A STORY FROM THE MAHABHARATA
THE BRAVE WOMAN WHO FACED YAMA, THE GOD OF DEATH
She was Savithri, the daughter of a powerful king-a beautiful princess,
The king’s fond and sustained efforts to find her a suitor were fruitless,
As the charming princess was determined to find him on her own.
Thus set out she with the king’s guards, and soon enough found her prince,
Knowing whose background made her father the king wince!
For Satyavan was the son of a once-upon-a time king, poor and blind,
Who, along with wife was dependent on his wood-cutter son, who was kind.
As nothing would dissuade Savithri in spite of all persuasion,
The king agreed reluctantly, to honor her firm decision.
To add to his woes, the king came to know from a Seer,
That Satyavan’s life would end in just about a year.
When even this terrible information failed Savithri to deter,
The king conducted the wedding without delaying further.
In great happiness, Savithri accompanied Satyavan to the forest,
Living with the woodcutter and his parents happily in his little nest.
Together they spent their time in marital bliss- soon passed a full year.
Alas! Fate was about to tighten its noose, as already foretold by the seer.
One day, at noon, Savithri saw Yama, standing like a silent rock,
Her sleeping husband in her lap, Savithri was overcome by shock.
As Yama took Satyavan at the appointed hour, ignoring the pleas of his wife,
Savithri followed the God of Death, pleading and imploring to spare his life.
Seeing her dedication, Yama offered her a boon in place of Satyavan,
Promising to grant her anything except life of her man.
When Savithri asked to be blessed with many children,
Yama granted the boon, not realizing the implication.
On her pointing out that it would be impossible without her man,
Yama had no other choice but to return Satyavan.