Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa | Extra-55
Vrat Kathaa-Brihaspati Vaar
[p 241-250] Read Another Story
One way to spread the story is by chain letters, for example "Santoshee Maa chain letters". This is a Thursday chain letter that must not be broken and is about an individual's Thursday vow observance -
There used to be a merchant who made lots of money by traveling to foreign countries for trade. He was a very kind-hearted man, always ready to help poor people. But his wife did not approve this habit, because she was very miser, she could not let him spend even a penny.
One day that merchant set off for a journey for his trade. Lord Brihaspti assumed the form of a Saadhu and came to the merchant's house and begged for alms. The merchant's wife told him, "O Great Soul, I am fed up with my husband's generosity. His entire wealth is spent in donations. You tell me some method so that his all wealth is lost and I don't have to manage his money." The Saadhu said - "You are a very strange person who does not like money and children. But if you have lots pf money, then spend it in some auspicious works." But the merchant's wife was not happy with Saadhu's this suggestion. So she again said - "I do not like this, so you tell me the way so that his all wealth is destroyed. I am just tired of managing this wealth."
Saadhu said - "As you wish. I tell you just now. It is not difficult. You do the same as I tell you. On Thursdays, you smear your house with the yellow clay (yellow clay is a type of clay yellow in color which is used to smear clay houses' walls and floors), wash your hair with the same clay, tell the merchant for hair cut on that day, eat meat and drink liquor and wash your clothes on that day. If you will do this on 7 Thursdays, your all wealth will be destroyed." After saying this that Saadhu went away.
The merchant's wife did the same as that Saadhu told her to do. As she finished only five Thursdays, that her all wealth got destroyed. She herself also died. The merchant's ship also sank but somehow he came back to his home. He found nothing there. When he had asked his younger daughter as what had happened, she told him the whole story. He calmed down the daughter and decided to earn something by cutting wood from forest and selling it in the market.
One day his daughter expressed her desire to eat yogurt, but he did not have even a single penny to buy it. So he told her that he would bring it in the evening. He went to forest and started weeping bitterly. By chance that day was a Thursday. So Brihaspati Jee again assumed the form of a Saadhu and came to him and asked - "O woodcutter, why are you weeping here in this forest?" The merchant told him his whole story. The Saadhu said - "This has happened because your wife insulted Brihaspati Dev on a Thursday, but you don't worry, Bhagavaan will make you even richer than before if you will hear Brihaspati's glory on Thursdays. Get two pennies, buy Chanaa and raisins from it and put a pinch of sugar into your water pot to represent the nectar of immortality. After offering this to Brihaspati Jee, distribute it to all your family members and all listeners of the story, and eat some yourself, Brihaspati Bhagavaan will fulfill all your desires."
The merchant said - "From where I will bring two extra pennies? I can't even buy some yogurt for my daughter, how will I buy Chanaa and raisins?" Brihaspati Jee said - "Don't worry, if you will sell your wood on Thursday, you will get four pennies extra. From that money you can buy everything. Complete your Thursday vow on that day and see the results." After saying this the Saadhu disappeared.
When next Thursday came and he sold his wood in the market, he indeed earned four pennies more. So he bought some yogurt and all Poojaa materials. He gave yogurt to his daughter, performed Brihaspati worship and distributed the Prasaad. From that day on his prosperity began to start. But next Thursday he forgot to worship Brihaspati Jee. Next day on Friday, its King announced that he was going to do some Poojaa so nobody should cook food in his house and everybody would eat at his palace. And anyone who did not obey his order will be put on a sharp stake.
So everybody arrived at the King's palace to eat but the merchant and his daughter came very late. So the King took them in his palace to feed them. As they were eating, the Queen noticed that her necklace which was hung on a peg was not there. Since nobody else came there she thought that the merchant had taken her necklace. So she called the soldiers, got them arrested and put them in jail.
