tulasi vivah the worship of nature

Goa is a land of unique cultures and traditions. I have shared Tounshe and Narakasura burring with you, this year I discovered that a forgotten temple at Loleim near Margo has a unique tradition for the Tulsi vivah.

The temple of Loleim is dedicated to Mahamaya kutakrain during the Portuguese persecution people migrated with the original deity to Paroda. However those who stayed back wanted a shrine for them worship so they got a diva or light from paroda, as they reached the location the light s went of and the idol was kept n a shelter of Niveli kode the cacti. There the temple was built so that the suvashini’s or married women could worship the Devi on Tulsi puja.

The married women from the fisherman clan of Pagi draped in traditional nine yards sari inserting their fingers into shells made of the niveli Konde cacti after stripping of the thorns. The other end is filled with oil and cotton wick is place into it, these lamps are lit and the women file and circle round the temple. Husbands stand nearby replenishing the oil as the lamp should not blow off at the end of three rounds the officiating priest pulls the divli or lamp our and each woman worships the tulsai and sprinkles rice over the heap of cacti flames.

Interestingly since it is the married women who perform it the performers’ are women from other villages who are married into Loliem who perform this ritual. The daughters can perform it only once that is before puberty.

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