The sagas of Brihaspati are very significant for those performing Brihaspati puja regularly. Brihaspati Vrat Katha is a legend that reveals the value of Brihaspati Vrat and Brihaspati puja in one's life. Following is the Brihaspati Vrat Katha translated into English for easy access:
Once upon a time, a king was mighty, influential, and generous. He used to keep fast every Thursday and offer his prayers to Lord Brihaspati. The queen loathed this religious and spiritual side of the king. Neither she observed fasts, nor did she give any charity. She precluded the king also from doing the same. One day, the king went to the forest for hunting; only the queen and her maids were in the palace. And Lord Brihaspati personated like a saint and came to the court to collect donations. When the Saint asked the queen to give charity, she said, O Saint! I am annoyed at giving to charities, tell me how I can get rid of all this wealth, and I live with ease and comfort.
In the false appearance of a Saint, Brihaspati God said, O Devi, you are very unusual, is there anyone on earth to whom children and wealth become the reason for their sorrowful state? If you have a lot of money, you may use it for beneficial and promising causes, which will keep you joyous in this world and heaven. But the Saint's advice and preaching did not satisfy the queen; she said: I do not want wealth which I have to give to others in a donation and waste all my time taking care of it.
The Saint said, if this is what you want, do as I suggest. On Thursdays, cover your house with cow dung, apply yellow clay to your hair while washing them, take a bath at the same time, eat meat and have wine during meals, and give your clothes to the washerman for washing. If you perform the above activities for seven consecutive Thursdays, it will end your wealth; saying this, the Brihaspati God disappeared in the disguise of a saint.
Three consecutive Thursdays had passed, acting on the Saint's advice that all the queen's wealth is destroyed. The family lacked food. One day, the king said to the queen, O Queen, You stay here in the palace and let me go to another country to earn some livelihood; doing ordinary jobs in my own country would not go with my reputation and prestige. Saying this, the king departed for another country. He began earning his livelihood by cutting firewood in the forest and selling the same in the town.
The queen and housemaids started feeling the absence of the king. Once the queen and her maids were deprived of food for seven consecutive days, the queen said to one of her maids, My sister lives nearby. She is wealthy and well-to-do. Bring something from her to manage our meals for a few days.
The housemaid went to the house of the queen's sister. On a Thursday, the queen's sister listened to the legends related to Lord Brihaspati. The maid conveyed the queen's message to her, but the sister gave no reply. The maid was disturbed and resentful not to respond to the queen's sister. Finally, the maid returned and told everything that happened to the queen. The queen felt inadequate and powerless and started blaming her destiny.
On the other side, the queen's sister, though, My sister's maid came and getting no reply from me, must have annoyed her. Therefore, after listening to the sagas of Lord Brihaspati and offering her prayers, she went to the queen's palace and started saying, O sister! I observed a fast for the Brihaspati God, and your maid happened to come during that time. Since I was listening to the sagas related to the deity, I was not supposed to speak or leave the worship area. So I had to be quiet. 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 no food; her eyes flooded with tears. She told her sister how there was a lack of food at her palace, and she and her maids had been starving.
The queen's sister said, Lord Brihaspati fulfils everyone's desires; go and look inside; you may find grains inside your palace.
Hearing this, one of the housemaids went to look for food and found a large jug full of grains in a corner. The maid was astonished as she had checked all the vessels and pitchers, which were empty. So she came and informed the queen about the large jug of grain and said to the queen, O queen! In a way, we can say that we keep fast when we have nothing to eat, so why not ask your sister about the procedure of observing the Brihaspativaar fast and then we shall follow it.
The queen asked her sister about the Brihaspati fast and its procedures on her maid's advice. Her sister said, During the fast on the Brihaspativaar, i.e., Thursday, one should offer gram pulses and raisins to the root of a Banana tree and worship Lord Vishnu. One must also have yellow meals and listen to sagas related to Lord Brihaspati. All these rituals please the deity, and he fulfils all desires.
