सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Sita"







In General

Wife of Sri Rama. The story of Rama and Sita is the main theme of the epic Ramayana. To protect the good people and punish the bad, Lord Vishnu and his consort Ma Lakshmi incarnate themselves as Sri Rama and Sita.


Sita is an incarnation of Mahalaksmi. Once Sarasvati cursed Laksmi to be born on earth. So, Lakshmi was born to devout couple Kasadhvaja and Malavati. The beautiful girl was named Vedavati by her parents. The girl always prayed to lord Vishnu right from her infancy and when she grew up she did sever penance to get Vishnu as her husband. Once during a military expedition Ravana saw this beautiful lady in mattered hair doing tapa in Himalayan mountain. Ravana introduced himself as the most powerful king in the three world to Vedavati and invited her to his life. When the girl politely refused the request, the arrogant Ravana caught hold of her with force. Vedavati felt her modesty being destroyed and burned herself in fire. Before her death she cursed him to die in the hand of Vishnu. In the next birth she was born as Sita and become instrumental in killing Ravana.

There are very diverse stories regarding birth of Sita. According to Valmiki Ramayana Janaka received Sita from earth while he ploughed the field as part of a Yajna. But, as per Devi Bhagavata and Kambha Ramayana Sita was born as the daughter of Ravana. The Devi Bhagavata description is as follows : Ravana wished to marry Mandodari, the daughter of Mayasura. Then Mayasura said to Ravana thus : "According to the horoscope of Mandodari, the first child born to her will be the destroyer of its clan. So it would be better to kill that child." Not acting upon the advice of Maya, Ravana put the first child in a box and buried it in the city of King Janaka. This child was Sita, the wife of Sri Rama.

King Janaka was having an ancient bow of Siva and was worshipping It. One day he found his daughter Sita gathering flowers by shooting with the auspicious Bow and Arrow. He was amazed at the skill of Sita and decided the prince who do the same only will be a suitable match for Sita. King Janaka made a proclamation in this regard and many princes tried their luck, but failed. It was at this time that Visvamitra brought Rama and Laksmana to the forest for the protection of rishis and their Yajna. Hearing about the Svayamvara of Sita, Visvamitra took the princes to the palace of Janaka. The King was greatly pleased when he learned that the princes were the sons of Dasaratha, of the Solar Dynasty. Next morning, Rama lifted up the bow with his left hand, drew it easily and fastened the string tightly and the bow was broken. Sita jumped with joy like a peacock. A letter was sent to Dasaratha then and there. Friends and relatives arrived. Under the guidance of the presiding priest Satananda, the marriage ceremony was conducted. Rama married Sita, Bharata married Mandavi, Laksmana married Ormila, and Satrughna married Srutakirti. The brides and bridegrooms went to Ayodhya with their parents and relatives.

When Dasaratha become old, he wished to hand over the realm to Sri Rama. Kaikeyi, the second wife of Dasaratha demanded to make her son Bharatha as the king and sent Rama to forest for 14 years. Under this critical condition where the king cannot take a decision, Rama came forward and accepted all the condition of Kaikeyi and went to the forest. Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama and Sita followed Rama to the forest. During this period they spent few days with Sage Atri and Anasuya. Anasuya, the devoted wife of Atri advised about the duty of a wife and virtue of chastity to Sita.

Sita is the noblest of the noble Lady. While Valmiki Ramayana tells the story that Sita was abducted by Ravana. Many other versions of Ramayana tells a slightly different story. To Adyatma Ramayana and Devi Bhagavata, Ravana was able to carry only phantom Sita which was projected by Agni while hiding the real Sita under his care. After the killing of Ravana, when Sita enters fire as a proof of her chastity, the real Sita came out and the projected Sita disappeared.

Sri Rama used to go about the country in disguise to enquire about the welfare of his subjects. On a particular dawn he happened to be standing outside the house of a washer man. The washer man scolded his wife, who was not found in the house during the previous night. He suspected that she had gone to meet her secret lover. He scolded his wife and told her that he was not prepared to act like Rama, who had accepted Sita, though she had lived with another person. Sri Rama, who heard the above talk, returned to his palace confused. After thinking about for a long time he decided that it was his duty to abandon Sita in the interests of his subjects. Then Sita was in the seventh month of her pregnancy.

Sita had once told to Rama to visit some of the ashrama of Muni’s they met during their forest life to present gifts to their wives. In guise of visiting the Muni’s ashrama, Rama sent Sita to forest with Lakshmana. Sita was in good mood with lot of gifts for the wives of the Munies. But, Lakshma was in heavy heart for the sin he is going to commit. When they passed the Villages and entered forest, Sita suspected something wrong with the attitude of Lakshmana. On repeated queries, Lakshmana at last told her that Rama told him to abandon her in forest for the rumors he heard in the city. Sita at once stopped the chariot, came out and told Lakshmana to go back. Lakshma in tears prostrated before Sitadevi and left for Ayodhya.

Nobody in help, the Pregnant Sita in tears walked through the forest to find somebody for a help. Some Young disciples of Valmiki felt sorry for her and took her to the asrama. She only despised her misfortune and did not disclosed her identity to anybody. At the asrama she delivered two sons, Kusa and Lava.

After the Ashvamedha Yajna and Kusa and Lava Reciting Ramayana during the occasion, Rame came to Valmiki ashrama to meet the Sage Valmiki. There Rama saw Sita. He felt sorry for his decision to abandon Sita and invited her to Palace. But Sita, the proud lady declined the request and cried mother earth for help. The earth before her opened and she submerged into Earth.

Dee: Rama

Read from story section: Story of Tulasi and Shaligram

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