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Home > Religious Festivals > Hindu Festivals > Vat-Savitri
Vat-Savitri
Vat-SavitriFalls on Purnima (full moon day) in the month of Jyeshta (May-June). It is not exactly a festival but a day observed holy by married women. Banyan tree (vat) and Savitri form the main objects of worship.

Savitri is deified heroine who is believed to have reclaimed her husband from god of death (Yama) by her devotion and loyalty. The Puranas narrate the story of Savitri, who had lost Satyavaan, her husband. Even before her marriage, she was well aware that she would lose her husband a year after marriage.

When Savitri saw Yama (God of Death) taking away her husband`s soul, she followed him, pleading him to return her husband`s life. In the face of her resolve to attain what appeared to be an insurmountable obstacle, all of Yama`s efforts were in vain. Then, with added persuasion, the Yama offered her three boons in lieu of her husband`s life.

Savitri was a woman of remarkable intelligence, grit and determination. She hid her requests for the boons in such a manner that she got back everything that her family had lost. First, she asked for the lost sight of her blind father-in-law. Next, she asked for her family`s lost empire and prosperity. And finally, she asked for a worthy progeny. When Yama had finally granted her the boon of progeny, she reminded him that his boon could not be fulfilled without Satyavan. Yama, defeated by her strength, love and faith, had to surrender to Savitri`s sincere love and devotion.

It is a fasting day for married women. The ritual practiced for Vat Savitri is meant for the well being and long life of the husband. The worship of banyan tree comes in probably because when the moment of death approached Satyavan took shelter under the shade of this tree. Women should make a sankalpa in the form " I shall perform Savitri vrat for securing long life and health to my husband and my sons and for securing freedom from wildness.

Vat-SavitriOn this day, community worship is performed by married women for the health and longevity of their husbands. Women bathe early in the morning. Then, they gather at the nearest Vat (banyan) tree to pray for the long lives of their husbands. After this, women should eat the roots of Vat Vriksha (Banyan tree) along with water. In the roots of the Banyan Tree lies Brahma, in the stem/ barks lie Janardan and in the above portion lies Shiva and in totality lies Devi Savitri. Vat (Banyan tree) is worshipped with incense flower and rice. After this, women circumambulate the tree and tie the sacred thread to the banyan tree. They bless each other for long and happy conjugal lives. After returning home, women draw a Banyan tree using a paste made of turmeric and sandalwood. They sit near the drawing and pray.

After worshipping Vat (Banyan tree and Savitri Goddess) one worships women whose husband is alive. They apply Sindoor (vermilion) Kumkum to these women. To accomplish this vow in totality women offer clothes, fruits, Sindoor (Vermilion) kumkum etc in a copper vessel to a Brahmin.

This festival is celebrated throughout India, especially in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Orissa.
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