After giving all the details regarding the Brihaspati fast and offering worship, the queen's sister returned to her home.
The queen and her housemaid decided to observe the fast and worship Lord Brihaspati, so after seven days, they kept the fast on Thursday. They collected grams and jaggery from the stable and offered it to the root of the Banana Tree. They also worshipped Lord Vishnu.
However, they did not have ingredients to make meals in yellow colour. So they became upset, but since they had observed the fast for Lord Brihaspati with devotion, he was pleased with them, and he came in the guise of an ordinary man with two platters full of meals made with yellow ingredients in his hands. He handed it over to the maid and said, O maid! This is for you and the queen; you both should have it. So the maid accepted it happily and came and told everything to the queen.
From then onwards, both started observing fast and offering prayers to Lord Brihaspati on Brihaspativaar. With the generosity and blessings of Lord Brihaspati, they began to flourish again and restore wealth. But the queen also became as laid back as she was before. Then her housemaid warned her and said, Look, queen! Earlier, too, you were lazy, and it was difficult for you to manage your money and wealth, and because of that, you lost all the money and prosperity. When we are flourishing and growing, with the blessings of Lord Brihaspati, we are committing the same mistake of being lethargic. With a lot of struggle, we have regained the wealth, so we should try to make some charities. You should give food to the needy and those starving, arrange water for thirsty travellers, give alms to the Brahmins, and donate money to construct wells, ponds, water tanks, temples, and schools educating children.
It would help if you also contributed to unmarried girls' arranged marriages. I think you should start spending on good and promising causes, this will bring name and fame to your family, ensure privilege to the heavenly abode for yourself, and your ancestors will be proud of you.
The queen acted on the advice of her maid and spent the money on good causes and the development of her hometown. It brought her a lot of fame and honour.
One day, the queen and the maid started thinking that God knows how the king is and under what conditions he is living. So they both worshipped Lord Brihaspati sincerely and requested, Wherever be the king, may he return the soonest.
On the other side, the king living in a foreign country led a very depressing life; he would bring firewood from the forest daily and earn his livelihood with great effort by selling it in the town's market. Then, one day, recalling his good old days, he became upset and started mourning.
Lord Brihaspati appeared as a saint and spoke to the king, O woodcutter, why are you sitting alone in this stark forest? What is it that is troubling you? Tell me.
The king's eyes were filled with tears; he talked about his situation and narrated his troubled life. Saints are very empathetic and kind, and he said to the king, O king, your wife had sinned the Lord Brihaspati. Because of that sin, you face these difficult situations and sorrowful life, and you need not worry now as God will give you more than what you had earlier. Look, your wife has already begun fasting on Thursdays, and you must also observe fast on Thursdays and collect gram pulses and jaggery in a jar full of water and offer it to a banana tree. After this, you should listen to or narrate the sagas related to Lord Brihaspati; he will fulfil all your wishes.
Hearing this, the king said, O Saint, it is with great trouble that I earn my livelihood by selling firewood; I cannot save single paise with my earnings. Last night, I saw my queen in pain and suffering in my dream; there was no way to know about her well-being. Apart from this, I do not know about any legend of Lord Brihaspati. How would I narrate the story?
The Saint said, 'O king, motivate yourself to keep the fast and offer prayers to Lord Brihaspati; he will lead you to go to the town to sell firewood on Thursdays like other days, you will earn twice the amount, and it will be enough to buy meals and ingredients to worship Brihaspati God, and the legend related to Lord Brihaspati is as follows:
Once upon a time, a poor Brahmin lived; he had no child. He worshipped God every day, but his wife neither took a bath in the morning nor worshipped God; this made the Brahmin upset now and then.
With the grace of God, a girl child was born in the house. The girl started growing gradually, and she used to bathe early in the morning and worship Lord Vishnu. She used to observe fast on Thursdays. After offering prayers, she used to carry barley in her fist while going to school and scatter the grain on the way. While returning from school, barley grains turned into gold, and she used to collect them and come back home. One day, while she was winnowing the barley grain with the winnowing basket, her mother saw her and said, Dear daughter, for winnowing golden barley grains, one must have a winnowing basket made up of gold.
