SRI SATHYANARAYANA STORY
Once Shownaka and 88,000 other rishis assembled at the forest of Naimisharanya and asked Maharshi Sootha, the narrator of the Puranas, “Oh Maharshi please tell us how mankind can
attain salvation ? “ Maharshi Sootha answered “Once Narada Muni asked lord Vishnu, the consort of Lakshmi, the same question. I will tell you what Lord Vishnu told Narada so listen
Once Narada, during one of his sojourns to the various words, came to the earth. There he saw the people suffering as a result of their past
To alleviate their sufferings and bring them salvation, Narada traveled to Vishnu Loka There he found lord Vishnu adorned with Conch, Chakra, Gadaa and Lotus in his four
hands and a Garland around his neck. Narada spoke humbly. “Oh supreme Lord the savior of the destitute and the troubled I surrender at the feet. Asked Lord Vishnu “Narada why have
you come here ? Tell me what you want and I would fulfill your wishes. To which Narada replied. Oh Bhagavan people on earth are suffering in many ways as a result of their own past
sinful deeds. Please bestow they grace and reveal to me as to how they can be helped. Lord Vishnu replied Oh Narada Mankind can rid itself all its sorrows by performing a puja called
SATHYANARAYANA PUJA. This puja when performed according to religious rites will bring happiness, peace of mind and wealth in this life and salvation beyond. On hearing this Narada was
filled with joy and addressed Lord Vishnu thus. Oh lord in your infinite grace, please tell me the details of the puja that you just mentioned, how and when it is to be performed and who
has performed it before. Lord Vishnu answered: “this puja can be performed any month on any day. One must gather his friends and relatives to perform this puja with devotion
offer fruits, ghee, milk, curd, ghee, wheat flour, sugar and honey to god. After the puja is over, he must read the Sathyanarayana Katha and distribute the Prasad to everybody. If
the puja is thus performed, it will bring fulfillment of once’s wishes. Particularly, in this kaliyuga, this puja brings contentment.
Maharshi Sootha continued addressing the assembled rishies, “Oh Rishies, I will tell you who all have observed the Sathyanarayana puja in the past. Once there lived a very
poor Brahmin in a beautiful city of Kasi . Plagued by acute hunger, he used to wander about here and there every day. Lord Vishnu took the form of an old man, appeared before the poor Brahmin
and asked him , “Friend, why are you wandering aimlessly?” The poor Brahmin replied, Sir I am a very poor man. Unable to bear the pangs of hunger, I beg for alms, Sir; if you know a way out of
this misery, please tell me. Whereupon, Lord Vishnu, who was in the guise of an old man, replied, “Oh Brahmin, Lord Sathyanarayana grants his devotee’s wishes and removes their sorrows.
So you should perform His Puja and reap its benefit. “Lord Vishnu then explained the details of the Sathyanarayana Vratha to the poor Brahmin and disappeared.
The poor Brahmin immediately resolved to perform the puja. After a sleepless night, he got up early in the morning and went to beg for alms, his mind fixed on only on thing,
namely the puja. That day he got a lot of money with which he bought fruits and milk, curd and honey and performed the puja with his relatives and friends. With Lord Sathyanarayans’s
grace, he shed his poverty and lived a contented life. Every month on the full moon day he performed Sathyanarayana puja and finally attained Moksha (i.e. salvation).
Maharishi Sootha thus told the assembled rishies the story which originally was narrated by Lord Vishnu to Narada muni.
The rishies again addressed Maharishi Sootha: “Oh, the Great One, please tell us in detail that who else performed the puja”.
Maharishi Sootha continued: One day when the poor Brahmin from Kashi was observing the Sathyanarayana Vratha, a wood –cutter entered his house and asked for water.
Seeing the Brahmin perform the puja, the wood-cutter inquired what the puja was about and what good it would bring. The Brahmin, who had been bestowed with Lord Narayana’s grace, spoke: “This
is called Sathyanarayana Vratha. Anyone who observes this vratha will get all riches. I myself have been bestowed with wealth. “The wood cutter was delighted to hear this. He
learned the proper way to perform the puja, ate the prasadam that was offered to him and went in his way.
