Subban the astrologer
In a small village near Thanjavur there lived a lazy man called Subban. He never used to do any work. His wife daily used to request him to earn some money. But Subban never cared. One-day Subban’s wife took a loan of ten rupees from her friend without the knowledge of Subban. But Subban was watching this from a distance. Then she wanted to hide it in such a place where he can never find it. So she put it in the bottom of their tin of rice. Subban was watching this through the window. Immediately Subban went to the temple, borrowed some sandal paste and Kumkum. He applied sandal paste on his forehead. In the center of the forehead he made a dot with the Kumkum. He returned home. His wife was surprised to see him like this. She asked him, “What happened to you? Why all this unusual marks on your forehead?” Subban told, Today I met a great saint. He has blessed me that I will get knowledge of astrology immediately. So I went to the temple. Now I am going to tell my first prediction. When I was not at home, you went to your friend’s house borrowed a ten rupee note. You have hidden it in our rice tin. “ Subban’s wife was terribly surprised at his foretelling. She went and told all her friends, that Subban has learnt astrology from a saint. One of her friends was not ready to believe it. She told Subban’s wife, “ I do not believe it. Subban is good for nothing; I am now going to make Dosa for our dinner. Let him come and tell me after our Dinner, how many dosas I made.” Subban’s wife came and told this to Subban. Subban immediately went out and hid himself behind the kitchen of her friend’s house. When oil is poured over dosa, it makes a sound “Soi”. For every dosa oil is poured twice. So Subban counted the number of Sois as 20. He then went to his home and pretended to be asleep. When his wife’s friend came, he told her, “ You do not believe that I know astrology. But I can tell you that you have made 10 dosais for your dinner.” The friend was surprised by the accuracy and told every body about it.
Next day the goat of Subban’s neighbour was lost. So he came to Subban and told him, “ Your wife tells me, that you are an astrologer. If you find my goat I will give you 50 rupees.” Subban told him, “I will surely find it. But I have to do Pooja all the night. You come tomorrow. Then after his neighbour went away, Subban started searching for the goat all over the village and the nearby forest. He could locate it in a nearby forest; He tied the goat to the Temple Banyan tree and went to his home. Subban’s neighbour came to his house next day. Subban told him, “I had great difficulty to find your goat. Now I know where it is. Go to the temple. Your goat would be tied by a reed rope on the south side of the temple Banyan tree,” The neighbour found his goat in exactly same place. So he happily paid Subban 50 rupees.
There was a very rich man in that village. His name was Sharma. One-day Sharma’s wife lost her diamond bangle in her house. They sent for Subban. The rich man told Subban, “My wife has lost a very costly gold bangle. But she has not gone out of the house. If you can find it out, I will give you one thousand rupees.” Subban told, “I suspect some spirits must have taken it. So all of you should go out of the house for a day. I will shut myself inside and do great Pooja. By tomorrow morning, I will get you your bangle.” The rich man agreed. After all of them left Subban searched the house thoroughly and he was able to locate the bangle, below the kitchen sink. He hid the bangle in the Pooja shelf and then slept. He opened the door only next day. He told the rich man, “I found out your bangle using astrology. It was extremely difficult. At last the spirit told me that the bangle is below Lord Ganesa in the Pooja shelf. “ The rich man and family found the bangle below the Ganesa. They gave Rs.1000 to Subban. Suddenly Subban became very famous and started earning lot of money.
When things were like this, the king of the nearby town lost all the ornaments of the queen. He sent two police people to bring Subban. As soon as he saw Subban, the king shouted, “They say you can find anything. We have lost all the ornaments of the queen. If you find out, we will give you million rupees. If not we will cut of your ear and nose.” Subban was terribly shocked. He knew that he couldn’t search for the ornaments. So to gain some time he told the king, “I need 41 days of Pooja to find out the ornaments. Only servants should come to the place of worship. They should bring daily lot of flowers.” Subban did not know any mantra for performing the Pooja. So he started chanting, “Mookaya Nama” and “ Kathaya Nama”, “Mooku” in Tamil language means nose and “Kathu “in Tamil means ears. Actually two servants called Mookamma and Kathappa stole the jewels. One day they came with flowers to the Pooja. When they heard what, Subban was chanting, they were terribly afraid of Subban. They thought that Subban knew their names and will tell the king. They fell at the feet of Subban and told him, Sir, we only stole the jewels. We will give everything back. We will also give you ten lakh rupees for not informing about this to the king. If he knows that we have stolen he will kill us.” Subban smiled and told them, “Ok, I knew that you have stolen it, the first day itself. Since you are giving me ten lakhs rupees, I will let you free. But you should go away from the palace.” They agreed, returned the jewels as also the money.
After that, one-day night while every one was sleeping, Subban took all the jewels and buried them below a big tamarind tree. When 41 days Pooja was over, he came out and told the king, “This was a big challenge. The jewels had been stolen by a devil that is sitting on the big tamarind tree in the palace. The devil has told, that he has buried it beneath the tamarind tree, He has told me to stop practicing astrology and I have agreed.” Subban then took the king and others to the tamarind tree. All of them were very much afraid of the devil and did not come near the tree. Subban dug out everything and gave the jewels back to the king. Since Subban cannot practice astrology from then on, the King gave him a big palace and 20 lakh rupees. Subban lived in the palace happily again doing nothing