The next day was Thursday. The girl observed the fast; she prayed to Lord Brihaspati for a golden winnow basket. Lord Brihaspati decided to reciprocate her prayer. Like on other days, while going to school, the girl scattered the grains of barley on the way. When she returned, she found barley grains converted into gold and a golden winnow basket on the road. She got everything home and began winnowing the barley grains with the golden basket. But her mother was unaffected by the incident.
One beautiful day, while the girl was winnowing the barley grains with the golden winnow basket, a prince passed by; he lost his heart to the girl after seeing her beauty. He returned to the palace, did not have food or water, and lay unmoved in his room.
When the king learned that his son did not have food or water, he came to him and asked about the reason behind it. The prince told him everything and also gave the address of the girl. After that, the king's minister went to the girl's house and gave the king's message to the Brahmin. Within a few days, the girl got married to the prince.
The Brahmin became penniless as soon as the girl left her home to go to her in-laws. One day, upset by his poverty, the Brahmin met his daughter; seeing her father, the girl asked about her mother. The Brahmin told her about his sad state. His daughter gave him a lot of money and bid him goodbye. But after a few days, the Brahmin was again poverty-stricken. He went to his daughter back and narrated his troubled life. His daughter said, O father, bring my mother here; I shall tell her how to retain wealth. The Brahmin returned to his home and came back to his daughter, along with his wife. The daughter said to her mother, O mother, take a bath early in the morning and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu; this will help you live a prosperous life.
But the Brahmin's wife did not listen to her; instead, she used to eat the leftovers of her daughter in the morning.
Her daughter became infuriated with her mother and locked her in a room one day. The next day, she persuaded her mother to take a bath and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Brihaspati and thus making her mother make amends.
After this, her mother started observing fast and worshipping Lord Brihaspati every Thursday religiously and sincerely. Because of her devotion and dedication to the Lord, she went to heaven after her demise. So likewise, the Brahmin rejoiced in every abundance in this mortal world and went to heaven after his death. The Saint vanished after narrating this story.
After a few days, came the following Thursday, the king went to the town to sell the firewood. He earned more than what he usually made. The king bought grams and jaggery from the market and kept the fast. The king started living a joyous life; his difficult time was gone. On one Thursday, the king forgot to observe the fast; this annoyed Lord Brihaspati.
On the same day, the king of the town had arranged an extensive Yagna. He had invited all the natives and inhabitants to his palace to have meals. He had also declared that no one must cook meals at home, and if found disobeying his orders, the person shall be subjected to a massive punishment.
According to the king's royal orders, all the natives came to the palace for their meals. The woodcutter arrived late, but the king allowed him inside. While the king was serving the dinner to the woodcutter, the queen observed that her necklace was missing, hung by the hook in the wall. The queen thought that it was the woodcutter who had stolen her jewellery. Therefore she called the soldiers and got imprisoned.
The woodcutter started thinking in prison about what sins he might have committed in his previous life to reach here, and he also began remembering the Saint he had met in the forest.
Lord Brihaspati appeared as a saint in front of the woodcutter and said, O fool, you are suffering all this because you did not listen to the stories or tell the stories related to Lord Brihaspati. You need not be anxious now; you will find four paise lying near the prison door on Thursday. Take that money and worship Lord Brihaspati. Then, all your problems will be solved.
The woodcutter found four paise lying near the prison door on Thursday. He got the ingredients to worship Lord Brihaspati with that money and narrated the saga of the Lord to the people present.
The same night, Lord Brihaspati appeared in the dream of the king of the town and said, O king, the person you have punished is innocent; free him tomorrow. The king woke up early the following day; he saw the necklace hanging on the hook. He released the woodcutter and requested his forgiveness. He gave the woodcutter many beautiful clothes and jewels and bid him goodbye.
