Indian Festivals

Vat Savitri Brief Legend.

Vat Savitri Brief Legend.

The vrat is named after Savitri, the beautiful and extremely intelligent daughter of king Aswapati of Bhadra kingdom. One day, in the forest, Savitri met a handsome young man, named Satyavan, who was carrying his blind parents in two baskets balanced on either side of a stick over his shoulder. She became very much impressed by his devotion towards his parents and decided to marry him.

When king Aswapati learnt about her will, he tried to find out from the heavenly Sage Narada about the future of prospective couple. Sage Narda told Aswapati that Satyavan is the son of a deposed king and destined to die in a year. Accordingly, Savitri was also informed about the truth, but she was not ready to change her mind. Finally, king Aswapati relented the marriage was solemnized.

After the marriage, Savitri left the palace of her father and went to live in the forest with Satyavan, his father, Dyumatsen, and his mother. As a devoted wife and daughter-in-law she took all the pains to take care of everybody in the house. They led a happy married life and soon a year passed.

One day Savitri realized that the day of Satyavan’s death as predicted by Narada has arrived. She started fasting from three days in advance. The day when Satyvan was destined to die, Savitri followed him to the forest. When he was cutting woods from a banyan tree (vat vriksha), he fell down and fainted. Savitri immediate realized that he is dying; she took her head in her lap and sat there awaiting next event.

Soon, she felt the presence of Yamraja, the God of Death, who arrived to take away the Satyavan’s soul. When Yamraja started going away taking his (Satyavan’s) soul; Savitri afflicted with agony started following him. Yamraja first ignored her, but Savitri persisted. Then, Yamraja tried a few tricks to persuade her to leave, but he could not deter Savitri. She kept following him.

Finally, Yamraja said that, since no way the life of a dead person can be returned, he is ready to grant her three boons to compensate her loss. Savitri agreed. Yamraja asked her to express her three wishes.

With the first boon, Savitri asked for the reinstatement of the kingdom her father-in-law with full glory; Yamraja granted. With the second boon, she asked for a son for his father, Aswapati; Yamraja fulfilled her will. Finally, with the third boon, she asked for children for herself; Yamraja without realizing the implications granted this boon too.

Then, Savitri said that since he (Yamraja) has granted her wish to have children, he should return his husband’s life because she cannot have children without her man. Yamraja realized his folly, but it was too late. He appreciated her devotion and determination, and returned Satyavan’s life.

Married women worship Vat vriksha and Savitri to show their appreciation towards Sati Savitri and to seek her blessings to be like her.