Maun Vrat

“Do not speak unless you can improve the silence”
- Proverb

What is silence?
Generally we tend to think that silence is the absence of noise.

Is silence mere noiselessness?
Can absence of noise be called silence?
But what do you actually hear when there is no noise?
You may hear your heartbeat, you may hear rustling leaves, you may hear subtle sounds that you usually do not perceive. Some seem to hear a primal sound, a primal buzz, as is spoken of in the Vedas: 'Aum', the very first, the eternal sound, from which all sound and all creation arises.

Silence itself cannot be perceived. You are silence, the silence of your heart.

This silence that you are, is a borderless heart, all inclusive and all pervading. This silence is the beloved One, the abode of peace and love.

It is amazing how eloquent could silence be. And humans, it seems, have an intimate connection with it. It keeps coming to us in many mysterious ways. Somewhere deep down, in the farthest recesses of our consciousness, we have a deep connection with it. We are unable to understand it or reach it, probably because between silence and us we have erected multi-dimensional walls. We almost try to deny silence, which is the core of our being, even defy it. In fact, most of us seem to be quite uncomfortable with noise. We seem to fight silence, even defeat it, as we announce our arrival in this world with a loud, piercing wail.Just as we have to go through the heart of darkness to see the flaming light, we have to enter the cluttered noisiness of our mind and the world around us to reach where silence alone remains.
But why silence?
According to Yogiraj Nanak, the essence of life is ever flowing and eternal. If we want to express it in its entirety, or even try to do so, we can succeed only to a limited extent. When our senses, mind and intellect fall short of expressing all, another expressive channel called maun (silence) opens up. “If the speaker can communicate through the silence and the listener can listen silently, it is the most powerful means of communication. And in spiritual learning, it plays a dominant role,” he says.

He explains that a quiet communication is most important where two individuals are burdened with different sanskaras (inherited traits, impressions, memories) due to bonding with a particular religion, ethnicity, culture or country. In which case, the connotation of a word or its sentiments remain tied to sanskaras, however subtle the words may be.

In Yogiraj Nanak booklet, Maun Samvad (Dialogue in Silence), he says: “Life’s essence cannot fully blossom into words. Maun has the essence, which always exists in the present, and is free of ahankar (ego). The speaker’s or the listener’s ego (‘I know this’ and ‘I don’t know this’) always takes him to I-ness instead of Be-ness and Is-ness. Once freed from ego, what remain are purity, beauty and the nectar of peace and solitude. The power of peace thus obtained is so strong that our life within remains unshaken by the storm and stress without. In short, maun calms the mind and thus fills the whole life with peace.”

Says a Vipassana meditator: “Silence is the medium that takes us forward on the journey from the apparent self to the real self. When we are silently observing the body, and observing the mind, this something that is witnessing is silence—the real Self. We are constantly allowing in the garbage through our five doors—the senses—and we are constantly reacting to it. Silence takes us beyond the sense experiences to the real experience.”

Osho [Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian mystic, guru and philosopher] too describes the importance of silence in our lives beautifully: “Only silence can be heard and understood. Words can be heard but only superficially, and can be understood but only intellectually. Silence is heard existentially and is understood from your innermost being. It is a total understanding… Silence means you have put aside the whole furniture of the mind—the thoughts, the desires, the memories, the fantasies, the dreams, you have all pushed aside. You are just looking into existence directly, immediately.

‘‘You are in contact with existence without anything in between you and existence. That is silence. Silence is usually understood to be something negative, something empty, an absence of sound, of noises. This misunderstanding is prevalent because very few people have ever experienced silence. All they have experienced in the name of silence is noiselessness. But silence… is overflowing with a music that you have never heard before, with a fragrance that is unfamiliar to you, with a light that can only be seen with the inner eyes. It is not something fictitious; it is a reality, and a reality which is already present in everyone—just we never look in.

And how can we look in and reach the silence within us, touch the silence of our being?
To reach the real silence, the absolute silence, we need to go beyond the silence of the body, the silence of the heart and finally the silence of the mind. Thus before we merge with eternal silence we shall need to reach, touch and then transcend the silence at the physical, emotional and mental levels.To begin with, allot a time and place to yourself, where once a month, and if possible, once a week (increase the duration and frequency as you move on), observe complete silence. It should be complete in the sense that during that period surrender yourself totally to your intention. Merely keeping mute is not maun vrat.

According to Shama Sharma, who has practised guided spiritual maun off and on, it is more important to keep internal maun rather than external maun. For someone in maun who cannot give up the desire to communicate with the external world and keeps doing it either by sign language or by involvement in other activities, cannot find the bliss that is in real silence. When she recently took a 40-day maun, she would break the silence whenever she felt the real urge to communicate verbally, though such moments were rare. “At such a time my mind would create more noise than my spoken words. So it is better to get over with what’s bugging you and then carry on,” she says.

So if we intend to keep silent for two hours, but all the while we are thinking of what we are going to do for the rest of the day, or what are we going to cook for dinner, or what jobs need to be finished, that is no maun. To reach internal maun, complete withdrawal from the world and from all external experiences, to whatever degree possible, is important.

But again this is only the beginning. Absolute silence is arrived at after successfully crossing over all thought walls, which might seem difficult but practice makes it possible. Silence comes with stillness of the mind and heart alone. Silence is losing self to timelessness.

But why do we need to go into silence? Why do we need to know it or to reach it? Because when we know silence, we shall know ourselves. When we reach silence, we reach the supreme power that is often called God. Silence is shoonya, the no-mind state which every yogi, every sincere sadhak aspires for. Silence springs forth from the ultimate union.

Maun-vrat literally means a vow to keep silent. For spiritual growth it is essential that one’s speech must be pure. To acquire purity of speech the practice of silence is important. It is believed that through silence one is able to achieve one’s desires. One attains the abode of Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. Along with maun-vrat it is essential that some time must be spent in offering prayers.

In the Bhagavad Gita,17/16, it is said:

Contentment of the mind, amiable temperament, silence, religious meditation and good thoughts reflect austerity of the mind.

Silence is placed mid-way between other qualities. It begins with control of the mind. Once the mind is controlled, one becomes friendly. One begins to look kindly towards others. One cuts down on useless speech and thinks more of God. One begins to generate good thoughts.

In the Chanakya Niti, 11/9, it is said:

Whoever can remain silent everyday for a full year becomes worthy of thousands of years of praise in heaven.

Silence can change the personality of an individual. Through silence a person controls anger and speech. One grows stronger through greater determination and self-confidence. One is more at peace and free of tension. There is conservation of energy and a person experiences greater inner strength.


Ekadashi is considered to be the favourite day of Krsna, when devotees refrain from material activities. The Sanskrit word Ekadasi literally means eleven. Ekadashi is the eleventh of the fifteen-day lunar month. In one of the lunar months (called the light month) the moon grows from new moon to full moon and in the following lunar month (called dark month) it diminishes from full moon to no-moon. Thus every calendar (solar) month there are two Ekadasis, the light Ekadasi that occurs on the eleventh day of the waxing moon, and the dark Ekadasi that occurs on the eleventh day of the waning moon. It is recommended that all Vaisnavas should fast on this day of Ekadasi. Such austerity will be greatly beneficial for their devotional life.
Since there are 12 months in a year, with two Ekadasis in each month, there are 24 Ekadasis in each year. Each Ekadasi has a name, that are Utpanna, Mokshada, Saphala, Putrada, Shat-tila, Jaya, Vijaya, Amalaki, Papamocani, Kamada, Varuthini, Mohini, Apara, Nirjala, Yogini, Padma (Devashayani), Kamika, Putrada, Aja, Parivartini, Indira, Papankusha, Rama, and Haribodhini (Devotthani). Occasionally there are two extra Ekadasis that happen in a lunar leap year, which are Padmini and Parama.

Devotees fast on this day, observe vigil the whole night and do Japa, Hari Kirtan and meditation. Some do not take even a drop of water. Those who are unable to fast completely can take some light fruit and milk.

No rice should be taken on Ekadashi days. This is very important. The sweat that fell down from the head of Brahma assumed the form of a demon and said to the Lord, “O Lord! now give me an abode to dwell.”

Brahma replied, “O demon! go and dwell in the rice particles eaten by men on Ekadashi day and become worms in their stomach.”

For this reason rice is prohibited on Ekadashi. If one observes the Ekadashi fast regularly, Lord Hari is propitiated. All sins are destroyed. The mind is purified. Devotion gradually develops. Love for God becomes intense. Orthodox people in South India observe complete fasting and vigil even on ordinary Ekadashi days. For the devotees of Lord Vishnu, every Ekadashi is a very sacred day.

It is said that even if one mistakenly misses the observance of an Ekadasi, he or she may make up for it by observing it the very next day on Dvadasi, and then break one’s fast from grain on the next day, Trayodasi. One may also observe the special fast on Nirjala Ekadasi. This is also called Bhima Ekadasi. This is because the Pandava brother known as Bhima was so strong and had such a voracious appetite that he could not observe Ekadasis twice a month. He could not fast because he was too hungry. So Lord Krishna told him to merely observe one Ekadasi a year, which is the Nirjala Ekadasi. Nir jala means no water. So he had to observe at least one Ekadasi a year, and on that day he had to abstain from not only beans and grains, but from all foods, even water. So devotees who miss an Ekadasi day often observe a complete fast from all food and liquids on the Nirjala Ekadasi, which is usually sometime in June, and thus make up for whatever was missed. However, this is a very potent Ekadasi, so a complete fast on this day gives one who observes this many pious credits.

