Uttana dwadashi–Tulasi vivaaha
Karthika shukla paksha dwadasi is known as Uttana dwadasi. ‘Uttana’ means getting up from sleep. It is believed that ShriHari sleeps(yoga nidra) for 4 months during Chaturmasa with the mantra “Uttista Uttista Govinda Uttista Garudhadhwaja. Uttista Kamalakanta.” Uttana Dwadasi day. This generally falls in Oct/Nov.Uttana Dwadasi is celebrated as the Tulasi Vivaaha day – The day when Tulasi got married to Lord Krishna (Vishnu). Tulasi (Holy Basil) plant is considered very sacred and is also known for its medicinal properties. It can be found in almost all the households and ladies water and do pooja for the Tulasi plant daily.
The origin of the Salagram found on the bed of the river Gandaki which has nitya saanidhya(divine presence) of Shri Hari, and Tulsi plant (saniddhya of Lakshmi) are worshipped with flowers and milk , ceremonious 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. This sacred ceremonial day marks the auspicious opening of the annual marriage season of the Hindus. Homes are decorated with flowers and lamps and devotees visit each other’s houses exchanging gifts and prasadam.
Whoever worships Tulasi Devi with her eight names and their meanings–Vrinda, Vrindavani, Viswapavani, Visvapujita, Tulasi, Puspasara, Nandini, and Krsna Jivani–and properly sings this hymn of eight verses, acquires the merit of performing an Ashvamedha (horse) sacrifice
Merits of Tulasi plant:
Lord Brahma is said to be present in its branches, all Hindu Pilgrimages in its roots, Ganges in its roots, all the Gods in its stem and leaves, Vedas (Hindu scriptures) in the upper part of the plant.
It is believed that if a Tulsi stick is used to burn a lamp for Vishnu, it is equal to offerning lakhs of lamps in prayers for many Gods
Worshiping Lord Vishnu after smearing the paste made of dried wood of Tulasi is equal to several pujas and lakhs of Godana (donation of cows).
When the water mixed with Tulasi leaf paste or leaves is given to the dying person it is said that the departing soul will raise to the heaven
Insulting or contempt of Tulasi brings onto one the wrath and anger of Vishnu. A prayer of forgiveness should be offered to Tulasi when it is plucked even for worship. It should not be destroyed or de-rooted. Waste things should not be thrown in the vicinity of the plant. The maintenance of the place in and around Tulsi plant should be religious.
Getting moistened, sprinkled or anointed by Tulasi water will get the benefit of having taken a bath in all sacred rivers and performing all kinds of holy rituals and sacrifices.
According to Padma Purana, a person cremated with Tulsi twigs in his funeral pyre gains moksha (salvation) and a place in Vaikuntha (Vishnu’s abode)
Lord Vishnu will be pleased to be gifted with a leaf of Tulasi rather than 1000 jars of honey. Thus offering 1 leaf will beget the reward of offering million cows and if it is offered in Karthika month, the rewards will be of many folds. Worshiping Lord Vishnu daily with a leaf of Tulasi will beget him the benefits of doing 100 thousand Ashwamedha (horse sacrifices). Similar benefits will be bestowed on the person who wears the necklace made of beads of Tulasi wood (Japamala).
Anyone who leaves his body holding a Tulasi leaf in his hands will be saved from all the sins he has committed.
Anyone who lies or breaks promises or give false evidences in the presence of Tulasi plant or by holding Tulasi will go to hell
Whoever worships Tulasi on this auspicious day of Uttana Dwadashi will be freed from all the sins and shall get a seat in Vaikunta.
Tulasi Shloka :
enmUle sarva tIrthaani enmadhyE sarvadEvataa
yadaagre sarva vEdashca tuLasi tvaM namaamyahaM
By hearing or recalling the Tulasi Shloka (hymn) a son will be born to a sonless, wife will be obtained by a wifeless, health will be restored to a diseased, freedom will be given to a prisoner, the terrified will get fearless and the sinners will be given salvation.