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Tulasi-Saligram Vivaha 12th Nov 2019

November 12

This is the celebration of the marriage ceremony of Srimati Tulsi Devi and Lord Sri Krishna. Marriage of Shalagrama and Tulasi written by Sri Padmanabha Gosai. Shri Vasishthaji said that what I have heard in ancient times from Lord Brahma about the marriage of Tulasi I will now describe according to what is written in the Narada-pancaratra. First one should plant Tulasi either in the house or the forest, and after three years one may perform her marriage. The auspicious times when one may perform the marriage of Shalagrama and Tulasi are described as follows. When the sun is moving in the north, Jupiter and Venus are rising, in the month of Kartika, from the Ekadashi to the full moon in the month of Magha, and when constellations that are auspicious for marriage appear, especially the full moon day. - First one should arrange a place for sacrifice (yajna-kunda) under a canopy (mandapa). Then after performing shanti-vidhana, one should install sixteen goddesses, and do the shraddha ceremony for his female maternal ancestors. One should call four brahmanas learned in the Veda, and appoint one to be the Brahma, one to be the acarya, one to be the rishi, and one to be the priest. One should establish an auspicious waterpot (mangala-ghat) under that mandapa according to the Vaishnava rituals. Then one should establish an attractive shalagrama-shila (Lakshmi-Narayana). After that one should perform home sacrifice (griha-yajna), worship the sixteen goddesses, and do the shraddha ceremony. - When it is dusk one should install a golden Deity of Narayana and a silver murti of Tulasi according to one's means. With vasa-shanta mantra two cloths should be tied together, with yadavandha mantra the marriage bracelets (kangana) should be tied on the wrists, and with ko' dat mantra the marriage should be consecrated. Then the host along with the acarya, rishi, and others should make nine offerings in the yajna-kunda. After these marriage rites have been done, the wise gurudeva should offer sacrifice according to the Vaishnava rituals chanting, "Om namo bhagavate keshavaya namah svaha." - The host with his wife, friends, and relatives should then do parikrama of Tulasi four times with shalagrama-shila. Everyone should then recite the following prayers in front of the yajna-kunda: shatkumbha-sukta, pavamani-sukta, shakti-kadhyaya, nava-sukta, jiva-sukta, and vaishava-samhita. After this the ladies should blow conch and other similar instruments, sing auspicious songs, and recite mangalacarana. Following this the final sacrifice should be done (purnahuti) and then abhisheka. An ox is to be given to the Brahma, a cow, cloth, and bed to the acarya, and cloth to the rishi. Dakshina should be given to all. - In this way installing Tulasi Devi one should begin her regular worship along with Lord Vishnu. Whoever sees the marriage of Tulasi Devi will have all of the accumulated sins of his life removed. Whoever with devotion plants Tulasi, collects her leaves, or installs her along with Vishnu will achieve liberation, the abode of the Lord, all varieties of enjoyment, and will enjoy along with Shri Hari. *The author is a well-known Vaishnava Acharya and a Head Priest of the famous Radharaman Mandir in Vrindavana, India. A Hindu perspective: Tulsi Vivah or Marriage: 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 demigods. 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. Simple Vivaha Prayog: One can dress Her pot in a nice Red skirt. One can adorn her branches with red bangles, red kum kum, and red bindhis. As a mangal sutra one can use a fresh or dried Haldi (tumeric) root. And garland her with red garlands. If you have a Shaligram you can perform the Vivaha for them as you would for any yajuman who would undergo it. Here we have a VERY simplified form of that. Kanya Sampradanam - Giving of the bride: The bride is given away by her father or guardian after reciting of her lineage and pedigree together with that of the groom. Honouring of the groom. The groom is given a seat and is honoure Tie the kankabandanam red thread to each of Them.(symbolically His right wrist Her left wrist) Meditate upon anointing Their wrists with oils and chandan, and just touch it to Their bodies. Mala Dharanam - exchange of garlands: Place a nice garland on the Tulsi plant and the Swayamvyakta Shaligram. Exchange the garlands three times. Her's garlands Him and […]

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Srila Nimbarkacarya – Appearance 12th Nov 2019

