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Swami Balendu in this blog post narrates a story of how Lord Vishnu defeats an asura named Jalandhara by impersonating him to have sex with his wife (who's later reborn as Tulasi) and taking away all their powers.

There once was an evil demon called Jalandhar. He had the power to change his shape and thus could incorporate anybody he wanted. He used this power to meet women, disguised as their husband and thus cheating them into having sex with him! When the men found out and came to fight with him, nobody could ever kill him – he had such big power due to the fact that his wife Vrinda was very loyal. Yes, the loyalty of his wife saved him from the revenge of his rape victims’ husbands.

The husbands turned to Vishnu, the highest of gods, and asked him for help. Vishnu decided to use Jalandhar's own methods to defeat him: he assumed Jalandhar's shape and seduced the demon’s wife. Her loyalty was thus broken and her husband lost all power connected to it. Vishnu could finally kill him.

Vrinda, angry at Vishnu for cheating her this way, cursed Vishnu and turned him into a stone before jumping into the burning cremation fire of her husband, killing herself.

She was reborn as Tulsi, a holy plant, and finally the bush Tulsi and the stone Vishnu, which is called Shaligram, married.

  1. What is the source of this story? Is it available on sacred-texts.com?

  2. Where can I find the original Sanskrit description of this myth?

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    My God, who is this blogspot of? has he read scripture himself? This is all because of that pattnaik guy who keeps twisting Hindu scriptures. There is no mention of physical contact here. – Anubhav Jha Feb 23 '18 at 4:51
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    @AnubhavJha You should know the difference between a troll and a user. If you reply to a troll, they do this more. – Sarvabhouma Feb 23 '18 at 4:53
  • @AnuragSingh there is no mention of intercourse, it just says that as soon as vrinda touched vishnu he knew that he wasn't his husband. – Anubhav Jha Feb 23 '18 at 8:33
  • @TheDestroyer this question is not duplicate of the question answered by you. That question asked about it being injustice or not. This question is asking for the story. So kindly Reopen it so that I could answer it. – user12826 Feb 23 '18 at 10:22
  • @AnuragSingh this story is fake, there are different versions of this story, the story of armour taking away is copied from the story of vamana, also two demons didn't abduct Sita it was one demon another forgery in scriptures, this is what happens when people interpolate sctiptures – Anubhav Jha Feb 23 '18 at 14:58
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Well let's see the story- The story of tulasi-jalandhar, vrinda -shankachooda is mentioned in multiple "puranas" with different versions.

It's mentioned in padma purana, shiva purana, devi bhagvatam.

Is it authentic? well if you consider Vedas as supreme authority then well no.

It must have been a temple folklore which was added into puranas- The story is taken from multiple places- Lord Vishnu taking brahmin's form to take away the belongings of jalandhar is taken from vamana avatar.

Furthermore it says that shankachooda was an partial avatar of vishnu, vrinda of laxmi such statements are not found in other puranas.

Vishnu puranas says that tulsi plant is manifestation of laxmi, furthermore laxmi and jalandhar are brother and sister because of being born from sea, so the other story of vrinda being jalandhars wife don't go well with it.

Furthermore the story mentions radha and Sudama both of which are characters from krishna avatar of dwapara Yuga, this story can't take place in such recent history.

You can find it in the puranas mentioned above but it differs so much in different versions that there is lots of chances of these stories being interpolation.

Furthermore Lord Vishnu can't "rape" as he is a brahmachari-

Puranas have undergone lots of interpolation unlike Vedas, and Vedas say that Lord narayana is fully celibate. That story is false, interpolated nonsense.

Vedas are given higher importance over purans, furthermore this suktam clearly extols Lord Vishnu Ananta kalyan gunas. It is direct revelation.

Take this verse from narayana suktam as an example-

ṛtagï satyaṁ paraṁ brahma puruṣaṁ kṛṣṇapiṅgalam, ūrdhvaretaṁ virūpākśaṁ viśvarūpāya vai namo namaḥ.

Salutations again and again to the one with forms everywhere, the truthful one, the supreme Brahman, the highest Being, the one who is dark and yellow in hue, the one who is fully celibate, and the all seeing one whose form is the universe.

See why he is called "ūrdhvaretaṁ"

See what it means in Hindi and english-

Urdhvareta meaning in hindi

ऊर्ध्वरेता मतलब [वि.] - 1. कठोर ब्रह्मचर्य का पालन करने वाला; निष्ठावानब्रह्मचारी 2. वीर्यपात न होने देने वाला। [सं-पु.] योगी।

Meaning of 'urdhvaretaska or urdhvareta' a S That has, through austere devotion, obtained command over the seminal discharge. 2 That lives in perpetual continency(celibacy). Ex. to ravava priya virakta u0 vajradehi

Meaning of ऊर्ध्वरेतस्क or ऊर्ध्वरेता

a S That has, through austere devotion, obtained command over the seminal discharge. 2 That lives in perpetual continency. Ex. तो रावव प्रिय विरक्त ॥ ऊ0 वज्रदेही ॥

*

Urdhavaretam has secondary meaning for brahmacharis who restrain themselves, but Lord Vishnu doesn't really restrain himself- he is fully satvic yogi by his nature, primary meaning for him is that he is without any desire whatsoever, also humans have semen for reproduction, but his body doesn't, his body is spiritual beyond Maya and kama, nirguna-saguna without any faults, and his form doesn't limit him.

Sriman narayana is supreme yogi. Who is fully celibate. This story is also not found in any vaishnav puranas or itihasas. It's clearly screamingly an interpolation.

