This film tells two independent stories from the Mahabharata. The first part features the princess Savitri, who stands by her husband, the woodcutter Satyavan, when he is marked by Yama, the god of Death. When Yama fulfills his prophecy and takes away Satyavan's life, Savitri pleads with him and eventually wins her husband back. There are extraordinary scenes showing Savitri's pleas with the god sitting astride a buffalo somewhere between heaven and earth, intercut with shots of the couple's idyllic life as Savitri tends to her blind parents-in-law. The second half narrates the legend of Sukanya, the daughter of Sharyati. Seeing a large ant-hill, and unaware that it has been built over the meditating sage Chyvana, she blinds the sage and, in return, is forced to marry him. She tends to the old and decrepit man, and he changes into a handsome youth.
Sujit R. Varma