Women's Songs for the Marriage of Tulsi and Krishna in Benares

How to Cite

Tracy Pintchman. (2022). Women’s Songs for the Marriage of Tulsi and Krishna in Benares. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 12(1), 30–34. Retrieved from https://ivsjournal.com/index.php/jvs/article/view/38


In the city of Benares in North. India, many Hindu women meet daily throughout the month of Kartik (October-November) to perform a special puja in which they raise Krishna from childhood to adulthood, wedding him to the plant-goddess Tulsi (Basil) toward the end of the month.' Participants in this pup consider it to be part of their observance of the Kartik vrat, a month-long votive observance that takes place during this month. Vrats are generally associated with fasting, and the Kartik vrat does indeed entail abstention from certain foods. Even more central to this observance, however, is Kartik mart, daily ritual bathing before sunrise throughout the month. in Benares, Kartik votaries bathe in the Ganges River, and after bathing women and girls who wish to do so gather in groups on the gh4(s to perform pajii as part of their observance of the mat. Participants construct several icons (mortis) out of Ganges clay and, form­ing a circle around the icons, they perform puja while singing songs partic­ular to this occasion. Many deities are honored, but the pap is largely dedi­cated to Krishna with other deities called to be present chiefly so that they, too, can participate as devotees.

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