With Lord Sathyanarayana in his mind, the wood –cutter resolved that he would observe the Vratha with whatever he was going to make by selling firewood that day. He went to
that part of the city where rich people lived, sold all the firewood and made twice the normal profit. Pleased with his luck, the wood-cutter bought bananas, Sugar, ghee, milk, curd, honey and
wheat flour and performed the Sathyanarayana puja with his friends and relatives by Lord Narayana’s grace, he acquired enormous wealth and lived comfortably and attained moksha
Maharshi Sootha continued: “Oh, the best of ascetics, I will now tell you the story further. In the olden days there lived a wise king by the name Ulkamukha. He had
mastered all his senses and always spoke the truth. He used to go to temple every day and give gifts to the Brahmins. His lotus-faced wife was a pure and pious woman. One day, the
royal couple was performing the Sathyanarayana puja at the banks of the river Bhadrasheela. At that time, a merchant called “Sadhu” sailed by. Seeing the King performing some puja, Sadhu
stopped his boat, got off and addressed the king humbly: “Oh, King would you kindly tell me what you are doing with such devotion and concentration?” The King replied, “Oh Sadhu, I have no
children. In order that I may be blessed with children, I am worshipping the Almighty Sathyanarayana.”
On hearing this Sadhu spoke humbly: “Oh, King, please tell me how to perform the puja. I would like to observe the Vratha, as I too have no children”. The king told him all
the details. Sadhu returned home and with great joy and told his wife that they should perform Sathyanarayana puja which will fulfill their desire to have children. He then resolved to
perform the puja after the child was born.
Then by the Devine grace, sadhu’s wife Leelavathi conceived and in due course, a beautiful daughter was born to them. They named the child as Kalavathi.
One day, Leelavathi reminded her husband of his promise to perform sathyanarayana puja. Sadhu told his wife that he would do the puja at the time of his
daughter’s wedding and got busy with his work.
In the meantime, Kalavathi grew up and blossomed into a lovely girl. Sadhu sent out messengers to find a suitable bridegroom for his daughter . One of his messengers
found a good-natured and handsome boy in a Vaishya family from Kanchana Nager. Sadhu found the boy to be a suitable mach for Kalavathi and celebrated his daughter’s wedding with great pomp and
show. But Sadhu completely forgot about the Sathyanarayana puja and thus angered Lord Sathyanarayana.
Then , one day Sadhu went on a business trip with his son-in-law. He stopped to trade at Ratnapura that was ruled by king Chandrakethu. Lord Sathynarayana placed a
curse on Sadhu.
One day, some thieves robbed the king’s treasury and wore running away. The king’s soldiers followed them in hot pursuit. The frightened thieves threw all the things
they had robbed near Sadhu and escaped. Finding the King’s treasure near Sadhu and his son-in-law, the king’s solders arrested them and brought them before the king. King ordered them to
be chained and thrown into the prison. Because of Lord Narayana’s maya, nobody even listened to what sadhu had to say in his defense. King Chandra kethu also confiscated all their
Lord Sathyanarayana’s curse did not spare sadhu’s wife. Some robbers broke in to her house and Leelavathi lost every thing.
One day, Kalavathi was very hungry and ran out of the house. She wandered here and there and stopped at a house where Sathyanarayana puja was being performed. She
stayed at that place until the puja was finished and ate the Prasad that was offered to her. When she reached home, it was late night Leelavathi asked her where she had been. Kalavathi
told her mother that she was listening to Sathyanarayana Katha in somebody’s house. Leelavathi at once remembered her husband’s promise to perform the puja and resolved to observe
Sathyanarayana Vratha by herself. She collected all her relatives and friends and prayed to Lord Sathyanarayana to forgive their sins.
Lord Sathyanrayana was pleased with Leelavathi’s prayers. He appeared before king Chandrakethu in his dream and told him to release the two merchants from prison as they were
not the real thieves. If the king failed to do so , Lord Narayana warned that his kingdom, wealth and children would all be destroyed.
