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3-Van Parv, 291-297  
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Story of Saavitree-1

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Story of Saavitree-1
Ch 291-295
Saavitree is neither a Raamaayan witness, nor a Mahaabhaarat witness. Her story comes in Mahaabhaarat, when Maarkandeya Rishi comes to see Paandav during their exile period, after Draupadee's abduction. Yudhishthir is very worried about his exile so he asks him whether he has seen any other woman who is as chaste as Draupadee, he tells the story to Saavitree to him.
Branched from     G-4-Van-51     
Saavitree-1    Saavitree-2      Saavitree-3

Maarkandeya Jee said - "Listen O Yudhishthir, How a perfect chaste was obtained by a Princess named Saavitree. Once upon a time there lived a king who was very pious in Madra country. He always served Braahman and was always true to his words. he had controlled all his senses and did many Yagya. He was a great alms giver and his people loved him very much.  But this king had no children. When he got old he got very sad because of this. With the desire of getting a child he started living on meager food. He daily offered 10,000 oblations to the fire in the name Saavitree (also called Gaayatree, the wife of Brahmaa Jee). He ate only very little at the 6th hour of the day. He did this Yagya for 18 years and wished for a child. A Devee (Goddess) appeared from the Yagya Agni and said - "I am Saavitree. I am very pleased with your worship and sacrifice, O Ashwapati, ask a boon from me. You will never disregard virtue in your life." King Ashwapati said - "I did this sacrifice with the desire of attaining virtue. if you are pleased with me then may many sons worthy of my race be born to me. I ask you only this boon. Braahman have assured me that merit lies in having offspring." Saavitree said - "Knowing your intention, I talked to Brahmaa Jee, and he has granted this favor to you that you will have a daughter of great energy. Do not ask anything else, because I have told you this at the command of Brahmaa Jee."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "Having heard this from Devee, Ashwapati said - "So be it." and pleased her again and said - "May this happen soon." Saavitree disappeared and the King came back to his city. As the time went by, the King had a beautiful daughter from his eldest queen - the Princess of Maalavaa. The King performed her all usual ceremonies. Because she was born by the grace of Devee Saavitree, the King and the Braahman named her Saavitree. Saavitree grew up as Shree Herself. Seeing her people thought that they had got a Devee. And soon the time came for her marriage. She was so radiant that no man asked for her in marriage.

On an occasion of a Parv (festival) once she took bath and she worshipped the Deity. Taking the flowers she went to her father. She touched the feet of her father, offered him the flowers and stood beside him. Seeing his daughter so like Devee her father became sad. He sxaid to her - "Dear Daughter, Now the time has come that I should give you, but none has asked you, so you yourself go out and find a suitable boy for yourself. To whom you like tell me and I will give you to him with due ceremonies. Listen to me what I say to you. I have heard this from good Braahman. Whoever father does not give his daughter comes to disgrace. And the husband who does not know his wife in season also comes to disgrace. And the son who does not protect his widow mother also suffers disgrace. Considering this you search for a husband for yourself. Let gods should not censure us." Maarkandeya Jee said -  "Then the King instructed his attendants to follow her. The girl bowed down to her father and went out. A golden chariot was decorated and she went in that chariot moving forests to forests distributing wealth."

[3-292] Maarkandeya Jee said - "On one occasion, the King of Madra, was sitting with Naarad Jee in his court, Saavitree came to her father accompanied by the King's people after visiting many sacred regions. She worshipped the feet of both and bowed down her head. Naarad Jee asked the King - "Where did your daughter go? And when did she come? Why didn't you give your daughter to a husband, since she has grown up now?" Ashwapati said - "In fact she was sent for the very same purpose. O celestial sage, Listen to her who she has chosen as her husband from her own mouth."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "The King asked her to tell him everything in detail. She replied - "There was a virtuous Kshatriya Dyumatsen among Shaalv. Unfortunately he became blind. This blind king has only one son. Taking the advantage of his blindness, one of his neighboring kings took away his kingdom. So he with his wife and his infant came to woods. he started observing severe penance and austerities. His son grew up in the hermitage. That youth is fit to be my husband. I have accepted him from my heart." Hearing this Naarad Jee said - "Alas, O King, Saavitree has committed a great wrong, of course unknowingly, although Satyavaan is of great qualities, his parents speak the truth, that is why Braahman have named him Satyavaan. In his childhood he like horses, he used to make the horses of clay, he used to draw the pictures of horses and that is why sometimes he was called as Chitraashwa too." The King asked - "Is Prince Satyavaan is endued with energy, intelligence, forgiveness and courage?" Naarad Jee replied - "In energy, Satyavaan is like Sun; in wisdom he is like Brihaspati; in bravery he is like Indra; and in forgiveness he is like Prithvi." The King again asked - "Does he give gifts? Does he respect Braahman? Is he lovely in look?" Naarad Jee said - "In giving gift. he is like the son of Sankriti, Rantidev; In devotion to Braahman he is like Shibi, the son of Usheenar; he is magnanimous like Yayaati and beautiful like Moon. And in beauty of the person he is like Ashwinee Kumaar. he has all the qualities a Prince should have."

