Shri SATYANARAYAN KATHA
Satya Narayan Swami ki Jai
Oh Shri Satyanarayan Swami, you are
great and merciful. I do not know how to describe your virtues. Nobody has been
able to comprehend them all. You are wise. You take away all our sorrows,
anxieties and worries. I bow down to you again and again, my Lord. In every
moment, in every condition, you take care of us. With great devotion we ask you
to shower your mercy and blessings on us.
SATYANARAYAN KATHA CHAPTER 1
Once upon a time there was a forest by the name of Naimi Sharanya where the atmosphere was peaceful and beautiful. Eighty eight thousand Rishis had gathered there and among these was sage Shounik. Shri Sutji Maharaj, disciple of Ved Vyas had also come there. All the Rishis welcomed him and made him sit on a high platform. With great humility they asked Sutji Maharaj a question:
O Maha Muni, please tell us, what type of worship or what type of practice, fast and prayers we should follow so as to be freed from suffering and to achieve whatever we desire. We wish to hear the answer from you as you are the most learned amongst us.
Sutji Maharaj replied: Narad Muni had also asked this very same question to Lord Vishnu. I will tell you what Lord Vishnu had replied to him. So, listen very carefully.
Once whilst visiting many other planets with an intention to do well to others, Narad Muni came to the Earth.
What he saw was that people suffered from many different causes as a result of their past conduct (karma) and were stressed out with worries; a situation for which they themselves were responsible.
Feeling sorry for them, Narad Muni immediately traveled to Vishnu Loka (where Lord Vishnu resides). He wanted to find a solution which would put an end to the sufferings he saw and liberate them from the cycles of births and deaths.
There, Narada Muni saw Narayan (also known as Lord Vishnu) and approached him with reverence. He folded his hands and bowing down he prayed: “Oh Lord Vishnu, you are the Great One, merciful and helpful. You do not have beginning or end. I do not have enough words to praise you. You take care of us all. I bow down to you again and again”.
After listening to the hymn of praise by Narada Muni, Lord Vishnu said, "O Narada Muni, I am happy to see you. Tell me, why have you come to see me all of a sudden? Tell me your problem; I will try to solve it”
Then Narada Muni said, "Oh Lord, you know everything. Nothing is hidden from you, yet you want to hear from me. I have come to ask you for a solution for men in Mritu-Lok where people are unhappy and discontented. There I saw so many people suffering from different causes. I traveled from one place to another and I did not find anyone with peace of mind. Oh Lord, please show me a short and simple way so that they can find relief from the sufferings and get salvation. I want you to take your time in telling me in detail as I am willing to listen to you"
Lord Vishnu was very pleased with Narad Muni and said: “you are not asking anything for yourself. You are concerned about other people’s happiness and for the benefit of mankind you have asked a very good question.
There is a very important vrat (fast and prayer) known as Shri Satyanarayan’s vrat. By observing it one will enjoy happiness on this earth and finally attain blissful salvation”.
Taking note of such a statement from Lord Vishnu, Narada Muni asked "What are the benefits of observing the vrat (fast and prayer) of Satyanarayan? How does one perform this vrat, who had previously performed it and when should one observe it? I want to know everything”.
Then the Lord described, "The observance of this vrat ends suffering and sorrow, increases wealth, blesses the married with children and brings good fortune to everyone, everywhere.
Anyone can perform this vrat preferably every month on Full moon, Umavas or Ekadasi day, but it can also be kept any other day with great devotion and faith.
The vrat (fasting) means not to eat on the day of the prayer. One should promise God to be good and kind to other people. One should make a vow to speak Truth on that day as Satya means Truth and Narayan (another name of Vishnu) refers to the Lord, the One who has created this world and who is known through various names and forms. Satyanarayan Vrat means that we honor the Lord who is Himself Truth and we make a vow of observing Truthfulness. The true fast consists not only in abstaining from eating food, but in abstaining from telling lies. We discipline the body and senses by not eating food and we discipline the mind by training it to adhere to Truth.
This pooja for Satyanarayan should be performed in the evening after sunset with complete devotion and faith. If possible, one should include one’s friends, family and relations along with Brahmins.
Offerings should be made with love and devotion. These offerings ought to include fruits such as bananas, milk, purified butter and wheat flour in multiple of one and one quarter units.
If wheat flour is not available, one should substitute with rice flour cooked with one and one quarter units of either sugar or jaggery. These should be offered to Satyanarayan Swami with full devotion.
The stories about Satyanarayan Swami should be listened to with relatives and friends. Also the priest who reads this Satyanarayan story should be honored. Then food should be served to the relatives, friends and the priest.
All should engage in hymns and prayers before dispersing happily.
Thus observing the vrat men will definitely be freed from sufferings. They’ll also see their desires fulfilled. During Kaliyug (Present Age), the only easy and simple formula on earth is this."
herewith is the first chapter of Satyanarayan story from the REVA section of the epic,
Praise be to Lord Shree Satyanarayan.
SATYANARAYAN KATHA CHAPTER 2
Sutji Continued, O Brahmins! I will now tell you in detail the stories of those who had observed this vrat:
Once in the beautiful city of Kashi (Banaras) lived a very poor Brahmin named Shatanand. Hungry and thirsty he used to wander around the streets of the city daily, but no one would care to give him some food to eat.
Upon seeing the sad Brahmin, Lord Vishnu felt compassion for him. He assumed the appearance of an old Brahmin and went to ask him:
“O Brahmin! Why are you always wandering here and there in great sorrow? I would like to know the reason, so please tell me."
The poor Brahmin said, "I am a very poor Brahmin and I go around various places begging, but people don’t seem to feel sorry for me and my situation is getting worse day by day. Sir, if you know of any means of escaping from this situation, please let me know about it. I would be most grateful to you”.
The Lord in the appearance of the old Brahmin spoke, "There is a remedy which can end all your sufferings and bring happiness in your life. This consists in the observance of the vrat (fast and prayer) of Satyanarayan Swami”.
The old Brahmin asked “who is Satyanarayan Swami?” to which the old Brahmin replied: “He is the all pervading Lord who dwells in the hearts of all; the Merciful, the One indestructible, remover of all sorrows and fulfiller of all desires. Hence O Brahmin, you or anyone who prays to Satyanarayan Swami and follows the observance of the vrat, will be freed from all miseries and despairs of life”.
Lord Satyanarayan in disguise of the old Brahmin explained him all the details about the vrat and disappeared from there.
After reaching home, Shatanand Brahmin told his wife about this conversation and in his mind he made a firm resolution that he would surely perform that vrat the way the Old Brahmin had told him. He kept thinking about it all night and could hardly sleep.
When he got up the next morning, he asked his wife to clean the house and make it pure for he would be doing the pooja when he got back. With this intention in mind he went to beg for alms. The external cleaning of the house symbolizes the internal cleaning of the heart where we invoke God’s presence during the pooja. If we want to invite God we should clean our hearts and make them pure and fit to receive Him.
By the grace of the Lord, that day Shatanand was given abundantly; so he went back home chanting the Lord’s name. That same day with the money he got he invited his friends and relatives and together they performed the pooja. With great humility Shatanand prayed to the Lord: “O Lord, I am an ignorant who has come to surrender at your feet. Please have mercy on me, relieve me from my sufferings and fulfill my desires.”
The poor Brahmin, as a result of the sincere pooja, was freed from all sorts of miseries and became prosperous and happy.
Since then he performed the pooja on a regular monthly basis. The Brahmin freed himself from all sorts of sins and ultimately attained liberation”.
So, Maharshi Sutji continued, "O Brahmins! Shri Vishnu told Narad Muni that in the same manner whoever observes this vrat and performs this pooja properly with devotion will also be freed from all miseries and attain salvation”.
Then all the sages asked Sutji Maharaj, "besides Shatanand Brahmin, who else had observed the pooja and vrat? We are anxious to learn more about it so that we can gain faith in what is being said. Please, tell us”.
Sutji Maharaj said, "There was once a wood cutter who used to earn his living by daily collecting wood and selling it. One day he was thirsty and passed by the house of Shatanand Brahmin at the time that he was getting ready to perform this pooja with his friends and relatives. He left all his wood outside and entered this Brahmin’s house. Note that in reality it was not a physical thirst, it was spiritual thirst; his soul was thirsty due to the pains he was going through. Leaving the bundle of wood aside means that he left aside his worries and burdens and he entered the house with a receptive mind.
He entered the house and bowed to the Brahmin with respect and asked him what he was doing and what would be the benefits of that ceremony. He requested the Brahmin to explain to him in full detail.
Shatanand Brahmin replied, "I am performing Satyanarayan pooja. This pooja fulfils all wishes, removes all pains and it is by its grace that I have reached this position today. You listen to the pooja and take Prasad (offerings) before you leave”.
The wood cutter was extremely happy to learn about the pooja from the Brahmin. He ate the prasad (offerings), drank some water and left for the city. His actual thirst having been satisfied by the spiritual advice he was given.
He decided to perform the pooja in the best possible way with all the money he would get by selling that day’s bundle of wood.
With that thought in his mind, the wood cutter hailed the wood over his head and set off towards that beautiful part of the city where rich people lived.
That day he earned twice the amount he would normally; happily he returned home. On his way back he bought all he needed to perform the pooja.
He invited all his friends and relatives and then with great devotion he performed the pooja.
As a result of this pooja he was relieved from all suffering and all his desires were fulfilled; later he earned his place in Heaven”.
herewith is the second chapter of Satyanarayan story from the REVA section of the epic,
Praise be to Lord Shree Satyanarayan
SATYANARAYAN KATHA CHAPTER 3
Sutji Maharaj continued to say, "Lord Vishnu then told Narad another story about a businessman called Sadhu who promised to keep the vrat(fast) when he would be blessed with a child; but because he did not fulfill his promise he had to go through lots of problems.
Once a king named Ulkamukh was performing the Satyanarayan pooja with his wife Parmughda at the bank of the river Bhadrashil, when a businessman called Sadhu happened to pass by in his boat.
Sadhu saw the king performing a ceremony and so he anchored his boat on the banks of the river and proceeded to where the king (Ulkamukh) was performing this pooja. He asked the king politely:
“Oh, King! I would like to hear what you are doing with such devotion. I want to know so please explain to me in detail”.
The king said, "Dear Sadhu! Lord Vishnu is merciful and fulfils all the desires. I am performing this pooja with my relatives because I desire children"
After listening to the king’s polite statement, Sadhu requested with respect, "Oh, King! Please explain this pooja to me in detail. This pooja most certainly will benefit me because I do not have any children ". Having learned the details from the king, Sadhu returned home happily after trading. He informed his wife Lilavanti about this pooja which would bless them with kids.
Sadhu said to his wife Lilavati, “when God blesses us with a child, I will perform this pooja”.
Lilavati was very religious and totally devoted to her husband. With the grace of Satyanarayan Swami, one day she became pregnant.
A beautiful daughter was born on the tenth month. She was named Kalavati. Time passed and one day when Sadhu returned from a business trip, Lilavati asked her husband with very sweet voice, "Why are you not performing the pooja that you have previously promised?"
Sadhu replied that he would wait a bit and perform the pooja at the time of their daughter’s wedding. Thus he left for business towards the city. Meanwhile, Kalavati grew up in her father’s house.
When Sadhu saw that his daughter had grown up, he instructed a Brahmin(priest) to find a suitable groom for his daughter. This one found a suitable match for Kalavanti in the city of Kanchannagar and brought him to Sadhu.
Sadhu saw that this young man, the son of a merchant had all the qualities to be his son-in-law. He was well mannered and smart looking. Sadhu agreed to their engagement.
Then with all his friends and relatives he happily gave his daughter in marriage to the merchant's son. He was extremely satisfied at the way the wedding had gone.
However, during the wedding again Sadhu forgot to perform the pooja that he had promised. Having waited so long and still no sign of Sadhu fulfilling his promise had made Lord Satyanarayan very angry.
After some time, Sadhu left for business with his son-in-law. They arrived at a beautiful city called Ratnapur, which was part of the kingdom belonging to king Chandraketu.
One day, some thieves stole some valuables from the king's palace and running away they reached the place where the two businessmen were staying. When they saw that the king's soldiers were after them the thieves got scared and left the valuables there and disappeared.
The king's soldiers reached where honest Sadhu and son-in-law were staying. Seeing the king's valuables lying there, they arrested both of them and took them to the king.
The soldiers ran up to the king and proclaimed, "Oh, Master! We have arrested two thieves”.
The king, without even glancing at them, gave his orders. The two were tied down and sent to the prison.
Due to the illusion spread by Lord Satyanarayan, no one heard them claiming their innocence. What’s more, King Chandraketu confiscated their wealth as well.
On the home front, due to the curse from Satyanarayan Swami, Sadhu’s wife Lilavati also became very unhappy. The thieves stole all their wealth.
She didn’t have mental tranquility due to her worries and she also suffered from physical illnesses due to hunger. She started to wander around the houses begging for leftovers.
Her daughter also started wandering and begging. One day when Kalavanti was really hungry, she walked into one Brahmin's house (so as to find some food). There she saw Lord Satyanarayan's pooja being performed.
She sat there and listened to the story; she conveyed her respects by way of a prayer, had some prasad (offerings) and went home late at night.
When she reached home, her mother lovingly asked her, "My dear child! Where have you been so late at night?"
Kalavati immediately informed her mother, "O my dear mother, I saw Satyanarayan pooja taking place at this Brahmin’s house. I had stopped to see this ceremony which I heard fulfills everyone’s wishes."
Upon hearing this statement from her daughter, Sadhu's wife remembered her husband’s unfulfilled promise and started to prepare for Satyanarayan's pooja.
She invited her friends and relatives and performed the pooja. She prayed for an early return of her husband and son-in-law. She begged for forgiveness on behalf of her husband and her son-in-law.
She prayed that the Lord was merciful in forgiving any faults, mistakes or offences that they (her husband and her son-in-law) may have, knowingly or otherwise, done.
Lord Satyanarayan, pleased with this pooja, appeared in king Chandraketu's dream and informed him:
"Dear honorable King, release those two businessmen from the prison in the morning and return them all their wealth that you had taken. Should you fail to obey, I will destroy your kingdom along with your wealth and sons."
After giving such instructions to the king, Satyanarayan disappeared from his dream.
In the morning, upon waking up, the king sat with his men in the assembly hall and told about his dream. He then ordered his servants to free those two innocent men immediately.
The servants freed them and brought them in front of the king.
Then both, Sadhu and his son-in-law, bowed with respect to the king.
The king told them, "You suffered these consequences as God’s punishment. However, you need no longer fear."
They were facilitated with a shave and given a decent bath. The king provided new clothes and ornaments to wear so as to satisfy them.
Then the two businessmen were rewarded compensation with twice the amount that had been confiscated from them.
The king then said, "Dear honest people! You are free to go home." The two bowed to the king with respect and said that they would go home with his blessings.
herewith is the third chapter of Satyanarayan story from the REVA section of the epic,
Praise be to Lord Shree Satyanarayan
SATYANARAYAN KATHA CHAPTER 4
Sutji Maharaj continued narrating to the Rishis that Lord Vishnu told Narad Muni that these two businessmen after traveling many countries and having earned a lot of money proceeded towards their home.
When they were at a short distance from their home, in order to test him, Lord Satyanarayan appeared as an old monk and asked, “O businessman! What is there in your boat? Could you give me some donation from what you have?”
Blinded with his wealth Sadhu replied, "O Brahmin in our boat there is nothing but straws and leaves. We have no money. You have probably come to steal from us. Go away from here”.
After listening to this cynical and arrogant answer, the Dandiswami (a swami with a walking stick) who in reality was Lord Satyanarayan said, "So be it, as you said. There shall be nothing else but straws and leaves in this boat" and moved away.
When Sadhu was about to give orders to carry on with the journey, he was very much astonished for noticing just how much his boat had reduced in weight.
Upon closer examination he fainted when he saw that the boat actually had straws and leaves only. Afterwards when he regained consciousness, his son-in-law asked him: "Sir, why are you so upset?”. Then Sadhu explained him all what had happened. After hearing it, his son-in-law told him: “This must be due to the curse from that Dandiswami. Therefore there is no doubt that only Dandiswami can reverse the situation. So, let us go and ask him for forgiveness"
Both of them went immediately in the search of Dandiswami. Seeing him from far, Sadhu ran towards him and with utmost regret he bowed at his feet. With tearful eyes he humbly requested: "Sir, please forgive me for my arrogance. I committed a big sin by lying to you." Then he bowed to Dandiswami time and again showing his deep sorrow.
Seeing him lamenting, Lord Satyanarayan disguised as Dandiswami made this statement: "O Sadhu, you had promised to observe Shri Satyanarayan vrat and you failed to fulfill your promise. This is the reason why you have had to go through so many sufferings.”
Sadhu then remembered that he had failed twice to fulfill his promise. With repentance he said: “O Lord! I have made a big mistake, but now please have mercy on me and please return my wealth. I will perform the pooja and observe the vrat for sure when I’ll reach home"
Seeing his repentance and humility, Lord Vishnu was delighted with him.
The Lord granted him what he asked for and then disappeared. When Sadhu came to his boat and climbed in, he saw that the boat was again full of wealth and goods. He then happily started his journey back home.
When his city came closer, he sent a servant to go ahead of them and give the news of their arrival to his family.
The messenger went to the city and saw Sadhu's wife. He put his hands together as a mark of respect, (Namaskar) and relayed the message that she had so eagerly been waiting to hear.
Listening to the messenger Lilavati felt very happy. She had just finished performing Satyanarayan pooja at that moment and informed her daughter: “I am on my way see your father. You also do the pooja and come quickly to the boat. However, longing to meet her husband, Kalavanti rushed through the pooja and without taking the Prasad (offering) she run after her mother.
Thus having ignored to take God’s offerings, Lord Satyanarayan was displeased. When she was reaching, she saw that her husband, the boat and its contents were sinking. Everyone started to wonder as to what was happening. Kalavati started to cry with grief and fainted on the ground. Her mother tried to bring her back to consciousness and console her.
Sadhu invoked Shri Satyanarayan Swami and prayed: “O Mercifull One, please forgive any sins we may have committed either in this life or in previous lives”. At that moment a voice was heard from the sky:
“Your daughter came to see her husband without having taken the Shri Satyanarayan Swami Prasad (offerings). Therefore Sadhu, if your daughter goes home, accepts the Prasad and returns, she will be able to meet her husband.
Kalavati heard this voice from the sky and immediately went home and asking for forgiveness, had some Prasad.
When she came back, she was rewarded by her husband’s sight. After this, they all together returned home happily. Sadhu then observed the vrat (fast) and performed with devotion Satyanarayan pooja.
Thereafter, every month on full moon day he made sure of performing Satyanarayan pooja. Thus he lived a happy life on earth and in the end he earned his place at Satyanarayan's abode.
herewith is the fourth chapter of Satyanarayan story from the REVA section of the epic,
Praise be to Lord Shree Satyanarayan
SATYANARAYAN KATHA CHAPTER 5
Sutaji said to the sages: “Now I’ll tell you the story which Lord Vishnu had told Narad Muni about the king Tungadhwaj who suffered the consequences of his arrogance manifested in refusing to take the Prasad.
Once there lived a king named Tungadhwaj. One day the king went to hunt and ended up in a deep forest where some cowherds with their friends and relatives were happily performing Satyanarayan pooja.
Even noticing the humble pooja being carried out, the self centred egoistic king did not pay respect to the Lord nor did he take the Prasad which he was offered after the pooja. Full of pride he left the Prasad and got back home on his horse.
By the Lord’s play his one hundred children together with his wealth and fortune were all destroyed. He was filled with sorrow and after reflecting he realized: “All this is due to my ego and my refusal to take the Prasad”
At that moment he went back to the same place where the pooja had been performed by the cowherds. With folded hands and devotion he went in front of Shri Satyanarayan Swami and asked for forgiveness. He had the Prasad and taking some Charnamrit he went home and placed in his children’s mouths. By the grace of the Lord, they came back to life and he also regained his wealth and possessions.
From that day onwards he kept the vrat and performed Shri Satyannarayan pooja. Thereafter he enjoyed the benefits of it on earth and finally attained liberation.
In present days (Kaliyug), Satyanarayan pooja is very beneficial. Some people call him Kal, some call him Satyanarayan and others call him Satyadev. In Kaliyug (present era) this vrat brings its fruits quickly.
Oh Brahmins! I have told you about Satyanarayan’s vrat and pooja which if properly performed will relieve one from all sorrow.
The very same Satyanarayan (Lord Vishnu) beholds many different appearances so as to fulfill everyone’s wishes.
All you sages let me tell you the fate of some of those who observed the vrat in the past:
The poor Brahmin who became ever happy (Shatanand) reincarnated as Sudama Brahmin. He poured his heart into Lord Krishna and obtained liberation.
The woodcutter reincarnated to be Guhraj who became king of Bhillar and chanted the glories of Lord Ram before obtaining liberation.
King Ulkamukh became King Dashrath (earthly father of Lord Ram) and in exchange for his righteous actions, he was rewarded liberation.
King Tungadhwaj became sage Manu. He conveyed Lord’s message by spreading dharma. He was thus rewarded liberation.
Any person who performs Satyanarayan pooja with devotion and listens to the stories of Satyanarayan will see all his desires fulfilled and will also shed his sins by the Lord’s grace.
That person will enjoy the fruits of their devotion and ultimately earn his place in Vainkuth (where Lord Vishnu lives).
herewith is the fifth chapter of Satyanarayan story from the REVA section of the epic,
Praise be to Lord Shree Satyanarayan.