November 12

Sri Nimbarka Acarya comes in the line of the Kumara Sampradaya and is believed to have lived around the 11th and 12th centuries. Born in the modern Murgarapattam in the southern Dravidian province, he was the son of Aruni and Jayanti, a very pious brahman a couple of the Tailanga order. He was a great ascetic of the Tridandi order. He wrote many books according to the Dvaitadvaitavada and he lived most of his devotional life at a place called Nimbagrama near Govardhana at Vrindavana. While at Nimbagrama, he defeated a great Jain pandit in a discussion. The Jain had refused to dine with him saying that the Sun had already set and so he would not take any food. At this, Nimbarka by his own potency made the sun appear from a Nimba tree and the astonished Jain accepted his hospitality. It is said that his name Nimbarka or Nimbaditya has been derived from this miracle of Aditya or Arka meaning sun from a nimba tree. Once in a village near the forest of Bilva Paksha, a group of brahmanas came to engage in the worship of Lord Siva. Just as Lord Visnu is very much pleased when He is offered the leaves of His most beloved Tulasi, so Lord Siva is pleased by offerings of leaves from the bilva or bael tree. Thus the brahmanas worshipped Lord Siva by offering bilva leaves, for a period of one fortnight and satisfied Lord Siva greatly. Amongst those brahmanas was one whose name was Nimbarka. He had been particularly attentive in his worship of Lord Siva. Being especially pleased with Nimbarka's devotion, Lord Siva personally appeared to him. "Nimbarka," said Lord Siva, "at the edge of this village is a sacred bael forest. There, in that forest, the four Kumaras are absorbed in meditation. By their mercy you will receive transcendental knowledge, for they are your spiritual masters, and by rendering service unto them you will receive all that is of value." After saying this Lord Siva disappeared. Nimbarka immediately went to that place and with great determination he searched for the four Kumaras in every direction, until he finally found them, shining as brilliantly as the sun. They were seated on a very beautiful natural platform beneath a tree and they appeared like fire blazing on an altar. They were all very young, seeming to be no more than five years in age, but they appeared most noble in character as they sat there naked, rapt in meditation. Nimbarka was so excited that he cried out, "Hare Krsna!" This sudden sound startled the four brothers, breaking their meditation. Opening their eyes, they saw before them the blissful form of an ideal devotee, and with great pleasure they embraced Nimbarka, one after another. "Who are you," they asked, "and why have you come here? We are certainly ready to answer all your prayers." Nimbarka fell at the feet of the four brothers like a rod, and with great humility he introduced himself. With a sweet smile on his face Sanat Kumara then said, "The all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, knowing that Kali-yuga will be extremely troublesome for the living entities, resolved to proagate devotional service to Himself. With this goal in m ind, He has empowered four personalities with devotion and sent them into this world to preach. Ramanuja, Madhva, and Visnuswami are three and you are the fourth of these great souls. Laksmi accepted Ramanuja as a disciple, Brahma accepted Madhva, Rudra accepted Visnuswami and meeting you today we have the good fortune of being able to instruct you. This is our intention. Previously we were engaged in meditating on the impersonal Brahman, but by the causeless mercy of Lord Visnu, we have been relieved of this sinful activity. Since I have realised that it is essential to preach pure devotional service, I have composed a literary work entitled Sanat Kumara Samhita. After taking initiation from me, you should follow the instructions I have set forth therein." Nimbarka was greatly enlivened at the prospect of taking initiation and he immediately ran to take bath in the Ganges. After this he quickly returned and prostrated himself once more before the effulgent brothers. "O deliverers of the fallen," said Nimbarka, in all humility, "please deliver this low-born rascal." The four Kumaras gave him the Radha-Krsna mantra and instructed him in the method of worshipping Radha and Krsna with the sentiments of great love called Bhava Marga. In that sacred bael forest Nimbarka began to worship Sri Sri Radha Krsna according to the Sanat Kumara Samhita and he chanted the mantra they had given him. Very soon Radha and Krsna revealed Themselves to Nimbarka. They stood before him, spreading an effulgence which illuminated all directions. In sweet voices They addressed him thus: "Nimbarka, you are very fortunate, for you have performed Sadhana in Sri Navadwipa. We both combine, and assume one form, as the son of Sacidevi." At that moment Radha and Krsna combined and displayed Their form of Gauranga. Beholding this splendid vision, Nimbarka began to tremble. "Never," he said, "Never have I ever seen or heard of such a form at any time." Lord Gauranga then said, "Keep this form, which I now show you, a secret for the time being. Just preach about devotional service and the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, for I gain great satisfaction from this. When I make My appearance and perform My education pastimes, you will also appear. Taking birth in Kashmir as a great pandit, you will tour all over India defeating all opposition. Your reputation and learning will be celebrated everywhere and you will be known as Kesava Kashmiri. Whilst wandering in Sri Navadwipa you will come to Sri Mayapur. Simply by hearing your name all the great pandits of Navadwipa will flee. Intoxicated with scholastic pride, I will take great pleasure in defeating you. However, by the mercy of Mother Sarasvati, the goddess o f learning, you will realize My true identity. […]

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