Vat Purnima Vrat- Observance and Significance
About Vat Purnima Vrat
Vat Purnima Vrat or Vat Purnima is one of the most significant observances for Hindu women, especially the one who are married. The fast is observed on the day of Amavasya as well as Purnima.
When is Vat Purnima Vrat?
Vat Purnima Vrat is observed by the Hindu women who are married in the month of Jyeshtha during the Purnima Tithi according to Amanta calendar which is also popularly known as Vat Savitri Vrat.
What is The Significance of Vat Purnima Vrat?
- As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Vat (Banyan) tree stands for ‘Trimurtis’ which means representing Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, and Lord Shiva. Thus, the devotees get blessed with good fortune by worshipping the Banyan tree.
- The significance and glory of this fast are also mentioned in numerous scriptures and Puranas such as Skanda Purana, Bhavishyottara Purana, Mahabharata, etc.
- The fast and puja of Vat Purnima are performed by the Hindu married women so that their husbands get blessed with prosperity, good health, and longevity.
- The observance of the Vat Purnima Vrat is a token of devotion and true love by a married woman to her husband.
What Are The Rituals of Vat Purnima Vrat?
- Women take a holy bath before sunrise with Amla and sesame seeds and wear fresh and tidy clothes. They apply vermillion as well as wear bangles which are the symbols of a married woman.
- Devotees eat the roots of the Vat (Banyan) tree on this particular day and if the fast is for continuous three days then also they consume the same with water.
- After offering prayers to the Vat tree they tie a red or yellow colored sacred thread around the trunk of the tree.
- After that, women offer rice, flowers, and water to the banyan tree and then perform Parikrama (take rounds) of the tree while reciting prayers.
- If the banyan tree is not available then devotees can form a portrait of the same with the help of sandalwood paste or turmeric on a wooden base. And then perform the rituals in a similar way.
- Devotees are also required to prepare special dishes and sacred food on the day of Vat Purnima. And once the puja is concluded, Prasad is distributed among all the family members.
- Women also seek blessings from the elderly members of their house
- Devotees must make donations and perform charities of clothes, food, money and other essentials to the needy.
What is The Vat Purnima Vrat Katha?
As per the legends, the story of Vrat Purnima Vrat states that once there was a King named Ashvapati who used to rule the Madra Kingdom. He and his wife were childless and thus as guided by a sage they performed a puja in the honor of Sun God Savitr with utmost dedication and discipline.
The deity was pleased with the penance and devotion of the couple and gave them a boon of a girl child. The child was named Savitri as she was a divine boon of Lord Savitr. As her birth was because of the strict penance of his father, the girl always lived an ascetic life.
After the king failed to find a suitable match for her daughter, he asked Savitri to find her own match. On her journey, she found Satyavan who was the son of King Dyumatsena. The king was blind and had lost all his wealth and kingdom. After considering Satyavan as his appropriate match, she returned back to her kingdom.
When she came home, Narad Muni was also present there, she informed the King about her choice. Listening to her, Narad Muni told King Ashvapati to disapprove this alliance as Satyavan has a short life and he will die in a year.
King Ashvapati asked Savitri to find someone else for her. But being an ascetic and paragon of feminine virtues she denied and said she will marry Satyavan only, no matter whether he will be short-lived or blessed with longevity. To this, her father agreed and Savitri and Satyavan tied the knot.
A year later when the time of death of Satyavan was about to come, Savitri started fasting and on the decided day of Satyavan’s death, she went to the forest with him. Suddenly Satyavan fell down near a banyan tree. Soon, Yama appeared and was about to take away Satyavan’s spirit. Savitri told Yama if you want to take him, you have to take me as well along with you as I am a chaste woman.
By seeing her determination and penance, Lord Yama granted her a boon to ask for three wishes. In her first wish, she asked for the restoration of the kingdom as well as eyesight for her father-in-law. In the second boon, she asked for 100 sons for her father, and in the last and the third boon she asked for a son from Satyavan.
Lord Yama agreed to all her wishes and was about to leave taking Satyavan along. Savitri stopped him saying how is it possible to have a son without her husband Satyavan. Lord Yama was trapped in his own words and thus he had to give back the life of Satyavan seeing the devotion and pureness of Savitri.
Since that day, Vat Purnima Vrat is celebrated and observed by hundreds of thousands of Hindu married women for the longevity of their husbands.