Once there was a demon, Mura, who oppressed the gods. The gods approached Lord Hari for protection. Hari sent Yoga Maya to kill the demon. Yoga Maya carried out the behests of the Lord successfully.

Then the Lord said to Yoga Maya, “Those who observe Ekadashi will be freed from all sins, and you will be called by the name Ekadashi.”

King Ambarisha was a great votary of Lord Hari. He practised the Ekadashi Vrata for a year. Ambarisha obtained His Grace. On one occasion he fasted for three consecutive days. He was about to break the fast when Rishi Durvasa appeared as his guest. The king received him with due respect and requested him to take his meals. The Rishi agreed and went to bathe in the river. The king waited patiently for a long time, but the Rishi did not return. Time was running out; if the king did not eat anything before the day ended his Vrata would not bear fruit. And if he ate, he would be showing disregard to the Rishi. As a compromise the king took a little water to serve both the conditions.

When Durvasa returned from his bath, he knew exactly what had happened, and was angry. He tore a hair from his tuft and charged it to kill Ambarisha. The king was unmoved. The discus of Lord Vishnu destroyed the power of the hair of Durvasa. It now followed the Rishi wherever he went and tried to destroy him.

Rishi Durvasa went to Brahma and Shiva for help, but to no avail. He went to Lord Hari who said to him, “I am dependent on My devotees. My heart is in the possession of My devotees. Go thou, therefore, to Ambarisha; beg his pardon and thou shalt be saved.”

Ambarisha thereupon prayed to the charged hair to desist from its course, and saved the Rishi. Durvasa thanked him from the bottom of his heart.

Padma Purana 14th chapter - “Kriya-sagara-sara”

Once the great sage Jaimini Rishi said to his spiritual master, “O Gurudeva! Previously, by your mercy, you described to me the history of the Ganga River , the benefits of worshiping Vishnu, the giving of grains in charity, the giving of water in charity, and the magnanimity of drinking water that has been used to wash the feet of the brahmanas. O best of sages, Sri Gurudeva, now, with great enthusiasm, I desire to hear of the benefits of fasting on Ekadasi and of the appearance of Ekadasi.”

“O Gurudeva! When did Ekadasi take birth and from whom did she appear? What are the rules of fasting on the day of Ekadasi? Please describe the benefits of following this vow and when it should be followed. Who is the utmost worshipable presiding deity of Sri Ekadasi? What are the faults in not observing Ekadasi properly? Please bestow your mercy upon me and tell about these subjects, as you are the only personality able to do so.”

Srila Vyasadeva, upon hearing this inquiry from Jaimini Rishi, became situated in transcendental bliss. “O brahmana sage Jaimini! The results of following Ekadasi can be perfectly described by the Supreme Lord, Narayana, because Sri Narayana is the only personality capable of describing them in full. But I will give a very brief description in answer to your question.”

“At the beginning of the material creation, the Supreme Lord created the moving and non-moving living entities within this world made of five gross material elements. Simultaneously, for the purpose of punishing the evil human beings, He created a personality whose form was the embodiment of the worst kinds of sin (Papa-purusha). The different limbs of this personality were constructed of various sinful activities. His head was made of the sin of murdering a brahmana, his two eyes were the form of drinking intoxicants, his mouth was made from the sin of stealing gold, his ears were the form of the sin of having illicit connection with the spiritual master’s wife, his nose was of the sin of killing one’s wife, his arms the form of the sin of killing a cow, his neck was made of the sin of stealing accumulated wealth, his chest of the sin of abortion, his lower chest of the sin of having sex with another’s wife, his stomach of the sin of killings one’s relatives, his navel of the sin of killing those who are dependent on him, his waist of the sin of egotistical self-appraisal, his thighs of the sin of offending the guru, his genitals of the sin of selling one’s daughter, his buttocks of the sin of telling confidential matters, his feet of the sin of killing one’s father, and his hair was the form of all sorts of less severe sinful activities. In this way, a horrible personality embodying all sinful activities and vices was created. His bodily color is black, and his eyes are yellow. He inflicts extreme misery upon sinful persons.

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, upon seeing this personality of sin began to think to Himself as follows: ‘I am the creator of the miseries and happiness for the living entities. I am their master because I have created this personality of sin, who gives distress to all dishonest, deceitful and sinful persons. Now I must create someone who will control this personality’. At this time Sri Bhagavan created the personality of Yamaraja and the different hellish planetary systems. Those living entities who are very sinful will be sent after death to Yamaraja, who will in turn, according to their sins, send them to an appropritate hellish region to suffer.

“After these adjustments had been made, the Supreme Lord, who is the giver of distress and happiness to the living entities, went to the house of Yamaraja, with the help of Garuda, the king of birds. When Yamaraja saw that Lord Vishnu had arrived, he immediately washed His feet and made an offering unto Him. He then had Him sit upon a golden throne. The Supreme Lord Vishnu became seated upon the throne, whereupon He heard very loud crying sounds from the southern direction. He became surprised by this and inquired of Yamaraja, ‘From where is this loud crying coming?’

“Yamaraja in reply said, ‘O Deva! The different living entities of the earthly planetary systems have fallen to the hellish regions. They are suffering extremely for their misdeeds. The horrible crying is because of suffering from the inflictions of their past bad actions.’

“After hearing this the Supreme Lord Vishnu went to the hellish region to the south. When the inhabitants saw who had come they began to cry even louder. The heart of the Supreme Lord Vishnu became filled with compassion. Lord Vishnu thought to Himself, ‘I have created all this progeny, and it is because of Me that they are suffering.’”

Vyasadeva continued: “O Jaimini, just listen to what the Supreme Lord did next. After the merciful Supreme Lord thought over what He had previously considered, He suddenly manifested from His own form the deity of the lunar day Ekadasi. Afterward, the different sinful living entities began to follow the vow of Ekadasi and were then elevated quickly to the abode of Vaikuntha. O my child Jaimini, therefore the lunar day of Ekadasi is the selfsame form of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, and the Supersoul within the heart of the living entities. Sri Ekadasi is the utmost pious activity and is situated as the head among all vows.

“Following the ascension of Sri Ekadasi, that personality who is the form of sinful activity gradually saw the influence that she, Ekadasi, had. Thus, he approached Lord Vishnu with doubts in his heart and began offering many prayers, whereupon Lord Vishnu became very pleased and said, ‘I have become very pleased by your nice offerings. What boon is it that you want?’

“The Papa-purusha replied, “I am Your created progeny, and it is through me that you wanted distress given to the living entities who are very sinful. But now, by the influence of Sri Ekadasi, I have become all but destroyed. O Prabhu! After I die all of Your parts and parcels who have accepted material bodies will become liberated and return to the abode of Vaikuntha (the spiritual domain). If this liberation of all living entities takes place, then who will carry on Your activities? There will be no one to enact the pastimes in the earthly planetary systems! O Keshava! If you want these eternal pastimes to carry on, then You please save me from the fear of Ekadasi. No type of pious activity can bind me. But Ekadasi only, being Your own manifested form, can impede me. Out of fear of Sri Ekadasi I have fled and taken shelter of men; animals; insects; hills; trees; moving and non-moving living entities; rivers; oceans; forests; heavenly, earthly and hellish planetary systems; demigods; and the Gandharvas. I cannot find a place where I can be free from the fear of Sri Ekadasi. O my Master! I am a product of Your creation, so therefore very mercifully direct me to a place where I can reside fearlessly.’”

Vyasadeva then said to Jaimini, “After saying this, the embodiment of all sinful activities (Papa-purusha) fell down at the feet of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who is the destroyer of all miseries and began to cry.

“After this, Lord Vishnu, observing the condition of the Papa-purusha, with laughter began to speak thus: ‘O Papa-purusha, rise up! Don’t lament any longer. Just listen, and I’ll tell you where you can stay on the lunar day of Ekadasi. On the date of Sri Ekadasi, which is the benefactor of the three planetary systems, you can take shelter of foodstuffs in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadasi will no longer impede you.’ After giving direction to the Papa-purusha, the Supreme Lord Vishnu disappeared and the Papa-purusha returned to the performance of his own activities.

“Therefore, those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit of the soul will never eat grains on Ekadasi. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in this place of (grains) foodstuff. Whoever follows Ekadasi is freed from all sins and never enters into the hellish regions. If one doesn’t follow Ekadasi because of illusion, he is still considered the utmost sinner. For every mouthful of grain that is eaten by a resident of the earthly region (on Ekadasi), one receives the effect of killing millions of brahmanas. It is definitely necessary that one give up eating grains on Ekadasi. I very strongly say again and again, ‘On Ekadasi, do not eat grains, do not eat grains, do not eat grains!’ Whether one be a kshatriya, vaishya, shudra, or of any family, he should follow the lunar day of Ekadasi. From this the perfection of varna and ashrama will be attained. Especially since if one (even) by trickery follows Ekadasi, all his sins become destroyed and he very easily attains the supreme goal, the abode of Vaikuntha.”

What are the benefits?

It gives one a taste for renunciation, and thus helps one to give up sense gratification.
** Fasting gives the system a rest: The physiological system may become overworked due to a little overeating or indiscrimination in diet. Fasting gives the system a chance to catch up.
** Fasting helps us practice self-discipline in eating and concentrate more on pleasing God.
** Fasting helps keep the body light and the stomach free so that one can meditate better. The digestive system draws the blood circulation towards the digestive organs. Therefore blood circulation to the head is decreased once food is taken: so we feel sleepy.
** Observing Ekadasi increases spiritual advancement.


