Legend behind Vat Savitri Vrat & Katha
The vrat has been dedicated to Savitri, the brave wife of Satyawaan who conquered life of her died husband. Savitri was the beautiful and charming daughter of king Aswapati of Madra Desh. She had chosen Satyawaan as her life 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. She took all pains and started looking to all her responsibilities as a devoted wife and daughter in-law.
One unfortunate day, Satyawaan fell down from a tree and expired in the lap of his beloved wife, Savitri. As soon as the Satyawaan died, Yamraj appeared to take away the soul of Satyawaan from his body. But the deeply moved wife of Satyawaan, 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. Satyawaan came to life again and they lived happily with each other.
In India, all married Hindu Women observes the Vat Savitri fast and Puja for their Husband's Long Life. The festivities begin before two days as few women fast for 3 continuous days while some have tradition to observe the fast 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. Women wears new clothes, new bangles and apply bindi on forehead and vermilion (sindhoor) 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 are also equally revered on this day. Thereafter all women of near by places move together to temple with Banyan or Vat tree. As per custom, women 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 the Long Happy Married Life with 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.