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“The Devi Bhagavata Purana regards Tulsi as an manifestation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and principal consort of Vishnu. Once upon a time, King Vrishadhvaja—a devotee of the god Shiva—banned worship of all other deities except for that of his patron god. An agitated sun god Surya cursed him that he would be abandoned by Lakshmi will. Upset, Shiva pursued Surya, who fled, finally seeking shelter with Vishnu. Vishnu said to the deities that years had passed on earth. Vrishadhvaja and also his heir-son were dead and his grandchildren—Dharmadhvaja and Kushadhvaja—were now worshiping Lakshmi to gain her favor. Lakshmi rewarded their efforts by being born as their daughters Tulsi (literally "matchless") and (Tulsi to Dharmadhvaja and Vedavati to Kushadhvaja, respectively). In time, Tulsi gave up all her royal comfort and went to Badrinath to perform penance to gain Vishnu as her husband. The god Brahma was pleased with her penance but told her that she would have to marry the demon Shankhachuda before she could marry Vishnu. Sudama, a part-incarnation of Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu) was born on earth as the demon (Shankhachuda) due to a curse. Shankhachuda, who also pleased Brahma with his penance, was granted the Vishnu-Kavacha (armour of Vishnu) and blessed that as long as his wife's chastity was retained and Vishnu-Kavacha was on his body, no one could slay him. Shankhachuda and Tulsi were soon married. Shankhachuda was filled with pride and terrorized the beings of the universe. To rescue the universe, Shiva challenged Shankhachuda to war, while Vishnu went to Tulsi to break her chastity. Vishnu assumed the form of Shankhachuda and compelled Tulsi to have coitus. With her chastity broken, Shankhachuda was killed and Sudama was freed of his curse. In the middle of their lovemaking, Tulsi recognized the impersonator. Vishnu appeared in his true form and urged Tulsi to abandon her earthly body and return to his celestial abode as Lakshmi, his wife. Tulsi's mortal remains decayed and became the Gandaki River, while her hair transformed into the sacred Tulsi plant..
A variant of the legend replaces Shankhachuda with Jalandhara and the name Tulsi with Vrinda (a synonym of the Tulsi plant). It concentrates on the tale of Vishnu destroying Vrinda's chastity to lead to the death of Jalandhara by Shiva. In this legend, Tulsi is distinct from Lakshmi. The legend ends with Vrinda cursing Vishnu to become a stone, turning him the Shaligram stone (which are found only in the Kali Gandaki River of Nepal) and Vishnu transforming Vrinda into the Tulsi plant. In a variant, Vrinda immolated herself in her husband's funeral pyre (see sati) but Vishnu ensured that she got incarnated in the form of tulsi plant on the earth. In both versions, she gain the status of a goddess named Tulsi, while his earthly form is the Tulsi plant..”
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