Hindu Women Fast for Savitri Puja

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leens.r is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Hindus celebrate Savitri Puja

Savitri Puja is one of the rituals and fasts associated with married Indian women across India during which they specifically perform to ensure the prosperity and well-being of their husbands and also the longevity of their lives. This special fast is done by married women in almost the whole of the nation with great devotion and dedication, particularly in Maharashtra, Orissa, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Women in South India such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu observe the holiday under a different name as Karadaiyan Nonbu.

Hindu Women Fast for Savitri Puja[/tweetthis]

Where did Savitri Puja originate?

This ritual is dedicated to Savitri, a legendary married woman, who through her severe penance, managed to successfully get back her dead husband, Satyawaan. Hence the vrata has been named after Savitri as Vrat Savitri Puja.

A daughter to King Aswapati of Madra Desa, Savitri was described as very beautiful and charming. Her spouse of choice, Satyawaan, was a prince in exile and he lived in the forest with his blind father Dyumatsen. The princess one day left the palace and all its comfort and luxury to go live with her husband and in-laws in the forest, where she took up responsibility as a devoted daughter in-law and above all, wife.

Unfortunately, Satyawaan fell down from a tree one day and died in the lap of Savitri. Immediately on his passing, Yama, the god of death, appeared to take Satyawaan’s soul from his body. The deeply moved wife, Savitri, strongly begged and cried, appealing to Yama to spare her husband’s life. She told Yama that if he was to take away her husband’s life she’d take away her own in turn. Moved by her sheer love and determination, Yamraj returned the life of Satyawaan. They both lived in the forest happily thereafter.

Savitri Puja Observation Today

In today’s commemoration of Savitri’s devotion, wives worship her as a Goddess with a 2-3 day long fast. The fast is to pray for the good health and long lives of their spouses.

They wear new bangles and attire, apply vermilion on the hair-parting line and Bindi on their foreheads. Later in the day they seek the blessings of their husbands and the elderly in their communities by bowing low.

Women all gather to temple with Banyan or Vat tree, which are also revered during this festival. Here they pour holy Ganga water on the tree and also tie some red threads around it 108 times. Food like bananas, lemons, jack fruits, mangoes, rice, soaked pulses and others are offered as Bhoga. The Bhoga is accepted after a full day of fasting. Puja is performed by the temple priests who also recite the story of Satyawan and Savitri.

It is normally celebrated on the 13th day of a lunar fortnight known as Trayodashi day. This should be a no moon or full moon day in the Hindu month of Jyestha. This year the date of the holiday is June 4, 2016.


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