Bhraspatiwar Vrat | Thursday Fasting

Bhraspatiwar Vrat | Thursday Fasting

Bhraspatiwar or Thursday is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Brihaspati, the Guru of Devas who is represented by planet Jupiter.

People keep fast on Thursday to remove obstacles of married life and for early marriage, it is said keeping fast on this day helps you to gain a job, health, wealth, and happiness in life.  The fast is especially beneficial for the women of the household to fulfill all their desires.

Lord Vishnu is the preserver of the universe, he is usually depicted as having a dark, or pale blue complexion and having four arms. He holds a Padma (lotus flower) in his lower left hand, Kaumodaki Gada (mace) in his lower right hand, Panchajanya Shankha (conch) in his upper left hand, and the Sudarshana Chakra (discus) in his upper right hand.

Method of Keeping Thursday Fast

Thursday fast can be started on the first Thursday of Shukla Paksha of any month and can be kept for 7, 11, 21, 40, 51, or 108 times days. On Thursday person observing fast should get up early take a bath wear clean clothes and pray to Lord Brihaspati in the morning. Katha of Lord Brihaspati is heard, yellow flowers and sweets are offered to god.

Yellow is the most auspicious color for this day, people observing Thursday fast wear yellow color clothes and in the evening after offering prayers eat yellow color food made of Besan flour and channa dal which is itself of yellow color.

Devotees should take a meal once a day which can be after evening prayers, and don’t eat salt for Thursday fast. People worship the banana plants and abstain from eating a banana on Thursday. While you should not wash your hair on Thursday and men should not shave.

Jupiter is benevolent and can bestow immense financial success, fame, and harmony in marital relationships, so one should keep the fast with pure dedication and sincerity to fulfill its desires.

Mantra dedicated to Lord Vishnu

“Om Namo Narayana”

Also Read: Each Day of a Week is dedicated to Hindu God

Bhraspatiwar Vrat Katha in English

It is a story of ancient times – There was a king who was very powerful and munificent he uses to observe fast on every Thursday and offer worships. This was something his Queen detested very much neither she observed fasts nor did she give a single paisa in charity. She used to forbid the king also from doing so. Once it so happened that the king went to the forest to hunt wild game, there were only the Queen and her maids in the palace. Meanwhile, Guru Brihaspati donned in the disguise of a saint, came to the palace to collect alms.

When the saint asked the Queen to give alms she said. “O Saint! I am fed up of making charities tell me some way by means of which all this wealth comes to an end and I may live comfortably”. Brihaspati God in disguise of saint said “O Devi you are very strange is there anyone on earth to whom children and wealth become the cause of their plight? If you have a lot of money you may perform auspicious deeds with it and this will keep you happy in this world and in heaven both”. But the saint’s sermons did not make the queen happy she said, “I don’t want such wealth which I may have to give to others in charity or I may have to waste all my time taking care of it”.

The Saint said If this is what you wish, Do as I say, On Thursday’s smear your house with cow dung, apply yellow clay to your hair while washing it and take bath at the same time, take meat and wine during meals, give your clothes to washerman for washing and if you do this for 7 consecutive Thursday’s, all your wealth will be destroyed by saying this Brihaspati God in the guise of a saint, vanished.

Hardly three consecutive Thursdays had passed, acting on the advice of the saint that all the wealth of the queen was destroyed. The family began starving. One day the king said to the queen “O Queen! You stay here and let me go to some other country so that I may earn my livelihood engaging myself in ordinary jobs in my own country won’t suit my status”. Saying this king set out to some other country. There he began earning his livelihood by cutting firewood from the forest and selling these in the town.

The queen and her maids had begun feeling the absence of the king. Once when the queen and her maids had to starve for seven continuous days the queen said to one of her maids “My sister lives in the nearby town she is very wealthy go and bring something from her so that we may manage our meals for a few days”. The maid went to the house of Queen’s sister it was Thursday. The queen’s sister was listening to stories related to Brihaspati God the maid conveyed the message to the queen to her but she gave no reply. The maid was greatly aggrieved to get no reply from the queen’s sister she also became very angry. The maid returned and told everything to the queen the helpless as she had become began cursing her fate.

