Goddess Sita is one of the most famous Hindu goddesses, symbolizing humility and devotion. She is sung in the Ramayana as the virtuous wife of the protagonist Lord Rama. Since Devi Sita was found while plowing the field, Sita is also known as the goddess of arable land.
The goddess Sita is praised as the daughter of the Earth, and kindness and femininity are embodied in her. Therefore she serves as the ideal womanly virtue in ancient Hindu history. Sita is considered the symbol of the perfect daughter, wife, mother, and queen. She embodies all the characteristics with which a Hindu woman should be described.
Birth of Devi Sita
Goddess Sita is considered to be one of the incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi. The birth and death of Sita, as well as her whole life story, are very unusual.
Ramayana describes her birth story in such a way: King Janaka, ruler of the Mithila kingdom, had remained without children, so he was a little sad, although he was a self-realized saint and wise man. At the same time, Rakshasas and Asuras were creating all sorts of problems on Earth.
Bhumi Devi, the earth goddess, turned to Lord Vishnu and said: Oh Vishnu, please incarnate in this world and help me. Then Vishnu said: Ok, I will incarnate as Rama, and my next avatar will be Rama. Also, Lakshmi will incarnate within you. You two, Lakshmi and Bhumi Devi, will take on a human form together. So Sita was born out of a furrow, for Bhumi Devi was mother earth. Mother Earth gave birth to a baby of her own accord. This baby was a manifestation of Bhumi Devi and, at the same time, of Lakshmi.
Janaka, the king, ushered in the plowing season every year by pulling the plow himself. Back then, farming was essential to be done with divine blessings.
When the time to plow came, a ritual was performed to receive blessings for plowing and the future harvest. The king also took part and pulled the first plow. While Janaka was plowing the field, he found a baby girl in a furrow. Since no one else knew where the child came from, Janaka adopted it and named it Sita, born out of a track. Because of this supernatural way of birth, Sita is called Ayonija (not taken from the womb).
Goddess Sita was born in Navami, on the 9th lunar day, in the month of Vaishakha of the Hindu calendar (one month after Rama Navami). Sita is also called Bhumija (Earth), Dharanisura (carrier), and Parthiv (broad) – all these names are reduced to one and mean the daughter of the Earth. Since the father’s name is Janaka, Sita was often called by his name – Janaki.
Marriage of Sita
The goddess Sita plays the leading role in the Ramayana. According to the Ramayana, only she could move the Shiva Dhanush, which the ancestor of Janaka found. Therefore, King Janak decided to marry his daughter to a man distinguished by the same strength. To this end, King Janak announces a competition to draw the bow. Anyone who can cope with this challenging task promises to marry his daughter.
Many princes tried to draw the bow, but none of them succeeded. Only Sri Rama was able not only to illustrate the bulge but also to break it. Sri Rama fulfilled Janaka’s requirements for Sita to marry. The wedding took place on Vivaha Panchami. Sri Rama married Sita, and Bharata King married Mandavi. Lakshmana married Urmila, and Shatrughna married Shrutakirti.
Exile to forest and Abduction by Ravana
Sita moved to Ayodhya but, after a while, voluntarily agreed to go into exile in the forest for 14 years with Rama and Lakshmana. In the Dandaka forest, Sita was guarded by Rama and Lakshmana. One day Sita took a liking to a golden deer running by, and she asked Rama to catch him.
Rama did not return for a long time, and the worried Sita sent Lakshmana to help, being left alone without protection. Lakshmana drew a protective circle around the hut and told Sita not to go outside. Ravana, a demon king disguised as a brahmana, asked Devi Sita for food and took her to Sri Lanka as soon as she went beyond the protective circle.
Rama frees her with the help of an army of monkeys and kills the king of Lanka during the war. However, Rama required Sita to prove her innocence by walking through the fire (Agni Pariksha). Because of Sita’s purity, the fire did not burn her, and the coals became lotus blossoms.
The ancient story is available as Ramayana in Sanskrit as the Original version and in other languages such as the Javanese Version, Indonesian Version, English version, and some other Authoritative versions. Some contemporary TV versions also depicted Goddess Sita as an ideal representative of Indian Women.
Casted Away by Sri Rama
The couple returned to Ayodhya, and the king crowned Rama. Rama believed in Sita’s chastity, but some of Rama’s counselors and citizens began to talk about her. Sita had to leave the palace and go to the hermitage of the sage Valmiki and give birth to her two sons, Kusha and Lava. She raised the sons in the sanctuary. When they met with Rama one day, he recognized them as his sons. And after that, the Earth opened, and Sita returned to her mother, the Earth. Mother Earth took her body, and her soul went to Vaikuntha.
Symbolism of Goddess Sita
Sita means the one who is always connected with Rama. Sita is the power of Rama. Sita is love. Sita is also called the furrow because Sita was found during the plowing ritual. Which is to say, Sita comes from the Earth. Sita is the goddess of nature.
Sita means that the Earth is sacred, nature is holy, and you want to feel good. Sita has spent a large part of her life in nature. She was in exile with Rama in the forest. Later she was left in the Ashram of Valmiki in the woods as a single mother. Sita is one of the female role models and is also considered the embodiment of nature. Sita means feeling joy and love, even if the outer life is not so beautiful.
Goddess Sita and Holyness
Numerous Sita Temples are always packed with long queues of pilgrimages around the world. Janaki temple of Nepal holds a special significance of Maya Sita Devi. Sita Mai temple of Karnal is believed to be where the earth swallowed Goddess Sita to prove her purity.
Sita temple of Seetha Eliya, Srilanka, is considered to be where the demonic king Ravana kept kidnapping Sita. There is an ancient Sita temple called Sita Kund (also famous as Punaura Dham) in Bihar. Sita Navami is one of the popular cultures of Hindus where married women observe fast for the longevity of their Husband’s health.