Story of Thulasi and Saligram


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I am retelling a story of Lord Vishnu and Tulsi that I read up recently, Please forgive me if there are any errors in the story:
 
Once upon a time Lord Indra began to fear that he was losing the respect among the people as they seemed to worship only the Trimurthy’s. He knew that he couldn’t replace the Gods of Creation and Sustenance (Brahma and Vishnu) but thought people wouldn’t worship Lord Shiva as after all he was only a God of Destruction. So with the intention of waging a war with him, he went to Kailasham. Lord Shiva having foreseen this, assumed the form of the gana, prevented him from entering and challenged him. As they fought, Lord Shiva’s anger kept growing and he very soon overpowered Indra. Indra then prostrated before him and Lord Shiva forgave him but he deposited the left over anger into the ocean. That anger took the form of a baby by name ‘Jalandhara’. He grew up very powerful desiring to be an Asura. When he reached the marriageable age, he approached a powerful Asura named ‘Kalanemi’ who was Ravana’s uncle and sought the hand of his extremely beautiful and intelligent daughter Vrinda who was one of the foremost devotees of Lord Vishnu. After the marriage Jalandhara became extremely powerful due to Vrinda’s yogic powers and prayers to Lord Vishnu. Observing this Shukracharya, the Guru of Asuras made him the King of Asuras. Jalandhara had now conquered all of the earth and was preparing to conquer Indra’s Heaven. Now Indra and other gods approached Lord Shiva for a solution who agreed to talk to Jalandhara. But talks for peace by Lord Shiva failed as Jalandhara insulted him on how he called himself an ascetic and still had a wife Devi Parvathi. Jalandhara proved too powerful even for Lord Shiva during the battle and he trapped all the gods using illusionary power. Jalandhar took the form of Lord Shiva himself and approached Parvarthy with a sinister mind. But Devi with her powers could see through his design and immediately picked her sword to attack him. Jalandhara now feeling a little weak from battle with Lord Shiva and aware of Parvathi’s supreme battle powers, vanished. Lord Vishnu found Parvathi extremely furious and upon knowing the reason, explained to her that since Jalandhara was the husband of his great devotee Vrinda, he was bound to be very powerful due to her prayers. Seeing Parvathy’s anguish, Lord Vishnu with a heavy heart agreed to intervene. He took the form of Jalandhara, went to Vrinda who was deep in prayer to Lord Vishnu for her husband’s safety and called out to her. For a moment Vrinda stopped praying and looked towards “her husband”. At that precise moment Lord Shiva killed Jalandhara as Vrinda had stopped praying for him. Vrinda got to know through her powers that something was wrong and Lord Vishnu took his original form to explain her why he had to do that. But Vrinda was heartbroken and cursed Lord Vishnu that since he stood like a stone while his devotee suffered, he would turn black and reside in a stone and will also be separated from his wife. Lord Vishnu gracefully accepted the curse and sat next to his dead devotee Vrinda feeling very upset. 
 
Lord Shiva came to Lord Vishnu and consoled him not to be grieve as his devotee would be re-born as the Tulsi plant(Vrinda) and would always be part of every ones prayers to Lord Vishnu.  As part of the curse, Lord Vishnu’s spirit entered the Saligram (black stone) found in the river Gomti (Nepal). Also as part of Vrinda’s curse, he got separated from his wife( Seetha Devi) in his next Avatar as Lord Rama as she was abducted by Ravana.
 


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