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  • Princess Savitri of the Madra Kingdom was as benevolent, brilliant, and bright

  • as the Sun God she was named for.

  • Her grace was known throughout the land,

  • and many powerful princes and wealthy merchants flocked to her family's palace

  • to seek her hand in marriage.

  • But upon witnessing her blinding splendor in person,

  • the men lost their nerve.

  • Unimpressed with these suitors,

  • the princess determined to find a husband herself.

  • Mounting her golden chariot, she travelled through rolling deserts,

  • glittering cities and snow-capped mountains

  • rejecting many men along the way.

  • Eventually, Savitri ventured deep into the jungle,

  • where she met a young man chopping wood.

  • His name was Satyavan, and like her, he loved the tranquil forest

  • but the princess saw he was not at peace.

  • After talking for hours, Satyavan told her of his plight.

  • His parents had once been wealthy rulers,

  • until his father was blinded and overthrown in a violent coup.

  • Now Satyavan worked tirelessly to support their meager new life.

  • His determination and devotion moved the princess.

  • As they gazed into each other's eyes, she knew she'd finally found an equal.

  • Savitri rushed home to tell her father the good news,

  • only to find him conversing with Narada

  • a traveling sage and wisest messenger of the Gods.

  • At first her father was thrilled to learn of Satyavan,

  • but Narada revealed a tragic prophecy: her betrothed had only a year to live.

  • Savitri's blood ran cold.

  • She'd waited so long to find her partnerwas she already doomed to lose him?

  • The princess would not accept these terms.

  • She swore before Narada, her family,

  • and Savitr himself that she would never marry another.

  • Satyavan was her one true love, and their fates were entwined forever.

  • Moved by her powerful words,

  • the sage told the princess to follow an ancient spiritual regimen.

  • With regular prayer, periods of fasting,

  • and preparation of special herbs and plants,

  • she might be able to prolong Satyavan's life.

  • After a simple wedding, the couple returned to the jungle to live

  • in keeping with the sage's instructions.

  • This modest existence was a far cry from her lavish upbringing,

  • but they were happy in each other's company.

  • A year passed, and the fated day arrived.

  • On their first anniversary, the sun grew horribly hot,

  • and Satyavan's brow began to burn,

  • Savitri barely had time to drag him into the shade,

  • before he grew still and cold.

  • Through her tears, the princess saw an immense figure on the horizon.

  • This was Yamraj, the God of Death,

  • come to escort Satyavan's soul to the afterlife.

  • But Savitri was not giving up yet.

  • She followed the god for hours in the beating sun.

  • Yamraj thundered at the princess to leave him in peace.

  • But even as her feet bled and throat burned, Savitri would not turn back.

  • Eventually, Yamraj paused.

  • He would grant her one wish as reward for her persistence,

  • but she couldn't ask for her husband's life.

  • Without hesitating, Savitri asked the God to restore her father in-law's sight.

  • The wish was granted, and Yamraj rode on.

  • But still Savitri's footsteps echoed behind him.

  • Exasperated, the God granted her a second wish.

  • This time, she asked for Satyavan's kingdom to be restored.

  • Again the wish was granted,

  • and Yamraj began his descent into his subterranean kingdom.

  • But when he glanced back,

  • he was astounded to see the bedraggled princess stumbling along.

  • He'd never seen such devotion to the dead,

  • and he honored her dedication with one final wish.

  • Savitri wished to be the mother of many children.

  • The God agreed, and waved to dismiss her.

  • But the princess only repeated the vow she'd made one year earlier:

  • her fate was forever entwined with Satyavan.

  • How could she bear many children, if Yamraj would not return her husband?

  • Hearing this clever question the god relented, knowing he'd been beaten.

  • With Yamraj's blessing and respect, Satyavan was returned to Savitri,

  • and the two walked back to the land of the living,

  • united in a love that not even death could destroy.

Princess Savitri of the Madra Kingdom was as benevolent, brilliant, and bright

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B2 TED-Ed princess god sage father kingdom

Savitri and Satyavan: The legend of the princess who outwitted Death - Iseult Gillespie

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/12
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