Today is Karadayan Nombu. An important day for the ladies in Tamil Nadu. Unmarried girls pray for a good husband, and married ladies pray that they stay close to their husband forever. There is a legendary story about Satyavaan Savithri, which is linked to this particular festival. The story is beutifully written in the following blog post.
Each day Savithri prays to Goddess Gowri holding her thirumangalyam in her hands, that they remain strong, hanging from her neck, that the day never come when Sathyavan be taken away from her. The month of Panguni follows Masi and brings with it the God of death, Yama. She senses his presence even before he has touched Sathyavan. Tall, strong and proud, his hands carrying a golden Gaja – his weapon, gold earrings, chains and bracelets contrasting with the dark shade of his skin – they seem out of place, happy and glowing with promise as he walks with firm, confident steps towards Sathyavan to claim his soul.
Who is this woman who dares obstruct his way? He is surprised to see her match his glare with confidence and resolve.
There are two versions for the end of the story though. The story in the above blog posting is that, Lord Yama (God of Death) gives Savithri a boon – anything except her husbands life. She wants a 100 sons, and Yama says ok. But she then questions him, that, for getting the 100 sons, she needs her husband, and that he must necessarily give him back.
The other version that I have heard is that, when Lord Yama comes to take the life of Satyavaan, Savithri prostrates before him, and offers him the prasadam. And pleased as he is, he blesses her (in the happiness of the moment) to be a Sumangali forever. Sumangali means, one who is living happily with her husband. And since he has given the blessing, he cannot take Satyavaan away.
Either ways, Happy Karadayaan Nombu ; and wishing all married ladies a happy married life, and all unmarried lasses, that they find their Satyavaan of choice soon.