Now Brihaspati Jee appeared in jail and said to the merchant - "You are here because you did not perform Brihaspati's Poojaa yesterday. But don't worry, the next Thursday, you will find two pennies near the door of the jail. You buy Poojaa materials from that money and do the Poojaa carefully and listen to the story. Your all miseries will go away." Indeed the merchant found two pennies next Thursday outside the door of the jail. A woman was passing by so he requested her to buy some Chanaa and raisins for him but she said - "I am in hurry to get some clothes for my would-be daughter-in-law. Besides what do I know about Brihaspati?" And she went away.
After that another woman passed by. He requested her also to buy Brihaspati Poojaa material, she readily agreed and said - "My only son has just died and I was going to buy a cloth to wrap him in, but I will do your work first, then I will make the arrangements of his funeral." She brought him the Poojaa materials and both listened to Brihaspati's Kathaa. After it was all over she bought the cloth and came to her home. The people were carrying his boy to be burnt. She said to them - "Wait a minute, at least let me see his face last time." They put the corpse down on the ground and she put some of the sweetened water and Chanaa and raisins in his mouth, her son promptly sat up.
While the woman who did not bring the Poojaa materials for the merchant, when returned to her son's marriage, his horse threw her son on the ground and he died immediately. She convulsed with grief - "Oh Bhagavaan, Forgive my mistake." Hearing her prayers, Brihaspati Jee appeared before her in a Saadhu form and said to her - "Why do you weep? This is all result of disrespecting to Brihaspati. Go to the jail and beg for forgiveness of that devotee of Brihaspati and all will be well."
The woman immediately went to the jail, asked the merchant's forgiveness and said - "What should I do, Brihaspati Dev is angry with me." The merchant said - "Don't worry, Brihaspati Dev will set everything right. Come next Thursday and listen to his Kathaa. Until then cover your son's body with flower essences and Ghee etc to preserve it." The next Thursday she bought some Chanaa, raisins and sugar mixed water pot. They both heard the Kathaa. After the Kathaa was over she took the remaining offerings and put them in her son's mouth. Instantly he began to breath and in a few moments he sat up.
The same night, Brihaspati Jee appeared in the King's dream and said to him - "You have imprisoned this merchant without any fault, he is innocent, so free him first thing in the morning. The Queen's necklace is still hanging on the peg." Next morning the Queen found her necklace at the same place where she hung it, so the King freed the merchant and his daughter. He gave the merchant half of his kingdom and arranged for his daughter's marriage also. He gave diamond jewelry to the daughter in dowry.
Thus Brihaspati Jee fulfills all desires of one's heart.
Another Version of the Above Story
The queen did the same as that Saadhu told her to do. As she finished only five Thursdays, that her all wealth got destroyed. All the members of the family did not get even food. One day the King said to his Queen - "You stay back here only, I go to some other country to get some work. Here everybody knows me so I cannot do any low kind of work." And the King left that country in search of work. He could not get any work, so he just cut wood from the forest and sold in the village market and thus lived upon that income.
After the King left, the Queen and her servants and maids were very sad. One day came when the Queen had to remain hungry for 7 days. She said to her maid - "My sister lives in nearby city, you go to her and bring something so that we can eat for a few days." She went to her sister. But when she arrived there, the Queen's sister was hearing Brihaspati Vaar's story, so when the maid told her the message of her Queen, she did not answer anything to her. At not getting any reply from her, the maid got angry and came back to the Queen and said - "I gave your message but she did not reply anything."
On the other side the Queen's sister thought "My sister's maid came and I did not speak to her, so my sister must be angry, let me go to her and ask her why did she sent her to me. So she hurriedly rushed to the Queen's house and said to her sister - "I am sorry, when your maid came I was listening to Brihaspati Vaar's story. While listening to it, talking to anybody or getting up is not allowed, that is why I did not speak to her. Tell me why did you send her to me?" The Queen said - "Sister, I do not have any thing to eat and we have not eaten for the past seven days that is why I sent her to you." and saying this her eyes filled with tears. The Queen's sister said - "See Sister, Brihaspati Bhagavaan fulfills everybody's wish, he will fulfill your wish too. Go and see if you have some grains in your house. Although the Queen was sure that she had nothing in her house, but still she sent her maid to recheck the store again. Luckily she found one pot full grains. She was so astonished to see it, because she herself had checked it and she did not see it.
