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76-Shani and Lakshmee

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Shani and Lakshmee
Taken from  MBH

Pradip Bhattacharya has written an article giving a summary of the interesting story Krishn tells the Paandav in Kaamyak forest about the rivalry between Shani and Lakshmee (she comes out quite powerless). This story does not appear in MBH, he claims that this must have been a folk tale that Kashiram Das (17th century) introduced into the Bengali MBH he wrote. You may read it at also.

When Shani came to see Yudhishthir and his brothers were living in Kaamyak forest, he was still sad about his exile thinking that it was his Karm Phal (result of his Karm) only. Krishn also came to visit him there. He expressed this idea to Him also. He told then him a story of Shree Vats and Chintaa Devee. There was a king named Chitrarath who ruled the whole eastern world and had done hundreds of Ashwamedh and Raajsooya Yagya. His wife's name was Chintaa Devee and she was the daughter of Chitrasen.

One day the goddess Lakshmee and Shani had an argument about who was greater. They decided to go to the King Shree Vats. They wet to him and took their seats and presented their case. Shree Vats said - "A Superior should always sit on the right and the inferior to the left, the goddess was greater. Hearing this Shani filled with rage and intended to show him his greatness.

One day the King had taken his bath, that a black dog came and licked his bath water. Shani entered his body through this water, and overcame his intelligence. The kingdom got afflicted with various kinds of afflictions. So the King and the Queen wrapped their precious gems in a cloth and went to forest. They came to an illusory river where Shani appeared before them as a boatman. The king wanted to cross the river, but the boatman told that he could take them one by one, starting with their bundle. Thus he took the bundle and never appeared again. Later the river also disappeared. They came to another forest where Shree Vats invoked Vishnu. A secret voice said to him that as long as they lived they lived there, they would be protected. So they stayed there.

One day some fishermen came there, the King asked some fish from them. Fishermen cast their net to catch the fish, but filed to catch any. Then the King requested them to cast their net again. This time they had a huge catch, so they happily gave some fish to the King. Chintaa Devee knew that roasted fish was the antidote of Shani's anger. So she roasted the fish and took them to wash off their ashes. As she put them in the water, they became alive and slipped away from her hands in the river. The king was so hungry that he thought that the Queen must have eaten the fish herself and now she was making up the story of fish comng alive in the water (how can the fish come alive after roasting?)

Seeing this Shani told him that all this was happening to him because the King judged him inferior to Lakshmee. Then he boasted that because of him Raam had to lose Seetaa, Shiv had to lose Satee, King Bal had to lose his kingdom and Vishnu had to leave his abode Vaikunth and live in the worm of a worm in a stone in the Gandakee Mountain. And now he had succeeded in separating Shree Vats and Chintaa Devee.

Thus they suffered for five years. Then the went to live among woodcutters. Once Shree Vats cut a lots sandalwood and sold it in the market. With that money he thought to give a feast to woodcutters. He brought the provision home and Chintaa Devee prepared a delicious meal for them. Everybody like the meal.

One day a merchant's boat got stuck in a sandbank. Shani appeared him in disguise of a man and told him that he had not joined his wife in worshipping nine planets (Nava Grah Poojaa), so he should invite all woodcutters' wives to touch the boat. Among them there is one virtuous woman hose touch would free the boat. So the merchant invite all the woodcutters' wives and asked them to touch the boat. When Chintaa Devee touched the boat, the boat got freed, but the merchant abducted her thinking her as a sure way to free the boat, if such thing ever happened to his boat again. Chintaa Devee prayed the Sun to save herself from that merchant and she became leprous white.

The King tried his best to look for her but could not find her. Then he came to Surabhi's Aashram. Surabhi said - "Yu can live here, because Shani cannot do anything here. One stream of her fed him the milk, and the another one wetted the ground. The King made two golden bricks from that mud and joined them with the powers of his two helpers Taal and Betaal. One day the same merchant who took away is wife, came there again and anchored there. The King requested him to take him along with his golden brick on his boat for trading. The merchant got ready but he took the brick and threw the King in the water. The King cried for his wife who threw a pillow for him. The King's assistants, Taal and Betaal, helped hi to float on water.

Floating on the water the King reached in Sautipur and landed at a gardener's house here his dried garden bloomed in full at his one touch. The gardener got surprised at this sudden bloom. Gardener's Maalinee found the cause that the King's touch brought this bloom, she kept him in her house. She told him that the king of that city Baahudev had a beautiful daughter Bhadraa who has taken a boon from Paarvatee to marry Shree Vats and now Bahudev is going to organize here Swayamvar. Shree Vats went there and sat outside under a Kadamb tree. A secret voice guided Bhadraa towards Shree Vats, so she came that side and she put her Varmaalaa in his neck. Seeing this Bahudev got ashamed. He built a cottage for them outside his palace and decided never to see them again. Bhadraa advised Shree Vats to worship God and he did so for 12 long years.

One day he went to the river and started searching all boats. It so happened that the same merchant came there. He searched that boat too and got his all the gold unloaded by the King's people. The merchant went to the King and complained that his son-in-law had robbed him. The King Baahudev called Shree Vats. Shree Vats said - "If I have robbed him, let him break this brick into two parts." The boatman could not break it, while Shree Vats did easily. Baahudev asked Shree Vats wh he was. Shree Vats told him all his story. Baahudev fell o his feet and asked for his forgiveness for his rude behavior. They went to the boat and found Chintaa Devee there in leprous state. She thought that her bad days were over, she prayed Soorya Dev who cured her immediately and she became as she was.

Next morning Shani Dev arrived in the court and told the King about his prowess. Everyone bowed to him, Shree Vats also sang in praise of Shani Dev. Pleased with his prayer, he returned his kingdom and blessed him to rule for 10,000 years, have a hundred sons and a lovely daughter and in the end the Vaikunth. Next day Shree Vas went back to his kingdom with his two wives.

Krishn told Yudhishthir not to worry too much what is in one's fate. Whoever listens and tells this Kathaa will never have any bad effects of Shani's evil eye. After telling this story Krishn went to Dwaarakaa with Subhadraa and Abhimanyu and Dhrishtdyumn went back to Paanchaal Desh with his five nephews.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 06/17/11