Savitri was silently counting the days and grew anxious about the fateful day that Narada had mentioned. When the day was four days away, Savitri undertook immense tapasya and fasting. She spent the day and night in Vrata. When the day came closer, she spent the previous night anxiously, unable to sleep. Her parents-in-law, unable to prevent her from carrying her vrata, witnessed it with a heavy heart. On the fateful day, Savitri sought the blessings of her in-laws and said that she would consume food or water only when the sun sets. Satyavan set out to the forest to cut some wood. Savitri insisted that she would accompany him. When Satyavan discouraged her saying that she is too feeble to walk, she explained that it would be impossible for her to be separated from him on that day. Her parents-in-law permitted her to go to the forest.
While Satyavan was cutting trees, he had a severe headache and felt weak all of a sudden. He told Savitri that he would like to lie down on her lap. Growing more anxious about Narada’s prediction, Savitri was sitting there with tears in her eyes. Suddenly, there was a bright light and Savitri noticed a being with red eyes and dark complexion throw a noose at Satyavan and carry Satyavan’s subtle body about the size of a thumb.
Savitri placed her husband’s head on the ground, stood up and questioned the being’s actions. Lord Yama mentioned that His attendants are the ones who normally come to takeway mortal but since Satyavan was a very meritorious person, He Himself had come there. Lord Yama started travelling towards the South. Unable to bear the separation from her husband, Savitri started following Him. When dissuaded by Lord Yama, Savitri said that her observance of vows, respect for elders and devotion to her husband had given her immense strength and nothing can stop her on her path.
Pleased with the devotion of Savitri, Lord Yama granted her a boon (except the life of her husband). Savitri asked that her father-in-law’s sight be restored. Lord Yama granted her the boon and asked her to return. Savitri refused to return and mentioned that she feels no tiredness in the presence of her husband’s soul. Pleased again, Lord Yama granted her another boon. This time Savitri requested that her father-in-law regain his kingdom. Lord Yama granted the boon and asked Savitri to return. She refused again and said that the duty of good people is to do good to even to enemies. She reminded Lord Yama how he controlled people through his law and took their life without permission. Unable to convince such a strong lady, Lord Yama granted another boon. Savitri mentioned that her father had no sons as heirs to their kingdom. Lord Yama granted his father a 100 sons. Savitri went on the praise Lord Yama as to how he treated all creatures equally for maintaining righteousness in the world. Pleased with Savitri’s thoughts on Dharma and Justice, Lord Yama granted her a fourth boon. Savitri prayed for a 100 sons who will perpetuate Satyavan’s race. Lord Yama granted this fourth wish too. He told her that she has come too far and she must return. Savitri reminded Lord Yama of the foruth boon and said that without Satyavan it would not be possible for her to beget 100 sons. Very much convinced with Savitri’s strong ideals and resolve, Lord Yama granted the life of Satyavan.
In the forest, Satyavan woke up from Savitri’s lap and enquired about his long sleep. He said that he was feeling a little better but was still affected by the headache. He was concerned with his parents living alone in their house and requested Savitri that they leave for home immediately. Savitri placed the hand of Satyavan on her shoulder and helped him reach home.
In the meantime, Dyumatsena had his eyes restored and went from forest to forest in search of his son and daughter-in-law. They also remembered the predictions about Satyavan’s death. The Brahmana Suvarchas said that by the virtue of the austerities and tapasya of Savitri, he was very sure that Satyavan was alive. Gautama and Dhaumya both assured Dyumatsena that Satyavan was alive due the tapasya performed by the couple. In a short while, Satyavan and Savitri reached home and everyone was very happy to see them. Savitri narrated the happenings to the rishis and parents-in-law. Dyumatsena had been restored of his eye sight and he also got the news that the current ruler who had usurped had been killed and the people had accepted him unconditionally as their king. In course of time Aswapati had 100 sons and Savitri too had 100 sons. They all lived happily bringing glory to the Salwa race.
Thus the story of Savitri appears in the Pativrata-Mahatmya parva of Vana Parva.