Next morning, the king told his counselors about his dream and ordered Sadhu and his son-in-law to be released. The latter were frightened and stood before the king with
bowed heads. The king talked to them gently and said “You two have suffered a great deal because of your fate, but there is nothing to fear now.” The king returned their merchandise, gave them
new clothes and lots of gifts and bade them good-bye.
CHAPTER – 4
Sadhu and son-in-law loaded their boat with the riches given to them by the king and sailed homeward. Lord Sathyanarayana wanted to test the Sadhu further. He took the
form of an ascetic with a trident, appeared before Sadhu and asked him what he was carrying in his boat. Without realizing that the ascetic was indeed Lord Sathyanarayana in disguise, Sadhu
laughed mockingly and said, “You Brahmin, were you thinking of stealing my things? We do not have any valuables in the boat except creeper plants “whereupon Lord Narayana replayed, “Oh, Sadhu, so be
it”. The ascetic then departed in great haste and stood by the seashore.
When Sadhu went into his boat, he discovered to his horror that the boat was filled with creeper plants just as he had falsely told the ascetic. Sadhu swooned at the sight
but he was revived by his son-in-law who spoke. This must be the curse of the ascetic. He must be a mystic. Let’s go to him and ask his forgiveness. The two merchants then went to the
seashore where the ascetic was meditating. They fell to his feet and repeatedly begged for his forgiveness.
Pleased by Sadhu’s devotion, the Lord said, “Sadhu, do not weep. You suffer because you have broken your promises time and again”. On hearing this, Sadhu prayed to God, “Oh lord
even Brahma and other devas drown in your maya, cannot comprehend your forms completely, How can I with my limited knowledge, comprehend your various forms? I pray according to my limited
knowledge. Please show me your true form and bless me.
Upon hearing his prayer, God was pleased and granted his wishes, restoring his merchandise in the boat, and disappeared. The two merchants then joyfully sailed
homeward. On reaching their hometown, they sent a messenger to their wives to inform them of their safe arrival.
At that time, Leelavathi and Kalavathi were performing Sathyanarayana puja. Leelavathi quickly finished the puja and asked her daughter to do so. She then hurried to
the seashore to meet her husband. Kalavathi, in her eagerness to meet her husband, forgot to eat the Prasad and rushed to the seashore. This action of hers angered Lord
Sathyanarayana. He caused the ship and her husband to drown in the sea.
Not finding her husband, Kalavathi started weeping. All were wonderstruck and frightened. Sadhu was at a loss to know what to do. Thinking that it was Lord
Narayana’s Maya, he announced to everybody that he would perform Sathynarayna puja and prayed to Lord Narayana again and again. At this, Lord Sathynarayana, the savior of the sinners, was very
pleased and said, “Oh Sadhu, your daughter did not eat the Prasad in her haste to see her husband, so I made him and the boat to disappear. Let her go home, take the Prasadam and return.” On
hearing this, Kalavathi rushed home took the Prasad. When she returned to the seashore, she found to her joy her husband and the boat. Then Sadhu returned home happily with his relatives
and performed the Sathyanarayana puja every full moon day. With God’s grace, he enjoyed all the comforts in this world and finally attained moksha ie., salvation.
Maharshi Sootha continued: “Once there was a king called Thungadhwaja who underwent a lot of misery after refusing the Sathyanarayana Prasad”.
One day after hunting, he was resting under a shady tree. Some cowherds were happily performing Sathyanarayana puja nearby. The King, in his vanity, refused the Prasad they
offered. When he reached his palace, he found that his kingdom, his 100 sons, his wealth and everything was destroyed. Then it occurred to him that Lord Sathyanarayana was probably angry
with him. He went back to the cowherds, prostrated himself before Lord Sathyanarayana and performed the puja with great devotion. Lord Sathyanarayana showered His blessings and the King
regained everything he had lost earlier. He lived happily and reached Vaikunta after death.
Maharshi Sootha said, “Oh the holy men, I have narrated to you the Sathyanarayana Katha which was originally told by Lord Vishnu to Narada Muni. By observing this Vratha,
Mankind can attain salvation. In this Kaliyuga observance of the Vratha can lead to gratification of one’s whishes.” Thus ended the narration of Maharshi Sootha after which Shownak and
other rishies returned to their respective places.
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