On the other side, the queen’s sister thought – “My sister’s maid had come and got no reply from me, she must have been terribly aggrieved”. So after listening to stories related to Brihaspati God and having offered her worships, she came to the palace of the queen and began saying “O sister! I was observing fast in the worship of Brihaspati God. Meanwhile, your maid happened to come, but since, during the period while one is listening to the stories related to a deity, one is neither supposed to speak nor is one supposed to leave the place of worship. I too had to observe silence. Now please tell me why you had sent your maid to my house”

The queen said “Sister! I had sent my maid to your house because we had nothing to eat” and saying these eyes welled up with tears. She told her sister how she had been starving along with her maids. The queen’s sister said, “Look, Brihaspati God fulfills everyone’s wishes go and look inside you may find grains somewhere in your palace”.

Hearing this one of the maids went inside to check and found a pitcher full of grains in a corner. The maid was greatly surprised as she had checked all the vessels and pitchers earlier and they were all empty. She came and informed the queen of her finding the maid said to the queen “O queen! In a way, we can say that we observe fast when we have nothing to eat so why not inquire from your sister about the method of observing this fast and then we too shall observe fast”.

On the advice of her maid, the queen inquired from her sister about the observance of fasts in the worship of Brihaspati God. Her sister said, “During the observance of fast in the worship of Brihaspati God once should offer Gram pulses and raisins to the root of the Banana tree and worship Lord Vishnu”/ Take meals prepared with yellow materials and listen to stories related to Brihaspati God. This pleases the deity and he fulfills all wishes”. Having given details of method regarding the observance of fasts and offering worships the queen’s sister returned home.

The queen and her maid both decided that they would definitely offer their worships to Brihaspati God, so after seven days they observed fast. They went and collected Grams and Jaggery from the stable and offering gram pulses to the root of the banana tree. They worshipped Lord Vishnu, Now from where to get meals prepared with yellow materials? They became very sad, but since they had observed the fast, Brihaspati God was pleased with them he came in the guise of a very ordinary person with two platters full of meals made of yellow materials, in his hands. He handed it over to the maid and said “O maid! This is for you and your queen, both of you should take it”. The maid became very happy to get the food; she came and told everything to the queen.

And since then both began observing fasts and offering their worships to Brihaspati God. With the kind blessings of Brihaspati God, they began prospering once again. But the queen again became very lethargic like she was before. Then her maid said “Look, queen! earlier too you used to be very lethargic and it was a painful job for you to take care of your money and wealth and this is the reason why you lost all your wealth and now when we are prospering again with the blessings of Brihaspati God you are being lazy like earlier times, it is with great difficulty that we have regained our prosperity and so we must make charities now. Now you should give food to the starving, arrange water for thirsty travelers, make charities to the Brahmins arrange construction of wells ponds tanks of water temples, and schools for imparting knowledge arrange marriages of unmarried girls. I mean to say that you should start spending for good causes and this will bring name and fame to your family, ensure entitlement to the heavenly abode for yourself and your ancestors will also be pleased”.

Acting on the advice of her maid the queen began spending for good causes which earned her a very good name, One day the queen and her maid began thinking “God knows how the king is and under what circumstances he is surviving” they offered prayers to Brihaspati God with great devotion. “Wherever be the king, may he return the soonest”?

On the other side the king, in a foreign land, was leading a very sad life; he would bring firewood from the forest every day and manage his living with great difficulty by selling it in the market of the town. One day remembering his good old days he became very sad and began weeping,

Just then Brihaspati God in the guise of a saint came and spoke to the king. “O woodcutter why is it that you are sitting alone in this desolate forest? What is it that worries you? Tell me”.

