|Story of Santoshi Mataji|
THE FRIDAY FASTING STORY [KATHA]
There 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. [Salutations to Mother Santoshi]