And binding Satyavan's vital essence, Yama proceeded in a southerly direction.
Thereupon, with heart overwhelmed in grief, the exalted Savitri, ever devoted to her lord and crowned with success in respect of her vows, began to follow Yama.
And at this, Yama said, 'Desist, Savitri ! Go back, and perform the funeral obsequies of thy lord ! Thou art freed from all thy obligations to thy lord.
Thou hast come as far as it is possible to come.'
Savitri replied, 'Whither my husband is being carried, or whither he goeth of his own accord, I will follow him thither.
This is the eternal custom, By virtue of my asceticism, of my regard for my superiors, of my affection for my lord, of my observance of vows, as well as of thy favour, my course is unimpeded.
It hath been declared by wise men endued with true knowledge that by walking only seven paces with another, one contracteth a friendship with one's companion.
Keeping that friendship (which I have contracted with thee) in view, I shall speak to thee something. Do thou listen to it.
They that have not their souls under control, acquire not merit by leading the four successive modes of life, viz., celebacy with study, domesticity, retirement into the woods, and renunciation of the world.
That which is called religious merit is said to consist of true knowledge.