Author – Padmaja Vangala
Sri Ganeshaya Namaha
Sri Gurubhoy Namaha
Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha.
Jyestha Shukla Purnima
Vat Savitri Vrat
Jyestha month is auspicious for traditional Ceremonies like Thread ceremonies and Marriages. On full moon day, the Jyestha star appears known as Jyestha Purnima. Vat Savitri Vrat is performed by women folk. Vat means Banyan tree.
Performing pooja to the banyan tree is important on this day. In some places, it is observed but not much popular throughout India. This vrat is observed by married women for happy marital life and longevity of husband. Unmarried women also can perform for a lovable husband and healthy married life.
The mythological story in Mahabharat reveals its importance and the birth of Sati Savitri who is a royal princess belonging to the solar Dynasty. King Ashwapati belongs to the Bhadra dynasty. He is a courageous and loyal king with wealth and pleasure. But he is not blessed with children. He performed 16 years of pooja of Savitri a shakti of Sun God for a baby boy at the advice of Kulguru as he belongs to Solar Dynasty. After 16 years of pooja, he was blessed with a baby girl named Savitri. She is beautiful, obedient and loyal like her father. She is an ardent devotee and used performing pooja since her childhood. She developed self-respect and self survival. When she has grown up her father decided to get her married to a renowned King. She refused and decided to get married on her own. She left home in search of her husband in a forest. She reached the Salva kingdom and Raja Dhuymatsen is blind poor King.
His son is an exile Prince by the name of Satyavan son of a blind king living without any kingdom. Satyavan and his family are poor. Even then she decided to marry him. Sage Narada said Satyavan doesn’t live for more than a year. He dies within the year.
Raja Ashwapati refused their marriage. Even then she is stubborn to marry him. Savitri explained once Arya Kanya decides a person as husband, she cannot change her decision as it is against dharma. They got married with the blessings of their families.
After their marriage, Sati Savitri renders her services to her inlaws and her husband. She is deeply devoted to her husband with distinguished services. After the marriage of Savitri, she is said to be Maha pativrata and sati.
Sati means A woman for their chastity and loyalty to their husband. Sati Savitri is one among seven great women, Sati, Sita, Savitri, Anasuya, Ahalya, Dhamayanti and Mandodari.
All saptha Sati is famous for ages for their chastity and austerity to maintain honorable married life. It made them achieve what they needed. No man dare enough to vision Sati women. Sati is such a woman even if any person makes any comment or disrespect against her husband she will die herself with the power of her chastity.
The sati parampara started with Sati Devi a Daksha Kanya. Dakshaprajapati daughter Sati married Lord Shiva against the wishes of her parents. Since their marriage, Daksha Prajapati neglected Sati Devi and Shiva. One day Sati Devi came to know her father performing Daksha Yagnam and she went to attend Yagna without invitation from her parents.
During Daksha yagna her father Daksha disrespected Lord Shiva in front of Sati Devi. She couldn’t control her anger and immediately she herself set a fire which resulted in death. Then her body parts broke by Vishnu chakra into 108 pieces and they are famous as Shakti peeth out of which 54 Shakti peeth are auspicious.
Since then Lineage of Sati started. Later on, Sati Sahagamana is popular which means the wife herself sit on the deceased husband’s funeral pyre and she dies with her husband. Raja Rammohan roy founder of Brahma Samaj abolished sati Sahagamana. Since then Indian Government passed Sati abolish act.
Now story of Sati Savitri is to extend life of her husband. But she is always in worry about her husband’s life. One day when Satyavan went to the forest to cut wood and he climbed on the Banyan tree to cut the trunk, but he suffered from a headache and lie down under a tree.
The day was Jyestha purnima. Sati Savitri observing fast since three days before Purnima. Immediately Sati Savitri recollect words of Sage Narada and took her husband on her lap under Banyan tree. Lord Yama Dharmaraja about to take life of Satyavan, Savitri being Sati able to see Lord Yama and chanted Yama asthakam and sthavan to protect her husband from death.
