Vat Purnima, also known as Vat Savitri Vrat
, is a Hindu festival
celebrated by married women in North India and the West Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat. A married woman expresses her love for her spouse by tying a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree on either the ‘Purina’ (full moon day) or the ‘Amavasya
‘ (no moon day) in the month of ‘Jyeshtha’ in the ancient Hindu calendar (which falls in May–June in the Gregorian calendar). . Fasting begins on ‘trayodashi’ (the 13th day) and finishes on Purnima or Amavasya. The festival is centred on the legend of Savitri and Satyavan as told in the Mahabharata.
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With the exception of Vat Savitri Vrat
, most Hindu festivals come on the same day in the Purnimanta and Amanta lunar calendars. It is observed on the ‘Jyeshtha Amavasya’. It is also known as ‘Shani Jayanti’ in the Purnimanta calendar. In contrast, Vat Savitri Vrat is observed during the ‘Jyeshtha Purnima’ and is known as ‘Vat Purnima Vrat
‘ in the Amanta calendar. As a result, married women in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and other southern Indian states observe the Vat Savitri Vrat
15 days after women in northern India.
Married Indian women observe Vat Savitri Vrat for their husbands’ and children’s health and long life. According to Hindu legend, on this day, Savitri convinced Lord Yamaraja, the God of Death, to bring her husband, Satyawan, back to life. Her faithfulness moved Lord Yamaraja that he returned her spouse to her. Since then, married ladies have been offering prayers to the ‘Vat’ (Bargad or banyan) tree.
They pray for protection for their husbands’ fortunes as well as for the expansion of their families. In India, the Vat Savitri Vrat is observed with great excitement and devotion.
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When is Vat Savitri Vrat in 2022?
Vat Savitri Vrat will be observed on May 30, 2022.
The Muhurat timings are as follows:
- Sunrise 05:45 AM on May 30, 2022
- Sunset 07:03 PM on May 30, 2022
- Amavasya Tithi Commences 02:55 PM on May 29, 2022
- Amavasya Tithi Concludes 05:00 PM on May 30, 2022
Vat Savitri Vrat dates from 2022 to 2026
|| June 6
Vat Savitri Vrat Rituals
Rituals are an important aspect of every festival or celebration. Therefore, it is imperative to perform the rituals as per the tradition to ensure an auspicious outcome of the fast or celebration. Are you curious to know the rituals to be performed for Vat Savitri Vrat
? Here’s how.
On Vat Purnima, women fast for three days in honour of their husbands, as Savitri did. Throughout the three days, depictions of a Vat (banyan) tree, Savitri, Satyavan, and Yama are drawn on the floor or a wall in the home with a paste of sandal and rice. The couple’s golden carvings are placed in a sand tray and worshipped with mantras (chanting) and Vat leaves.
Women wake up before sunrise on Vat Savitri Vrat day
. They bathe in sesame seeds and ‘amla’ (Indian gooseberry). Women dress in exquisite fresh garments and bangles and apply vermillion to their foreheads after bathing. The day begins with the offering of any five fruits and coconut. Women who fast for three days eat only the roots during that time. They consume the root of the Vat or the banyan tree with water.
The women then worship the ‘Vat’ tree by wrapping it with a white or yellow, or red coloured thread seven times around the banyan tree as a reminder of their husbands. They then perform puja by offering copper coins, water, flowers, and rice. The ladies perform a ‘parikrama’ (circumambulation) around the trees, chanting prayers as they circumambulate. The husband’s long and fruitful life is believed to be ensured by a strict commitment to the fast and tradition. During the fast, women greet each other with the phrase “Janm Savitri Ho” (meaning “Become a Savitri”). The women believe that their husbands will enjoy a long lifespan till the next seven births.
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If they do not have a banyan tree nearby, the women may create a portrait of the tree using turmeric or sandalwood paste on a wood or plate. On Vat Savitri Vrat pujas
are performed and special delicacies are prepared as Naivedhya. This is then served among friends and families after the puja. They recite and listen to the Vat Savitri Vrat Katha
during their fast. On the occasion of Vat Savitri, women seek blessings from elders and married women in the household.