Hearing this king’s eyes welled up with tears he offered his situations to the saint and narrated his plight. Saints are very kind at heart he said to the king “O king your wife had committed a crime against Brihaspati God and it is because of that crime that you are undergoing these problems you need not worry now God will give you more than what you possessed earlier Look your wife has already begun observing fasts on Thursdays now you too should take gram pulses and jaggery, put them in a mug full of water and offer to worships to a banana tree with it. And after this either narrate the stories related to Brihaspati God or listen to it, God will fulfill all your wishes“.

Hearing the saint speak thus the king said: “O Saint it is with great difficulty that I earn my livelihood by selling firewood I am not able to save single paise form my earnings last night I saw my queen in great mental distress in my dream, it’s in no way possible for me to know her wellbeing then apart from this I have no knowledge of any story related to Brihaspati God, How would I narrate the stories?”.

The saint said, “O king determine yourself to observe fasts and offer worships to Brihaspati God he himself will lead you Go to the town to sell firewood on Thursdays like other days you will earn twice as much the amount you will earn will be sufficient to buy you meals and material for the worship of Brihaspati God and the story related to Brihaspati God is”.

Bhraspatiwar Vrat Katha in Hindi

प्राचीन समय की बात है। एक नगर में एक बड़ा व्यापारी रहता था। वह जहाजों में माल लदवाकर दूसरे देशों में भेजा करता था। वह जिस प्रकार अधिक धन कमाता था उसी प्रकार जी खोलकर दान भी करता था, परंतु उसकी पत्नी अत्यंत कंजूस थी। वह किसी को एक दमड़ी भी नहीं देने देती थी।

एक बार सेठ जब दूसरे देश व्यापार करने गया तो पीछे से बृहस्पतिदेव ने साधु-वेश में उसकी पत्नी से भिक्षा मांगी। व्यापारी की पत्नी बृहस्पतिदेव से बोली हे साधु महाराज, मैं इस दान और पुण्य से तंग आ गई हूं। आप कोई ऐसा उपाय बताएं, जिससे मेरा सारा धन नष्ट हो जाए और मैं आराम से रह सकूं। मैं यह धन लुटता हुआ नहीं देख सकती।

बृहस्पतिदेव ने कहा, हे देवी, तुम बड़ी विचित्र हो, संतान और धन से कोई दुखी होता है। अगर अधिक धन है तो इसे शुभ कार्यों में लगाओ, कुंवारी कन्याओं का विवाह कराओ, विद्यालय और बाग-बगीचों का निर्माण कराओ। ऐसे पुण्य कार्य करने से तुम्हारा लोक-परलोक सार्थक हो सकता है, परन्तु साधु की इन बातों से व्यापारी की पत्नी को ख़ुशी नहीं हुई। उसने कहा- मुझे ऐसे धन की आवश्यकता नहीं है, जिसे मैं दान दूं।

तब बृहस्पतिदेव बोले “यदि तुम्हारी ऐसी इच्छा है तो तुम एक उपाय करना। सात बृहस्पतिवार घर को गोबर से लीपना, अपने केशों को पीली मिटटी से धोना, केशों को धोते समय स्नान करना, व्यापारी से हजामत बनाने को कहना, भोजन में मांस-मदिरा खाना, कपड़े अपने घर धोना। ऐसा करने से तुम्हारा सारा धन नष्ट हो जाएगा। इतना कहकर बृहस्पतिदेव अंतर्ध्यान हो गए।

व्यापारी की पत्नी ने बृहस्पति देव के कहे अनुसार सात बृहस्पतिवार वैसा ही करने का निश्चय किया। केवल तीन बृहस्पतिवार बीते थे कि उसी समस्त धन-संपत्ति नष्ट हो गई और वह परलोक सिधार गई। जब व्यापारी वापस आया तो उसने देखा कि उसका सब कुछ नष्ट हो चुका है। उस व्यापारी ने अपनी पुत्री को सांत्वना दी और दूसरे नगर में जाकर बस गया। वहां वह जंगल से लकड़ी काटकर लाता और शहर में बेचता। इस तरह वह अपना जीवन व्यतीत करने लगा।

