Once there lived a very poor Brahmin. He was a religious and pious man and prayed to the goddess Durga everyday. One day he decided to visit the temple of the goddess during Navratri. As the time came near, he tried his best to gather something valuable to offer to the Devi. Since he could not find anything other than his scythe and sieve, with which he used to work on small piece of land, he just put these two tools in a bundle with some clothes and food, and went along with the pilgrims to the temple.
After praying when other people offered their cash and jewellery, the brahmin offered his scythe and sieve and placed them at the altar of the Devi. Soon the puja was over, and everyone left, but the poor brahmin stayed behind and sat in front of the altar of the Devi. The goddess asked him: "Why haven't you gone, good brahmin, even when all has left." Then the brahmin said humbly, " Good mother, now that I have given my scythe and sieve to you, I have nothing left with which to earn a living." The goddess was touched by his plight and said: " Here take this basket with you, and whenever you ask for food, it will be there before you. You will never go hungry, as you can ask for any amount of the choicest food."
The brahmin was very happy to receive this Divine gift. He made his way to his little hut in the village. He soon asked the basket to get him some good food to eat and the miracle basket did as it was asked-soon the eatables appeared in front of him! He ate with relish, and was so delighted that he soon decided to share his happiness with everyone including the king- so he went around and invited everyone to have the afternoon meal with him the next day. Everyone was astonished and curious as to how the poor man would provide for so many, and even for the king! However, they all agreed to attend.
The next day they set out for the lunch. They were surprised when they saw the king along with his men making his way towards the Brahmin's house. They all sat on the grass with a plate kept in front of them. The Brahmin brought out his basket and asked the basket to spread the choicest dishes fit for the king. No sooner had the words been uttered than such a sumptuous meal was laid out that everyone's eyes nearly popped out in surprise! They all ate to their heart's content and the king was very impressed. He asked the Brahmin the secret of it all. The Brahmin revealed the whole story. The king's men quickly seized it, saying that such a thing should belong to the king, and no one else. They marched off leaving the poor brahmin in a very sad state. He decided to go back to the temple and narrate to her the tale of the cruel king.
In the temple, the brahmin was summoned again in front of the deity and she asked him the reason of his coming again. Now he told her the entire story. On hearing this, she became very angry upon the king and his men. She gave another basket to him and told him to again invite the whole village along with the king.
So it happened that there was again a great feast where everyone came eagerly, along with the king. They were curious to know if the Brahmin could manage a grand meal again without his miracle basket. The king was also anxious to come, since the basket( which his men had forcibly taken) when asked to produce food, would just produce bitter seeds, a fact that made the king unhappy.
Everything was arranged at the Brahmin's house with great pomp and show, just as it had been done before. All sat down with great enthusiasm as they could hardly wait for the meal to begin. The Brahmin brought out the (second) basket and said: "Do justice to this gathering for they have with great expectations." The basket picked itself up, and started beating the entire gathering, including the king, who got really scared and asked the brahmin to stop it. But it would not stop, and only when everyone had been thrashed soundly did it stop and said: "This is for the selfish and unkind things you have done to this man of God. Give him back the basket you have seized from him forcibly." All of them agreed at once, and since in any case the basket was giving nothing but bitter seeds to eat, the king agreed to give it back and save himself and the rest from the terrible beating.
The Brahmin explained that the Devi had told him to do all this, and he did not really mean to harm or insult anyone. The king then understood that a person who has enough should not be greedy and snatch away other people's belongings, and that the Mother Goddess looks after everyone who worships her and is faithful to her. So the king asked all who were gathered there to worship Durga Ma and thank her for whatever she had given them.