Chapter Five
TULASI MARRIES SANKHACHUDA

When Tulasi Devi stopped speaking, Lord Brahma suddenly appeared there. After Sankhacuda and Tulasi offered him their respects, Lord Brahma said, "O Sankhacuda! Why are you wasting your time in such empty talks with Tulasi? Marry her now by the Gandharva rites. As you are a gem among males, she is a gem among females. When a clever couple marry, the union is very happy. And who would abandon happiness when it is at hand? Anyone who would do so is worse than a beast. And you, Tulasi! Why are you testing this noble and qualified person who can subdue both the gods and the demons? Marry Sankhacuda, just as Laksmi is married to Narayana, Radhika to Krsna, my Savitri to me, Saci to Indra and Aditi to Kasyapa. Stay with the handsome Sankhacuda for a long time and, as you like, wander with him to various places. When Sankhacuda leaves his body, you will return to Goloka and get Krsna as your husband." Lord Brahma then blessed them and returned to his own abode.

Sankhacuda then married Tulasi by the Gandharva rite. Glorifying the marriage, the demigods sounded their drums and showered flowers on them from the sky.

Sometimes the newly married couple would go to a flower grove and at other times to a river bank. There they would sleep on flower beds smeared with sandal paste and enjoy marital pleasures. Tulasi easily stole the heart of her husband, and Sankhacuda also attracted Tulasi's heart. After Tulasi garlanded her husband with parijata flowers, which prevent disease and old age, she placed a precious jewelled ring on his finger and offered him rare beautiful gems. Bowing down to his feet with devotion, she repeatedly said, "I am at your service!"

Sankhacuda smiled. He then presented Tulasi with clothes he had obtained from Lord Varuna's house; he also gave her a precious necklace of jewels, an armlet he had gotten from Swaha (Agni's wife), armlets from Chhaya (the sun god's wife), earrings from Rohini (the moon god's wife), finger rings from Rati (Cupid's wife), conch ornaments from Visvakarma, as well as excellent bedding adorned with pearls and jewels. After further adorning her, he placed her feet on his chest and said, "I am your servant."

They left the hermitage and began to travel to various places. They went to different mountains, flower gardens, caves, beaches, riversides and forests. Wherever they went, they enjoyed each other's company with great satisfaction, never tiring of one another. Sankhacuda then brought Tulasi to his own kingdom and there they continued to delight in each other's company.

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