Ashwapati said - "When you say that he possesses all the qualities, then what is wrong in his selection? Please tell me, if he has any." Naarad Jee said - "He has only one defect which has overpowered his all virtues. And that defect cannot be removed. he has only one defect and no other, that he has a very short life." Hearing this the King said to his daughter - "Come O Saavitree, Go and choose another as your hbusband. This is a great defect and it has covered his all qualities. Naarad Jee is saying that he would die within one year." Saavitree said - "The death can come only once, the daughter can be given but once, and a person can say only once "I give away". These three things can take place only once. Whether life is short or long, whether he is possessed of virtues or not, I have chosen him once, I will not select twice. First I had thought, then I have told you, then consider it carried out."

Naarad Jee said - "It seems that your daughter has set her mind, and she is not going to move from her path. No other person has so many virtues as much Satyavaan has. So give your daughter to him, I approve." Ashwapati said - "As you say, you should never be obeyed, because your words are true. I shall act as you say because you are my Guru." Naarad Jee blessed him and went away. Maarkandeya Jee said - "After saying this Naarad Jee went away." And the King had started making preparations for the wedding of his daughter.

[3-293] Maarkandeya Jee said - "After pondering over Naarad Jee's words, the King started the preparations for the marriage of his daughter. He invited Braahman and set out to the forest to the King Dyumatsen along with his daughter on an auspicious day. After arriving at the Aashram, the King went to see him on foot. As he came he saw the sage sitting on a Kush grass Aasan under a Shaal tree. He introduced himself to him. Dyumatsen offered him Arghya, a seat, and a cow and asked him - "How did you come here?" Ashwapati then talked to him about the matter of Satyavaan. He said - "This is my beautiful daughter Saavitree. Please take her from me as your daughter-in-law." Dyumatsen said - "I have no kingdom, we live here in the forest, we practice austerity by regulating our lives. How your daughter will live here in this hardship, she is a princess." Ashwapati said - My daughter and I know that happiness and miseries come and go in the life, so your words are not fit for me. I have made up mind, I bow you in friendship, please do not disappoint me. It is not good to send people back who come to you in love. You are fit for me for this marriage relationship, as I am fit for you for this marriage relationship. That is why accept my daughter as your daughter-in-law as the wife of Satyavaan." Dyumatsen said - "Before I thought about this relationship with you, but hesitated because I had lost my kingdom. But now my this wish is fulfilled. Let us fulfill it today. I welcome you."

Dyumatsen called all the Braahman of that forest and with due rites performed the marriage of both Satyavaan and Saavitree. Ashwapti gave his daughter suitable clothes and ornaments, handed over her to Dyumatsen and went back to his kingdom. Satyavaan gor very happy to get a suitable, beautiful and dedicated wife. Saavitree was also happy to get the husband of her own choice. When her father had left, she put off her good clothes and ornament and put on bark and red clothes. She had pleased everybody by her sweet nature, tenderness and self-denial. She pleased her mother-in-law by serving her personally and putting on robes and ornaments. She pleased her father-in-law by treating him as God and controlling her speech. She pleased her husband by her hard work, sweet temper and loving him in private. Thus they all lived in the forest for some time happily, but Saavitree did not forget Naarad's words.

[3-294] Maarkandeya Jee said - "The time passed and the day of death of Satyavaan arrived. Since Naarad's words always echoed in Saavitree's mind, she counted the days as they passed. When she had ascertained that Satyavaan would die on the fourth day, she started fasting day and night, observing the Tri-Raatri vow. Hearing about her vow the King became very sorrowful. He tried to comfort Saavitree - "O Daughter, This vow which you have taken up, is very difficult, because it is extremely difficult to fast for three nights together." Saavitree said politely - "O Father, Please do not worry, I will be able to observe it. I have taken up this vow with certain perseverance and perseverance is the cause of successful observance of all vows." Hearing this Dyumatsen said - "I am nobody to say you that you break the vow, but on the contrary I would say "Complete the vow." and after saying this he got quiet.

