#TheHeritageLife: Vat Purnima

"Vat Purnima is one of the holy traditions followed by married women especially in Maharashtra, where we offer prayers to a Banyan Tree (Vat/Vad in marathi) for the long life of our husbands. Generally, we fast on this auspicious day and take seven rounds around the holy tree dropping water at its roots. It is believed that in ancient times Savitri could bring back to life her dying husband after offering her sincere prayers to this pious tree.
As a child this tradition was very mesmerising as I could see my mom in the best of her attire and decked up in Maharashtrian jewellery - specially the shining Laxmi haar with a Nath (traditional nose ring).
We siblings accompanied her to the nearby Gaondevi Mandir (local deity temple) and waited for the tempting fruit platter of local fruits (mango, jackfruit and jamun) to be served on a leaf called "Vaan". I can still smell those flavours.
There is one more traditional way of performing this pooja, which my grandmother-in-law used to follow. She used to perform this ritual by making a rangoli of the banyan tree (Vat/Vad). After 70 years, this tradition has been followed in a perfect eco-friendly method, thoughts and deeds ahead of time.
I too continued this tradition as a legacy with absolute faith. For the last 15 years, I have been performing this pooja, but this year it was really special.
I lost my mother two years back. She had planted a tulsi sapling in her open terrace a few days before her death. We could see a small sapling blooming in full swing. And to our surprise it was a Banyan sapling. It started growing out of nowhere and I could see my mother's shadow in it as if she is blessing us from heaven through it.
Today I performed my Vat Purnima pooja at my mom's place and offered my prayers to this very tiny banyan sapling. And believe me, nothing can be so precious - moments to cherish for a lifetime."
- Mumbaikar Aparna Patil on how she maintains Vat Purnima traditions