Vat Purnima or Vat Savitri Vrat is a day to celebrate a woman’s love for her husband in the Indian states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and some regions of eastern Uttar Pradesh. As the name suggests, this day honours the dedication shown by Savitri towards her husband, Satyavan, when she saved him from Yamraj, the Lord of Death. On this day, women pay their respects to Savitri by listening to the vat savitri katha, which dates back to the age of Mahabharata.
Auspicious Timings For Vat Savitri
Vat Savitri Purnima Vrat – June 24, 2021
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 01:57 PM on Jun 09, 2021
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 04:22 PM on Jun 10, 2021
Vat Savitri History
Vat Savitri is associated with the legend of Savitri, who saved her husband Satyavan from the God of death, Yamraj. It is believed that Savitri, the beautiful daughter of King Aswapati of Madra Desa, married Prince Satyavan. One day as Satyavan was cutting wood in the jungle, his head reeled and then Yamraj appeared to take his soul away. Savitri pleaded with Yamraj to not take away her husband. It is believed that Savitri followed her husband’s soul till the gates of Lord Yama’s abode. Moved by her dedication, Yamraj decides to let go of Satyavan’s soul and since then, married women in India have been fasting with utmost dedication to ensure their husband’s longevity and safety.
Vat Savitri Significance
Vat Savitri has great significance in Hindu hearts. Married women in India observe a full-day fast on Jyeshtha Amavasya (no moon night in Jyestha month) for their husband’s long life. vat savitri vrat is observed to seek the blessing of Savitri Devi and the lords above for one’s husband’s long life and prosperity.
Vat Savitri Puja
On this day, married Hindu women wake up and after taking a bath, wear fresh clothes and get ready by doing solah shringar. They follow a vat Savitri puja vidhi. Women observe fast and visit a place that has a Banyan tree (Vat Vrishka) to offer puja. There they place the idol Satyavan and Savitri at the bottom of the tree’s trunk and offer five fruits, incense sticks, red cloth and vermilion to the idols. After that women listen to the legend of vat Savitri vrat katha and then they start circumambulating the tree while winding the yellow and red thread around the tree’s trunk they do as many parikramas as possible – 11, 21, 51 or 108 times. At last, women seek blessings from Savitri and Satyavan for the well-being of their spouses.
The Do’s and Don’ts Of Fasting
Vat Savitri is celebrated twice a year, based on the two Hindu lunar calendars- Amanta and Purnimanta. According to the purnimanta calendar, Vat Savitri Vrat is observed on a no moon day (Amavasya) in the month of Jyeshtha which coincides with Shani Jayanti. Due to which it is also known as the Jyeshtha Amavasya whereas in Amanta calendar Vat Savitri Vrat, which is also called Vat Purnima Vrat, is observed during Jyeshtha Purnima. The Vat Savitri Vrat is observed by all married women for the well being and long life of their husband.
- Fasting women must listen to Vat Savitri Vrat Katha while sitting under a banyan tree as Savitri too saved her husband by observing a fast under the banyan tree. The Vrat is seen as incomplete if you don’t listen to Vat Savitri Katha
- Women who are observing a fast today must wake up early and offer water to the Sun. It is recommended to add some Ganga Jal to your bathing water
- The women should also adorn themselves and do solah sringar (16 bridal adornments)
- Fasting women should wear new clothes and apply vermillion on their forehead
- It is important to collect all essential vrat items and put them all in a decorated basket or a tray. When you are worshipping the idols and the banyan, then make offerings from this basket
- The pure bhoga or the offering that is made to the idols includes fruits and flowers, especially wet pulses, rice, mangos, jackfruits, palm fruits, kendu, bananas
- While worshipping the banyan tree, wrap a yellow-red thread around the tree trunk and revolve around the tree at least 3 times
How To Perform Vat Savitri Puja At Home
Owing to the current lockdown situation, you can perform your Savitri Puja at home. In the absence of a tree or in case of inability to go out of the house, you can create your own tree at home by using turmeric or sandalwood and perform the Savitri Puja with the same zeal.
- Vat savitri puja vidhi includes waking up early and bathe, preferably adding some Ganga Jal to the bathwater and then wearing clean and new clothes
- Cook fresh pooris. Carry 24 pooris with washed fruits in the pallu or on a platter
- Take these pooris and fal-naivedyam (fruits as offering to God) to the tree you will worship
- Offer haldi and kum kum to the tree
- With devotion, keep half the pooris (12 pcs) as a prasad offering at the tree’s base
- Make a Swastika out of haldi, roli (kum kum) and akshat (grains of rice) before the tree
- Light dhoop, deep, agarbatti
- Take a small bundle/roll of kachcha sooti dhaga or cotton thread and go round the tree – tying the thread around the tree trunk
- Offer a grain of chana at the base of the tree after every round
- Complete 12 such rounds
- Sit down before the Vat tree and pray
- In the daytime, find time to read aloud the Vat Savitri Vrat Katha – the story of Satyavan and Savitri, their undying love for each other and how they made the God of Death relent to their prayers
- In the evening, break your fast by first swallowing the red-coloured bud of a bargad tree and 11 soaked or roasted chana grains
Vat is the Sanskrit term for a banyan tree while ‘Savitri‘ was the woman who fought against death to bring her husband back to life and hence the festival is named Vat Savitri. Preaching the commitment and love for her husband that Savitri entitled, married Hindu women celebrate the festival of ‘Vat Savitri‘ every year.