The idea of Sati has not come from some meek women surrendering to death after the demise of the husband. In fact, the original legendary personality in Indian mythology bearing the name Sati was the beloved daughter of Prajapati Daksha and the beloved wife of Lord Shiva. Those were the days of early human settlements of the Vedic period. There appears to have been an attempt to relegate Shiva in the background and project Indra and such other deities in the fore front. Hence Daksha organised a â€œYagyaâ€ for which all deities and local leaders were invited except Lord Shiva and his wife Sati. The story goes that Sati learnt of this Yagya, and feeling that she need not stand on the formalities of being invited by her own fire, went to attend the Yagya where she was not welcome. Further, she found that while all smaller and bigger deities were given their due recognitiion, Lord shiva, was sought to be dismissed and ignored despite his great capabilities. Furious at the behaviour of all her society, her kith and kin, for their inability to recognize and respect the Abilities of Lord Shiva, she created her own five through Yogic action and immolated herself. She condemned the society and ordained that Lord Shiva who was otherwise too docile, lenient and tolerant towards their misdemeanour must come forward and take revenge of her death and demand and ensure that the society recognises and respects his due place. Thus we see that the first mythological personality performing self immolation and giving her name â€œSatiâ€ to the act of self immolation was a fiery lady, well versed in Hathoyoga, to be able to create her own Yogic Fire and also well versed in how society should behave and why the due respect must be given by society to a person of abilities. She is perhaps the first person to have emphasized that Rights are NOT for surrendering. She performed self immolation not on her husbandâ€™s pier as it were but as a protest against the society who failed to give respect and recognition where it was due. She was a fighter for her rights and her husbandâ€™s right and a martyr to that cause rather than someone who gives up fight against society because the husband had died.
Another glorious personality of Indian mythology who is reverred equally as Sati and for the similarly wrong ideas is Savitri. Here was another fighter. She was a princess and a great warrier who used to accompany her father on battlefields. She was a great charioteer and a horse rider who set out on a long journey all alone so that â€œShe could find a suitable husband for herselfâ€. She found Satyawan, who once a prince, was living in jungles with his old parents after his father lost his kingdom in a battle and had become blind. What had Satyawan to offer to a princess but for his truthfulness! When Savitri went back to her father and declared her decision to marry Satyawan, the fortune tellers of her fatherâ€™s court tried to disuade her by pointing out that Satywan was destined to die after a year. Look at the sharp wit and intelligence of Savitri. She asked whether she was destined to be a widow! â€œNoâ€ came the answer. Then where was need to worry for the destiny of Satyawan? The same wit is seen again when finally the Death God Yama comes to take away the life of Satyawan. First Yama has to acknowledge that she could see him face to face because she was utterly fearless. Later she tricked Yama in returning life back to Satyawan. Savitri fought her war with Yama not by weapons but by keeping her cool, going with Yama and engaging him in a polite but brilliant conversation in which she could trick him. This was a battle of wits and nerve! Savitri is the only personality in the Indian or the world mythology who is â€œMrityunjayeeâ€ i.e. the conqueror of Death. What a denigration of our society that an act of meekly surrendering before the world, the society and the death by a woman gets associated with the two great ladies who did exactly the opposite. One fought for her husbandâ€™s rightful place and did something to bring him to realise that he must demand his rights. The other fought and conquered the Death God himself.