|Tulasi Vivah 2013|
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 gods. 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.
story courtesy - http://www.salagram.net