Vad or some people say vat – means higher or superior
Punam is full moon
And Savitri refers to the story of Satyavan and Savitri
This story was narrated in Mahabharat when Yudhisthir asked a sage if there was any woman pure like Draupadi (mind you she had 5 husband). Thats when sage Markandey tells him the story of Savitri.
There was a kingdom called Shalva. The king over there was Dyumnasena and he lost his kingdom and eyesight from gambling. He and his were forced to live in exile in a forrest with his son Satyavan
There was another king of Madra, whose name was Ashwapati who was very pious and did not have any children. He prayed to the God Savitr. (Which means sun) and he blessed them with a daughter who was named Savitri. Savitri is very pure and pious. So when it was time for her marriage, no one would marry her. So her father told her to travel and find her own husband. She found Satyawan and decided she want to marry him.. Narada muni appeared and said, he is not a good choice. Satywan will die in 1 year.
But Savitri remained adamant and married Satyawan. When 3 days were left in the life of Satyawan she stopped eating and drinking. On the fateful day, she asks permission to go to the forrest with Satyawan. Mid day, Satywan says he has a headache and lies down on the lap of Savitri. The God of death Yama Raja sends his messenger to take Satywan but they could not take him because of Savitri purity. Then he comes himself and takes the soul but Savitri follows him. Yama Raja is suprprised that she can see him and follow up. They walk together and after 3 steps Yamaraja asks what do you want. She says we are friends since we walked 3 steps together. Pleased with her answer he tells her to ask for 3 boons but she cannot ask for Satyawan to be alive
So her first boon she asks for is that her father in law regain his eye sight and get his kingdom back. Second boon she asks for her father to have 100 sons. and as a final boon asks for her to have 100 children with Satyawan. Yama raja laughed and saw through her trick. He then asks her to ask again…anything she wants. Since this time there was no restriction, she immediately asked the right thing – life of Satyavan back.
Yama raja was pleased and gave her all her wishes
So today is Vat Savirtri punam. And this was the story.
Now the interpretation. I will give a brief interpretation. Shalva the kingdom also has another history in the Vishnu Purana – he was a demon, enemy of Vishnu. In any event,the word Dyumna means light and sena means army. Losing his sight, refers to the Atman meaning the knowledge of self being lost and succumbing to ignorance. Living in the forrest means now he becomes a soul named Satyavan and forced to live in the world. ( the spiritual splendor lost). He has a limited life. Our time on earth is very short
Savitri the daughter a gift from the sun, refers to the divine Shakti, Tripur Shakti. She takes an oath to save the soul. And her journey and 3 steps with Yama raja refers to the journey of saving the soul from Yama raja – the God of death.
Winning the battle over the God of death – is to reach immortality, which means knowing ones divine self.