Lord narayana gave birth to brahma without need of a female, he is without desires who creates this world for sport, when the Vedas declare the supreme being is without desires then how can this story be true, the desires of sex and reproduction are human things, the interpolaters didn't even understand this small thing about supreme Lord.

  • This is commentary on the question, not an answer. The question is about a specific story. Answer space should not be used for writing blog posts. – sv. Apr 6 '18 at 20:24
  • @sv. Okay I'll edit it accordingly. – Anubhav Jha Apr 6 '18 at 20:30
  • @sv. The question before being edited was in a very mocking tone, even the other answerer has responded with a little anger. Anyway I have responded to the answer without removing the second part which clears out the misconception about relations of bhagvan. – Anubhav Jha Apr 6 '18 at 20:48
  • "Furthermore the story mentions radha and Sudama both of which are characters from krishna avatar of dwapara Yuga, this story can't take place in such recent history." you are mistaken here. The story did not at all take place in Dwapara , because this story happened when Sudaama got liberated to GoLok (Krisha's lok) . In Golok one day Raadhaa cursed Sudama to become a demon. Sudama had already reached Golok and in Golok Radha cursed him. So the question of it taking place in Dwapara is not even relevant – user14995 Apr 6 '18 at 22:07
  • Wait why are people downvoting? – Anubhav Jha Apr 7 '18 at 5:17
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First of all Tulasi and Vrinda are not same , these are two different stories.

  1. It was Tulasi (not Vrinda) who became Tulasi Plant due to Raadhaa's curse and and it was Tulasi (not Vrinda) who cursed Vishnu to be stone (Shaligrama).

[Vrinda had cursed Vishnu to be troubled by the two demons he scared Vrinda with, to be separated by wife, to have to take help of monkeys]

  1. When Vrinda leaving her body became ashes, then Tulasi Plant (along with Maalati and Dhaatri plants) were grown on her ashes (that is, Tulasi was only grown on her, not that Tulasi originated from her).

  2. Also Tulasi's consort is ShankhaChuuda's (Sudama's reincarnation, a Daanava) and Vrinda's consort is Jalandhara (son of Ocean, he was not Daitya, but he was called Daitya), so the consorts are not to be confused.

  3. In NO story of either Vrinda or Tulasi is it mentioned that the two were former or latter birth of each other.

  4. Now in both Tulasi and Vrinda story, Vishnu did befool both to have intercourses by assuming their husbands' disguise (ShankhaChuuda and Jalandhara respectively)

BUT , in Vrinda's case Vishnu did it on Parvati's command so that Jalandhara could be killed and

in Tulasi's case Vishnu did it to fulfill fruit of Tulasi's previous Tapasyaa (Tulasi had previously did Tapasyaa that she may get Vishnu as her husband) as well as to kill ShankhaChuuda.


  1. What is the source of this story? Is it available on sacred-texts.com?
  2. Where can I find the original Sanskrit description of this myth?

One thing, Sacred Text is no authority of Hindu texts , so their having or not a Scripture does not add to or subtract from credibility of a Scripture mentioned or not mentioned by them. [In case you are thinking, kindly ignore if not]

The story mentioned by you is Vrinda Jalandhara Vishnu story (and not Tulasi ShankhaChuuda Vishnu story) and its sources are-
Shiva Puraana, Skanda Puraana and Padma Puraana.

I here link the Sanskrit story of Vrinda Jalandhara Vishnu story (not the Tulasi ShankhaChuuda Vishnu story)

[if someone gets english translation of Vrinda Jalandhara (not Tulasi ShankhaChuuda) story , kindly comment]

  1. Shiva Puraana, Rudra Sanhita, Yuddha Khanda, Chapter 13 to 26
  2. Skanda Puraana, Khanda 2, Part 4, Chapter 14 to 23
  3. Padma Puraana, Khanda 6, Chapter 96 to 105

[Note: I have linked those chapters above, which contain specifically the story of Vishnu befooling Vrinda to have intercourses]

For story of how Tulasi plant came into existence for first time [that is, how Tulasi (not Vrinda) became Tulasi plant] and how Vishnu befooled Her, you can read following Sanskrit links and Devi Puraana link has english version from Sacred Texts website

  1. Devi Puraana Book 9 Chapter 17 to 24 (this one in unabridged english)
  2. Shiva Puraana Yuddha Khanda Chapter 27 to 41
  3. Brahma Vaivarta Puraana Prakriti Khanda Chapter 15 to 21.

[Note:
1. again I have linked those chapters which specifically tell about how Vishnu in ShankhaChuuda's disguise held intercourse with Tulasi, so you don't have to search amongst lot of chapters.
2. Shaligrama Stone story is explained here also - Shaligrama ]


Now as for Did Vishnu Rape Tulasi? ,

Then Vishnu tells Tulasi this-

Devi Puraana, Book 9, Chapter 24

O Honoured One! For a long time you performed tapasyâ in this Bhârata, to get Me. S’ankhachûda, too, performed tapasyâ for a long time to get you. By that tapas, S’ankhachûda got you as wife. Now it is highly incumbent to award you also with the fruit that you asked for. Therefore I have done this.

Now quit your this terestrial body and assume a Divine Body and marry Me. O Râme! Be like Laksmî. This body of yours will be known by the name of Gandakî, a very virtuous, pure and pellucid stream in this holy land of Bhârata. Your hairs will be turned into sacred trees and since they are born of Tulasi's hair they will be called Tulasi.

I do not think there is any need to explain this.

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