This story is connected with Thursday Fast. Devotees listen to this story before breaking their fast. They also worship Vrihaspati Mahadeva or Jupiter. They wear yellow clothes and shower yellow flowers. Meals with a yellow color are preferred. Women worship the banana tree and water it. Food items are made with cow’s yellow-colored ghee. Once there was a rich man. He had a big palace. His wife was always busy with household matters. One day, a sadhu came to his house. The rich man was away. His wife was busy with some work. The sadhu said, “O, kind lady, I am hungry. Will you give me something to eat?”
The lady said, “Today is Thursday. I am busy cleaning my courtyard. Come on some other day when I am free”. The sadhu went away empty-handed. He visited her house again on another day and said, “O, kind lady, I am hungry. Will you give me something to eat?” The lady was a miser. She said, “I am arranging bath for my grandson. I am not free. Come on some other day”. The sadhu again went away empty-handed. He visited her house again for the third time. She repeated her words and said, “You always visit when I am busy. You are not a wise sadhu”. The sadhu said humbly, “Will you give me something to eat if you are free on some day?”
The lady answered, “I will definitely give you something to eat if l’m free. The problem with me is that I am never free. Is there some way out for me? Tell me the way”. The sadhu smiled and said, “Yes, there is a way out”. “What is it?” asked the lady. The sadhu said, “Get up late on every Thursday morning. Do not clean your kitchen before cooking meals. Put the cooked meals behind the hearth. Wash your hair and clothes on every Thursday. Ask your husband to get himself shaved on this day”. The sadhu disappeared and the lady followed his instructions. The rich man family became poorer and poorer. They could hardly afford meals for one time.
The sadhu came again and said, “O, kind lady, I am hungry. Will you give me something to eat?” The lady said, “I am very poor these days. I have nothing to spare for you. I have nothing to do throughout the day”. “But when I visited you last, you were very busy. You gave me nothing to eat under the pretext that you would give me something when you were not busy. Today you are free; still you are not giving me anything. I doubt your intentions”, said the sadhu and he disappeared. The lady said to her husband, “We are in great difficulty. Think of something for the livelihood”.
The man said, “It is better to beg outside our land rather than take resort to robbery or stealing. I shall go to some far off place for business”. The lady agreed. Before departure, the man advised his wife, saying, “Always keep the water pitcher full of water. It should never be empty. Let the hearth-fire burn day and night. It should never be put out”. And with these words, the businessman left his house. The lady tried to follow her husband advice. Incidentally, one day the hearth-fire got extinguished. The lady felt sorry and asked her maid to go to the neighborhood and fetch some charcoal fire.
The maid went to the neighborhood but returned very late. The lady said, “Why are you so late? I have been waiting for you all along”. The maid begged pardon and said, “Our neighbor is a rich lady. She keeps fast on every Thursday and listens to the Thursday story. I joined her and listened to the story. Please excuse me for being late”. The lady said, “I also used to keep fast on Thursdays. We, too, were very rich those days. Hence onward, I shall also observe this fast”. The lady observed Thursday fast continuously for seven weeks. She wore yellow sari, took some gram pulse on her palm and listened to the story of Vrihaspati.
Vrihaspati was pleased with her devotion. He appeared before her as a sadhu and said, “Lord Vrihaspati wants to oblige you. You can ask for any favor”. The lady said, “I am very poor. Let our wealth and property be restored to us”. The sadhu said, “Let it be! And he disappeared immediately”. The lady continued with the Thursday fasts for another seven weeks. The sadhu again appeared on the seventh Thursday and said, “O, gentle devotee, Lord Vrihaspati is pleased with your devotion. He wants to oblige you. You can ask for any other favor. He will fulfill your desire”. The lady said, “Lord Vrihaspati has restored our wealth and property. But these possessions are useless without my husband”.
The sadhu said, “Your husband will return soon and he disappeared. The businessman had a dream. Some sadhu said to him, “You are rich now. Your wife is waiting for your happy return”. The businessman woke up and decided to return home. He was at a far off place and it took him a couple of months to reach home. When the businessman neared his village, he enquired about his wife’s well-being from women fetching water from the village well. One of them said, “Your wife is enjoying a happy and rich life. A sadhu visits her house every Thursday. He is very kind to her”. The businessman got suspicious about his wife fidelity. Incidentally, it was a Thursday.
He thought of keeping a watch on her. When he reached his house, a sadhu came out of the door. The businessman caught hold of him and said, “Who are you? Why do you visit my wife in my absence? I will kill you”. The sadhu said nothing but simply smiled. Meanwhile, his wife also came out and said, “Please do not kill him. He has helped me during our days of trial”. The businessman got more suspicious. He pulled out his sword and attacked the sadhu. To his great surprise, his sword turned into a wooden one. For a few seconds, he stood bemused, but soon realized his mistake. He fell on the sadhu’s feet and begged for pardon. He also came to know that the sadhu was no one else but Lord Vrihaspati himself. Thereafter, the husband and wife observed Thursday fast regularly and for a long time lived a happy life.
Vrihaspativar ki Kahani - 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, “I 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, “You have 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 that it got 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 delicious. 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, “I am goddess Lakshmi. I am 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 the form of banana fruit. Your business will flourish day by day. Water the banana tree, especially on Thursdays”. The goddess then disappeared from the scene leaving plenty of wealth for the family.
Vrihaspativar ki Kahani - III
Showing discourtesy or disgrace to guru brings sufferings and sorrows. One heinous deed affects the entire society. Once Lord Indra, surrounded by many gods, Rishis, Kinnaras and Gondharvas sat on his throne in a proudy mood. As guru Vrihaspati reached there, all of them, except Indra, stood up to pay respect. Indra used to pay obedience to his guru regularly but he showed discourtesy at that time. Vrihaspati felt bad and left his palace. As Vrihaspati left the palace, Lord Indra realized his mistake and repented over his action. He felt that all his luxurious possessions were due to his guru blessings. And his anger will turn it into dust.
Indra decided to go to Vrihaspati and tender apology for his action assuming that it may pacify his anger. He went to Vrihaspati. Vrihaspati 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 Vrihaspati’s blessings, the gods lost all battles one after the other.
After their defeat, the gods went to Lord Brahma and related the whole story. Indra begged for safety and asked for some strategy. Lord Brahma said, “You have not done well by disgracing Vrihaspati. Anyways, 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’s grace, demon Vrishvarsha was defeated and Lord Indra regained his kingdom. Lord Indra 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 while the third mouth was used 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 gods went to Vishwaroopa.
He implored, “Honorable 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 deities 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 Indra’s body was immediately deformed due to sacrilege, the murder of a Brahman. All the gods made repentance for one year but it had no effect on Indra. They approached Lord Brahma for some remedy to redeem Indra from the sacrilege. Lord Brahma, accompanied by Vrihaspati, went to Indra. He divided the sacrilege act into four parts. The first part was given to the earth. As a result the earth became uneven. Some of its portions became barren. But as a boon, he said that the earth would develop power to fill the khuds automatically. The second part of the sacrilege 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 re-bud from their roots though their upper portion will be dried up. The third part of the sacrilege 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 sacrilege 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 to this story is blessed by Vrihaspati.