Moon seems to have considerable influence and seems to create some imbalance in our body. So the chances are that, if our body is not pure and balanced with any unwanted stuff, it might surface as a disease, sooner or later.

On the days of ekadasis, the effect of the moon can be felt on the stomach. Avoiding eating grains etc, helps reduce this effect. Hence fasting is recommended.

On Ekadasi day by fasting, body doesn't have its regular food crunching job. So it can concentrate in cleaning the body system. Whatever impurities the body acquired, KNOWINGLY AND UNKNOWINGLY, (by eating and other means) it can remove it.


In Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekadasi is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in spiritual life.

The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase one's faith and love for Govinda, Krishna . The real reason of observing fast is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting His holy name etc. The best thing to do on Ekadasis is to remember the pastimes of the Lord and hear His holy name constantly.

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana states, "In this world there are only two concrete procedures for attaining liberation and atoning for one's sins. These two things are- fasting on the Ekadasi days and chanting of the names of Supreme Lord Sri Hari."

Lakshmi and Daridra

Once there were two sisters Lakshmi and Daridra. Lakshmi was the goddess of wealth while Daridra was the goddess of poverty. Though they were real sisters, their behaviour towards others and temperament were totally different. Lakshmi got up early in the morning. She took her bath regularly. She remembered God regularly. She took keen interest in her day-to-day work with a smiling face. She befriended everybody and worked till late at night.

Daridra was very lazy. She got up very late. She did not take her bath. Washing clothes was a rare occasion for her. She was very discourteous. She was as much a flirt and unthoughtful. Cruelty and awe were natural to her. She generally told lies and befooled others. She was always hated by men in the street.

Goddess Lakshmi was very much liked by Lord Krishna and he married her happily. Daridra remained alone. She became sad.

One day Lakshmi said to Lord Krishna, “My dear husband, Daridra is my real sister. She is alone. Now she is quite grown up. Please arrange for her marriage. The life of an unmarried woman is difficult in our society.” Lord Krishna said, “My love, your worry is justified. But who will accept her in marriage? Her way of living is hated by one and all. She wears shabby clothes and loiters away her time. Even an ordinary man will not take her hand.”

Lakshmi said, “Arrange her marriage with a Rishi. He would not expect much from her because most of his time he would be busy performing religious rites.” Lord Krishna agreed. He searched for a suitable match for Daridra. A Rishi agreed to marry her. Most of the Rishi’s disciples were away. He needed someone’s help in performing the ‘Yajna’.

Goddess Lakshmi was happy that a Rishi had accepted her sister’s hand. After performing her marriage, they returned to their kingdom. Daridra could not accept Rishi’s way of life. She would get up late. She would not take her bath. She would not care for the cleanliness of the Ashram. The Rishi was fed up with her indolence. He gave her up. Daridra was badly disappointed. She went to Lakshmi again. She looked very shabby and disorderly. Lakshmi felt pity for her. She said to Krishna , “Please arrange a suitable abode for her. A woman’s life without a suitable abode is difficult. I knew that habits die hard but she has a right to live in this world.”

Lord Krishna accepted Lakshmi’s request. All the three came down to earth together. Krishna spotted out a Peepal tree in a lonely corner. They went to that tree. Lord Krishna said to Daridra, “You can reside under this tree. This is a lonely place suited to your temperament. You need not clean this place daily. None would visit this place either. You may live as you please.” Daridra said, “I will be fed up with lonely life. Lonely place is an abode of ghosts. Please do visit me frequently with my sister, Lakshmi.”

Lord Krishna agreed. He gave a word to her that he would visit and stay at the peepal tree on every Saturday alongwith Lakshmi. From that day onwards, people visit Peepal tree on every Saturday. They water it and offer their prayers, knowing well that Lord Krishna and Lakshmi reside in the tree on Saturdays.

Santoshi Mata Varth Katha

Santoshi Mata is referred as the goddess of Satisfaction; she is the daughter of Lord Ganesh. She accepts all the sorrows, problems and ill fate of all her devotees and blesses them with prosperity and happiness.She is particularly worshipped by women of North India . Maa Santoshi is an emblem of love, contentment, forgiveness, happiness and hope. It is so believed that fasting and praying for her for 16 consecutive Fridays brings peace and prosperity in ones family.

She is treated as the most calm, soft, pure and kind form of Goddess Durga. She is sitting on lotus which signifies that even in this world which is full of selfishness, rudeness and corruption goddess of satisfaction is still present in her devotee’s hearts. She resides on the lotus which is blossoming in the sea filled with milk which is a symbol of her purity signifying that where there is purity of heart and dedication there we will have our mother of satisfaction.

As it’s a general saying that if we will eat sweet things then our words will be as sweet as sugar, in the same manner maa Santoshi refrains all the sour things and symbolizes her devotes that by avoiding the sour things which are wrongs acts they can achieve the complete purity, happiness and satisfaction in their hearts.

Maa Santoshi not only provides purity and calmness, she also saves all her devotees from ill powers with her Sword in her left hand and Trishul in her right hand. As per the beliefs she is a four handed Goddess with only two hands visible to her devotees and other two with weapons like Sword and Trishul are only for the ones who play as the hurdles in the path of truth and goodness. Santoshi Maa is the most beautiful and lovable goddess who is always ready for blessing her followers and looking at her statue all the devotees forget their problems and feel as if they are lost in her beauty and calmness. Maa Santoshi is worshiped on Friday and it is believed that people get all their wishes fulfilled by worshipping Goddess Santoshi by keeping 16 consecutive fasts and following the strict rule of refraining from all the sour eatables


On a Friday morning have head bath and place the photo in a clean Pooja area and put a small Kalash. Place Santhoshimatha's photo and decorate it with flowers. Keep channa (soaked in water for 6 hours in water) or puffed bengal gram along with jaggery piece and bananas as prasadam. Light diya before the Goddess. Chant the mantras and read the story and give aarti to the Goddess and have prasadam. You can do fasting the entire day or can have food only once in a day (may be supper or dinner). You are not supposed to eat anything sour on the day of the Pooja...

You need to do this for 16 weeks on Friday, and after you finish the 16 weeks you will be required to do Udyapan, i.e. you will be required to offer food to kids and remember not to feed them anything sour and not to give them any cash, as they might use the cash to buy something sour.

Things required for the Pooja:
betel leaves
dry whole channa and jaggery for prasad
camphor for aarti
photo of santoshima
coconut for kalash (have to continue with the same coconut till you complete Pooja)
a wooden stool for placing the moorthi
rice mixed with turmeric


ತೇರ್e was an old woman, she had seven sons. Six of them were working hard and one was lazy and not working. The old woman would make food and feed the six sons, whatever remnants were there she would serve the seventh son. The younger son was innocent and was not aware of this.

One day he told his wife - "See, how much my mother loves me?" She said - "Why not, she gives you the remnants of everyone to eat." He said, "What, how can such a thing be? Till the eyes see, I cannot believe what you say. The wife laughed and said, " Will you believe once you see yourself?"

After a few days there was a festival in the house. Seven types of food and laddoo [sweet dish] were prepared. To check out the truth he made an excuse of headache and went to the kitchen and laid down covering his face with a thin cloth, through which he was watching everything. The six brothers came into the kitchen for food. He saw his mother had spread beautiful seats for them and served them the seven varieties of foods. She was serving them the food with love. He kept on watching. The six brothers ate their food and got up. The mother took from their plates the leftovers and from the pieces of the ladoo, made a ladoo out of it.

After clearing the leftovers, the mother called out to the son- " Get up son, the six brothers have eaten and gone. You are left, get up. When will you eat?" He started saying, "Mother I do not wish to have food. I am going out of the country." The mother said, "If you are planning to go tomorrow go today." He said, "Yes, Yes. I am going today only."

Saying this he left the house. While leaving the house he remembered his wife. She was in the cow stable making cakes of cow-dung. He went there and said, "I am going away to another country for some time. You stay in peace and do your duty." She said, " Go in peace do not worry about me. I will stay in the care of Lord Rama, Lord be with you. Give me something of yours to remember, in all your worries and work do not forget me."

He said, " I have nothing, only this ring. You take this and give me something of yours as a remembrance." She said, " What do I have? I have only this hand full of cow-dung." Saying thus she put her hands filled with the cow-dung as a mark on his back. And he went away.

Thus walking and walking he reached a far land where he reached the shop of a merchant. Going there he said, " Brother, keep me as your servant." The merchant needed one so he asked him to stay. The boy asked him. "How much salary he would give?" The merchant replied, "You will be paid after I see how you work."

He got the job from the merchant. He used to work from morning 7am to 2pm in the afternoon. In a few days, he managed the transactions, accounts, selling of the items to the customers and managed all the work. The merchant had seven to eight servants and they were all astonished. He was very intelligent. The businessman seeing his work made him his partner sharing 50% of the profits within 3 months. In 12 years he became a famous businessman and the owner left all the work on his shoulders and went out of the country.

Now what happened to the daughter-in-law, kindly listen?

The mother-in-law and father-in-law started troubling her a lot. The complete household burden was put on her and she was also sent to collect wood from the forest. During this time, the grain from which the rotis [chapathi] are made- the husk [bhoosa] was removed and the roti was made and kept for her and in the broken coconut shell water was kept. This way the days passed by.

