In North India, Vat Savitri Vrat is observed on Amavasya Tithi (New Moon) of Jyeshtha month of the Hindu calendar and in South India, the Vrat is observed on Purnima Tithi (Full Moon) of Jyeshtha month. On this day, women in many parts of Bharat tie a thread around the Vat Vruksh (pipal tree) and pray for the long life of their husband.
Many ‘modern’ people wonder why the wife has to keep fasts and pray for the husband. Why don’t husbands do this? Actually, the husband has no choice but pass on his accrued blessings to his wife. As per our Shastras, half of the blessings (punya) got when a husband does a Puja, pilgrimage, mediation or any good deed, goes to the wife. No question asked, no option given! But the blessings received by a wife are not split between the husband and the wife.
Now, how can the wife show her gratitude to her husband? She prays for him and keeps a fast for his long and happy life. Some women are not able to keep a fast … they pray for their husband’s and family’s wellbeing. It is silly and derogatory to call this ‘patriarchal abuse of women’, like some are calling it these days. In Bharat, the family is a close-knit unit and all members work and pray for the wellbeing of all in the family.
Excerpted from Rati Hegde’s book, Tales of Bharat)