Once there was an old woman who used to observe Friday fast regularly. She worshipped Shukra's idol by giving him holy dips and offering best food to it as Bhoga. One day the old lady decided to go on a pilgrimage but could not make up her mind as she was worried about giving holy dips and offering bhoga to the Shukra's idol. She expressed her anxiety to her daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law was not a religious lady at all but she agreed to worship the Shukra's idol in her absence, as she wanted to get rid of her mother-in-law for sometime.
The old lady was quite satisfied and left for the pilgrimage. The daughter in-law started dishonoring the Shukra's idol. She used to squeeze a few drops of water from her wet saree and gave the idol a dip in it. She prepared good food in her mother-in-law's absence but offered the god only remnants of the food as bhoga. Even this turned heavy for her and she decided to get rid of the idol. She put the Shukra's idol in the waste paper basket and threw it in the garbage. A wise lady was passing by that time, she was attracted by the bright features of the Shukra's idol in the heap of the garbage. The lady picked up the holy idol from the garbage and with great respect brought it to her house. The lady gave the idol holy dips and offered him with best bhoga. She also observed fast on the Fridays in the name of Shukra. The lady became very rich while on the other hand the old lady's family became poorer and poorer.
The old lady returned from her pilgrimage. She noticed that her family is poverty-stricken and could not found the Shukra's idol. She asked her daughter-in-law about the idol but she preferred to keep mum. When the old lady repeated her question for the third time, the daughter-in-law described how she threw away the idol in the garbage. The old lady was astonished. She went to the garbage heap and searched for the idol but was disappointed, as she found nothing there. She returned home and decided to go from door to door to enquire about
The old lady started searching in their neighbourhood for the idol and finally reached the rich lady's house. The rich lady wondered as she was insane to throw away the idol in the garbage.She also added that the old lady has no regards for the deities and she should be punished for it. The old lady narrated her the whole story and rich lady felt sorry for her daughter-in-law. She decided to return the idol as Shukra has blessed her with health and wealth.
The old lady then took back the idol with full respect and placed it in the worshipping dais. She observed Shukra's fast as penitence. Lord Shukra again blessed them with health and wealth and their days of suffering were away. The family enjoyed a happy life thereafter.
(Last Updated on : 17-01-2011)
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