One day, while when she was going to collect the wood on the way, she met many women who were doing the Santoshi Mata Vrat [fasting]. She stood there and heard the story, then she asked them, "Sisters, you are doing this fast for which God, and doing this fast-what fruit do you achieve? What are the rules to perform this fast? If you can explain to me the steps to perform the rituals of this fast I would be highly obliged to you."

Then one of the women said to her, -"Listen, this is the vrat [fast] of Santoshi Mata. From this calamity, poverty is wiped out. Wealth comes in. All worries are removed. If there is happiness in the house, the mind is happy and peaceful. Barren woman begets a child. If the husband has gone out he will return immediately. Unmarried girls get their own choice of husbands. Court cases which are being on for long time would be resolved fast. If there are quarrels in the house, there will be peace and happiness, prosperity will be there in the house, money and land will be got, sickness would go away and thus whatever desire you have in the mind this Santoshi Mata's blessings will fulfill them. There is no doubt about it."

She then started asking, "How is this fast kept? Could you please explain to me? I would be very grateful to you.
The woman began explaining- "Buy 1 ¼ Anna jaggery and grams (olden days we had Anna's and 16 Anna's made a rupee). If you desire you can buy for 5 ¼ Anna's or 1 ¼ rupee as per your capacity you can buy, without any botheration as per your devotion and love you should buy. Right from 1 ¼ paise to 5 ¼ Anna's upto your capacity of strength and devotion you can buy. Every Friday, keep a fast - do not eat food and listen or read this story. There should be no break, continuously follow the rules and keep the fast. If you do not get anyone to listen to the story, then light a lamp with ghee or keep the vessel with water in front of you and read the story but see that the rule is broken. Continue till the results happen following the rules and performing the fast. On the fulfillment of the desire do the Udyapan (final day).

Within 3 months the mother fulfills the desire - in between if one's stars (astrological) is not favorable, then too the mother fulfills the desire. On the fulfillment of the desire only should the Udyapan be done, not in between. On the Udyapan day one should make 2 ½ kg grounded cashew, kheer and gram curry. You must feed 8 boys with this food. As far as possible let the boys be from the close- immediate family members that is elder/younger broth-in-law's son, relatives and family. If they are not there, then you can get other relatives or from the neighbor's son can be invited. Give them food and as per your capacity give them gifts and complete the rules of the rituals of the Mata. On that day no one should eat sour items in the house.

After hearing this old woman's daughter-in-law went away. On the way she sold the wood she had collected and with that money she purchased jaggery and grams and prepared for the Mata's vrat (fast). Walking along she saw a temple and she started inquiring "Whose temple is this?" Everyone started saying, "This is the temple of Santoshi Mata (Mother)." Hearing this is the temple of the Mata she went in and fell at the feet of the Mother.

She started praying very sadly. "Mother, I am an ignorant woman, I do not know the rules to perform this vrat. I am very unhappy. Hey Mother! Goddess of the world please remove my unhappiness, I have come to your shelter."

Mother got compassion, one Friday passed and the next Friday somebody brought a letter from her husband and the third Friday she received the money sent by him. Seeing this, the elder brother-in-law and his wife made faces. In so many days so much money has come, what is so great? Boys started taunting her,"Money has started coming, now respect for Kaki (brother's wife) will increase, brother!"

"Letter comes, money comes it is good for all of us." Saying thus with eyes full of tears she went to the Santoshi Mata's temple and at the feet of Mateshwari (Goddess Mother) she started crying. "Mother! When did I ask for money? What work do I have from money? I have only work with my husband. I have prayed to see my husband again and serve him."

Then the Mother being pleased said, "Go daughter! Your husband will come." Hearing this she became happy and returned home and started doing her work.
Now Mother Santoshi started thinking, " I said this to the innocent woman. But from where will her husband come? He does not even remember her in his dreams! I will have to go to him to remind him." In this way, Mataji went in the dreams of the old woman's son and began saying.

"Wealthy man's son, are you sleeping or awake?" He replies, "Mother I am neither sleeping nor awake. Kindly tell me what do you wish to instruct to me?" Mother started saying, " Do you have a family - Yes or No?" He replied, "I have everyone, Mother! Mother-father, wife I have nothing less." Mother said, "Innocent son! Your wife is taking lots of trouble, your father - mother is giving her plenty of trouble. You should inquire about her."

He said, "Yes, Mataji, I know about it but how do I go back? This is another country, there is no limit of buying and selling transactions, there is no road for going which I can see." Mother started saying, listen to me, "In the morning after having taken bath, take the name of Santoshi Mata, burn a lamp with ghee. Then go and sit in the shop. Slowly your liabilities will be over. Your stores will be sold. By evening heaps of wealth will be formed."

Now he got up early and shared his dream with his friends. They all told him, "Do any dreams come true?" One old man said, " Listen to me, instead of doubting the truth or falsehood of the dream, following what God has instructed what will you loose? Now listen to the old man. After bathing, pray to Santoshi Mata, light a lamp of ghee, and go and sit in the shop."

In a short while what does he see, the borrowers started returning the money and the lenders started taking back their money? People started buying the stocks in cash only. By evening he had collected plenty of wealth. In his mind he continuously took the name of Mata and watched the miracle. Being happy he purchased jewelry, clothes and things to take to his house. Having completed the work here he immediately left for his hometown.

There the wife has gone to the forest to collect wood, on the return she rested at the Santoshi Mata Temple . This was her regular everyday place of halt to rest. Seeing the dust flying from far she asked Mataji, " Oh Mataji, Why is this dust flying? " Mother says to her, " Oh daughter! Your husband is coming. Now make three bundles from the wood. One you keep on the bank of the river, one in the temple and the third keep on your head. Seeing the bundle of wood your husband will have desire and he will stop at the temple, make some snacks. And then go to the mother". Then carrying the burden of wood remove it from your head and in the center of the lane cry out three times loudly, " Take, mother-in-law! Take the bundle of wood, give me the roti of husk and in the coconut shell give me water! Today which guest has come? Listen to the Mother, daughter-in-law."

The daughter-in-law said, "Ok, Yes Mother!" Then happily made three bundles from the wood. She kept one at the bank of the river, one in the temple of Mataji and at that time one traveler reached there. Seeing the dried wood the desire to rest and make some food came in his mind. After resting he went to the village. He met everyone with love.

At the same time the wife comes along with the bundle of wood. Keeping the heavy bundle of wood in the compound, she cried out loudly, "Take mother-in-law, take the bundle of wood, give me the husk roti, give me in the broken coconut shell water. Today who has come?"

Hearing this the mother-in-law to hide her trouble says, "Daughter-in-law! Why do you say thus?

Your Lord (husband) has come. Come in have sweet rice meal, wear clothes and jewelry!"

Meanwhile hearing the voice the husband comes out and seeing the ring gets astonished. He asks his mother, " Mother, Who is this lady?" The mother says, "Son, she is your wife. Today 12 years have passed, from the time you left she roams about like an animal in the whole village. She does none of the household chores. Four times she comes and eats, seeing you she is asking for husk roti and water in the coconut shell."

Being ashamed he said, " It's alright mother! I have seen her and seen you also. Now give me the keys of the other house so I can live there." Then the mother said, "It's alright son! As you wish." Here is the bundle of keys, which she threw forcefully on the floor.

He picked the keys and went to the next house. Opening the room on the third floor he kept all the things. Within one day the house was decorated like a King's palace.

Now what happens? The wife started enjoying happiness; meanwhile the next Friday comes. She told her husband, " I want to do the Udyapan of Santoshi Mata Vrat." Her husband said, " Very good! Do it happily."

Immediately she started preparing for the Udyapan. She went to invite the sons of her elder brother-in-laws for lunch. She accepted the invitation but the other middle sister-in-law teaches her son, " See! All of you ask for sour item by which her Udyapan would not be completed."

The boys came for the lunch; they ate stomachful helpings of Kheer. But remembering the words of the mother began saying, "Give us something sour, we do not like eating Kheer. Seeing it we are feeling uneasy." The daughter-in-law started saying, " No one will get any sour item. This is the prasad of Santoshi Mata." The boys stood up and said, "Give money!" The innocent daughter-in-law knowing nothing gave them money. The boys at that moment stubbornly purchased imli (tamarind) and started eating.

Seeing this the Mother cursed the daughter-in-law. The soldiers of the King arrested her husband and took him away. The brothers and sister-in-law started falsely making statements, "Always looting, he has collected this wealth." The soldiers of the King took him away. Now everything will be known once he gets beating in the jail. The wife could not bear to hear this statement. Crying she went to the temple of Mataji .

She began saying, " Mother! What is this you did? Why did you make me cry?" Mother said, "Daughter, you have done the Udyapan and spoiled the Vrat. So soon you forgot all the talks."

She started saying, "Mother I have not forgotten, nor committed any sin. The boys made me forget and forgetting I gave them money, forgive me Mother!" Mother said. " Does one forget thus?" She said,"Mother please forgive me, I will do your Udyapan again." Mother said, " Now make no mistake". She says, " Now no mistake will be committed. Mother please tell me now how will he come." Mother said, " Go daughter, you will find your husband coming on the way."

She went from there and on the way she found her husband. She asked him, "Where did you go?" Then he started saying, " He had earned so much of wealth so the King wanted him to pay the taxes, he had gone to pay the taxes." Being happy she said, "Good thing happened, let's go home."

