Vat Savitri is a Hindu Festival which is celebrated in many states of India. In different states, this festival is called with different names like , “SAVITRI BRATA” OR “SAVITRI AMAVASYA” in Odisha, “BARSAIT” in Mithila, “VAT PURNIMA” in other regions including Karnataka, Maharashtra,Gujarat and “VAT SAVITRI” in Bihar. In Hinduism,wives keep many fasts for the long life of their husband like TEEJ , KARVA CHAUTH .One of them is Vat Savitri Fast. Here, ‘Vat’ means ‘Banyan Tree’ and ‘Savitri’ is name of Goddess. The fast is dedicated for Savitri who saved her husband Satyavan from being taken by the Death God YAMRAJ. Generally this festival is celebrated on Amavasya i.e. No Moon Day in the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) and this year it happened on 22nd May. On this day Married Hindu women worship around the Banyan tree and perform circumambulation.
STORY OF SAVITRI AND SATYAVAN
- Savitri was a beautiful daughter of King Aswapati of Madra Desa. The king worshiped the goddess Savitri Devi to get a child and performed a difficult Yajna. So, he named her child Savitri after the goddesss.
- Young Savitri fell in love with Satyavan,a pince in exile who was living in the forest with his blind father Dyumatsen,who was the king of the country Salva and he blind mother.
- King Aswapati married Savitri to Satyavan. She left the palace and lived with her husband and the in-laws in the forest.
- One day,while cutting wood in jungle, Satyavan’s head started suffering unbearable pain. He became distraught and came down from the tree. Savitri understood her future. Putting Satyavan’s head in her lap,she started caressing Satyvan’s head.
- The Yama, Death God ,appeared to take away Satyavan’s soul. Savitri also followed him. Yamraj tried to convince her that this is the law of nature but Savitri didn’t listen.
- Seeing Savitri’s loyalty and paternity. Yamraj told Savitri that you are blessed and you ask me any boon.
- Savitri said that my in-laws are forest dwellers and blind. Grant them divine light. Yamraj said this will happen. Go return now.
- Listening to Yamraj ,she said, “LORD I have no problem in following my husband”. It is my duty to follow my husband. Hearing this, Yamraj again asked her to ask for another boon.
- Savitri said, my father in-law’s kingdom has been taken away, let him return again. Yamraj also gave this boon to Savitri and said now you return. But Savitri kept following.
- Yamraj said that in addition to the life of her husband, ask for whatever you want and return.
- Savitri asked for the blessing to become mother of Satyavan’s 100 sons. Yamraj said Aastastu and went ahead. Savitri still followed him . Yamraj got angry with this work of her. Seeing the anger of Yamraj, Savitri bowed to him and said “You have blessed me with the mother of hundred sons but how I can become mother without my husband, so you can fulfill your third boon.” Get your say done.
- Being entangled in the trap of the cleverly sought boon, Yamraj had to return the life of Savitri’s husband Satyavan. Yamraj returned the life of Satyavan in the form of Gram.Therefore, Prasad of Gram is offered in VAT SAVITRI FAST in the form of life.
- Yamraj disappeared and Savitri came to the Vat tree where her husband’s dead body lay. Satyavan got up alive and both of them cheered and walked towards their capital. Upon reaching there,he saw that his parents had received divine light.
- In this way Savitri-Satyavan continued to enjoy state happiness for a long time.
IMPORTANCE OF VAT (BANYAN) TREE
Banyan is a huge tree and there are many jatas in it. Vat is of great importance in the fast. It is said that under this tree , Savitri found her husband back from Yamraj. It is said that tree of Vat kept the dead body of Savitri’s husband Satyavan in the circle of his pots in his jatas so that no one could harm him. Savitri is considered as the form of goddess. According to HINDU PURANA, the residence of BRAHMA, VISHNU and MAHESH is described in the Banyan tree, so worshiping it provides longevity of husband as well as good health.
HOW I CELEBRATED ‘VAT SAVITRI’ 2020
Preparation of Vat Savitri Puja began one day earlier. So, we all know that we are going through Pandemic and there is lock down going on. Therefore, this year we can’t go to the Banyan tree for worshiping Savitri Puja. You definitely heard about one proverb i.e. “Where there’s will there’s a way” , which means if you are determined to do something, you will find a way to accomplish it regardless of obstacles. So, all the women of India , solved their problem by bringing leaves and shoots of banyan tree at home and place it in pot and worship it. The steps that I did on Vat Savitri Puja Day i.e. on 22nd may are as follows:
- I woke up in the morning around 6 o’ clock and took bath and wore new clothes and put on Sixteen makeup ( Solah shringar).
- I offered Argaya to the Sun and resolve to fast.
- After this I kept all the ingredients of worship like incense, lamp, roli, soaked gram, jaggery, vermilion, akshat, ghee, flower, seasonal fruit like mango, sweets, sindoor, bamboo fan, puris and halwa etc. in a basket or plate.
- Then after cleaning around the pot of banyan shoots and leaves. I started to worship the vat and temple of the house.
- Firstly , I installed the idol of Savitri and Satyavan there, then worship with all the ingredients and offered Prasad to the almighty god and goddess.
- After this, I wrapped the holy thread around the shoots of Vat as much as possible, revolve around the Vat as per your desire, 5, 11, 21, 51, 108 times.
- After this I read the Satyavan and Savitri story from Katha Book.
- And ended my fast by swallowing gram and water.
It is believed that by observing Vat Savitri fast and listening to this story, if there is any kind of crisis on the married life of the worshiper or the life of the life partner, then the crisis is averted.