Vat Purnima or Wat Purnima is falling on May 25 2017 Thursday. Timings of Tithi begin 05:07 on May 25 and end 01:14 on May 26. It is a traditional festival celebrated across India in different states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana. Traditional festivals of Amanta and Purnimanta as per the Hindu lunar calendar occur on the same day. The northern parts such as Madhya Pradesh, Harayana, Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh of India go in accordance with Purnimanta Calender whereas the southern parts follow Amanta Calender.
However Vat Savitri Vrat could be considered as an exception. In Purnimanta calendar Vat Savitri Vrat is observed during Jyeshtha Amavasya (No moon day) on May 25 2017, Thursday which coincides with Shani Jayanti. In Amanta calendar Vat Savitri Vrat is observed during Jyeshtha Purnima on June 9, 2017 (Friday). But Vat Savitri Vrat stands aside. As per Purnimanta calender, this Vrat is followed in Jyeshtha New Moon Day which concurs with Shani Jayanti. Thus, in the states like Maharastra, Gujarat and those of south India, wives follow Vat Savitri Vrat a fortnight later than the married women of northern states.
The legend of Savitri is mentioned in the Vana Parva section of the Mahabharata. It is narrated by Sage Markandeya to the King Yudhisthira who wishes to know whether there’s anyone in the world who matches the devotional qualities of Draupadi. The sage shares with him the life of Savitri. Asvapati, the king of Madra Kingdom, had no child. To have a child, he performed penances and offered prayers to the sun god Satvir who granted him a boon that a female child will be born. Later, the king becomes joyful to see the child born and names her Savitir, from the son god Savitri. Since she was born due her father’s sever penances, she naturally led an ascetic life. However, no man was interested in getting her as his wife. Then at the request of her father, she set out to find a man suitable for marriage and met Satyavan, son of the blind king Dyumatsena of Salwa Kingdom. After having determined to marry him, Savitri returned home and saw Narada Muni informing her father about her choosing Satyavan who was going to die in a year. Her father asked her to find someone else she denied saying that she could select a man only once in a lifetime since she was of an ascetic spirit. Narada Muni and her father agreed.
A year later, seated under a banyan tree, Satyavan in his wife’s lap was waiting for his death summon from the god of death Yama. Soon, the messengers of Yama appeared on the scene to take away her husband but she refused to hand her husband over to him. They could not take him away until Lord Yama Himself appeared who, seeing her matchless devotion, spiritual knowledge determination, offered her a boon. She asked for eyesight and restoration of the kingdom for her father-in-law, a hundred children for her father, and a hundred children for herself and Satyavan. Yama couldn’t agree with her last wish. Nevertheless, impressed by her devotion and pureness, he asked her to wish one more time forgetting to mention his denial to grant the third wish. Savitru immediately asked for the life of Satyavan. The death god Yama who does not spare even a sinned ant had to return the life to Satyavan.
How is Vat Purnima celebrated?
On this day, wives pray to the Divine for their husbands’ prosperity and longevity by performing Vat Purnima Puja Vidh which includes tying ritual threads around the trunk of a banyan tree (Vata); this ritual is also called as Peepal puja.
During this festival, women observe fast for their husbands, putting on bridal dresses and elegant jewellery.
The fast is observed throughout the night until next morning. The next morning women break their fast and offer charity to Brahmins. Women engage in the worship of a banyan (Vata) tree, and listen to the legend of Savitri.
After the women offer water to the tree and spread red powder (kumkum) on it, cotton threads are wrapped round tree's trunks and they do parikrama or circumambulate seven times round it.
If you want to have Vat Savitri Purnima puja vidhi performed for you, you can visit here for details. The puja includes Kalash Sthapana, Panchang Sthapana(Gauri Ganesh, Punyavachan, Shodash Matrika, Navgraha, Sarvotabhadra), 64 yogini Pujan, Shetrapal Pujan, Swasti Vachan, Sankalpa, Ganesh Pujan and Abhishek, Navgraha Pujan and 108 chants of each planetary mantra, Invocation of major Gods and Goddesses in Kalash, Chanting of Dwadashakshar Mantra 2100 times, Aarti and Pushpaanjali.
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