By observing that fast Saavitree got lean and thin, and knowing that Satyavaan would die tomorrow, the grief-stricken Saavitree spent the last night in extreme anguish. Next day, Saavitree finished her daily chores, offered oblations to fire, bowed down to age old Braahman, father-in-law, mother-in-law and stood before them. All the ascetics blessed her for her welfare for not suffering widowhood. Saavitree also accepted those words mentally saying "So be it". She remained there expecting the moment.

Pleased with Saavitree, her father-in-law and mother-in-law said to her sitting in a corner - "You have completed the vow as you wanted to. Now it is time to take your meal, so do whatever is proper." Saavitree replied - "As my vow is completed, but this is my wish that I will eat in the evening."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "When Saavitree spoke like this Satyavaan took his axe and set out for woods. Saavitree said - "Today you will not go alone, I will also accompany you. I cannot live separated from you." Satyavaan said - "You have never been to woods, the paths are difficult there. Besides you are weak too because of your vow, how you will be able to walk?" Saavitree said - "Neither I am feeling hungry, nor I am tired, and I have made up my mind. Please, do not stop me [from going with him]." Satyavaan said - "if you want to go, I will take you, but take permission of my parents so that I don't feel guilty."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "At this Saavitree saluted her father-in-law and mother-in-law and said to them - "My husband is going to bring fruits from the forest, please permit me to go with him. I will go with him. Today I cannot bear the separation from him. Your son is going for Yagya that is why he should not be stopped. He could be stopped if he were going for some other purpose. It is almost a year that I have gone out of this Aashram. I desire to see bloomed trees in the forest." Dyumatsen said - "Since Saavitree's father has given me his daughter, I do not remember that she has ever requested me anything, so let her go with Satyavaan, but take care that Satyavaan's work is not neglected."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "After taking permission Saavitree set to go with her husband smiling although her heart was weeping. Botth wandered around looking at beautiful scenery and smelling sweet smelling flowers. Satyavaan was admiring nature but Saavitree's mind was somewhere else. She was busy in watching Satyavaan's mood all the time, remembering Naarad Jee's words. She considered her husband already dead. She said to Satyavaan.

[3-295] Maarkandeya Jee said - "Satyavaan plucked some fruits, fell some branches. As he was collecting them he perspired and his head began to ache, so he came to Saavitree and said to her - "Dear Saavitree, Because of this hard exercise I have headache, and my body is also paining, I think I am not feeling well, it seems that hundreds of shafts are piercing my head. I want to sleep. I cannot stand even." He sat down on the ground, he kept his head in her lap and lay down. That helpless lady thinking of Naarad Jee's words, began to calculate what division, hour and moment of the day. And the next moment she saw a large dark man decked with a diadem wearing red clothes. He was standing beside Satyavaan and was gazing at him. His eyes were red and he was carrying a noose in his hand. He looked terrible.

Seeing him, Saavitree placed her husband's head on the ground and ose from her place suddenly. She said to the man - "Seeing your superhuman form I consider you a Deity. If you will, tell me who you are and what do you want to do?" Yam replied - "O Saavitree, You are ever devoted to your husband that is why I am talking to you. Know me as Yam. Your husband Satyavaan, the son of a king, has completed his age that is why I will take him tying him with my noose. That is why I have come here." Saavitree said - "I have heard that your emissary come to take the mortal, the why O Worshipful One, Why have you yourself come here?"

Maarkandeya Jee said - "Hearing this, the Lord of Pitri, with the idea to oblige her, decided to tell her everything, so he said to her - "this Prince is very qualitative. he does not deserve to be carried away by my emissaries, that is why I have come here personally." Saying this Yam Raaj pulled out a small body, equal to the size of thumb, tied it with his noose completely under his control. As Yam Raaj pulled out this Subtle body of Satyavaan, Satyavaan's physical body lay on the ground lifeless, motionless, lusterless, breathless. Carrying it Yam proceeded to Southern direction. Seeing this Saavitree also got up and followed Yam. Yam Raaj said - "Go Saavitree, perform the last rites of your husband. You are free from all your obligations to your husband. You have already come so far as it was possible to come."

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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
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