The maid told the Queen - "When we did not have food, then also we were fasting, so why not we ask the method of doing this Vrat and the Kathaa to tell on that day and we will also do the same." The Queen asked her sister about the method of doing Vrat and Kathaa. Her sister told her that she should worship Vishnu in the roots of Banana tree with Chanaa Daal (broken black gram without skin) and jaggery and light a lamp before Him. Hear Vrat Kathaa and eat yellow food. This pleases Guru Dev and he fulfills all wishes. Thus her sister went to her house after telling her the method of doing Vrat.
After 7 days when the next Thursday came, they observed fast. They brought some Chanaa Daal and jaggery from a stable, worshipped Guru Dev in the roots of a Banana tree with it Daal, and told Kathaa. But now from where to bring yellow food? Brihaspati Jee got very pleased with them so he assumed the form of an ordinary man and gave two plates of yellow food to the maid and said - "These are two plates of yellow food, one for you and one for your mistress." The maid got very happy to get the food. She told all this to the Queen.
From now on they started keeping fast and worshipping Bhagavaan Brihaspati on Thursday. By the grace of Brihaspati Bhagavaan they had now lots of wealth. After getting this the Queen again started being lazy, the maid said - "You were lazy before also. Because you felt difficulty in keeping money, that is why your all money was lost. Now we have this money after so much hardship, do not lose it. Feed the poor people, build inns and temples, donate knowledge by building schools, marry unmarried girls. This will spread your family's fame. So the Queen started doing all this with that money.
One day the Queen and her maid were talking about the King that where was the King and in which condition? So they prayed Brihaspati Bhagavaan that wherever the King is, should come back home well and sound.
On the other side, the King was passing his days in great difficulty, so one day he got very sad and started weeping. Brihaspati Jee came to him in the disguise of a Saadhu and asked him - "Why are sitting here alone and what is worrying you? Tell me." The King told him the whole story. Saadhu said - "Your wife committed crime against Brihaspati Jee that is why you are in this condition, Now you don't worry, Bhagavaan will give you lots of money. Your wife has already started doing Brihaspati's Vrat; now you also start doing it. Take some Chanaa Daal and jaggery, place it in a pot of water and worship Brihaspati Jee in the roots Banana tree. After this either tell the story or listen to the story of Brihaspati Bhagavaan. He will fulfill all your desires." The King said - "Prabhu, I have no money left after selling my wood, how will I do all this? Yesterday night I saw my wife disturbed, I have no means to know about her. Besides which story I should tell, I do not know." Saadhu said - "Nothing to worry, Just intend to worship Brihaspati Bhagavaan, he himself will show you the way. On next Thursday you will get more money for your wood, so you can do it. The Kathaa of Brihaspati Vaar is like this :--
Story of Brihaspati Vaar (Thursday)
Long long time ago there lived a poor Braahman with his wife. They had no child. He used to worship Bhagavaan daily, but his wife neither took bath nor worshipped any Devtaa. This made Braahman very sad. By the grace of God one day a beautiful daughter was born to them. Gradually she grew up. From the very beginning she was a devotee of Vishnu. She did Vishnu's name Jap and after a while she started observing Brihaspati's fast also. When she went to school, she took a handful of barley and scattered on the road. While returning from the school, those barley grains turned into golden barley grains, so she collected them on her way back to home.
One day when she was cleaning the golden barley grains in her winnowing basket, her mother said - "You should have a golden winnowing basket o winnow your golden barley." Next day the girl prayed to Brihaspati Bhagavaan to give her a golden winnowing basket, so when she returned from her school, she found a golden winnowing basket. So she started winnowing her barley in golden winnowing basket.