She requested Lord Yama to extend life of her husband. Lord Yama is God of death and Dharma, he is called as Yamadharma Raju. He is the king of Yamlok. He refused to extend life of Satyavan husband of Sati Savitri. Lord Yama took life of Satyavan.
With great pain and grief, she decided to protect her husband and accompanied Lord Yama to Yama lok. It was mid-afternoon Lord’s sun appeared bright and hot. Lord Yama is the son of Lord Sun and Sandhya. Sati Savitri is the blessed child of Savitri Devi Shakti of Lord Sun. Both are belonged to Solar Dynasty.
It is natural to have abundant love and affection on a blessed child than own child. Lord Sun warned his son Yama not to neglect the request of Sati women, her anger and curse results in dire consequences and convenieced to fulfil her request. Then Lord Yama told Sati Savitri to ask for three boons except for her husband’s life.
Sati Savitri clever woman said to make her in-laws with good vision. The second is to give their kingdom with wealth and pleasure and lastly to give birth to 100 children and live with prosperity and happy marital life. Lord Yama granted three boons of happiness as Sati Savitri not requested her husband’s life.
Now the matter is how can she have 100 children without her husband and lead Sumangali life. She said to Lord Yama I maintain chastity and loyalty towards my husband, I cannot accept any other person as my husband. Either take back your boon or give back my husband’s life.
Then Lord Sun smiled and said this is the power of sati, don’t take back your boon, extend life of her husband Satyavan. Lord Yama shocked at her intelligence and said he will live with longer life.
Sati Savitri is great ful to Lord Sun and Yama and returned to her husband’s dead body. On Jyestha Purnima she performed vrat to extend her husband’s life under banyan tree.
This tree is abode of Brahma Vishnu and Maheswar a trimurti Shakti. The pooja is detailed in Devi, Narasimha Puran, and Surya and with Yam ashtakam and sthavan. After completion of Vrat, Satyavan became alive, and both went to their hermitage to meet her in-laws. They lost blindness and got good vision. They also acquired their kingdom and lived with wealth and pleasure.
On this day irrespective of caste and community all women can perform this Vat Savitri Pooja. In Astrology Banyan tree is the lord of Magha Nakshatra and people born with this star have to plant, groom and worship for their lifetime.
The oxygen of the Banyan tree improves its life span and removes respiratory problems. Every village is planted with banyan trees and travelers used to take a rest under trees. It got Spiritual and medicinal values. On this day women wake up early, take shower, wear a white saree, decorate traditionally, and go to a banyan tree to offer water to the tree.
In one small pot of water drop a bundle of thread and take one end of thread tie seven rounds of thread to the fig tree and keep the bundle along with it as Sapthapadi to overcome Yama pasham. Don’t cut the thread. Then perform pooja according to your custom and tradition.
Then offer saree and blouse piece green or white with wheat, green bangles, mangal sutra, toe rings, and five ripe mangoes. If local pandits are available, take their help for performing pooja. Otherwise above-mentioned pooja is sufficient.
Perform Arati, then distribute blouse pieces and Mangoes to women. Savitri performed same pooja and protected her husband from death and extended his life. Lord Dakshinamurthy performs penance under Banyan tree. He is Brahmachari and Shiva Swaroop.
His temple is located at Kottapakonda near Guntur District, Andhrapradesh. The importance of the Banyan tree is explained by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in Bhagavat Geeta. Lord Krishna explained in Bhagavat Geeta in the human body there is a Banyan tree whose roots are upward and branches are downward to attain kundalini to recite Vedic hyms.
In Anantapur District, in Andhra Pradesh, there is 570 years old Banyan tree. In Mehaboob Nagar District, Telangana, 700 years old Banyan Tree called Pillamarri chettu can be seen. Likewise oldest trees are in Calcutta, Chennai, and Bangalore.
Perform pooja of Banyan tree planted in temple for healthy marital life and recite Yama ashtakam to overcome accidents or accidental deaths.