On Vat Savitri Vrat
, offering charity is also immensely fulfilling. Devotees donate money, food, and clothing to the poor and destitute on this day which helps them in gaining divine blessings.
The Legend of Vat Savitri Vrat – Vat Savitri Vrat Katha
Isn’t it interesting to read stories, especially mythological ones that depict a celebration’s origin or fast? Well, the Vat Savitri Vrat story is equally interesting. Read on to find out.
The legends are based on a story from the Mahabharata period. It narrates that Asvapati, the childless monarch, and his consort Malavi desire a son. Finally, the God Savitr appears and informs Asvapathi that he will have a daughter shortly. Soon after, a daughter was born to Asvapathi and Malavi, and they named her Savitri in honour of God Savitr.
Savitri was very lovely and pure that it intimidated the men in her kingdom, and no man could ask for her hand in marriage. Asvapathi then advised Savitri to find a husband for herself. So she embarked on a journey and met Satyavan, the son of a blind monarch, Dyumatsena, who was exiled to the forest. Savitri returned home to inform her father about her decision to marry Satyavan. Sage Narada informed her that she had made the wrong decision as Satyavan, who was flawless in every way, would die one year from that day. However, Savitri refused to back down and married Satyavan.
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Three days before the Satyavan’s predicted death, Savitri takes fasting and vigil. While her father-in-law dissuaded her from such an excessively difficult regimen, she replied that she had sworn an oath to follow it with devotion and dedication, and Dyumatsena, therefore, supported her decision. While splitting wood on the morning of his anticipated death, Satyavan felt weak and collapsed on Savitri’s lap and died. Savitri laid his body beneath the Vat (Banyan) tree. When Yama, the deity of Death, came to claim Satyavan’s soul, Savitri pursued Yama as he carried away Satyavan’s soul. On her way, she praised Lord Yama, who was impressed by her devotion and offered her three boons except for Satyavan’s life.
Seizing the chance, Savitri first requested the restoration of her father-in-law’s eyesight and kingdom. She then asked for a hundred children for her father and finally asked for a hundred children for herself and Satyavan. Hearing the third wish, Lord Yama was caught in a dilemma as it meant indirectly granting Satyavan’s life. As Savitri was immensely devoted and faithful to her husband, Lord Yama therefore, granted Savitri another chance to pick any boon, moved by her dedication and purity. Savitri immediately requested Satyavan’s resurrection to life. Lord Yama granted her wish by returning Satyavan to life and blessed Savitri with endless happiness.
Satyavan appeared to wake up from a deep slumber, and he, along with Savitri, returned to his parents. Meanwhile, Dyumatsena regained his vision. Seeing Satyavan alive, everyone gathered around in astonishment. Savitri then narrated the entire story to her in-laws, husband and the assembled ascetics. Soon after, Dyumatsena’s ministers arrived with word of his tyrant’s death. The king and his entourage returned to their kingdom with elation. Even though the banyan tree had no essential role in the story, it is revered in honour of the legend’s love.
The Significance of Vat Savitri Vrat
Several Hindu Puranas, such as the Bhavishyottar Purana and the Skanda Purana, recount the Vat Savitri Vrat’s
immeasurable glories. It also describes the rationale behind devotees worshipping the ‘Vat,’ or Banyan tree, on Vat Savitri Vrat. According to Hindu mythology, the banyan tree symbolises the ‘Trimurtis,’ i.e. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Maheshwara. The tree’s roots symbolize Lord Brahma, the stem represents Lord Vishnu, and the top of the tree represents Lord Shiva. Furthermore, the entire ‘Vat’ tree represents ‘Savitri.’ On this day, women maintain a sacred fast to secure their husbands’ safety and pray for their good luck and success.
Author B. A. Gupte cites a Pauranic extract in his book to argue that the festival’s mythology is symbolic of natural phenomena. According to him, he notes that Satyavan and Savitri signify the annual matrimony of the earth and nature. It’s similar to how the earth dies every year and is reborn by natural forces. He believes the Vat tree was chosen because of the legendary features of the tree that Indians are familiar with