The Story of Satyavan and Savitri

The Story of Satyavan and Savitri: An Inspirational Tale of Love and Devotion

The story of Satyavan and Savitri is one of the most revered and inspirational tales in Indian mythology. It is not just a story of love and devotion, but also of unwavering courage and immense faith. This story is mentioned in the Vanaparva (Forest Book) of the Mahabharata and is celebrated as Savitri Vrat or Vat Savitri Vrat. Let’s delve into this extraordinary tale in detail.

Summary of the Story:

Key Characters:
– Savitri: The devoted and determined princess
– Satyavan: The noble and righteous prince
– King Ashwapati: Savitri’s father
– Queen Malavi: Savitri’s mother
– Dyumatsena: Satyavan’s father, a blind, exiled king
– Yama: The god of death

The Tale:

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Madra, there lived a righteous king named Ashwapati and his queen, Malavi. They were blessed with a beautiful and virtuous daughter named Savitri. Savitri grew up to be a woman of exceptional beauty, intelligence, and devotion.

When the time came for Savitri to choose her husband, she embarked on a journey to find her ideal match. During her travels, she met Satyavan, the son of the exiled and blind King Dyumatsena, who lived in a forest hermitage. Satyavan, known for his virtues and righteousness, won Savitri’s heart, and she decided to marry him.

Upon returning to her kingdom, Savitri informed her parents about her decision. However, Sage Narada, who was present at that time, revealed a dire prophecy: Satyavan had only one year to live from the day of their marriage. Despite the ominous prediction, Savitri remained resolute in her decision to marry Satyavan.

Savitri and Satyavan were married, and she accompanied him to the forest, where they led a humble but content life. As the predicted day of Satyavan’s death approached, Savitri undertook rigorous fasting and penance, praying for her husband’s life.

On the fateful day, while Satyavan was chopping wood in the forest, he suddenly felt weak and laid his head on Savitri’s lap, falling unconscious. Yama, the god of death, appeared to take Satyavan’s soul. Savitri, undeterred, followed Yama as he carried Satyavan’s soul away.

Impressed by her unwavering devotion and determination, Yama granted Savitri three boons, except for the life of Satyavan. Savitri cleverly used the first boon to restore her father-in-law’s sight and kingdom, the second boon for her own father to have a hundred sons, and the third boon for herself to have a hundred sons with Satyavan. Realizing that he could not fulfill this last boon without returning Satyavan’s life, Yama was compelled to bring Satyavan back to life.

Moral of the Story:

The story of Satyavan and Savitri epitomizes the virtues of love, devotion, courage, and cleverness. It teaches us that true devotion and determination can even conquer death. Savitri’s unwavering faith and wisdom not only saved her husband but also restored the fortunes of both her and Satyavan’s families.

This tale continues to inspire millions, and the festival of Vat Savitri Vrat is celebrated by married women in India, who pray for the long life and prosperity of their husbands, drawing inspiration from Savitri’s exemplary devotion and strength.