Image by permission.
Basic Description: Sita
is the incarnation of Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, the Preserver.
She appears when Vishnu is in
his avatar of Rama.
known as the perfect daughter, wife and mother. Sita led an
almost perfect life and embodied the virtues of patience and chastity.
History/Practices: In northern India, Sita is the goddess being celebrated at Diwali.
the story of the Ramayana, Sita is a prominent figure as the wife of Rama, incarnation
Sita’s Birth: Sita
was not born to any woman but she came from Mother Earth. King Janaka
found her in a field and then raised her as his own daughter.
Marriage to Rama: The
time came for Sita to marry and Janaka said any man who could bend a powerful
bow, which he received from Shiva, could marry her. Rama was able to bend
the bow so much that he broke it. Sita and Rama then were married.
Sita’s abduction: Once
Rama was banished and wanted to leave Sita behind, for her won safety. Sita
listened patiently as he explained why she could not come with him but in the
end firmly told him that he was wrong and her place was with him. Because
she was very beautiful, the evil king Ravana kidnapped Sita. Rama rescued
Sita, with the help of Hanuman the monkey king. Sita was able to resist
Ravana, but no one believed that she did because no woman had resisted him before
Sita. To prove to Rama that she was still pure, Sita went through the
‘fire-ordeal’ by going into a fire and saying that if she was pure, she would
not burn. The fire did not harm Sita and Rama believed her. However
people in the village still did not believe Sita and agreed to go into exile
without Rama because she was a perfect wife.
Sita’s death: Sita
had twin boys while exiled and Rama sent for her and the boys. The villagers
again accused Sita and they asked her to prove her innocence. Because
she had no life and purpose apart from her husband, Sita asked Mother Earth
to swallow her up and she did. Shortly after this Rama grew tired of mortal
life and gave up his human body.
Sita is the consort of Rama.
Thomas, P. Epics, Myths
and Legends of India. Bombay, India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons &
Co. Private Ltd, 1961.
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