SATI SYSTEM -- & birth of Aparna
did this custom start and till when did this go on ??
To become a " Sati = means to IMMOLATE ones' self while being alive " & to be LOYAL to ones husband ...........not only in this birth but in cosecutive births & be united forever & ever .
It is a to VOW to B UNITED with this same Man in many next Births
It is thus a HINDU religious tradition beased on the concept of a soul's taking " Re - Birth "
So ...............this was the Origin of the first " SATI " which till today is meant for a Lady who is CHASTE & is of DEVOUT character for her Chosen man ..
now the story ..........Once Devi SATI watched the Devas , flying in their beautiful flying machines , wearing fine silk garments & much puzzled, she inquired where were they all going in such hurry ?
The answer shocked her -- They told her that her Father DAKSHA Prajapati was holding a YAGNA = a Holy Fire Sacrifice & they all were his " Invited Guests " --
Hearing this Sati was sad that she & her husband Shiva the Greatest among YOGIS & an ascetic had been not been invited --
Sati asked Shiva ,
" Lord ! My father has invited many Guests -- may I go & attend the Fire Sacrifice ? "
Shiva : " My dearest wife ! If one is not invited , one should NEVER attend that function -- may it be of one's nearest family member , relative or a Friend -- but you are Wise my Lady & Free to do as you wish ! "
Now Sati wanted to meet her siblings & her Mother & decided to go -
&indoing so ... she did not listen to the Wisest among ALL - her husband - SHIVA !! ;-)
Women !! As they say ...have a Mind of their own & will not listen to any advise :)
When she reached her Parents' HOME, no one Greeted nor showed any love for her -- neither her Father = DAKSHA , nor her Siblings -- :-(
Only her Mother hugged her -- but that was not enough for SATI !! She became up set & her anger rose up in her heart !
" How cold every one is towards me ! She thought -- my father will not even look at my face even though I come to visit him from Kailash , far into the Himalayan Mountains where my beloved husband, Shiva , sits immersed , peacefully in meditation ! Shiva is the Yogic force which keeps this entire Universe STABLE ! How can my own , disrespect me & my husnand ?"
As the Fire Sacrifice rituals began, Sati noticed that All the GODS were given their SHARE & a Place of HONOR except her husband SHIVA !!
This made her furious !! As if the disrespect for her wasn't enough ...now no place in the Yagna ?
This really aggrevated Sati further ....
In smoldering anger , SATI, made a YOGIC Flame of FIRE leap out of her right foot's toe .....& suddenly a huge FIRE engulfed the Altar & the Tent & started to spread all around & the Fire Sacrifice was destroyed before it could begin !!
Shiva realised this in his Yogic meditation & was very sad to know , what was to have happened , had happened in this TRAGIC fire --
Alas !!! Shiva could see clearly from far away Kailash that SATI , his beloved & Chaste wife 's
Body was burning ......now it was turn of the Lord of the UNIVERSE = Shiva to get up set & angry !!
Shiva reacted immeadiately ....& sent his GANA ( his servant ) the ferocious BHAIRAV who destroyed the Function entirely.
Then Shiva appeared there himself & carried the BURNING - half Burnt body of Sati in his hands & stated to Dance his TAANDAV = the Dance of Destruction for the entire Cosmos !!
Vishnu intervened & cut off Sati's Body into 51 parts with his CHAKRA = Discus as Shiva kept dancing ....the parts wherever they fell all over India have become Devi's " SHAKTI PEETH " or ...the Power points ...
Minaxi has her Eyes, [ the Minaxi temple ] Kaamkahya in Assam has her Yoni , which is the Most POTENT + powerful place for Tantrik rituals & the water there turns RED once a year as if manstruating !! Many have warned not to go to Kamkhya without a Guru ...lots of Magic practises go on there ...(You can read about Shakti peeth etc on Net)
But after Shivas; rage subsided ,he went into Deep meditation & Sati was Born eventually as the daughter of Mountain HIMALAYA & his wife named Queen MENA thus in her second "incarnation " SATI was Re - born as PARVATI = which means Daugter /or / Putri of Mount Himalaya & Mena Maharani ( Queen is a Maharani & a King is aaharaja )
...Parvati as she gre up to be a beautiful young damsel did severe Pennance = Tapasya to Get Shiva as her husband .... Once again she wished to be Re -united with her Beloved husband SHIVA !
In her pennance she gave up solid food & slowly & steadily, she ate only a handful of Forest leaves & stood up right on one leg lost in the Name chanting of Shiva ---
She recited the MANTRA : " Om Namah Shivay " -- over & over again with each breath that she inhaled & exhaled , until her Mind, body & spirit all 3 immersed into SHIVA & his Being !!
Then one day , it so happened that she slowly ate just a single Leaf & when she gave up even that Leaf as food she was called Aparna " the one who did not even eat a single leaf "
...Her Mother " Queen - Mena " shreiked , " OOMA " at such austerities taken up by her tender & delicate daughter PARVATI & implored her not to do such severe pennance .....but she told her darling daughter ,from today I name you " UMA / Ooma " so that this world will remember your severe pennance to obtain Shiva as your husband ! "
...& Devi's second name became thus " UMA" ..
..All Girls when they Pray to Uma, Parvati, Sati, Aparna Durga, Amba , Maheshwari, Tripur Sundri , Girija, Bhawani, Durga, Trailokya Sundri, Maha Kali, Shivani ,
Shail puti, Chandra Ghanta, Mrudanee etc etc etc
[ all these Devi Bhagwati's her names ] ..it is said by the wise that ...." whoever PRAYS & invokes the names of Sati, Uma ,Parvati will get get a husband as Loving & Great & Noble as SHIVA !!
Just like Shiva -- who has always been the silent sufferer & the One Lord of this Universe who always takes care of every one ............................ .
was Sati system a common or a rare incident ??
It became more common in the " RAJPUT KING's Reign ".
.as a Safety against the invading Muslims .
During the reign of the Brave Rajput Kings, their Queens burnt themselves alive rather then fall prey to approaching Enemies which in midieval India happened to be the Moslem Kings who were establishing their supremecy in India & had captured the throne of Delhi !
They wanted to subjugate the North Western provinces of Rajputana.
...........Then after the Reforms initiated by the Arya Samajists & Reformists like Raja ram Mohan Roy, Sati system was ablsolved by the British Empire who had come into India as Traders .
They established East India Company but within 2 centuries they became Rules of India's destiny & called their British Indian Colonies -- " The Jewel in the Crown " but they were aware of many odd practises found among those they ruled -- such as SATI SYSTEM or the Burning of a Bride which they called " Barbaric Hindu custom " ...................
& made LAWS to change this practise & stop it from happening.
There has been a headline grabbing news in an Independant India of a SATI ---- which was committed by a Rajput Bride at her husband's death -- they both were in prime of their Youth -- Her name is " Roop Kanwar " !
Her story some other time --- but this was a brief History of " Sati System "