Lord Vishnu/Narayan sleeps on His cosmic snake Ananta floating on Ksheer Sagar (Name of a sea). His divine slumber continues for four months (Chatur Maas) and He awakens on "Kartik Ekadashi or Prabodhini Ekadashi or Devottani Ekadaashi" (The day of Lord's awakening). He rests from Ashadi Ekadashi and now wakes up to maintain the cosmic balance of His creation.
On this day, all devotees fast, offer delicious sweets, sing glories of the Lord and do His Aarti with sound of Shankh (Conch shell) and Ghanta (Melodious Bells). Pilgrims go to take a glimpse of their Lord and throng at many Lord Vishnu temples. Marriages are performed after this date. It is said to be most auspicious because Lord Vishnu is awake and is able to partake in the marriage celebrations when invoked with devotion and sincerity.
Legend states that Tulsi, named Vrinda (Brinda), was the wife of Jalandhar who sought a boon with the Gods, of invincibility as long as his wife is chaste.
Vrinda was a devout wife, who upheld chastity. Jalandhar, owing to the boon that he acquired, began to traumatise people that it became a difficult task for Gods to handle.
Gods took refuge in Lord Vishnu, who came to their resort, by disguising Himself as Jalandhar and living with Vrinda to break her chastity.
Vrinda who lost her chastity to Lord Vishnu, on discovering the truth cursed Him to become a stone. She further cursed that at one point in time, He would also suffer the pangs of separation of His consort;she then immolated herself.
Lord Vishnu, acknowledging Vrinda's purity, transformed her into a Tulsi plant, to be worshipped in all homes. He then became a stone (Shaligrama). In the Ramavatar, the Lord, as the result of the curse, suffered separation from His consort, Sita.
Tulsi Vivah festival-a Tusli pooja is observed in all households as a mark of reminder of the divine relationship between the Lord and Tulsi.
Tulsi is also said to be a form of Mahalakshmi. It is also referred as Vishnupriya, the beloved of Lord Vishnu.
Edited by mnx12 - 05 November 2011 at 2:35am