Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India
Vat Savitri Puja » Story of Savitri and Satyan

Story of Savitri and Satyan

Vat Savitri puja is a festival celebrated in the various states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka of India. In this festival wives pray for the long life, wealth and prosperity of their husbands. According to the Purnimata calendar, the vratSavitrivrat puja would be observed during the JyesthaAmavasya(no moon day) on the 4th of June, 2016. According to the Amanta calendar, this festivalwill be observed during the jyeshthaPurnima, on the 19th of June.

Story of Savitri and Satyan
The legend associated with Vat Savitristates that, Savitri, who was the devoted wife of Satyavan had brought back life to her husband and hence she is so popular and is considered to be an illustrious woman. The story of Savitri and Satyanis present in the VanaParva of the Indian epic Mahabharata. The story is present as multiple embedded narratives in Mahabharata, as narrated by the sage Markandeya. Yudhishthira had asked the sage whether there was ever a woman in history, whose devotion matched that of Draupadi’s. The story of Savitri and Satyanwas told as areply of Yudhishthira’s question to sage Markandeya.

According to the story of Savitri and Satyan, Savitri was born to the king of Madra kingdom, Asvapati as a boon to this king, granted by the sun god Savitr. As she grew up into a fine young lady, her father told her to find her own husband. She set out on a pilgrimage for this purpose, and came across Satyavan , who was the son of blind Dyumatsena, king of the Salwa Kingdom. After losing his eye sight, he lived as a forest dweller in exile. Lord Narada did not approve of the choice as Satyvan was destined to die after I year and he told this to Savitri’s father, who also did not approve of the choice.

Since Savitri was determined to marry Satyavan, his father gave in. After her marriage, Savitri lived the life of a hermit and went to live in the forest with her husband and in-laws. Exactly three days before the death of her husband Satyvan, she observed a rigorous fast and followed her husband into the forest after seeking permission from her father-in-law. On the day Satyavan was destined to die, while he was cutting wood, he suddenly fell very weak and layed his head on Savitri’s lap and passed away.

Then Lord Yama, the God of death himself came to claim Satyavan’s soul but Savitri refused to allow him to take her husband’s soul. As Yama carried Satyavan’s soul, Savitri followed him and when she was told to return back by the God of death, she offered words of wisdom. Lord Yama was impressed by the speeches of savitri. He praised her for her choice of words and intelligence and offered to grant her three wishes.

She asked for the return of the eye sight of her father-in-law along with his kingdom. She also asked for hundred sons for her father-in-law, as the second wish and then hundred sons for herself, as the third wish. Yama granted all the three wishes and the last wish createda dilemma as it could not materialize without giving back the life of her husband Finally, Lord Yama accepted defeat and returned Satyvan’s soul. This is how Savitri, with her wisdom and dedication brought her husband back to life.