Here is the introductory note from my picture book Princess of India: An Ancient Tale (formerly Savitri: A Tale of Ancient India).—Aaron
The story of the princess Savitri is one of the best-known and best-loved tales of India. It appears within the Mahabharata, India’s great national epic, which is much like an Old Testament to the Hindus.
This epic, written down at around the time of Christ, had already been passed on orally for centuries. It arises from a time when legends were born—an age of walled cities, of sun and fire worship, and of women far more independent than later Indian culture would allow.