Mangala Gauri Vrat Katha, Story of Mangala Gouri Vrat, Mangala Gowri vrat Kadha
Sri Krishna narrated the story of the importance of performing the Mangala Gauri Vratham that was once told by sage Sutha to sage Saunaka and others. He also narrated the way of performing the Mangala Gauri Vratham, which was narrated by Sage Narada to Savitri Devi.
Krishna told Draupadi “ Draupadi! It is the ParaShakthi(the ultimate power) that is known as Mangal Gauri. The women who will worship her, will never be a widow and would be blessed all the happiness. She would be blessed with all types of “Sowbhagyam”. This should be performed on all the Tuesdays of Shravan Month.
Mangala Gauri is said to reside in the all the “Mangala Dravya” like Pasupu(Turmeric), KumKum(vermilion), Flowers, Sandal wood paste and also in the light that was lit using a wick dipped in cow ghee. There are instances of women who have been living happily by performing this Vrat.
Lord Shiva prayed to Mangala Gauri before going into battle with the demon Tripurasura and killed him in the battle.Because of praying to Mangala Gauri Kuja became the authority for Tuesday. There is also a king of the Manu clan by the name of Mandu, who ruled the earth for a very long time by praying to Mangala Gauri Devi.
Krishna told Draupadi that he would now tell a story of a lady who by praying to Mangala Gauri protected herself from becoming a widow. Long ago there was a king by the name of Jayapala who ruled the kingdom of Mahishmithi. He had all the eight kinds of wealth but had no children. He was always worried and longing for children. There was no signle Vrat or Wroship that was left to his knowledge that he did not perform for children.He prayed to all the Gods and worshipped them, but only without any result.
Finally Lord Shiva was moved by his prayers and visited the king as a Sage. He seeked offering from the king, before the queen could bring the offering the Sage left. The queen took time to prepare the offering and the Sage left. This happened continuously for three days. She narrated this to her husband Jayapala. Jayapala advised her to be prepared with the offering for the next day.
The queen was ready with the offering and as soon as the sage came, she became ready to make the offering. The sage rejected the offering stating that he cannot take a offering from a couple that doesn’t have children. She then prayed to him to suggest a way to have children. The sage told her to listen to what he is saying carefully and asked her to narrate the same to her husband. He said as follows
“Ask your husband to wear blue colored clothes(Neelam), and go towards east on a blue(Neelam) horse. Ask him to dig at the point where the horse would stop with tiredness. He would find a golden temple. Ask him to pray to goddess Bhagvati of that temple and your wish would be full filled.” King Jayapala followed the advice of the sage and prayed to the Goddess. The Goddess was moved by the kings worship and presented herself before him. She offered him a boon and asked him to ask for what ever he wishes. He wished for children. The Goddess gave the king a choice between a girl child who would be a widow or a male child who would be a good son but would live for only a short period. The king thought for a while and finally choose for a male child who would help him to overcome the “Punnami Narakam”. Goddess told him to pluck a fruit from the tree near Lord Ganesha. The king in greed plucked all the fruits. But miraculously all the fruits vanished and only one fruit was left in the kings hands. Lord Ganesh was angered with the king and cursed him that his son would live only for sixteen years. And would be killed by a snake bite on his Sixteenth birthday.
By eating the fruit, the king and the queen were blessed with a baby boy. They called him “SHIVA”. Once the soldiers of Yama(Lord of Death) came to take the life of the boy, but the queen prayed to them that he is too young and they have not yet seen him grow. Because the child was a boon of Lord Shiva the soldiers returned.
The boy Shiva saw that his mother was worried and asked her the reason. She narrated him the whole story of his birth and said that he would die at sixteen. The boy consoled his mother and told that he would visit the temple of Lord Shiva in Kasi or Kashi called as Vishweshwara. He asked her send her brother along with him. Shiva before going ahead with the journey to Kasi or Varanasi planted a Basil(Tulasi or Tulsi) plant in the palace and asked her mother to worship that plant. He told that as long as the plant is green and growing he is out of danger, but as soon as the plant start to dry it means that he is in danger.
On his way to Varnasi they had to go through the kingdom of Pratishtapanapuram. In a garden there were few ladies who were plucking flowers in the garden. One lady cursed a girl by the name of Susheela that she would be a widow. The girl Susheela was offened and replied that her mother performs the Mangala Gauri Vratham and hence there would be no widow in their family and threw the flowers down. Miraculously the flowers that fell on the ground got attached to the plants as they were before getting plucked.
Shiva saw this and was astonished. He realized that this girl has some power and if he married a girl like this it would be good.
In the adjacent temple, parents of the same girls Susheela were worshipping lord Shiva to help them find a suitable husband for their girl. As they came out of the temple they saw Shiva the prince and thought that he was sent by Lord Shiva, and consulted his maternal uncle who was with him. Susheela and Shiva got married on the same night. In the marriage Susheelas mother performed the final ritual of the Mangala Gauri Vratham called Udhyapana to Susheela.
The newly wed couples slept with celibacy on the bed made of Dharbha(sanctified grass). In the dream of the girl Susheela, Goddess Mangal Gauri appeared and told that her husband would not live for a long time and would die after todays night. She adviced her to do as follows: “ there would be Krishna Snake that would come to bite your husband. Place a pot filled with milk in front of it. As soon as the snake enters the pot tie it tightly with a cloth and give it as “Vayanam” to your mother. Your husband would be saved from getting killed and would live for a long time.”
Susheela woke up and understood that the goddess was trying to protect her from becoming a widow and followed the instructions. She was ready with the pot and as said in the dream a snake came. She kept the pot in front of the snake and the snake entered into it. She tied the pot with a cloth. Shiva got up and asked his wife to fetch something to eat as he was hungry. She bought him some sweets. While eating the ring from the finger of Shiva fell down, which he did not see. In the early hours,he remembered that he was on his way to Kasi or Varnasi to pray to Lord Shiva. Thinking that by narrating his story to his wife, he would make her unhappy he left along with his uncle without informing anyone. The next day when Susheela woke up was not able to find her husband. She only found the ring that was mistakenly dropped by her husband and kept it to herself as his memory.
Thinking of her husband, she asks her father to built a shelter where food would be served free. Lot of people going through that city would eat in this shelter and leave. Susheela used to wash the feet of all the people who would come to the shelter to eat food.
After a year in Kasi or Varanasi, Shiva finally thinks to return to his kingdom. On the way home, he again comes to Prathishthapana Puram, he remembers that he had married the girl from this city. But fearing that he has to die early doesn’t want to visit the girl. He visits the shelter where food is being served. The girl while washing the feet recognizes him, but he prented not to recognize her. She shows him the ring and also narrates the dream she had. They open the Pot which was given as Vayanam to Susheelas mother to find a pearl necklace instead of the snake. They treat the necklace as a blessing from the goddess.
Sushella performs the Mangala Gauri Vratham and goes to her in laws along with her husband Shiva. Parents of Shiva have lost their sight, crying for their son assuming that he was dead. Then she applies the Kajal or Katuka or the eye liner which was prepared as a part of performing the Mangala Gauri Vratham. As soon as the eye liner was kept, both the parents were blessed with eye sight and lived happily ever after.
All the people in the kingdom from then onwards performed this vrat and lived happily.
Thus Lord Krishna concludes that by performing this Vrat a women would never become a widow and would lead a happy and prosperous married life.