The name Anusuya means “free of jealousy “.
Devi Anusuya ashram is located in Chitrakuta,Madhya Pradesh near the Mandakini river where she lived with her husband Atri Rishi and her children. She is one of the seven Pativrata wives. Among Pativrata wives she occupies the highest position in Teeno lok means-Devloka( among all Gods)Manavlok-Dharti ( Earth),and Rakshasalok( Asuras-demons). She was very pious and always practiced austerities and devotion. This allowed her to attain miraculous powers.
The seven Pativrata wives include Devi Anusuya( Atri Rishi’s wife),Devi Sita( wife of Lord Rama), Draupadi( wife of 5 Pandavas),Tara( wife of Sugriva), Ahilya( Gautam Rishi’s wife),Mandodari( Ravana’s wife) and Savitri( King Satyavahan’s wife).
Meaning of Pativrata
Pativrata is a term used in Hindu culture and traditions to refer to a married woman who is faithful and loyal to her husband.
Pativrata literally means a virtuous wife who has made a vow (vrata) to her husband (Pati) of her devotion and protection. The belief is that if a wife is devoted to her husband and protects him, then he will prosper and will bring good fortune to her and their family. If not, then there might be misfortune and death. A pativrata protects her husband in two ways. Firstly, she attends to his personal needs and encourages him to do his duty (dharma). Secondly, she undertakes various rituals and fasts to please the deities, hoping that the Gods will protect her husband from harm and grant him a long life. Sati is often used as a synonym for a Pativrata -one who preserves her purity (sattva)- physically, mentally and emotionally. It is also used to denote a woman who immolates herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband. According to Brhaspati, a law-giver who lived during the Vedic age – “She is someone whose state of mind reflects that of her husband. She shares his distress, his delight, grows sickly and dresses unattractively in his absence, and dies when he does.”
Legend and detailed story of Devi Anusuya
Anusuya was the daughter of sage Kardama and his wife Devahuti.Devahuti was the daughter of Swyambhu Manu and had one son Kapila and nine daughters including Anusuya who married various Saptarishis. Kapila was a sage,brother and teacher of Anusuya.
Devi Anusuya got married to Sage Atri.Atri Rishi is putra son of Lord Brahma. Atri Rishi also known as Saptarishi alongwith Marichi,Angiras,Pulaha,Kratu,Pulastya and Vasishtha. Atri is one of the Saptarishis ( seven great sages). Rishi Atri composed a large number of Vedic hymns to Agni,Indra and other deities.
To get a SON Rishi Atri and Devi Anusuya did great penance severe Tapasya and meditation on Riksh Parvat mountain.
Valmiki describes in the epic Ramayana that at one time there was no rain in Chitrakuta for ten years. There was a severe famine and nothing was left to eat or drink for animals and birds. Sati Anusuya was a great Pativrata Woman and she performed hard and intensive austerities and got the river Mandakini down on earth. This led to the greenery and forests to grow which removed the sufferings of all sages and the animals.
Devi Anusuya was a great Pativrata Wife and even the wives of Gods Brahma,Vishnu and Maheshwar were jealous of her. To test her Pativratya dharma wives of these three Gods send their husbands to her kutiya where she lived. The three Gods Brahma Vishnu Maheshwar(Shiva) took the form of Sanyasis and reached her kutiya finding out in the absence of her husband Rishi Atri and asked for ” Nirvana Bhiksha”.Devi Anusuya fell into a dilemma.
” Nirvana Bhiksha ” is given in nude condition. Devi Anusuya had to maintain her Pativrata Dharma as well as Athiti dharma. She meditated thinking of her husband took refuge in her husband and sprinkled water over the three Sanyasis few drops of water which were used to washing the feet of her husband.The three Gods immediately transformed into three small children on account of glory of Charanamrita( holy water).At the same time there was accumulation of milk in the breast of MAHA SATI ANUSUYA. She thought of these three children as her own and fed them with the milk in a nude state and put them into a cradle.She was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her husband who had gone for taking a bath.ATRI RISHI came to know of this incidence as he was antaryami. As soon as Atri Rishi came back home, Maha Sati Anasuya related to him all that had happened during his absence. Atri Rishi blessed his wife and informed her that the Sanyasis –Tri-Murtis (Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) themselves had assumed the forms of the three children.Sage Narada went to Brahma-Loka, Vaikuntha and Kailasa and informed Goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati that their husbands had been turned into babies through the power of the Pativrata Dharma of Maha Sati Anasuya when they asked her Nirvana Bhiksha and that they would not return unless the Goddesses asked for Bhartri Bhiksha (praying for return of the husbands) from Maha Sati Anusuya. Goddesses Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati appeared before Maha Sati Anusuya and asked for Pati Bhiksha: (Praying for return of their husbands) and asked for forgivenness of their acts.Maha Sati Anusuya duly honored the three Goddesses and with folded hands prayed to them that her wish should be fulfilled. Then the three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva appeared in their true form before Maha Sati Anusuya and Sage Atri Rishi and blessed them with three SONs.Lord Brahma incarnated in the form of SOMA, Lord Vishnu’s incarnation was DATTATREYA, and DURVASA( Rishi) was born as incarnation of Lord Shiva.
In Ramayana when Lord Rama and Devi Sita visited the kutiya of Sati Anusuya – Anusuya gave Sita an ointment which could maintain her beauty forever and also gave lessons to maintain her Pativratya.
A Pativrata lady must follow the following points according to Shiv Puran:–
1)She must understand her husband,his needs and share all his sorrows.
2)She must not take the name of her husband and dedicatedly obey her husband.
3)The lady must not do Shingar in his absence and when he is away.
4)She should not go anywhere without her husband’s permission and share everything with him.
5)She should always try to make her husband happy and delighted and do everything to please him.
6) She should do all Vratas and Upwas for the well-being,happiness and long life of her husband.
7) She must be loyal and dedicated to her husband.
Anusuya Mata /Atri Muni Ashram
Maha Sati Anusuya Temple is situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand about 30 km from Camp Chopta.Located in the beautiful litigants of nature, this magnificent temple attracts pilgrims.
Sati Anusuya Temple is one of India’s leading Devi temple. It is a holy place dedicated to goddess Sati and also depicts the religious nature of India.
Lord Dattatreya, son of Maha Sati Anusuya and Brahmarshi Atri is always practicing austerity. He is an avadhut.He is truly the Lord of Yogis. Refer Picture. Lord Dattatreya temple is located in Goregaon(E),Aarey Road,Mumbai near the station near my place.
The following ladies are Pativrata Women whom I know and have spent more than 25 years of their life with their husbands.
1)Nalini Kini ( 50 years of happily married life)
2)Saroj(Vimal) Arekar ( 50 years of happily married life)
3)Mrs AV Joshi ( 50 years of happily married life)
4)Mrs Dr Gaj.Ganu ( 50 years of happily married life)
5)Naginiakka Gaitonde (30 yrs )
5)Asha Nayak ( 25 yrs )
2) Saroj Mavshi is loving her husband till today. In temple if anyone gives prasad she will take half of it for her husband and also since last 46 years she is dedicatedly doing VAT SAVITRI VRATA every year for her husband.