Vat Savitri Puja: There are many fasts and rituals associated with married Indian ladies which they specifically perform for the well being and prosperity of their spouse. Vat Savitri puja is one amidst the list. Vat Savitri Puja is observed by married women in almost all parts of India with great dedication and devotion. This is a special fast observed by married women for longevity of their beloved husbands. The festival is dedicated to the legendary married woman Savitri who succeeded to get back her died husband, Satyawan by her severe penance.
Vat Savitri Puja is celebrated across the nations. But the festival is mainly observed in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha and Maharashtra. South Indian married ladies especially of Tamil Nadu and Karanataka observe festival with the different name as Karadaiyan Nonbu.
Vat Savitri Puja: Legends
The vrata has been dedicated to Savitri, the brave wife of Satyawaan who conquered life of her died husband. Even the festival is named after the ideal Indian married woman, Savitri as Vrat Savitri Puja. Legend associated with the Vat Savitri Puja is as following:
Savitri was the beautiful and charming daughter of king Aswapati of Madra Desa. She had chosen Satyawaan as her life’s partner who was a prince in exile, living in the forest with his blind father Dyumatsen. The princess Savitri left the dignitaries of palace and started living in forest with her husband and the in-laws in the forest. She took all pains and started looking to all her responsibilities as a devoted wife and daughter in-law.
One unfortunate day, Satyawan fell down from a tree and expired in the lap of his beloved wife, Savitri. As soon as the Satyawan died, Yamraj appeared to take away the soul of Satyawan from his body. But the deeply moved wife of Satyawan, Savitri strongly pleaded and appealed to Yamraj for her husband’s life. She cried and begged for not getting separated from her husband. If at all he would take away the soul of her husband she would also end her life. Yamraj, the god of death, moved by the sheer determination and love of Savitri and returned the life of her husband.
Satyawan came to life again and both of them lived happily thereafter. Like this Savitri achieved her husband’s life back with her dedication and devotion towards her husband.
Vat Savitri Puja: Rituals
All women following Hindu religion observe this Vat Savitri Puja for their husband’s well being. Women worship the legendary Savitri as Goddess and observe fast for their husband’s long life. The festivities begin before two days as few ladies fast for 3 continuous days while some have tradition to observe only on the main purnima or Vat Savitri Day.
Women wake up early in the morning and take bath and get ready as a perfect married woman with all necessary accessories. Ladies wear new clothes, new bangles and apply bindi on forehead and vermilion on the hair-parting line. They fast for the health and well being of their husbands. In the afternoon, they seek blessings by bowing low to their respective husbands and elderly people.
Savitri is worshiped on this day as an incarnation of goddess and Vat or Banyan tress is also equally revered on this day.
Then all women of near by places move together to temple with Banyan or Vat tree. As per custom, Ladies pour holy Ganga water on the tree, and tie red threads around the tree while going around the tree for 108 times and wish for long conjugal life to their spouses.
Soaked pulses, rice, mango, jack fruit, lemon, banana and several other fruits are offered as Bhoga. The temple priest performs the puja and then recites the story of Savitri and Satyawan. Finally, after observing fast for the whole day they simply take the offered Bhoga.
Vat Savitri Puja: Significance
Vat Savitri Puja is all about the love and devotion of a wife to her husband. The festival is observed on the full moon day or No moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha. Vat Savitri fast is observed for three day and nights.
It begins on the Trayodashi day (13th day of a lunar fortnight) and ends on Amavasi or Purnima. Now, women mainly observe fast on the main ritual day that is either purnima or Amavasi of Jyestha month.