They went home.

After few days once again Friday came, she said to her husband- "I want to once again do the Udyapan of Mataji." The husband said, "Do it."

She again went to invite the sons of her elder brother-in-laws. The sister-in-laws taunted her and started teaching the sons, " You all in the beginning only ask for sour item." The boys started saying, " We do not like eating Kheer, we get uneasy, give us something sour to eat." She said, "You will get no sour item, if you desire then eat only." Then she got the Brahmin's sons and started feeding them. As per her capacity in place of money she gave each one -one fruit. This pleased Santoshi Mata.

With the blessings of the Mother in the New Year she got a moon-like son. Taking her son everyday she went to the Mataji's temple. Mother thought, "She is coming everyday, today why should I not go to her house and see her on this pretext." Thus thinking, Mata made a fearful form. With jaggery and gram made a thin face and on top made horns and mosquitoes were hovering around. Putting her foot on the doorstep the mother-in-law shouted. "See, some wicked witch is coming. Boys drive her away, otherwise she may eat anyone." The boys got frightened and started closing the windows.

The daughter-in-law saw through one peephole. Happily in a maddening voice she was screaming. " Today my Mataji has come to my house." Saying thus she moved her child whom she was feeding milk. Meanwhile the mother-in-law got angry.

She said, " Prostitute, why are you getting excited?" She banged the child. Meanwhile with the aura of the Mother everywhere there were boys standing. She said, " Mother, the fast which I am keeping this is the same Santoshi Ma". Saying thus she opened all the doors and windows of the house. Everyone caught the feet of Mataji and prayed to her, "Hey Mata, [dear mother] we are fools, sinners, we do not know the rules of your fast, spoiling your fast we did very big mistake. Hey Jagatmata- Mother of the world! Forgive our mistake." This way the Mother became happy.

How Mother rewarded the daughter-in-law in the same way reward everyone. Those who read the story their wishes are fulfilled.
Say Santoshi Mata ki Jai...

Vaibhav Lakshmi Varth Katha

Vaibhav Lakshmi is one of the manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) in Hinduism. Goddess Lakshmi has different names as per her eight forms- Dhanya Lakhsmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Adi Lakshmi,Vijaya Lakshmi, Aishwarya Lakshmi, Veera Lakshmi, Dhan Lakshmi and Santan Lakhmi. It is believed that 'Shri Yantra'(a mystic pictorial of geometrical figures, numbers and words) is Goddess Lakshmi's favorite and the yantra bestows health, wealth and prosperity to the who adorns it or worships it. Vaibhav Lakshmi Vrat is a popular fast among Indian women, observed for 11 or 21 fridays, in which they consume food or water only at their home and take meals once a day preferably.

The pooja is performed in the evening when the sun sets. After cleaning the pooja altar, make a rangoli and place uncooked rice on it to form a square. Before starting the pooja, establish a kalash with water, cardomam,edible camphor and saffron. Close it with a lid containing coins. The vaibhavlakshmi yantra or the Ashtalakshmi picture can be placed nearby for worship. The yantra, picture and the kalash can be decorated with sandalwood paste, kumkum and flowers.

Make a thick paste of turmeric powder (around 1 tsp full) with few drops of water to form a small cone similar to a modak. This will be used for the Ganesh pooja.

The vaibhavlakshmi pooja commences with the Ganesh pooja, followed by the Vaibha lakshmi worship, listening or reading the Vaibhavlakshmi legend and bhajans, ending with an aarti. A sweet dish, usually a milk-rice pudding is offered to the Goddess after that. The water in the Kalash and the offering can be consumed and later distributed to others. The rice could be used for cooking and the coins can be utilized for other worship.
Varth Katha
Many years ago there was a very big city. Lakhs of people lived there. In ancient times, people really lived the happy social life. They used to meet and sit together and enjoyed themselves. In those days, people used to lead the life completely in different way. People of this city were totally busy engaged in their own personal worldly affairs. The elements of holy devotion, benevolence, sympathy and affection all these virtues were rarely visible in the cultural life of the society. Innumerable vices had spread in the daily-life of the citizens living in that city. Wine and gambling, race and speculation, illegal relations and various guilty misdeeds were done by the people living in that city.

There is always a silver line hidden among the black clouds in the sky. The lightning of the eternal hope spreads into the thousands of dark clouds of disappointments. Inspite of so many vices prevailing in the social life some pious people lived the virtuous life like the lotus in the muddy water of the pond. Among all the virtuous people, Sheela and her husband also lived pious worldly life. Sheela was of religious nature living the contented life. Her husband was a humble fellow having good character.

Sheela and her husband lived honestly. They never abused or displeased anyone. They were happy to utilize their time in worshipping God. Their worldly life was ideal and people never got tired while praising them.

Thus she had been passing her life happily. It is said that the end of the misdeeds is quite strange. Who could read the words of fate written by the Goddess of Fortune? A king becomes a poor man, and a poor man becomes a king. By the destiny, in just a moment, such a great change can be done. As a result of misdeeds done, Sheela’s husband got the company of bad friends. It is said that the man is influenced by the company he keeps. Due to the influence of the company of bad friends, Sheela’s husband dreamed to be one of the wealthiest people gaining crores of rupees. As a result he misled his life and became as good as a beggar instead of becoming the wealthy person. He followed evil ways of immorality and began to ruin his life. He indulged in drinking wine, gambling, and race, speculation that had spread in the city-life. His friends were also on the same immoral path. He began to waste his money in the way of immorality. And at last he lost all the savings and also the ornaments of his wife. Once there was a golden time when he was passing his life happily with his wife and they were utilizing the time in worshiping God. Now there was a great change in their life. They became so poor that they could not get food to satisfy their hunger. Moreover Sheela had to suffer much due to the abusive language of her husband.

Sheela was a polite and well-cultured woman. She had suffered a lot because of her husband’s misbehavior. But keeping faith in God she began o bear the sufferings of unhappy life. Unhappiness is followed by happiness and happiness is followed by unhappiness in this worldly life. That is the eternal truth. Having faith in the eternal truth of the happiness and unhappiness, Sheela forgot herself in praying and worshipping God, she was hopeful for future happy life. While she had been passing her unhappy time of her life, one day at noontime someone came knocking at her door. She began to think, ‘who would have come to my place as I am so poor and have nothing with me?’ Still however, inspired by Aryan religious culture of welcoming the guests at the door, she stood up and opened the doors of her house.

To her wonder, she saw an old woman standing in front of her. She was a very old woman. Her face was dazzling with the glow of divine light. Her eyes were dripping with the glow of divine light. Her eyes were dripping the nectar of love. Her majestic face was overflowing with the compassion and love. Sheela experienced immense peace in her heart though she was not acquainted with her. She was full of delight. She welcomes her and gave her the only torn mat and requested her to sit with hesitation. The old lady said, ‘Sheela! Don’t you know me?’

Sheela humbly said, ‘Mother, I feel delightful to see you and experience peace in the soul, as if I have been searching you for a long time, but it seems that you are not known to me!’

With a smile the old lady said, ‘why! Did you forget me? Every Friday I used to come to the temple of Goddess Laxmiji , when there had been singing praise of the Goddess. There we happened to meet each other!’

Sheela was full of sorrow, as her husband had gone to the immoral way of life. She had stopped going to the temple of Goddess Laxmiji . She felt ashamed to get associated with others. She tried much to recollect the memory of that old lady. But she was not successful.

After a while, the old lady said to Sheela, ‘How sweet you had been singing prayer of Goddess Laxmiji in the temple amidst the devotees! Now days you are not seen there. Hence I have begun to think the reason for it. At last I have come to see you’. Hearing the kind words of the old lady, Sheela’s heart moved and her eyes were full of tears. She began to sob painfully. The old lady moved near her and began to console her striking lightly on her back with love.

The old lady said to Sheela, ‘My dear, happiness and sorrow are like the heat and shadow of the Sun. Happiness and misery come one after the other. Please have patience and tell me all about your sufferings. You will feel exempted from your pains, and will get the remedy for the same’.

Hearing the consoling words of the lady, Sheela’s heart felt peace and comfort. She said to her, ‘We were very happy in our life and enjoyed ourselves with the bliss in our heart. My husband was also having a good character. By the grace of God, we wee pleased with our financial position. We used to utilize our time in worshipping God. But by our ill luck, my husband was influenced by his bad company. At last he ruined the life by going on the path of immorality: drinking wine, speculation, gambling, race, intoxicating drugs etc. As a result we have become as good as beggars of the footpath’.

The old lady said, ‘Dear, happiness and sorrow come one after the other. Moreover the end of the misdeeds is strange. Every man has to suffer the consequences of his good or bad deeds. Now don’t get worried. You have already suffered all the consequences of your husband’s misdeeds. Now, you will have happy days of your life. You are the devotee of Goddess Laxmiji. Goddess Laxmiji is the incarnation of love and compassion. She is very merciful to her devotees. Hence, have patience and observe the Vrat of the Goddess Laxmiji and your life will be quite easy-going.’

Having heard about the observance of the Vrat of divine Goddess Laxmiji, Sheela’s face glittered with light. She said to the old lady, ‘Mother! Kindly tell me how the Vrat of Laxmiji can be observed. I will certainly observe it.’

