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   Religious Fasts
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Religious Fasts

(Banana's Goddess)

Once there was a young girl. She used to water a banana tree. She also used to play under it One day a strange voice came as if fluttering from its leaves. The girl got frightened and ran away.

Next day the girl was again watering the tree. She heard the same voice. She took courage. The voice said, "Will you play with me? Will you play with me?"

The young girl looked here and there. She could locate nobody there. She started to grow weaker and weaker. Her mother noted this change. One day the mother said, "My dear girl, what is wrong with you? Why are you losing your health despite best food?"

The young girl said, "I water my banana tree everyday. I hear a strange voice from it. The voice says 'Will you please play with me?' I see no one around me."

The mother heard her daughter and said smilingly, "You are a very innocent girl. The banana goddess is pleased with you. You welcome her tomorrow for playing."

The girl heard the same voice the next day. She invited her to play with her. After the play was over, the goddess of banana or Lakshmi said to the girl, "Will you please accompany me to my house for lunch?"

The girl said, "Have you a house too?"

The goddess took her to her palace through the hollow of the banana tree and served her with best sweets and fruit in gold and silver pots. She offered her various types of costly gifts. When the girl returned, her mother was happy. She said to her daughter, "Have you offered your friend a return visit? You must invite her next day."

The girl said, "We are very poor. How can I extend invitation to her? Our utensils are broken. Our clothes are shabby and torn. We have nothing to Sit upon."

The mother said, "Service and courtesy will compensate for them. We will clean our house and give her a warm welcome."

The girl agreed to her mother's advice. When she met the goddess the next day, she extended to her invitation for visiting her house. The goddess accepted the invitation. She accompanied the girl to her house the next day.

The goddess had hardly stepped into the house when it was converted into a beautiful palace. The broken utensils turned into shining gold and silver ones. The shabby and torn clothes became new and attractive. The ordinary meal prepared by the family tasted like mana.

As she was about to leave, the goddess blessed the family with a happy future. The girl's mother requested the goddess to stay with them permanently.

The goddess said, "I am goddess Lakshmi. I am of very unstable and fickle-minded. I cannot commit to stay with you all the time. So long as you work hard and water the banana trees, I shall be there in form of banana fruit. Your business will flourish day by day. Water banana tree, especially on Thursdays."

The goddess then disappeared from the scene leaving plenty of wealth for the family.

The third part of the sacrelige was given to the woman folk and so they experience menstruation. As a boon he blessed them to be pure or chaste on the fourth day and be capable to give birth to children.

The fourth portion of the sacrelige was given to water. As a result it is covered with aquatic plant or 'Shaivaal'. As a boon the object in which it is added gains weight.

In this way Lord Brahma freed Indra from the heinous crime by dividing it into four places. Who so ever reads or listens this story is blessed by Vrihaspati.

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