एक दिन उसकी पुत्री ने दही खाने की इच्छा प्रकट की लेकिन व्यापारी के पास दही खरीदने के पैसे नहीं थे। वह अपनी पुत्री को आश्वासन देकर जंगल में लकड़ी काटने चला गया। वहां एक वृक्ष के नीचे बैठ अपनी पूर्व दशा पर विचार कर रोने लगा। उस दिन बृहस्पतिवार था। तभी वहां बृहस्पतिदेव साधु के रूप में सेठ के पास आए और बोले “हे मनुष्य, तू इस जंगल में किस चिंता में बैठा है?”

तब व्यापारी बोला “हे महाराज, आप सब कुछ जानते हैं।” इतना कहकर व्यापारी अपनी कहानी सुनाकर रो पड़ा। बृहस्पतिदेव बोले “देखो बेटा, तुम्हारी पत्नी ने बृहस्पति देव का अपमान किया था इसी कारण तुम्हारा यह हाल हुआ है लेकिन अब तुम किसी प्रकार की चिंता मत करो। तुम गुरुवार के दिन बृहस्पतिदेव का पाठ करो। दो पैसे के चने और गुड़ को लेकर जल के लोटे में शक्कर डालकर वह अमृत और प्रसाद अपने परिवार के सदस्यों और कथा सुनने वालों में बांट दो। स्वयं भी प्रसाद और चरणामृत लो। भगवान तुम्हारा अवश्य कल्याण करेंगे।”

साधु की बात सुनकर व्यापारी बोला “महाराज। मुझे तो इतना भी नहीं बचता कि मैं अपनी पुत्री को दही लाकर दे सकूं।” इस पर साधु जी बोले “तुम लकड़ियां शहर में बेचने जाना, तुम्हें लकड़ियों के दाम पहले से चौगुने मिलेंगे, जिससे तुम्हारे सारे कार्य सिद्ध हो जाएंगे।”

लकड़हारे ने लकड़ियां काटीं और शहर में बेचने के लिए चल पड़ा। उसकी लकड़ियां अच्छे दाम में बिक गई जिससे उसने अपनी पुत्री के लिए दही लिया और गुरुवार की कथा हेतु चना, गुड़ लेकर कथा की और प्रसाद बांटकर स्वयं भी खाया। उसी दिन से उसकी सभी कठिनाइयां दूर होने लगीं, परंतु अगले बृहस्पतिवार को वह कथा करना भूल गया।

अगले दिन वहां के राजा ने एक बड़े यज्ञ का आयोजन कर पूरे नगर के लोगों के लिए भोज का आयोजन किया। राजा की आज्ञा अनुसार पूरा नगर राजा के महल में भोज करने गया। लेकिन व्यापारी व उसकी पुत्री तनिक विलंब से पहुंचे, अत: उन दोनों को राजा ने महल में ले जाकर भोजन कराया। जब वे दोनों लौटकर आए तब रानी ने देखा कि उसका खूंटी पर टंगा हार गायब है। रानी को व्यापारी और उसकी पुत्री पर संदेह हुआ कि उसका हार उन दोनों ने ही चुराया है। राजा की आज्ञा से उन दोनों को कारावास की कोठरी में कैद कर दिया गया। कैद में पड़कर दोनों अत्यंत दुखी हुए। वहां उन्होंने बृहस्पति देवता का स्मरण किया। बृहस्पति देव ने प्रकट होकर व्यापारी को उसकी भूल का आभास कराया और उन्हें सलाह दी कि गुरुवार के दिन कैदखाने के दरवाजे पर तुम्हें दो पैसे मिलेंगे उनसे तुम चने और मुनक्का मंगवाकर विधिपूर्वक बृहस्पति देवता का पूजन करना। तुम्हारे सब दुख दूर हो जाएंगे।