One day the Prince of that kingdom saw her and got enchanted by her beauty and innocence. He went back home and lay down on his bed. He left eating and drinking. When the King heard this he went to see his son and asked the reason for this. He told him clearly that if he would marry, he would marry to only that girl with golden winnowing basket. Seeing no alternative the King married him to that girl.
Now as the girl came to the palace, her parents again became poor. So her father went to palace for her help. She gave him some money but for how long that money would continue. The Braahman again became poor. So he again came to his daughter. This time daughter said - "Father, You send my mother to me, I will tell her how to become rich." So he sent her mother to her. She asked her mother to worship Brihaspati Devtaa everyday before eating anything. But her mother wouldn't listen to and they still remained poor.
One day the girl got very angry and she shut her mother in a room for over night. Next day she gave her bath, asked her to do her daily Poojaa and then gave her something to eat. Then her mother's mind became all right. After this she started worshipping Bhagavaan daily and regularly. She started the Vrat of Brihaspati Vaar also. After a while they became rich. After they died they went to Swarg Lok." After telling this story Saadhu went away.
When next Thursday came, the King got double the money for his wood. He bought some Chanaa Daal and jaggery, kept fast of Thursday, and worshipped Brihaspati Bhagavaan. From that day on his condition started improving. But on next Thursday he forgot to keep that fast. Brihaspati Bhagavaan got angry at this. On that day the King of that kingdom had organized a great Yagya, so he announced that all people should have food at his place, nobody should burn his stove in his house. Now this King also went there, but he got a bit late, so the King took him inside. When the King was feeding him, his Queen looked at the peg where her valuable necklace was hanging, she did not see it there. She thought that this man had stolen it. The King called his soldiers and they put him in jail.
Now this King thought why he was put in jail, maybe this is the result of some bad Karm of previous life. That Brihaspati Bhagavaan appeared before him in the disguise of a Saadhu and told him that he forgot to keep fast on that Thursday. But you don't worry, on next Thursday you will find four Paisaa lying outside the door of the jail, Worship Brihaspati Bhagavaan from that money, your all worries and troubles will be over."
Next Thursday he got four Paisaa lying outside the door of the jail. He asked somebody to bring him the worshipping materials and worshipped Brihaspati Bhagavaan from that materials. The same night, the King saw a Saadhu in his dream, he said to him - "This man is innocent, release him." Next day morning he saw the necklace hanging from the peg, he asked the King for his forgiveness, gave him lots of money and golden ornaments and released him.
According to the advice of that Saadhu, the King set off to his own country. When he entered his country, he got surprised to see many temples, inns, well there. He asked somebody, "Who has built them?" They told him, it was the Queen. Now the King got mad out of anger. He left her in a pitiable condition and now she became so rich that she built all these things behind his back. Where did she get this money?
When the Queen heard this that the King was coming back, she said to her maid - "See, The King left us in a pitiable condition, lest he goes back seeing us in this condition, you go and wait for him at the door. When he comes escort him here." So the maid waited for the King and when he came she brought him inside. The King took out his sword and asked the Queen - "Where did you get so much money?" The Queen told him all what had happened behind his back. Now the King had all the time Chanaa Daal and jaggery and he told the Kathaa three times a day.
Mahaatmya of Kathaa
One day the King thought to to see his sister. On the way to her house he saw some people carrying a dead body. He said to them - "Come and listen to my Brihaspati Vaar's Kathaa." They said - "Our man has died and you want to tell us your Kathaa?" But some of them said - "OK, We will listen to your Kathaa." So the King took out his Daal and jaggery and started telling the Kathaa. When he finished his Kathaa half, the dead body started shaking and when the Kathaa was over, he stood up saying "Raam, Raam".
