Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Satyavan - Husband of Savitri


Satyavan was the son of King Dyumatsena of the Salwas. His father was forced into exile by the machinations of their kinsmen, and the royal family, consisting of the King, Queen and their son Satyavan was forced to live in the forest, subsisting on Satyavan's earnings as a woodcutter.

Savitri, the daughter of King Aswapati of the Madra kingdom, fell in love with him and convinced her father to sanction the marriage, despite knowing that Satyavan's lifespan was foretold to be short.

The couple spent many years happily in the forest, till the day of Satyavan's foretold death. On that day, Savitri accompanied him when he went to cut wood, and when he fell asleep on her lap, kept a watchful eye for danger.

When Yama appeared and took the life of Satyavan, Savitri started following him. Pleased, the lord of the underworld granted her two boons (except the life of Satyavan). She asked that her father-in-law's kingdom be restored to him, and for a hundred illustrious sons to be born to her.

Without thinking, Yama granted both boons, and belatedly realized that the only way for Savitri to bear a hundred sons was for Satyavan to come alive again, for she was a devoted wife, and would not look at another man. [See Maarkandeya for another instance in which Yama is forced to let a mortal live beyond his ordained time of death.]

Satyavan came back to life, and after hearing the particulars from his wife, was overjoyed. As Yama had promised, their enemies were routed. King Dyumatsena regained the throne, where he was succeeded after his death by Satyavan.

Last Modified At: Mon Dec 19 08:17:21 2005