SITA – A wife of SrT Rama; an incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi

Sita was born from the earth when it was ploughed. Thus the earth, Bhu Devi, was her mother. Sita was brought up by King Janaka as his daughter. According to many Puranas, Sita was the incarnation of Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu.
Rama wed Sita after winning the marriage contest—lifting and shooting an arrow from the divine bow of Siva. Sita was a devoted wife and always followed the footsteps and words of Rama. In spite of his warning, she even followed Rama to the forest when he was banished.
One version of the many adventures in the forest includes the temptation of Rama by a rakshasa princess named Surpanakha. But when Rama shunned her, saying that he only loved Sita, Siurpanakha attempted to kill Sita. Laxmana, who had joined his brother in exile, defended Sita and cut off Surpanakha’s nose and ears. She vowed revenge and went back to her brother in Lanka, King Ravana. He in turn vowed to abduct Sita to punish Rama. With the help of his uncle Marici, who changed his shape into a golden deer and led Rama away from his cottage in the forest, Ravana successfully abducted Sita. Here is how it happened: one day in the forest Sita happened to see a golden deer. She had an intense desire to touch the deer, and she asked Rama to catch it for her. The golden deer was Marici, the uncle of Ravana, disguised, for rakshasas were shape-shifters. Rama chased the deer for Sita, but it lured him far away. Rama finally understood that this was a trick. He shot an arrow, but while the deer was dying, it cried out in the voice of Rama, calling for the help of Lakshmana. Sita followed Lakshmana in search of Rama. At that moment Ravana appeared, disguised as a sage, and abducted Sita. Ravana, the great demon king, flew away with her to Lanka in his flying machine, called the Pushpaka-vimana (“flower vehicle,” first owned by the god Kubera).
The Ramayana tells of the heroic deeds of Rama and his allies as they tried to rescue Sita. But the rescue took a very long time, while Sita was forced to undergo many trials, her endurance of which made her the example of the per­fect wife. Sita was finally rescued from Lanka by Rama with the help of Hanu- man and others. Ravana—the demon of many rebirths, starting with Jaya—was killed by Siri Rama.
Some versions have Sita returning as queen to a life of luxury and happiness. But others tell a tale of sorrow and agony. Rama banished Sita to the forest in deference to the people of his country. The people of Ayodhya questioned Sita’s chastity, as she lived in Lanka with the evil demon for so long. Meanwhile, Sita gave birth to two sons, Lava and Kusa, at the asrama (hermitage) of Valmiki, who looked after her and raised the boys. Rama finally met his sons, who could not be defeated by his army, and brought them and their mother Sita back to the palace. But again, Sita was put to tests to prove her chastity to the people of Ayo- dhya. This time she did not wait for the verdict of Rama. She committed suicide, or sati. Some versions have her mother, the earth, opening and taking Sita back into her abode.
Rama did not live very long after Sita’s death. He drowned himself in the river Sarayu. (It could be said that he went through water purification to heaven.) Rama and Sita returned to Vaikuntha and were rejoined as Vishnu and Lakshmi.
Sita was famous as one of the five ideal women (pancakanaya) in Hindu mythology. Her story is a story of sacrifice and sorrow endured in order to help her husband keep both her dharma (ordained duty) and his.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply