Once in a village, there was an old lady. She had seven sons out of which six were doing well and were earning handsome salaries. The old lady was biased. She used prepare good meals for her six sons and served them lavishly and all the leftover, she used to give to the seventh son. The seventh son was very innocent and he thought his mother adores him too much that she gives him good meals. One day he told his wife – “look, my mother loves and adores me the most and serves me the best meal.” His wife was aware of his mother’s behavior. She told him – “your mother servers you the leftovers of all your brothers. If you don’t trust me, one day you yourself can find out.” The day came when there was a big festival and the mother made seven different dishes and special dessert/sweet as “Laadu” for her children. The seventh son wanted to test his mother so he gave excuse of headache and lay down in the kitchen. He covered his face under a thin cloth and was seeing all the activities. His mother served the six sons with best of the dishes and made them sit on. After all six were done, she collected the leftovers from their plates and made one new plate for her seventh son. Then she called her seventh son – “come have your food.” The son replied “I am not hungry; I will not have food, I am going to town.” His mother replied “if you are planning to go tomorrow, go today.”
He left his house. While leaving he went to see his wife who was busy making cow dung cakes. He said –
Her husband replied – “I don’t have anything, I have this ring just keep this as token.” and you too give me some token.” She replied – “What do I have?” I have these hands filled with cow dung and she makes the mark of those hands on his back. The boy left. That’s why it is said that during marriage a wife leaves impression of her hands on her husband’s back.
He reached a town far from his village. He went to a shopkeeper and asked for the job. The shopkeeper was in need of a helping hand so he kept him and told him that he will be paid accordingly to his work efficiency. He started work from morning 7 am to 11 pm. In few days he started managing all the transactions of the shop. All other 7-8 servants of the shop were mesmerized by his working style. With in 2-3 months he became the share holder of half the profit of the shop. In twelve years he himself became the prominent owner. His boss left all the responsibilities on him and went out of the town. On the other hand his wife was in great trouble. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-laws were very cruel to her. They used to send her to the Jungle to collect wood sticks for fire and they used to give her leftover food and water in coconut shell. She was in terrible physical & mental state. Once when she was on her way to Jungle, she saw few women doing some rituals and fast. She asked them about what were they doing and what was the purpose behind doing that? One of the woman replied – “This is the Santoshi Mata’s fast which fulfill all the wishes, remove problems and poverty, free from troubles, finish health problems, resolve cases if any, bless with children to those who need, girls find their perfect match and wives find their lost husband.” That woman also explained her complete method of doing that fast.
From them she learned the process of fast. On her way, she bought jaggery and chickpeas from the money she got after selling the wood. Then she started preparation for fast. She saw a temple and she went there and asked “whose temple is this?” People replied “Its Santoshi Mata’s temple.” She went in and lied down at Mata’s feet and started crying bitterly. She requested Santoshi Mata to forgive her and to free her from all problems. Mata became sympathetical. One Friday she received letter from her husband and next Friday there was money from him. Her in-laws didn’t like this and they said now she will not listen to us. With tears in her eyes she said–“If letters and money are coming, it’s good for all of us” and she ran to Mata’s temple. She told Mata that she never asked for money, she just wanted her husband back. Mata became happy and said – “Go, your husband will definitely come.” She went home happily and continued her routine work. On the other side Mata came in her husband’s dreams and reminded him of his wife and his home. He said – “Mata how can I go I have too much of work and the transactions cannot be wrapped so quickly.” Mata replied – “tomorrow morning after shower just take my name, light a lamp of ghee and see all your transactions will be cleared and you will have lot of money to take back.””
In morning when he told everyone about his dream, people started making fun and told such things happen only in dreams. There was one old man, who said – “what’s the harm in doing what Mata has asked to do?” He agreed, took shower, bowed his head and lit a lamp of ghee in Mata’s name. After that he went to shop. Miracle happened. All his transactions were resolved and he had lot of money in the end. He became happy and started buying things for his family and he left for his home. On the other hand, his wife everyday while returning from jungle used to stop daily at Mata’s temple and converse with Mata.