The old lady said, ‘The Vrat of Laxmiji is very easy to follow. It is called the ‘Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat’ (Vrat giving wealth) or ‘Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat’ (Vrat giving Luxury). All the hopes of the person who observes the Vrat, will get fulfilled, and she or he becomes happy, wealthy and reputed’. Then she began to describe how to perform the Vrat.

‘Dear, this Vrat is very simple and easy to observe. Many people observe this Vrat by the improper method. Hence they don’t have good result. People believe that the Vrat can be observed only by applying yellow and red turmeric to golden ornaments. But it is not so. Vrat should be performed with proper ceremony according to the religious scriptures or shastras. Then only the observance of the Vrat becomes fruitful. The celebration of the Vrat also should be performed as prescribed by the shastras with proper ceremony’.

‘The Vrat should be observed on Friday every week. One should put on clean clothes after taking bath and should utter silently ‘Jai Ma Laxmi’. One should not speak evil of others. Having washed hands and feet in the evening, one should sit on the wooden seat facing the east direction. One should put a big wooden seat, and then one should put a copper pot on the small heaps of rice arranged on the handkerchief spread on the wooden seat. One should keep gold or a silver ornament or a rupee coin in a small bowl placed on the copper pot. One should light the lamp-stand and the incense stick near the wooden seat."

"There are many incarnations of Goddess Laxmi." A person observing the Vrat of Vaibhava Laxmi should devotedly see ‘Shree mystical diagram’ and various complexions or forms of goddess Laxmiji. Then one should sing the prayer of Laxmiji. Afterwards one should apply the ornament or a rupee-coin with the yellow and red turmeric and rice-grain. Then after adorning it with a red flower, one should wave lights keeping sweets or piece of jaggery and should utter ‘Jai Ma Laxmi’. After the rituals one should offer the prasad among the members of the family. That ornament or a rupee-coin should be put to the safe place. The water kept in the copper-bowl should be poured into the pot of basil-plant [tulasi] and the rice grain should be thrown to the birds. In this way one gets his or her desires fulfilled by observing the Vrat according to the prescribed ceremony of the shastras. A Man gets wealthy by the grace of Goddess Laxmiji. An unmarried girl gets married. The married woman maintains the happy state of wifehood and a childless woman gets a child by the influence of observance of the Vrat.

Sheela was pleased to know about the observance of the Vrat from that old lady. She said to her, ‘Mother! You have shown me the ceremony of the Vrat. Now I will surely observe it. But please, tell me how long this Vrat should be done and how it should be celebrated’. The old lady said, ‘People say that this Vrat can be done in one’s own way. But it is not so. This Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat should be done for eleven or twenty-one Friday. On the last Friday, the Vrat should be celebrated offering a coconut and sweet dish of rice. Then on that day the sweets should be given to seven unmarried girls or ladies, and saying…’Jai Ma Vaibhava Laxmi’ they should be given a book of ‘Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat’. Afterwards you should bow down your head to the photograph of Goddess Dhanlaxmi and should pray in the heart! Mother! I have observed the Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat. Please fulfill all our wishes! Kindly give wealth to the poor and give children to the childless woman. Let the married woman enjoy the happy state of wifehood. Let the unmarried girl fulfill her desires. Please have grace on those who observe your Vrat and be kind to them by favoring happiness in their lives’. By praying in this manner, bow down your head to the Dhan Laxmi, incarnation of the Goddess Laxmiji and Keep your hand above (not to touch) the flames of the lamp and apply it to your eyes’. Hearing the ceremony for the observation of Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat, she closed her eyes and decided in her mind to do the Vrat with full faith according to shastras for twenty-one Friday and to celebrate the same with ceremony. When Sheela opened the eyes, she was very much surprised to know that the old lady had disappeared! That old lady was no one else but Laxmiji Herself! As Sheela was the devoted worshipper, Goddess Laxmiji Herself had come in the form of an old lady to show Sheela the path of happiness.

On the very next day it was Friday. After taking bath Sheela began to utter, ‘Jai Ma Laxmi’ with full faith in the Goddess Laxmi. During the day she didn’t defame any one. In the evening having washed her hands and feet, Sheela placed the wooden seat. She put her nose-ornament in the small bowl placed on the copper pot, which was on the heaps of rice arranged on the handkerchief spread on the wooden seat. Sitting in the east, Sheela observed the Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat with proper ceremony as informed by that old lady. Then she offered some sugar to her husband. Immediately there was a great change in her husband’s nature. As usual her husband did not beat her! She was very much happy to see such miraculous change in husband. Then after observing the Vrat with devotion and faith for twenty-one Friday. Sheela celebrated the last Friday. She gave a book of Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat to seven ladies and bowing down her head to the photograph of Goddess Laxmiji, prayed: ‘Mother! I have finished observance of the Vrat today. Kindly fulfill the desires of the unmarried girls and return the happiness of those who observe the Vrat. Be merciful to bless us with bliss of life uttering, "Give wealth to the poor, a child to the childless woman and preserve the happiness of the married woman. Kindly fulfill the desires." Uttering these words, Sheela kept her hands above the flames of the lamp and applied her hands to her eyes and paid homage to the Goddess. In this way, Sheela could get the result as she had observed the Vrat according to the prescribed ceremony of the shastras. Her husband gave up the immoral way of life and began to earn with great efforts. With the pious power of the Goddess, her husband became wealthy. He got back the ornaments of Sheela mortgaged by him. Hence forward he became a noble man and Sheela regained the peace and happiness in her life as before.

Having seen the pious power of the Vaibhava Laxmi Vrat, other women of the street began to perform the Vrat according to ceremony described by the shastras.

Oh! Goddess Dhan Laxmi! Be merciful to all, as you had been to Sheela. Fulfill the desires of all. Bless all with peace and bliss. Jai Ma Dhan Laxmi! Jai Ma Vaibhava Laxmi!!.

Why people offer oil to Shani dev ???

In our Hindus society, it is habitual to bath Shani dev in mustard Oil. Many people also raised this question that why people offer oil to Shani dev. There is a short story behind this.

As per Hindu Epic Ramayana, when the bridge was constructed from Rameswaram to Lanka by Ram’s army, Hanumanji had the responsibility of looking after the security of bridge lest the enemy damage it. One day Hanumanji sat under the trees and offering prayer to God Rama. God Shanidev went there and said to Hanumanji, “I am the powerful god Shani dev. I heard you are also so powerful, so I want to test your might with me. Open your eyes and fight with me.”

In response to shanidev, Hanumanji opened his eyes & said “Now I am meditating upon my lord. I request you don’t disturb me in my prayer & leave me alone.” But God Shani dev was stable on picking a fight. At the same time, hanumanji stretched out his tail and started binding it around Shani dev. slowly he tightened the coiled tail. God Shani dev tried to free himself but he could not. Hanumanji moved his tail up & down hitting him against the stone of bridge. Shanidev started bleeding.

When the pain was unbearable, God Shani requested to him, “Release me. I will never do a similar mistake again.” Hanumanji replied, “If you promise me that you shall never afflict Ram’s devotees then I will let you go” In the great pain shanidev promised to Hanumanji, “I will do as you say, I will never interfere in the destiny of those devoted to you & Ram.”

When shanidev became free, He asked to Hanuman, “Could you give me some oil to relieve my wretched pain.” Then Hanuman gave the oil to Shanidev, after the spread of oil on his body, his pain was relieved immediately.

Since then it is customary to offer oil to Shanidev. It is symbolic of soothing his pain. He feels satisfied and this makes him benevolent towards the devotee.

Shanivar Varth Katha

Shanivar (Saturday) is dedicated to Shani Devta (Saturn).The Saturday fast keeps away all the hurdles and misfortunes. Saturn sits in a mirror chariot, yoked with eight black horses. The recitation of Shani Chalisa is also beneficial.

It is believed that those who have the blessing of Lord Hanuman are protected from the wrath of Shani. Therefore many people make it a point to worship Hanuman at home or in temples. Black is the preferred color on Saturday.

Shani, one of the Navagrahas, is worshipped in numerous temples and there are also temples exclusively dedicated to Sani. Devotees who are observing Shanivar Vrat usually visit Shani shrines.

Those devotees who fast on Saturday only take a single meal that too in the evening after prayers. Food prepared usually consists of sesame til or black gram or any other black colored food item. Salt is avoided by many on the day.

Shani is represented as a deity carrying bow and arrows and riding a vulture. Some devotees worship a black iron idol of Sani. Some worship the Peepal Tree and tie thread around its bark. Black colored items like sesame oil and black clothes are also donated on the day.

Shani is so dreaded that many Hindus avoid journeys on Saturday. There are also numerous tales regarding the evil effects of Shani.

But generally it is believed that Lord Hanuman devotees are unharmed by Sani. Legend has it that Lord Hanuman had rescued Shani from Ravana. This happened during the burning of the Lanka episode in the epic Ramayana. Lord Shani had then promised that he would not trouble Lord Hanuman devotees.

Varth kath – I

Once there was a Brahman. He used to guard against evil spirits at the king’s main gate palace. One day he heard a strange voice and was frightened. He heard this voice for a number of days. He never talked about that mysterious voice to his wife. One day his wife said, “I try to provide you best nutritious meals, still you are losing your health. What is wrong with you?” For some time, he kept mum. His wife insisted that he should reveal his internal feelings to get rid of any * unnecessary strain. The Brahman said, “I hear a strange voice every Saturday. It says that it wants to afflict the king. The duration of affliction will be either seven-and-a-half years or two-and-a-half years or two-and-a-half months or two-and-a-half days or at least for two-and-a-half prahar i.e. seven-and-a-half hours. The king can opt for any period but the affliction is a must.”