बृहस्पतिवार को कैदखाने के द्वार पर उन्हें दो पैसे मिले। बाहर सड़क पर एक स्त्री जा रही थी। व्यापारी ने उसे बुलाकार गुड़ और चने लाने को कहा। इसपर वह स्त्री बोली “मैं अपनी बहू के लिए गहने लेने जा रही हूं, मेरे पास समय नहीं है।” इतना कहकर वह चली गई। थोड़ी देर बाद वहां से एक और स्त्री निकली, व्यापारी ने उसे बुलाकर कहा कि हे बहन मुझे बृहस्पतिवार की कथा करनी है। तुम मुझे दो पैसे का गुड़-चना ला दो।

बृहस्पतिदेव का नाम सुनकर वह स्त्री बोली “भाई, मैं तुम्हें अभी गुड़-चना लाकर देती हूं। मेरा इकलौता पुत्र मर गया है, मैं उसके लिए कफन लेने जा रही थी लेकिन मैं पहले तुम्हारा काम करूंगी, उसके बाद अपने पुत्र के लिए कफन लाऊंगी।”

वह स्त्री बाजार से व्यापारी के लिए गुड़-चना ले आई और स्वयं भी बृहस्पतिदेव की कथा सुनी। कथा के समाप्त होने पर वह स्त्री कफन लेकर अपने घर गई। घर पर लोग उसके पुत्र की लाश को “राम नाम सत्य है” कहते हुए श्मशान ले जाने की तैयारी कर रहे थे। स्त्री बोली “मुझे अपने लड़के का मुख देख लेने दो।” अपने पुत्र का मुख देखकर उस स्त्री ने उसके मुंह में प्रसाद और चरणामृत डाला। प्रसाद और चरणामृत के प्रभाव से वह पुन: जीवित हो गया।

पहली स्त्री जिसने बृहस्पतिदेव का निरादर किया था, वह जब अपने पुत्र के विवाह हेतु पुत्रवधू के लिए गहने लेकर लौटी और जैसे ही उसका पुत्र घोड़ी पर बैठकर निकला वैसे ही घोड़ी ने ऐसी उछाल मारी कि वह घोड़ी से गिरकर मर गया। यह देख स्त्री रो-रोकर बृहस्पति देव से क्षमा याचना करने लगी।

उस स्त्री की याचना से बृहस्पतिदेव साधु वेश में वहां पहुंचकर कहने लगे “देवी। तुम्हें अधिक विलाप करने की आवश्यकता नहीं है। यह बृहस्पतिदेव का अनादार करने के कारण हुआ है। तुम वापस जाकर मेरे भक्त से क्षमा मांगकर कथा सुनो, तब ही तुम्हारी मनोकामना पूर्ण होगी।”

जेल में जाकर उस स्त्री ने व्यापारी से माफी मांगी और कथा सुनी। कथा के उपरांत वह प्रसाद और चरणामृत लेकर अपने घर वापस गई। घर आकर उसने चरणामृत अपने मृत पुत्र के मुख में डाला| चरणामृत के प्रभाव से उसका पुत्र भी जीवित हो उठा। उसी रात बृहस्पतिदेव राजा के सपने में आए और बोले “हे राजन। तूने जिस व्यापारी और उसके पुत्री को जेल में कैद कर रखा है वह बिलकुल निर्दोष हैं। तुम्हारी रानी का हार वहीं खूंटी पर टंगा है।”

दिन निकला तो राजा रानी ने हार खूंटी पर लटका हुआ देखा। राजा ने उस व्यापारी और उसकी पुत्री को रिहा कर दिया और उन्हें आधा राज्य देकर उसकी पुत्री का विवाह उच्च कुल में करवाकर दहेज़ में हीरे-जवाहरात दिए।

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.