Story of Chyavana Maharshi and Sukanya

Chyavana was the son of Sage Bhrigu and his wife Pauloma. Once while Chyavana was in Tapas, he was fully covered with anthill except his eyes. By this time the young princess called Sukanya, daughter of King Saryata entered into a forest along with her friends. She felt that the glittering eyes of muni is a glittering worms and so pierced into the eyes causing blindness of Chyavana.

The Muni cursed that the soldiers of the King whose daughter that the princess was, would suffer from the stoppage of their body excrements. The king came to know about the curse of Muni and enquired about the culprit. Sukanya accepted her folly apologized to king and expressed her readiness to do anything to save the country. The King approached the blinded Muni and offered his daughter in wedding to take care of the muni.

Princess Sukanya was thus given in marriage to the Sage; she left the palace and moved to the forest hermitage of Chayavana Maharshi. One day the Aswini Kumars, sons of Lord Soorya and royal physicians of swarloka came by the hermitage. They were attracted to the beauty of Sukanya. Subsequently the Aswins, showing compassion for her union with so old and ugly a husband as Chyavana, tried to induce her to take one of them in his place as her husband. But Sukanya was such a woman who was very loyal and devoted and chaste.

When the persuasions failed, the Aswini Kumars told her that, they were the physicians of the Gods, and would restore her husband Sage Chyavana to youth and beauty by taking a bath along with them. Believing the Aswin’s mastery in treatment Chyavana accepted to take bath with Aswins. Sukanya was also happy to get back her husband’s youth with full eye sight.
Accordingly the three bathed in a pond and came forth with celestial beauty. The three of them looked alike and claimed to be the real Sage Chyavana and each one asked her to be his bride. Even in the worst time Sukanya accepted her husband and took care of him, now how can she avoid him when he gained handsome youth. By the power of chastity Sukanya recognized and chose her own husband.

The Ashvini Kumars were testing the chastity of Sukanya; now she had won all the tests. Sage Chyavana expressed his gratitude to Aswins for their treatment and gave a boon in turn to Ashwini Kumars that they would become eligible to receive havis, from Yagnas which was denied to them by Indra.

The Pushpa Dwiteeya vrata is performed to commemorate the sacrifice of Sukanya. Pushpa Dwiteeya is executed in Kartika Shulka month commencing from Dwiteeya for one year by eating only flowers of the season and by giving away Gold/Silver Flowers or lotus flowers to poor as charity by which Ashvini Kumars would be pleased to bestow beautiful physiques of youth and good health.