Indian Festivals

Vat Savitri Vrat Customs and Traditions

Vat Savitri Vrat Customs and Traditions

Generally, women observe Vat Savitri vrat in a group. They observe fasting for three days and break it on fourth day. It starts on Trayodashi day and ends on Purnima or Amavasya. Some women observe it during Amavasya (new moon), whereas some women observe it during Purnima (full moon) in the month of Jyestha.

The number of days of fasting depends on the person’s will; there is no compulsion. Generally, women fast on the Purnima day only. There is no strict rule related to fasting either. Pregnant/ sick/ working women and new mothers are recommended not to observe fast. They should concentrate on prayers only.

On Trayodashi day, women apply paste of aamala (Indian gooseberry) and sarson/gingli (seasum) over their body and take bath. After taking bath, they apply vermilion (sindoor) over their heads and the parting of their hairs, wear new clothes and dress themselves in all the bridal outfits. Then, they eat roots of vat vriksha and drink water. Many women live on the roots of vat and water for three days.

Then, they perform Sati Savitri puja under and banyan tree with water, rice and flowers. After the puja, they go round and round around the banyan tree for 108 times tying yellow or red colour threads chanting prayers. Whole day they keep fast and pray for the well-being and long-life of their husbands. Even at home, a painting of banyan tree is drawn with the help of sandalwood or turmeric paste and worshipped for three days.

This routine is followed on Trayodashi, Chaturthi, and Amavasya/ Purnima. On the fourth day, women offer water to the moon and pray to Sati Savitri, and break their fast. Many women take the blessings of elders and other married women.  Special dishes are prepared and distributed among family members and relatives after the puja. Some women do charity by offering food and clothes to the poor and the needy.

Observing fast helps us in many ways. On spiritual level, it helps to please the God by controlling and curbing one’s desires. On physical level, fasting helps us cleanse our body-system. Fasting once in fortnight helps our body pass out its toxins and wastes.

As a result, our mental system gets cleansed which enhances our mental clarity and meditation-power. Body’s energy gets distributed equally to the whole system. However, one should not overdo it. Fasting is supposed to create a feeling of buoyancy, and not a feeling of fatigue or sorrow.

Fasting controls our passion, disciplines the senses, and purifies the mind and the heart. It overhauls whole bodily system, destroys all sorts of poisons and encourages the rapid expulsion of uric acid deposits. When our body-system is clogged, we feel mood swings, depression, laziness, and unhealthful. Fasting helps to reinvent ourselves physically and mentally.