The Brahman’s wife smiled and said, “Why didn’t you tell it earlier? The king must be saved even at our cost. You accept two-and-a-half ‘prahars’ affliction for you. The spirit again visited the palace and repeated the same message. The Brahman said, “I offer to take King’s affliction upon myself. You can be upon me for two-and-a-half prahars.” The spirit was pleased at Brahman’s offer. The Brahman went to a riverbank. He wanted to spent that time in meditation. He noticed two water-melons floating on the surface of water. He caught them by their tops and placed them under his thigh.

The king’s princes had been out for hunting for the last two days. They had not returned. The king was in great agony. He sent his messengers in various directions for searching out the princes. Incidentally, a messenger came to the Brahman. To his great surprise, he saw that the Brahman was hiding the heads of the princes under his thigh. He reported the matter to the king. The king was enraged. He ordered that the Brahman be impaled or hanged. The king asked the Brahman what his last desire was. The Brahman said, “Please do not kill me for two-and-a-half prahars.”

The king agreed. As the stipulated time was over arrangements for Brahman’s end were made ready. The Brahman was to be beheaded with a red hot iron spear. As the slaughter man attacked the Brahman, the hot spear got broken into pieces. The slaughter man now took a red hot silver spear. That spear too was broken into pieces before it touched the Brahman’s neck. The slaughter man took out a red hot golden spear and tried to behead the Brahman. The third spear also did have a different fate.

The onlookers were surprised at the sight of such a miracle. Suddenly, the princes too, appeared at the scene. The king embraced the princes and felt sorry for he Brahman. The king said, “O, Brahman! What is this puzzle?” Reveal this mystery to one and all.” The Brahman said, “The Saturn wanted to afflict you. I took your affliction upon me to save you and the kingdom. The Saturn made the water melons appear as human heads. Now could I have killed the princes? I have always been a saviour of this kingdom.” The king said, “1 don’t believe your utterings. I want to see the Saturn myself. If you do not show me, all the members of your family will be crushed in the grinder.” The Brahman began to tremble. He begged for a week’s time. He went to his house. His wife said, “You look pale and horrified. What is the matter?” The Brahman said, “The Saturn wrought the affliction on me. I was saved because I acted according to your advice. Now, if I do not show Saturn to the king, all of us will be crushed under the grinder wheels.”

The Brahman’s wife said, “Have patience. You staked your life for a better cause. God will help us.” The Brahman had a sigh of relief. His wife said, “Ask the king to get up early in the morning on the coming Saturday. Saturn will be riding a black horse under the black mountain. He will be covered with a black blanket, all soaked in oil. The king can have his glimpse.” The Brahman took the king to the black mountain the next Saturday. A black shadow was riding a black horse. The king said, “Who are you?” The Saturn said, “I am Saturn. I afflict the poor as well as the kings alike.”

The king said, “How can we avoid your affliction?” The Saturn said, “The rich should donate a black horse or one-and-a-quarter maunds of gold on Saturday. The middle-income group can donate iron and black blankets. The poor can give oil-touched loaf to a black dog. The still poorer can water a peepal tree, place some gur there and wrap the tree with a piece of kuchcha thread.” The Brahman said, “Do not afflict our king. Your affliction on the king will affect our town. I can stand your afflictions on myself in the future also.”

The Saturn suddenly disappeared alongwith his black horse and the king returned to his palace. He was pleased with the Brahman. The Brahman’s wife felt happy when the husband reported the whole happening to her.

Shukravar Varth Katha

In Hindu religion, each day of a week is dedicated to a particular God or Goddesses. Friday or Shukrawar is dedicated to Shakti – the Mother Goddess in Hinduism – and Shukra or Venus.

One of the most important Vrat or Upvaas (fast) on the day is dedicated to Santhoshi Matha (an incarnation of Shakti) & Maariamma. The fasting is also known as ‘Solah Shukravar Vrats because a devotee fasts for 16 consecutive Fridays. White color is given importance on Friday.

Another deity that is propitiated on the day is Shukra, who is known to provide joy and material wealth. The period of Shukra in one’s astrological chart is considered to be most productive and luckily period.

Worship of Shakti – Durga, Kali and other forms – on Friday is considered highly auspicious. Shakti temples in India attract large number of devotees on this day.

Devotees wear white colored dress on this day. The fasting on Shukravar begins at sunrise and ends with sunset. The person fasting only partakes in the evening meal. White colored food like kheer or milk is the most preferred.

Fast is kept for various reasons which include removal of obstacles, for a child, happy family life etc.

There are numerous stories associated with Shukravar. In almost all the stories, Lord Shukra or Venus is dishonored in the beginning and the devotee later realizes his/her folly through numerous untoward incidents. Then the devotee realizes the mistake and propitiates Shukra and is finally rewarded.
Guru Shukracharya
The planet Venus is known as Sukra in Vedic astrology. In astrology, the planet of Venus is considered to be the guru of demons. As a God Shukra is the Guru of Asuras. According to Hindu scriptures, He was born as the son of Rishi Brighu and his wife Ushana. The feminic natured Shukra is a Brahminical planet. He was born on Friday in the year Paarthiva on Sraavana Suddha Ashtami when Swathi Nakshatra is on the ascent. Hence, Friday is known as Shukravaar in Indian languages especially Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi , Gujarati and Kannada. He went on to study Vedas under rishi Angirasa but he was disturbed by Angirasa's favouritism to his son Brihaspati. He then went to study under rishi Gautama. He later performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the Sanjivani mantra (a hymn that can revive the dead). During this period Brihaspati became the Guru (Preceptor) of the divine people Devaa. Out of jealousy, Shukracharya decides to become the Guru of Asuras. He helps them achieve victory over the Devas and uses his magic to revive the dead and wounded Asuras.

So Jupiter, or Brihaspati, the guru to the Devas, sends his son Kaca (brightness) to study under Sukra.

Sukra has a beautiful daughter Devayani (way to the gods), and she is quite taken with Kaca. Now, the Asuras know what Kaca is up to, so like all good demons they kill him. Devayani, of course, grieves for him and tells father, so Sukra repeats the mantra and Kaca comes back to life. Then the demons kill Kaca again.

Once again Devayani complains, and once again Sukra repeats the mantra and Kaca come back to life. Undeterred, the demons go about killing Kaca and Sukra keeps resurrecting him. So the demons get a particularly demonic idea and this time they kill Kaca and grind him up into a fine powder and put him in Sukra's wine. Sukra drinks the wine, Devayani begins her grieving, and in response Sukra repeats the mantra, but this time he has a stomachache as Kaca speaks from inside him. At last the demons appear to be happy.

But, they ironically bring about the very thing they were trying to prevent, for Sukra reveals the mantra of immortality to Kaca, so when Kaca tears himself out of Sukra's body he will repeat the mantra and raise Sukra from the dead.

In one story, Lord Vishnu is born as the Brahmin sage Vamana. Vamana comes to take the three worlds as alms from the asura King Bali. Lord Vishnu wanted to deceive the King Bali who was the grandson of the great ing Prahlad, in order to help the Devas. The sage Shukracharya identifies him immediately and warns the King. The King is however a man of his word and offers the gift to Vamana. Shukracharya, annoyed with the pride of the King, shrinks himself with his powers and sits in the spout of the vase, from which water has to be poured to seal the promise to the deity in disguise. Lord Vishnu, in disguise of the dwarf, understands immediately, and picks a straw from the ground and directs it up the spout, poking out the left eye of Shukracharaya. Since this day onwards , the guru of the asuras has been known to be half blind.

Sukra bestows long life, wealth, happiness, children, and property and good education. He is the Guru for Asuras. Well learned in Neeti Sastras follower of such sastras and one who dispenses justice, Sukra is considered a beneficial Devata. He blesses the devotees with power to control one's Indriyas (Sense organs) and enables the devotee to obtain fame and name.

Varth Katha – I

Once there was an old woman. She used to observe Friday fasts regularly. She worshipped Shukras idol. She gave holy dips to the idol and offered best food to it as bhoga. One day she decided to go on a pilgrimage. But how could she leave the house? Who would give holy dips to Shukras idol? Who would offer bhoga to it? She conveyed her anxiety to her sons wife. Her sons wife, that is her daughter-in-law was not a religious lady. She wanted to get rid of her mother-in-law for some time. She agreed to worship Shukras idol in her absence.
The old lady felt happy and left on the pilgrimage. Her daughter-in-law being what she was, after taking her bath would squeeze a few drops of water from her wet saree and considered it as a dip for the idol. She would prepare best dishes in her mother-in-laws absence and place some crumbs or remains before the idol as bhoga. Even this was heavy for her. One day she decided to get rid of the idol. She put it in a waste paper basket and threw it on a heap of garbage.

A wise lady passed by. She noticed Shukras bright idol lying on the garbage. She picked it up with great respect and brought it to her house. She gave it holy dips and offered best bhoga. She also observed fast in the name of Shukra. The lady became very rich. On the other hand, the old womans family became poorer and poorer. The family could hardly make both ends meet.

The old lady returned from her pilgrimage. She noticed the changed conditions of the family. She asked the daughter-in-law, Where is the Shukras idol? The daughter-in-law kept mum. She repeated the question, but the lady would not speak. She repeated her question for the third time. The daughter-in-law replied, I was fed up with Shukras worship. I had no time to spare. I threw it on a heap of garbage some weeks ago. The old lady was astonished at the reply. She went to the garbage heap and searched for the idol, but hod to return disappointed She decided to go from door to door to enquire about it.

