The Hindu wedding season has officially begun with the symbolic Tulsi Vivah being performed.
This is a symbolic ritual, which involves getting a holy basil plant married to Lord Vishnu, one of the holy trinity of Hinduism. The ritual is usually done on the 11th or 12 day of the ascending moon, and also signifies the official cessation of the rainy season.
The genesis of the religion go back in millenia to the Padma Purana, according to which, a woman named Vrinda was married to the demon king Jalandhar. Vrinda was very pious and devoted to Lord Vishnu.
So, no matter what deeds Jalandhar did, he was always protected by the Piety of Vrinda, so much so that even Lord Shiva, another member of the holy trinity could not destroy him. Disillusioned, he appealed to Lord Vishnu to help him.
So, Lord Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar, and copulated with Vrinda, which took away her piety. This destroyed his protection, and Jalandhar was killed in battle.
Enraged, Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu that he would become a black rock, and that he would be separated from his wife Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. So saying, Vrinda drowned herself in the ocean and took her life.
This curse was realised in the Ram incarnation of Lord Vishnu, when he got separated
In remorse, Lord Vishnu promised her that he would actually get married to her in another birth.
Vrinda was thus re-born as Tulsi (Holy Basil), and was married to Lord Vishnu’s Shaligram Incarnation (which was a black rock) on Prabodhini Ekadashi.
This annual ritual re-inacts and commemorates this event, showing the piety and sanctity of marriage, and that even Gods have to follow it’s rules, or suffer the consequences.