Who was Sati Savitri?

In our history, great sacrifices and many unsung pioneers had existed. They were either forgotten or wiped out from our Humes. Many grave sacrifices  have  become a jest in today’s world. At least once, one  may have heard someone saying ‘I am no Sati Savitri.’ or ‘Who do you think of yourself, Raja But do we know the actual story of these people? Then, let’s get to know them!

•The story of Savitri  and Satyavan

The legend of Savitri and Satyavan is also known with the name of  Pativrata Mahatma .During the Mahabharata, Yudhisthira,the eldest Pandava asked Rishi Markandeya, a great sage, who was said to be immortal (Chiranjeevi) that was there any women who was as great Draupadi, who had struggled so hard from the second she came into existence from the havankundala. Sage Markandeya described Sati Savitri who, with her true devotion and love for her husband was able to take her husband from the clutches of death. He narrates:

Once upon a time, in the lands of Madra ruled by a king named Aswapati  was a kind and humble king. But the king was always anxious to have a child. But his prayers, unanswered, he remained childless. Thus, he performed various austerities to obtain a child in the honour of Goddess Savitri, the daughter of Savitr and the wife of the creator of the world,Brahma. It is said that he offered about 1000 oblations to Goddess Savitri who exists in  the sun. After a timespan of eighteen years, for the austerities were completed,and the goddess ,pleased by Aswapati granted him a boon (vardaana)

Thus, Aswapati is blessed to have a daughter soon. He named her Savitri in the name of the goddess herself. Savitri grew up to become a maiden with exquisite beauty and honour. Due to her exceptional beauty, men were easily intimidated by her blazing lotus eyes and nobody had the guts to ask her hand in marriage. Aswapati, one day advised her daughter to choose a husband according to her wishes. She obeyed and set out to travel various different kingdoms , looking for an eligible groom. After a year, she returned to her homeland and found Aswapati with the holy sage Narada. The father  asks Savitri about the finding of a groom. Savitri informs her father about her meeting of a man named Satayavan  who was the son of a king Dyumatsena , blind and exiled, now living in a forest. Narada also says about how handsome, controlled and truthful man Satayavan was but only flawed at one place. He was going to die in the upcoming year!And Narada said that marrying him would be a grave mistake.

Aswapati refuses the marriage. But Savitri persists about how he was the only worthy man for her. At the end, Aswapati gives in and seeks out for Dyumatsena.

Dyumatsena refused the proposal at first as he thought that she was too delicate to live in a forest.But Aswapati insisted that  how her daughter knew that happiness and sorrowfulness was never permanent. And the couple got married.Savitri took a vow of triratra  where she fasts, prays and stands the whole day. Even after many months, Savitri still dreaded the day of Satayavan as predicted by Narada which was due in only 4 days. The day when both the couple were visiting the forest to chop wood, Satayavan suddenly developed fatigue.She caressed him in her lap knowing that it was time..

Yama, the god of death eventually and to take the soul of Satayavan. Savitri refused to stay away from her husband as it was the duty of a wife and husband to stay together no matter what. Yama pleased by her deep thought and grants her the boon, the eyesight and Kingdom of  Dyumatsena returns. She still continues to argue with respect to Dharma (righteousness)Yama is pleased by her devotion and offers one more boon.Savitri asks for children from Satayavan. Yama, knowing that this would mean returning Satayavan’s soul back, blessed Savitri heartily. Savitri, with her husband return to the hermitage.

Thus, many rituals till today are followed in the remembrance of Savitri

So the next time someone teases you for being sincere, be proud!!

(source:the Calcutta art studio)

Similarly,there are people like Raja Harishchandra, who always worked for the cause of righteousness and the people during his yuga were also happy from him as king. There are many stories about Harishchandra in various Puranas and Vedas. The legend is related to many major upcoming events as to why Draupadi’s five sons died at such an early age and how truthfulness can make wonders happen. The father of our nation,Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by the stories of Harishchandra and inculcated truth in his life. Many traditions are followed by the women for their husband to live a long life. Every concept has a grave history attached to it, hidden with a deep meaning. We cannot speak truth for our whole lives   (that would be inconvenient:/ )  for we know that Raja Harishchandra had his devotion beliefs beyond materialistic needs.But at least we can try. Try to confront every difficulty in our life with an optimistic attitude. Sure, at times all you wish to do may be just bang your head in the walls due to some hurdles inspite of you being right, but this is the way of life. Or as said by wise people,’Fair means everyone gets what they want’ ( guess which book am I referring to!) and everyone can get everything because then it would not be life.

Categories: Culture and History

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