She knocked at the door of a rich lady and said, Have you seen my Shukras idol? The rich lady gazed at her from head to foot and said, Are you insane? Why did you throw the idol on the garbage? You have no regards for deities. You should be punished for it. The old lady narrated the whole story to the rich lady and felt sorry for her daughter-in-law. The rich lady said, If it is so I shall return the idol to you. Lord Shukra has blessed me with health and wealth. I do not want to keep others things with me. Take back this idol with full respect.
The old lady brought back the idol and placed it at the worshipping dias. She observed Shukras fasts as a penance. Lord Shukra again blessed them with health and wealth. The family enjoyed a happy life again thereafter.

Guruvar Varth katha

In Hinduism, each day in a week is dedicated to a particular god in the Hindu pantheon. Thursday, which is Brihaspatiwar or Vrihaspativar, is dedicated to Vishnu and Brihaspati, the Guru of Devas. Thurdsay is also popularly known as Gurubar or Guruvar. Yellow is the color of the day. A fast is observed on the day and food is consumed only once.

There are numerous stories associated with the reason for observing Upvaas, or fast, on Brihaspativar. Many of the stories are part of local folklore and stories vary from region to region.

Almost all stories suggest that those who perform pujas and Vrats on Thursdays will be blessed with wealth and happy life.

Those devotees fasting on the day wears yellow colored dress and offers yellow colored fruits and flowers to Vishnu and Brihaspati. Food is only consumed once and includes Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) and ghee. Basically, yellow colored food is eaten on the day.
In some regions, banana or plantain is worshipped and watered. In South canara, the day is dedicated to Lord Ragavendra Swamy.

Lord Brihaspati
According to Mahabharat Aadiparv, Lord Brihaspati is the son of Maharishi Angira and is the priest of Devas. Lord Brihaspati was a great devotee of Lord Shankar. He went to the Prabhas Tirth and prayed to Lord Shankar very deeply. Lord Shankar, pleased by Brihaspati's devotion, blessed him and gave the position of the 'Priest of Devas' and also included Him in the family of Devas. According to Rigved, Lord Brihaspati was very handsome. Lord Brihaspati, when pleased by his devotees, blessed them with wealth, saved them from difficulties and exhorts them to live on right path. Lord Brihaspati travels on a Golden Rath driven by eight speedy yellow coloured horses. According to Rigved the weapon of Lord Brihaspati is a stick (Dand) made up of Gold. Lord Brihaspati had three wives, Shubha, Tara and Mamta. From Shubha, he had seven daughters and from Tara, seven sons and one daughter. The wife Mamta, bore him two sons - Bharadwaj and Kach. Brihaspati is the Lord of Dhanu and Meen rashi.

In the solar system, Guru, Brihaspathi or Jupiter as his popularly known occupies the second largest position after the Sun. Jupiter is revered as celestial preceptor of the Gods. Worship of Bhraspati or Guru (JUPITER) Devata results in a cure from ailments affecting the stomach and helps one to ward off his/her sins, helps him/her in gaining strength, valor, longevity etc. He grants the boon of father-hood to the childless, good education. Thursdays are considered to be the best day for the worship of Jupiter. Following is the katha(story) which is recited by the devotee, who is fasting and praying to Bhraspati Dev on Thursdays.

Varth Katha – I

Once Lord Indra, surrounded by many gods, Rishis, Kinnaras and Gondharvas sat on his throne in a proud mood. As guru Bhraspati reached there all of them except Indra stood up to pay respect. India used to pay obedience to his guru regularly but he showed discourtesy at that time. Bhraspati felt bad and left his palace. As Bhraspati left the palace Lord Indra realised his mistake and repented over his action. He felt that all his luxurious possessions were due to his guru blessings. Guru anger will turn it to dust.Indra decided to go to Bhraspati and tender apology for his action. It may pacify his anger. He went to Bhraspati.
Bhraspati intuited that Indra was coming to his Ashram. He avoided meeting out of anger and disappeared immediately. Lord Indra returned home disappointed. A demon god Vrishvarsha, sensed this situation and went to his guru Shukracharya. He begged his gum permission to attack Indrapuri, the kingdom of Lord India in those circumstances. Shukracharya permitted him. The demon god surrounded Indrapuri and made a sudden attack. In the absence of Guru Bhraspati blessings the gods lost all battles one after the other.

After his defeat the gods went to Lord Brahma and related the whole story. He begged for safety and asked for some strategy. Lord Brahma said, You have not done good by disgracing Bhraspati. Anyway go to Vishwaroopa the learned son of Twashta. Request him to become your priest. His blessings can save you. They went to Twashta and sought his blessings. Twashta said, By becoming your priest I do not want to lessen my virtues. But you go to my son Vishwaroopa. He will oblige you by accepting your request for priesthood.

All the gods went to Vishwaroopa and requested him to become their family priest for performing Yajna. He accepted their request. By Vishwaroopa grace demon Vrishvarsha was defeated and Lord India regained his kingdom. Lord India was happy. He implored Vishwaroopa to perform a special yajna for further gains. Vishwaroopa agreed. Vishwaroopa had three mouths. With one mouth he sucked the juice of Sompalli a special creeper. From the second mouth he used to drink wine. He used his third mouth for eating meals.

Vishwaroopa started performing Yajna. The demon gods were frightened. They thought a plan to undo the Yajna effects. One of the demon god went to Vishwaroopa and implored, Honourable Sir, do you know that you belong to demon genealogy from your mother side. Your mother is the daughter of a demon god. While performing Yajna kindly make some offerings in the names of demon gods for their happiness. Vishwaroopa agreed to his request. He made some silent offerings to demon gods so that no one may hear it. The result was that the Yajna advantages were divided between dieties and demon gods.When Lord Indra came to know the treachery he beheaded Vishwaroopa in a state of extreme anger. One of his mouth from which he took wine, turned into a black bee. The second which he used for sucking Sompalli juice became a piglion while the third one used for taking meals was transformed into a partridge.

Lord Indras body was immediately deformed due to sacrelige, the murder of a Brahman. All the gods made repentance for one year but it had no effect on India . They approached Lord Brahma for seeking some remedy to redeem India from the sacrelige. Lord Brahma accompanied by Bhraspati went to Indra. He decided the sacrelige act into four parts.The first part was given to the earth. As a result the earth became uneven. Some of its portion became barren. But as a boon he said that the earth would develop power to fill the khuds automatically.

The second part of the sacrelige was given to the trees and as a result they began to ooze gum. But as a boon he said that the gum of guggul - bdellium olibanum - will be treated pure and they would have the power to rebud from their roots though their upper portion may be dried up.

The third part of the sacrelige was given to the woman folk and so they experience menstruation. As a boon he blessed them to the pure or chaste on the fourth day and capable to give birth to children.

The fourth portion. of the sacrelige was given to water. As a result it is covered with aquatic plant or Shaivaal. As a boon the object in which it is added gains weight.

In this way Lord Brahma freed Indra from the heinous crime by dividing it into four places. Who so ever reads or listens this story is blessed by Bhraspati.

Varth katha – II

Once there was a young girl. She used to water a banana tree. She also used to play under it. One day a strange voice came as if fluttering from its leaves. The girl got frightened and ran away. Next day the girl was again watering the tree. She heard the same voice. She took courage. The voice said, Will you play with me? Will you play with me? The young girl looked here and there. She could locate nobody there. She started to grow weaker and weaker. Her mother noted this change. One day the mother said, My dear girl, what is wrong with you? Why are you losing your health despite best food?
The young girl said, 1 water my banana tree everyday. I hear a strange voice from it. The voice says Will you please play with me? I see no one around me. The mother heard her daughter and said smilingly, You are a very innocent girl. The banana goddess is pleased with you. You welcome her tomorrow for playing.
The girl heard the same voice the next day. She invited her to play with her. After the play was over, the goddess of banana or Lakshmi said to the girl, Will you please accompany me to my house for lunch? The girl said, Have you a house too? The goddess took her to her palace through the hollow of the banana tree and served her with best sweets and fruit in gold and silver pots. She offered her various types of costly gifts. When the girl returned, her mother was happy. She said to her daughter, "Have you offered your friend a return visit? You must invite her next day.

The girl said, We are very poor. How can I extend invitation to her? Our utensils are broken. Our clothes are shabby and torn. We have nothing to sit upon. The mother said, Service and courtesy will compensate for them. We will dean our house and give her a warm welcome. The girl agreed to her mother advice. When she met the goddess the next day, she extended to her invitation for visiting her house. The goddess accepted the invitation. She accompanied the girl to her house the next day. The goddess had hardly stepped into the house when it was converted into a beautiful palace. The broken utensils turned into shining gold and silver ones. The shabby and torn clothes became new and attractive. The ordinary meal prepared by the family tasted like mana. As she was about to leave, the goddess blessed the family with a happy future. The girl mother requested the goddess to stay with them permanently.
The goddess said, 1 am goddess Lakshmi. I am of very unstable and fickle-minded. I cannot commit to stay with you all the time. So long as you work hard and water the banana trees, I shall be there in form of banana fruit. Your business will flourish day by day. Water banana tree, especially on Thursdays.
The goddess then disappeared from the scene leaving plenty of wealth for the family.