25-Satya Narayana Vrata-1.

YOU ARE all familiar with Narada Rishi.

He is the Triloka Sanchari—the one who moves about in the three worlds.

When he once visited the earth plane, there was great misery.

He was unable to find a way to relieve human suffering.

He at once approached Lord Narayana and related to Him the sad state of affairs on earth.

    Lord Narayana said to Narada, “O venerable Rishi, let people observe the Satya Narayana Vrata in the evening of Shankranti or Purnima. Let them all hear the story (Katha) of Satya Narayana. All miseries will come to an end. There is no doubt of this.”

    Rishi Narada thereupon returned to earth and preached the glory of the Satya Narayana Vrata.

Many observed the vow without taking any food during the course of the day and attained what they desired.

All were happy and prosperous.

    The observance of the Satya Narayana Vrata does not cost much.

You need only give a small gift to the pundit who comes to read the story and then distribute some prasad which also need not be very costly.

Some wheat flour and sugar will make up the prasad.

 A little curd and some fruit are required.

Even the poorest man can observe this Vrata.

    In North India the vow is observed by the vast majority of people.

It takes about three hours to complete the whole observance.

It is generally observed on the full moon day, particularly the Kartik, Vaisakh, Sravan and Chaitra Purnimas and the Shankranti day.

It can also be done on new moon days.

Next : 1. Stories -  connected with this Vrata.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  .....

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