Jyeshtha Purnima is observed by married Hindu women who consider Goddess Savitri as their role model. It is celebrated on a full moon day that falls in the month of jyeshth according to the Hindu calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar the auspicious day would take place in the summer months of May or June. The day celebrates marital devotion and purity of women living a wedded life in India. Besides Savitri, women worship Lord Brahma, Yama and Narad on this day. Her husband, Satyavan, whose life Yama had taken away only to restore it after her intervention is also prayed to, on this day. It is believed that women praying and fasting on this day are blessed with a harmonious married life and long life of spouse.
The legend of Savitri
It was Yudhishthira, the eldest of Pandavas, whose curiosity led to the revelation of this incredible tale of determination and devotion. During Mahabharata, when the first-born of Kunti asks sage Markandeya if there ever lived a woman who could match the devotion of Draupadi, the wise old man narrated the tale of Savitri.
According to the tale, Savitri was born to king Asvapati who ruled the Madra kingdom. When she was of marriageable age, she chose to spend the rest of her life with Satyavan, son of exiled king Dyumatsena who once ruled the Salwa kingdom. When she announces her decision to her father, Lord Narad intervenes with the shattering prediction that Satyavan who she has chosen to be her husband would die in a year and has not be bestowed with life on earth beyond that period.
When all attempts to have her reconsider the decision fail, Asvapati surrenders to his daughter’s decision and the two get tied up in a nuptial knot. Savitri moves to the forest with her husband where he lived with his parents. She discards her royal finery and, like her spouse chooses to live the life befitting a hermit.
When finally the day of reckoning arrives, Savitri follows her husband to the forest where he breathes his last in the arms of his beloved wife. Yama, the lord of death arrives in person to reclaim Satyavan’s soul. According to the legend Savitri follows Yama and refuses to give up her chase of the death’s incarnation. During the course of her journey with Yama, which lasted for three day and nights, the two exchanged several nuggets of wisdom on Dharma and wisdom.
Yama who is impressed by her indefatigable pursuit of husband even in death asks her to wish for anything but Satyavan’s life, to which she asks for children with Satyavan. Caught in a dilemma and impressed by the young woman’s intelligence, he bestows her with another wish, this time without any rider. Savitri asks for Satyana’s life. Granting her wish, Yama returns Satyavan to mortal life again.
Keep your kids safe by observing Sakat Chauth
The Hindus accord a great respect and devotion to the banyan tree on this day. The Banyan tree is considered a symbol of divinity and purity. The engaging conversation between Savitri and Yama is believed to have happened under a Banyan tree. As per Hindu scriptures, the banyan tree represents the trinity of Gods: Brahma, Vinshnu and Mahesh. It is, therefore, suggested that offering prayers to the banyan tree appeases the three Gods who are keepers of the universe. When Jyeshtha Purnima is followed properly, it brings great happiness in physical and mental well being of a married woman.