Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple (Mandir) London
Affiliated to Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Bhuj, Kutch, India
Tulsi - Holy Basil (Venerated Plant)
Vivah - Wedding
Once there was a king by the name of Kushdhavaj. He was a true devotee of God. He had two daughters who were devout Satsangi's, one by the name of Vrunda and another named Vedavanti. From a very young age, both had renounced the material world and were fully devoted to God. Vrunda and Vedavanti decided that they wanted God Himself to be their true husband and they would not marry anyone else. In order to please God, they both began to meditate and perform very difficult penance (Tapa). After a long period of penance, God was very pleased and appeared before them. God asked them to express their wishes so that He could fulfil them and also promised to remove all their pains and sufferings.
Vedavanti's wish was granted and she devoted her life in the service of God. However Tulsi, who was unaware of this, had been cursed by Lord Ganapati and became the wife of an asura. This asura was called Jalandhar and was the son of Sagar (the ocean).
Jalandhar was very strong and had magical powers. Vrunda remained a devoted wife (Pativratta). Her loyalty to Jalandhar was so strong that it became a powerful force, and he became unbeatable. He fought battles with Indra and other Devta's, defeating them all. Now Jalandhar decided that he would fight Lord Shiva and defeat Him as well. Jalandhar and Lord Shiva's army fought a long battle. Jalandhar's ego now knew no bounds. Lord Shiva was now very angry with Jalandhar and they engaged in a fierce battle.
When Jalandhar realised he may be defeated, he used his illusionary powers. Jalandhar then took up the form of Lord Shiva and went to cheat Parvati. When he saw Parvati, he became very excited with passion. Parvati realised that this was not her husband so she became invisible to Jalandhar. She then prayed to God. Parvati asked God to save her from the evil clutches of this asura God assured Parvati that He would protect Her.
The only way Jalandhar could be defeated was to break the loyalty of Vrunda. God therefore set out to cheat Vrunda. He took the form of a man practicing penance (Sanyasi) and went in to the forest and started His meditation. As per Gods wish, Vrunda had a dream. In this dream she saw her husband 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 and was surrounded by meat eating creatures and was travelling in a southerly direction and 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, she became very worried and thought that something very bad was about to happen. Vrunda became very restless and began to roam here and there. She left her home and was crying very loudly and calling for help.
Then she saw two Rakshas (Demons) with faces of tigers and was extremely frightened. She ran very fast and then saw a man meditating. Vrunda fell to his feet and asked to be saved from the demons. Bhagwan, who had taken up the form of this sanyasi, loudly grunted at the demons who disappeared into the forest.
Having been saved, Vrunda 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 Lord Shiva, was dead or alive. At that moment, two monkeys appeared, one carried Jalandhar's head, the other his body. When Vrunda saw that her husband had been killed, she fainted. At that moment, Bhagwan kindly sprinkled some water and she came around. Having regained her senses, she began praying to Bhagwan to make her husband alive. She stated that she was a loyal wife and that she could not remain alive without her husband. Bhagwan in the form of the Sanyasi laughed and said "Lord Shiva has killed your husband, however I will bring him back to life to express my kindness to you." As Bhagwan looked at the parts of Jalandhar's body, it appeared to stand up, upon which Bhagwan entered the dead body. Seeing Jalandhar alive, Vrunda became very happy and embraced him, thinking it was truly her dear husband.
Bhagwan in the form of Jalandhar and Vrunda spent some time together. Bhagwan cheated Vrunda and her Pativratta was broken. As Jalandhar's protection was now lost, he was easily killed by Lord Shiva. Unknowingly Vrunda was enjoying her life with Bhagwan, but one day she did appear to realise that this was not actually her husband, but Bhagwan himself in the form of Jalandhar. She became extremely angry and told Bhagwan that He had cheated and betrayed her through deceit. Vrunda stated that she had extraordinary powers and if he had been any other mortal she would have burned him to death, but she could do nothing, as He was Bhagwan Himself. However she cursed Bhagwan to become a stone that will be worshipped all over the universe. In turn Bhagwan also cursed Vrunda to become a Tulsi plant. Bhagwan then blessed Vrunda and declared that she and He will always remain together as he liked her very much. Bhagwan said, "I will not accept any offerings in Yagna's and Pooja's without your presence. All men and women, Deva's and Asura's will not do my pooja without Tulsi Leaves." Bhagwan gave this boon to Vrunda, which she accepted and she also accepted the curse to become a Tulsi Plant. Bhagwan became Shaligram (Stone) and Vrunda became a Tulsi plant. They both married and became a devoted couple destined to stay together forever.
Bhagwan had no choice but to cheat Vrunda into breaking her pativrata vow. It was this vow that acted as a shield for Jalandhar and protected him from death. If Vrunda's vow was not broken then Jalandhar was undefeatable, hence would cause havoc over all the worlds. It is for this reason and this reason only that Bhagwan had to deceive Vrunda into breaking her vow, and not because He became lustful. If one reads the Vachnamrut it will become apparent that in fact Bhagwan's worst enemy is kaam (lust) and he hates all things and people that are lustful.