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Somvar Vrat Katha – Monday Fasting Story in Hinduism

Somvar Vrat, or fasting on Monday, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the day, devotees the fast listen to Somavar Vrat Katha. The story associated with Monday fasting narrates the experience of a devotee who observed the Somvar Vrat. There are a couple of stories associated with Fasting on Monday and this is one of them.

Once there was a wealthy merchant. He was an ardent Lord Shiva devotee. But after several years of marriage he had no children. He observed Monday fast to get a child. Soon Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared in his dream and blessed him with a son but Lord Shiva said that the child will only live for 12 years.

After a year, the merchant’s wife gave birth to a child and everyone was happy. But the merchant was still sad as he knew that the child only had 12 years of life.

Even after the birth of the child, the merchant continued to perform the Somvar Vrat. He distributed cloths and fed the poor and needy.

When the son reached the age of eleven, the merchant asked his brother-in-law to take the boy to Kashi (Varanasi) and study Holy Scriptures and perform puja for one year.

On the way the merchant’s son and his uncle reached a kingdom where the marriage ceremony of the princess was taking place. But by an accident the groom had lost an eye. The groom’s parents were not ready to tell the truth to the king and they were searching for a boy to perform the role of the temporary groom for the marriage ceremony.

The groom’s parents were attracted by the grace of the merchant’s boy and asked him to be the temporary groom. After long persuasion, the boy agreed to play the role of the temporary groom.

All the people were happy to see the handsome groom and the marriage ceremony was carried out as per tradition. The bride was so happy that she had married a handsome boy. The merchant’s son also was so happy to be with the bride.

Before leaving the merchant’s son wrote the truth in a scarf and gave it to the new bride – that he had replaced the original groom who lost an eye and he was on his way to Kashi. After reading the letter, the bride was not ready to leave with the original groom.

The merchant’s son reached Kashi and performed pujas and rituals to Lord Shiva. They also gave donations to the poor.

At home, the merchant was continuing with his Shiva puja and rituals. He realized that the last day of the 12th year had arrived. He prayed to Lord Shiva the whole day.

At Kashi, the merchant’s son while praying had a chest pain and he fell down and died immediately.

Goddess Parvati who witnessed this event could not tolerate what had happened and pleaded with Shiva to help his devotee. She said that the merchant had sent his son to Kashi to your abode thinking that he will be rescued. He is a true devotee and his prayers cannot go unanswered.

Lord Shiva smiled and said that he was just testing the merchant. There are devotees who approach me only to fulfill their wishes but the merchant was different all his prayers and thoughts were directed to me during prosperity and adversity. He never complained even after knowing the faith of his son and he continued performing all the rituals and donations with renewed vigor. The merchant by sending his son to Kashi had accepted the fact that death is the ultimate truth and he had agreed to the divine will. He never protested but readily accepted the divine will and continued worshipping me and performed Somvar Vrat which is so dear to me. How can I not help such a devotee?

Lord Shiva soon appeared near the merchant’s son in the guise of a saint and sprinkled some water from River Ganga. The son woke up as if he had taken a nap at an unusual time.

The merchant’s son and his uncle thanked Kashi Vishwanath and started their return journey as a year was completed.

On the return journey the son reached the kingdom where his temporary marriage had taken place. The kingdom no longer looked the same. There was sadness all around. On enquiry the boy found out that the princess had walked out of her marriage. The princess stopped talking and is confined to her room. The king and all the people were saddened after this incident.

Soon the boy reached the palace and said to the king what had happened. On hearing the arrival of her husband, the princess came out of her room and was overjoyed to see him.

Soon messengers were sent to the merchant’s family and they all arrived at the kingdom. The king announced that the merchant’s sown would be the next king.

Goddess Parvati who was witnessing the event realized that all this wealth and happiness was the result of the Somvar Vrat performed by the merchant.

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