Savitri Puja

Savitri Puja is arguably one of the most important Hindu festivals. Also known as Vat Savitri Purnima, this holiday is very similar to Vat Savitri Vrat. It is a day dedicated to Devi Savitri, a woman who compelled Yama Raj (the Lord of Death) to release Satyawan, her deceased husband, and give him a new life. It is a day when women fast and pray for their husbands’ long life and good health.

On this day, women also worship the Banyan tree and read the Vrat Katha. In the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana, this holiday is observed on Jyeshtha Amavasya, while women in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and other southern Indian states mark this day on Purnima.

The History of Savitri Puja

The legend of Savitri dates back to the age of the Mahabharata. According to the story, King Asvapati and his consort Malavi wanted to have a son. To facilitate this, they made many prayers. The god Savitr finally appeared to them and informed them that they would have a daughter. Although they wanted a son, they were still overjoyed at the prospect of having a child. When she was born, they named her Savitri in honor of the god who answered their prayers.

Because Savitri became a woman so pure and beautiful, many of the men in her village were intimidated by her. This is when her father told her that she must find a husband on her own. She departed on a pilgrimage to find a husband and that is when she met Satyavan. He was the son of a blind king named Dyumatsena and lived in exile.

Savitri returned to her father to deliver the news that she had found her future husband, but her father had been consulted by the sage Narada. When she told him the news, he told her she had made a bad choice because the sage had told him that Satyavan was destined to die in one year. Undeterred, Savitri married Satyavan anyway.

Approximately three days before her husband’s foreseen death, Savitri began fasting and holding vigil. On the day of his death, Satyavan was cutting wood when he became weak and died in her arms. Savitri then took his body to the shade of a Banyan Tree (known as a Vat) and the God of Death, Yama, came to claim Satyavan’s soul. Savitri followed and offered him praise.

Content with the quality of her words, Yama offered her any boon she wanted, except for the life of her husband. She then proceeded to ask for a hundred children for herself and Satyavan. Since he couldn’t grant the wish without granting Satyavan his life, he decided to do so. Satyavan awoke and they lived out their lives happily with one another.

Savitri Puja Observations

It is typical on this day for women to fast, make offerings of water to Banyan Trees, and by tying a colored thread around the tree. It is also a day when works of charity are performed, and money, food, and clothes are given to the needy.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 6 Thursday
Next year (2025)
May 26 Monday
Last year (2023)
May 19 Friday