The Evil Eye of Sani

Once upon a time in heaven, a dispute arose between Sani, the god of bad luck, and Lakshmi, the goddess of good luck. Each claimed to be of higher rank than the other. Unable to resolve their conflict, they decided to seek the judgment of a wise and just human. Sribatsa, a wealthy and wise man on Earth, was chosen as the arbiter.

When Sani and Lakshmi approached Sribatsa to settle their dispute, he cleverly devised a plan to convey his opinion without directly stating it. He placed two stools, one of gold and the other of silver, and instructed Sani to sit on the silver stool and Lakshmi on the gold one. Sani, angered by what he perceived as a lower status, threatened Sribatsa with his malevolent gaze for three years, while Lakshmi assured him of her protection.

Concerned about the impending malevolence, Sribatsa decided to leave his home to protect his wife, Chintamani, from the potential harm. Despite his efforts to persuade her to stay behind, Chintamani insisted on accompanying him.

As they journeyed, facing financial hardships, they arrived at a village of woodcutters. Sribatsa joined them in cutting precious wood like sandalwood, distinguishing himself from the others who cut common wood. However, envy among the woodcutters led to Sribatsa and his wife’s expulsion from the village.

They then sought refuge in a village of weavers, where Chintamani’s skill in spinning fine cotton thread and culinary talents stirred jealousy among the villagers. Eventually, Chintamani was taken away by boatmen who perceived her as possessing special powers.

Chintamani, aware of the boatmen’s intentions, prayed to Lakshmi to protect her from dishonor. In response, Lakshmi transformed her beauty into a repulsive appearance, saving her from any unwanted advances.

Sribatsa, in pursuit of his wife, encountered a miraculous cow by the river, providing him with milk and its dung turning into pure gold bricks with his name engraved. He continued his journey, arranging the gold bricks into a mound under a tree.

Meanwhile, Chintamani’s boat, now laden with the gold bricks they found, reached her husband’s location. The boatmen recognized Sribatsa and Chintamani but chose not to reveal their identities.

The boatmen, indulging in dice games with Sribatsa, became envious of his success and, in a fit of jealousy, threw him overboard. Chintamani, quick-witted, threw a pillow into the water, allowing Sribatsa to float downstream until he reached the garden of an old widow.

The miraculous blooming of the widow’s garden, attributed to Sribatsa’s presence, led to her regaining her position as the royal flower supplier. Sribatsa, having spent some days with her, sought her assistance in securing a position in the king’s court.

Appointed as the river toll-gatherer, Sribatsa recognized the boat carrying his wife and the stolen gold bricks. He detained the boat, revealing the theft to the king, who was astonished by the gold bricks inscribed with Sribatsa’s name. The couple was reunited, and the king, moved by their story, rewarded them generously, ending the influence of Sani’s evil eye. Sribatsa, once again favored by fortune, returned to his prosperous life with Chintamani.