As per the recommendation of the Saint, the woodcutter started for his town, and he was astonished when he reached his village. He observed more gardens, ponds, wells, and houses for pilgrims and temples. The king enquired about the same and knew that the queen and her housemaid had brought all these constructions done. The king was surprised and enraged, thinking, Where did the queen get so much money from in his absence that she got all these buildings made.
When the queen got to know that the king his returning to the kingdom, she said to her maid, O maid, the king had left us in a demanding and sorrowful situation; see that king does not get confused and go back to see us living differently, therefore stand by the entrance of the palace.
Following the queen's orders, the maid went and stood by the palace's entrance. She brought the king inside when he came. The king pulled out his sword in rage and asked where all this money came from. The queen then unfolded what happened in his absence.
The king decided to observe fast every day and share the legend of Lord Brihaspati thrice a day. So now, the king used to keep the gram pulses tied in the corner of his scarf and narrated the stories of Lord Brihaspati three times a day.
One beautiful day, the king thought of visiting her sister's house. So, therefore, he set out on a horse for his sister's house, and on the way, he saw some people carrying a dead body. So the king stopped and said, O, brothers! Listen to the story of Lord Brihaspati and then go.
They said that our relative's demise already saddens us, and he wants to tell us a story. So some people said, Alright, tell us the story; we shall listen to it.
The king took out gram pulses and began narrating the story, he hardly shared half of the saga, and the dead man began showing the signs of life, and by the time the tale was completed, the dead man was alive. He stood up, uttering the name of Lord Rama.
The king continued his travel, and in the evening, he saw a farmer ploughing in his field. The king offered to tell him the legend of Lord Brihaspati, but the farmer refused to listen.
The king resumed his journey, and the farmer's oxen suddenly fell and fainted. The farmer had a stomach ache, and just then, the farmer's wife came with the meals for her husband and son. She was terrified to see her husband and the oxen in such a troubling situation. The wife asked her son about the case; she told her everything in detail. Finally, the farmer's wife ran to the horseman and said, I shall listen to your saga; please come to our field and tell the story there.
The king went to the farmer's field and narrated the saga. As a result, the oxen regained consciousness, and the farmer became healthy and pain-free.
After some time, the king reached his sister's house. His sister did everything to give a warm welcome to her brother. When the king woke up the next day, he saw everyone engaged in having meals. So the king enquired her sister, Is there anyone who has not had food yet? So that I can narrate the saga of Lord Brihaspati to him. The sister said, Brother, this country is unusual; people are used to having their meals before getting to their jobs.
The sister then went to a potter's house, whose son was sick; she found that no one in the house had eaten anything for three days. So she enquired the potter, Would you like to hear some holy legends from my brother. The potter agreed.
The king went to the house and narrated the holy legends of Lord Brihaspati, listening to which the potter's son became healthy. Everyone began admiring the king for his kind gesture. After a few days, the king said to his sister, O sister! I want to return to my palace; you too, get ready. The king's sister went to her mother-in-law to ask permission. The mother-in-law said, All right, you may go, but do not take your sons along as your brother does not have a child. The king's sister said to the king, O brother, I shall accompany you, but my sons won't come. The king became upset and returned to his palace alone without his sister.
The king told about what happened at her sister's place and why she could not come to the queen. The queen told the king that Lord Brihaspati had blessed them with so much; he would also bless them with a child. The same night, Lord Brihaspati came into the king's dream and said, Open your eyes, O king, forget all your worries; the queen is on her way to motherhood. The king was glad to know about the same in his dream.
The dreams and desires of anyone who observes the fast on Thursday and worships Lord Brihaspati with a pure heart and dedication are fulfilled in the same way the king and the queen had their wishes fulfilled. One should never ignore or displease Lord Brihaspati. After listening to the holy stories, one should always take Prasad and leave. Remember Lord Brihaspati in the heart, and he shall bless you with abundance.