Husband worship is as famous as God worship in India. Well, don't ask what kind of worship! Let us keep the jokes apart and concentrate on the significance of Vat Savitri Puja!
Let us begin with the Vat Savitri Katha (story) which is pretty famous in the Hindu mythology.
Thread Tied to a Banyan Tree
Photo Courtesy: Indu
Once, a beautiful princess Savitri fell in love with a handsome hunk Satyavan. Little did she know that he was about to die within a year, but Lord Narada warns Ashwapathi (Savitri's father) about this. As usual, the love-struck Savitri gets her way and marries her guy.
Satyavan dies in the 11th month and Yamaraj (the God of Death) comes to take Satyavan's soul. Savitri cries her heart out to Yama, but he doesn't relent. So, she follows the Lord to beg for her husband's life. Looking at her sorrow, Yama grants her three boons. The first boon she asks for the well-being of his parents, second she asks for the welfare of her parents and the third she asks for children. Yama without realising grants her all three wishes.
Then she asks Yama, how will she have children if he takes away Satyavan? The Lord realises his mistake and allows her to take back Satyavan. Savitri goes back to the Banyan Tree where her husband's body is unconscious and within no time, he opens his eyes.
The significance of banyan tree in Vat Savitri Vrat is also derived from this tale.
Vat Savitri Vrat is celebrated either during Vat Poornima (during the full moon) or Vat Amavasya (New Moon) depending on the regions.
Places Where Vat Savitri Pooja is Celebrated
Vat Savitri is one of the major festivals for married women in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and in some parts of Karnataka.
The Ritual of Vat Savitri Puja
On the day of Vat Savitri Vrat, married women keep a fast from morning till evening. Women dressed in traditional attire surround a banyan tree and tie a long thread to it. They pray for the good health and longevity of their husbands. In the end, they all sit in groups and listen to the story of Savitri.
Banyan Trees (Vat Vrisksha) play a prominent role in India. They are considered as Gods in the Hindu religion.
Time of Vat Savitri
Vat Savitri Puja usual comes in the month of June-July. Vat Savitri 2016 began on 18th June and is celebrated till 20th June.
Inspired by the determination of Savitri, these women pray the God to give a good life to their husbands and family.