One day she asked – “Hey Mata! Why wind is blowing?” Mata said, “Your husband is coming. You divide all your wooden sticks in 3 bundles and go to the riverbank, keep one bundle there, one here and third bundle on your head. After seeing that bundle your husband will feel like having brunch. He will halt here, make his lunch and then come home. You go home and in the chowk keep your bundle and call your mother-in-law – “sasuji, take the wood sticks and give the left over to eat, water in coconut shell, who is the guest today?” She understood and did all according to what Mata asked her to do.
With third bundle on her head she went home and called her mother-in-law – “sasuji, take the wood sticks and give the left over to eat, water in coconut shell, who is the guest today?” On hearing this, her mother-in-law with her fake concern came out and told her – “Bahu your husband has come, Come inside and have delicious food and wear these good clothes and ornaments.” On listening this, her husband came out and recognized the token (ring) he gave his wife. He asked his mother– “who is she?” His mother replied – “she is your wife, in these twelve years she has become mad, she just keep on wandering and doesn’t do any work, today after seeing you she is throwing tantrums.” He said “I know both of you, give me the keys of other house, I will live there.”
His mother said – “as you wish” and threw the bundle of keys in front of him. He kept his stuff on the III floor. In just one day the place became like a king’s palace. Friday came and wife told her husband she wanted to do Santoshi Mata’s fast and want to do “Udhyapan” (a conculudatory fast). He agreed. She started to preparations for the “Udhyapan”. She invited her nephews for the food. They accepted the invitation, and their mothers told them to ask for some sour stuff to eat so that her fast is ruined. Boys did the same. After they had food they asked for something sour. She said – “sour cannot be eaten today, as it is not allowed with Santoshi Mata’s Prasad.” Boys got up and asked for money. She was innocent so she gave them money. The boys went and had tamarind from that money. Santoshi Mata became angry with this and king’s men arrested her husband. She became very helpless and rushed to Mata’s feet and asked – “Mata what is this? Why all sorrows have come back?” Mata replied – “you have made mistake in the process of fast, you have forgotten everything so early.” She replied I made the mistake, I was not aware that boys will buy sour stuff out of that money, I will do Udhyapan once again; Mata please forgive me.” Mata said you go home, you will find your husband on your way home. And the same happened she met her husband on the way. After seeing him she asked him where was he? He replied that king wanted to meet him so he went to the palace. Then they went home.
Friday arrived. She again planned for Udhyapan. She again invited the boys (her nephews). Their mothers again asked them to repeat the same. The boys again asked for something sour after food. She reluctantly told – “you will not get anything sour, come if you want to.” After that she invited Brahmin kids for food. Santoshi Mata became happy with her dedicated worship and blessed her. Mata’s blessing brought her a son in ninth month. She started going to temple with her son everyday.
One day Mata thought she comes everyday, today I shall visit her. I should see her house. Thinking this Santoshi Mata incarnated a giant avatar, jagarrey and chaana in her mouth and her lips were like elephant trunk, on which flies were roaming. Like this Mata went to her place. As Mata entered, her mother-in-law got scared and started shouting some devil is coming in, throw her out otherwise she will eat some one. The seventh daughter-in-law was standing on window and was watching this. She came running – “today my Mata has come to my place.” Her mother-in-law got worried that why is she so restless that she has thrown her son away.
Due to Mata’s power with in a while there were all boys seen around. She told her mother-in-law that this is Santoshi Mata whom I worship and due to her blessing we have flourished. Listening this all opened their doors and windows and went to Mata’s feet and asked for forgiveness. They started saying – “Mata we are fools, ignorant, we have hampered your fast and Udhyapan; Hey Mata kindly forgive us.” Listening this Santoshi Mata became happy. The way Mata has been kind to her disciples let she be kind and generous to everyone. One who read this Katha, all their wishes are fulfilled.