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Goddesses of Lunar Miracles

Goddesses of Lunar Miracles
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There no doubt about it to that India is a land of festivals. Here, every day is dedicated to particular god or goddess and in every month there is some or other festival to celebrate.
One among several festivals celebrated across the country is Vat Purnima. On the Vat Purnima married women pray for the prosperity and longevity of their husbands by tying threads around a banyan tree (vat) known as Peepal Puja on this day. It honours Savitri, the legendary wife of Satyavan, who rescued her husband’s soul from the ruler of the departed, Yama.
Vat Savitri puja is a highly auspicious festival also known as Vata Savitri Purnima or Jyeshta Purnima. This famous festival is commemorated by the followers of the sect across the country. The festival is dedicated to Sati Savitri and Goddess Gauri. On this religious occasion, married women observe a vrat, or fast, on the full moon day during the month of Jyestha as per the Hindi calendar. Though more popular in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the Vata Savitri Purnima vrat is also observed in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Delhi and some parts of Madhya Pradesh. The fast is referred to as Karadaiyan Nonbu is Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Purnima means ‘full moon’ and is celebrated on the full moon day (the 15th) of the month of Jyeshta. This year the festival will be celebrated on 28 May.
The legend has it that on a day when Savitri’s husband Satyavan was waiting for his death lying on Savitri’s lap and after sometime he stopped breathing, at this time they both were sitting underneath a banyan tree.
After the death of Satyavan the messengers of Yama were coming to take him away but Savitri was adamant and refused to give them her husband, this behaviour of Savitri forced the Yama to himself come on the earth to take away Satyavan, but she was acting still the same. So Yama decided to bestow her with a boon and she was granted with a boon of good health of her in-laws.
After getting the boon when Yama was taking away Satyavan, Savitri was following Yama, so he again offered her a boon of her parents good health too, then too she was following him and asked him a boon to give her son and Yama, without thinking anything granted her with the boon, to this Savitri questioned Yama that without husband how can she get a son.
Yama was stumped and realised the great devotion Savitri had for her husband. Lord Yama was impressed with her determination, and had to return the soul of her husband to his body. Henceforth, the world recognised her as the great ‘Sati Savitri’.
Hopefully, it’s after this incident our ancestors might have started worshipping banyan tree. During the vat puja, all married women tie thread and pray to the banyan tree for their husbands’ good health, long life and getting the same husband for next seven births. On this auspicious occasion, women get dressed in the best new clothes, jewellery, apply mehendi on their hands and pray for their husbands, they even do fast on this day. According to the myth banyan tree signifies – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Trimurtis. Under the banyan tree women offer prayer by tying threads in yellow or red colour or it can even be a simple thread and as a part of puja even flowers, rice and water is offered to the tree, along with it even bhoga is offered to Savitri. The items in the bhoga include mango, wet pulses, jackfruit, banana, lemon and many other fruits. This bhoga is offered on leaves of the tree Vada. Women break their fast by eating this bhoga. After the completion of all the rituals they take blessings from their husbands and other elderly people of the family. The bhoga is offered to everyone in the family and relatives. Yummy delicacies are prepared at home like kheer-puri, puran poli and many others.
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