Once upon a time the Sun God or Surya Narain ruled the world. He looked after both the world and his family and fed them from the same spoon. He gave half a spoon to all the creatures on the world and other half to his family. The family members of Surya Narain did not work hard and thus was deprived of his blessings. Once Surya Narain's wife complained to his mother that her son does not give his family enough food and asked her to go and tell him so that he gave them more food. Surya Narain's mother went to her son and said accordingly. Surya Narain smiled and expressed his helplessness, as he had to feed all the creatures of the world. His mother came back and asked her wife to go by herself and convince him. Surya Narain's wife met her husband at the court. The courtiers welcomed her. Surya Narain made her sit by his side and listened to her problems. The wife insisted him to increase the supply of the food but Surya Narain said her that the family members do not work hard. Even they do not clean the house properly. He gave his wife five dices and asked to play her with the neighbors. Surya Narain's wife returned home. She was happy that she could play dices with her neighbors.
In one Ravivar morning, Surya Narain's wife took the dices to play with her neighbors but she found with great surprise that all of them were very busy with their works right from the sunrise. Some of them were cleaning the house while some others were milking the cows or doing other household works. No neighbor talked to her. Surya Narain's wife entered one house and asked the lady to play with her. The lady replied that it is Ravivar. So she is busy preparing for the Ravivar fast. She had to clean her house and prepare food for worship. The Sun god's wife wanted to know about the process of keeping the fast. The lady told her that it is very simple. One had to avoid salty and fried dishes and take rice before sunset. Shurya Narain's wife then decided to keep fast on all the Sundays (Ravivar). Within a short period after observing the fast, she became very prosperous.
Once Surya Narain decided to check his wife's loyalty. He visited the house in the guise of an old Pandit. He asked for some food. Surya Narain's wife replied that she was on Ravivar's fast. So she requested the Pandit to wait till evening. The Pandit agreed. By evening, when the food was ready, the Pandit insisted to take meals in the same dish in which Surya Narain used to take. Surya Narain's mother was angry but his wife agreed to serve him in the same dish. It was nightfall. The old Pandit wanted to sleep on the same bed where Surya Narain used to sleep. He asked the wife to press his feet.This time Surya Narain's mother was very angry but his wife agreed to press his feet also. As the night advanced, the old man asked the lady to share bed with him. Surya Narain's wife could sense that the person is none other but Surya Narain.She shared the bed with him and from then onwards the Pandit visited the house on every Sunday (Ravivar). The lady became pregnant and eventually gave birth to a child. Everybody knew that she was an impious lady and talked ill about her.
Her mother-in-law could tolerate no more. She said that the lady has done lechery and her husband was not going to forgive him for that. The lady said that the old man who visited her at night was no one else but Surya Narain himself. The mother-in-law still did not believe it and wanted to take a test. She brought an unspinned, 'kachcha' thread, which he tied with a tree and hung the other end in a deep well. She asked Surya Narain's wife to go to the brim of the well. Surya Narain's wife caught the hanging end of the thread and put her leg inside the well. Suddenly Surya Narain appeared in the scene. He saved his wife and narrated the whole story to his mothers. The spectators of this event were pleased. Surya Narain now led happy and prosperous life with his family members.
There is another story related to Ravivar fast. This story depicts the importance of observing fast on Ravivar as well as importance of cow and cow dung and narrates how innocence win over jealousy.
Once there was a pious old lady. She used to get up early in the morning and took her bath. She cleaned the house by plastering it with cow dung and offered the food to Sun God before taking the meal. The lady was living a happy life. Since she did not have a cow of her own, she used to collect the cow dung from her neighbor's house. The neighbor's wife was jealous with her and she tethered her cow inside the room so that the old lady could not collect the dung to cleanse her house. As the old lady could not plaster her house with the cow dung, she did not cook food that day and could not offer anything to the idol. She remained on fast throughout the day and slept in empty stomach.
The sun god appeared before her in her dream and asked her why she did not take her food and why has not offered the foods to the idols. The lady explained everything to him. The Sun God said that he was very happy with the lady as she kept fast on the Sundays. He was pleased with her worship and wanted to give her a beautiful cow. The god then disappeared. In the morning when the old lady opened her eyes she found a beautiful cow standing with a calf in her courtyard. She was happy to see them and arranged hay and water for them.
When the neighbor lady saw this beautiful cow she became more jealous with the old lady. She also noticed that cow did not give ordinary dung, but was of pure gold. The neighbor lady now began to replace the gold dung with the ordinary dung of her own cow. She continued the stealing for a number of days. The Sun God noticed the fiendish behavior of the neighborhood lady and caused a storm at the sun set. The old lady tethered the cow inside the room for safety. She was very surprised too see her cow giving gold dung instead of ordinary one. She understood her neighbor's trick.
The jealous neighbor lady now chalked out another plan to deprive the old lady of her wonder cow. She went to the king, who was a very greedy man. The clever lady told the king that her neighboring old lady has a divine cow, which gives gold dung. The old lady keeps it inside her room so that nobody can have even its glimpse. She also added that the cow suits the grace of the king, so he must occupy it.
The king sent his courtier immediately to bring the cow. The courtier when reached the house, the old lady was about to offer food to the idol of Sun God. The courtier untied the rope from the peg and took away the cow. The poor lady prayed and wept but all was in vain. She skipped the meal that day and prayed to her god for the safe return of the cow. She could not sleep at night. On the palace, the king was having a sound sleep as he could achieve the divine cow. But he dreamt about Sun God who threatened him by saying he did not deserve the cow, which he offered to the old lady as a token of his affection for her devoted worship.
The king woke up and was badly shaken to see the entire palace full of cow dung. There was a bad smell in the palace. In the morning the king sent the cow back to the old lady with due honour. He also gave the poor lady some wealth. The neighbor lady had substantial punishment. The king also proclaimed order to all over his kingdom that all of his subjects should observe fast on Sunday or Ravivar if they wanted their desires to be fulfilled. Every single people of that kingdom became happy and prosperous and could avoid illness and natural calamity.
(Last Updated on : 02-04-2015)
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