrundã folded her hands together and offered her thanks to her saviour. She also prayed to him and asked if he could tell her if her husband Jalandhar, who had gone to fight Shree Shivji, was dead or alive. She begged him to tell the truth. At that moment, two monkeys appeared, one carried Jalandhar's head, the other his body. When Vrundã saw that her husband had been killed, she fainted. At that moment, Bhagvãn kindly sprinkled some water and she came around.
Having regained her senses, she began to grieve and prayed to Bhagvãn to make her husband alive. She cried that she would be alone an orphan without her husband and that her life would not be worth living. She stated that she was a pati-vratã and that she could not remain alive without her husband. "O Lord, you know all the desires that are in my heart, so please fulfill my wish and give me back my husband. My husband was dearer to me than my own soul, so please make him alive again".
Bhagvãn, in the form of the tyãgi, laughed and said "Shree Shivji has killed your husband. However, I will bring him back to life to express my kindness to you”. As Bhagvãn looked at the parts of Jalandhar's body, it appeared to stand up, upon which Bhagvãn entered the dead body. Seeing Jalandhar alive, Vrundã became very happy and embraced him, thinking it was truly her dear husband. By embracing another person other than her husband, Vrundã’s pati-vratã vow had been broken. Bhagvãn then assumed His real form with four hands, and a chakra, gadã, shankh, and padma in his hands. As Vrundã had broken her pati-vratã vow, Jalandhar was no longer protected by its power. He was then easily killed by Shree Shivji.
Vrundã became extremely angry and told Bhagvãn that He had carried out a wicked deed that was totally unworthy of Him. She said, “You are the defender of dharma, and that it is your duty to ensure that everyone stays within that dharma. How was it that instead of defending my dharma, you cheated and betrayed me through deceit?! I have extraordinary powers and if you were any other mortal I would have burned you to death. But, you are Bhagvãn and are indestructible. So instead, I curse you to become a stone that will be worshipped by all in the universe”. Then Bhagvãn replied, “How dare you curse me! I curse you to become a tree. But, you will forever remain with Bhagvãn, and will be present in His pujã”.
So, Bhagvãn became the Shãligrãm stone, and Vrundã became the Tulsi tree.