The King proceeded towards his sister's house. Evening fell on the way, so he again intended to tell Kathaa. One farmer was working in his farm, so he asked him to listen to Brihaspati's Kathaa, but he refused. As the King went a little forward, his bulls fell down and he had a severe stomachache. At the same time the farmer's mother came there with his food. She asked him what happened. He told her everything. She immediately ran to the King and said - "O Man, Come I will listen to the Kathaa. Tell your Kathaa on my farm." The King went back to that woman's farm and told the Kathaa. As all listened to the Kathaa the bulls stood up and the stomachache of the farmer also stopped.
Now the King arrived at his sister's house. His sister welcomed him and offered her best hospitality to him. Next morning when the King rose, he found that all members of the family were eating food there. The King asked his sister - "Is there anybody here who has not taken food yet? And who can listen to my Brihaspati Vaar's Kathaa?" The sister said - "Brother, This is the tradition here that people first eat food then they do any work." Then she remembered something and went to a clay pot maker's house. His son was taken ill. She came to know that nobody had eaten anything for three days in that house. So the King's sister asked him to listen to her brother's Kathaa. He got ready. The King went to his home and told his Kathaa there. Listening to the Kathaa, his son got cured. Everybody admired the King.
One day the King wanted to come back to his home, so he asked his sister also to get ready to go with him. The sister asked her mother-in-law to go to her brother's house. She said - "You can go but don't take your sons there, because your brother is childless. The sister told her brother that she was ready to go but she could not take her children there as he had no child of his own. The King came back with a heavy heart leaving his sister there only. When the night fell he prayed lying on the bed - "Hey Bhagavaan, You have given us everything, give us a child too." And he slept. In the night he saw a dream in which Brihaspati Dev said to the King - "Don't worry at all, your wife is pregnant."
When the time came the Queen gave birth to a beautiful boy. The King said to her - "See, A woman can live without food but cannot live without talking. Do not tell anything to my sister when she comes here." Hearing the news his sister came rushing to her brother's house. The Queen pretended to be angry with her saying that "When your brother was bringing you here, you did not come, and today you have come without any invitation." The sister said - "If I had not said like that, you could not have a child."
Thus Brihaspati Dev fulfills all wishes. Whoever keeps fast of Brihaspati Dev, or reads his Kathaa, or listens to his Kathaa, he always protects him. That is why do not ignore him (Guru) even unknowingly. After listening to the Kathaa, all should take Prasaad.
Another version of this Kathaa features a King and a Queen instead of the merchant and his wife. The King is forced to cut wood to earn money, the Queen doesn't die. Brihaspati is replaced by "Mushkil Gushaa" = the Remover of All Difficulties. This Kathaa is known throughout Middle East and the Indian subcontinent and is told on the eve of Friday night. This Kathaa begins with a poor woodcutter who once got into a great trouble but was saved by Mushkil Gushaa. When he told this story to his daughter, and they ate their last food, a handful of dry dates, a voice spoke - "Although you don't know me, but you have been saved by Mushkil Gushaa, remember that Mushkil Gushaa is always here. Make sure you eat dry dates on every Thursday night and give some money to a needy person and tell the story of Mushkil Gushaa. Or give a gift in the name of Mushkil Gushaa to someone who will help the needy. Make sure that the Kathaa of Mushkil Gushaa is never forgotten. If you do this regularly, all people in need will find their way."
The woodcutter earned a lot of money but one day he forgot to tell the Kathaa of Mushkil Gushaa. The Princess of that kingdom blamed his daughter that she had taken her necklace and the King confiscated his all the possessions. He put his daughter in an orphanage, and tied the woodcutter to a post in the public square. Time passed until he heard that it was Thursday afternoon. He remembered that he has not told Mushkil Gushaa Kathaa for long time. As he thought about it, that a man passing by threw a coin to him. He begged him to buy some dates and to return and listen to the Kathaa. The man returned and listened to the Kathaa. When he went home, he found that his all difficulties were gone. The Princess also found her necklace so the King released him and reunited him with his daughter." It is a very long Kathaa and it is never ended. and it has many forms.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 04/07/12