Sita Devi


Harih Om! SitaRamabhyam Namah! Namaste. I begin to re-tell a story of a perfectly divine lady who has been worshipped as a mother goddess for thousands of years. I beg Her guidance in my re-telling of her story and to prevent me from making any errors whatsoever. I am not sure how long it will take. I seek the blessings of those pure souls who wish to hear about this pure lady.


Sri Rama and Lakshmana led by Viswamitra Brahmarshi reached the kingdom of Mithila. Raja Janaka received them with honour and offered them hospitality.

66th Sarga of Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana (Gita Press Critical Edition):  The next day, at dawn, King Janaka, honoured them again as per the prescribed rites and asked Viswamitra to command him. Viswamitra said that the princes had heard of the wonderful bow in Janaka’s possession and would like to see it. Janaka raja first told them the story of the bow.

It was the bow that Rudra threatened to use in the Daksha Yajna, because the Devas had not set aside a share of the havis for him. The devas begged him not to be angry and treated him with due honour. Then Siva was pleased and he gave them his bow. They in turn gave it to Devarata, the eldest son of king Nimi and Purvaja (the one born before) of Janaka. (A note: Purvaja is word that can refer to anyone from an elder brother to an ancestor.)

 Soon after that, when Janaka was ploughing a Kshetra (a field), he found a baby girl in the furrows and named her Sita (which means furrow.) Sita, who was thus not born from a mother’s womb, grew rapidly. Janaka reserved her hand in marriage for a suitor who would win her by his valour. Many kings asked for her and were refused by Janaka. Then they came to Mithila, all together and asked him, how they could prove their Viryam (valour). Janaka showed them Siva’s bow and the rulers could not even hold it properly, let alone weigh it in their hands. So Janaka rejected them all. The kings got angry and laid seige to Mithila. In about a year (Samvatsara), there was a famine in the city. Janaka felt extremely unhappy and appealed to the Devas. The Devas gifted him a fine army of 4 divisions. (Chaturanga). With that army, Janaka defeated the evil kings.

After telling them the story of the bow, Janaka said that if Rama were to lift the bow, he would be given Sita in marriage.

67th Sarga of Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana (Gita Press Critical Edition): 

Viswamitra then requested for the bow to be brought. At Janaka’s order, fifty hundred of his men, brought the divine bow, adorned by sandal paste and flowers in a huge chest with eight wheels. Janaka showed them the bow that neither the devas, nor the asuras, nor the gandharvas, kinnaras, nagas and yakshas could string. He wondered if a manava (mortal/man) would be equal to the task.

At Viswamitra’s injunction, Sri Rama then not only took the bow out of its case, but tossed it from hand to hand and strung it and bent it. With that the powerful bow broke into two with a thunderous sound. And the delighted Janaka then addressed Viswamitra. “Please permit me to send my manthris (advisors) to King Dasaratha in Ayodhya so that I may give my daughter in marriage to Rama and she will bring glory to the Kula (dynasty) of the Janakas. My word that Sita would be a ViryaSulka, (one whose bride-price is valour) has come true today”. Viswamitra agreed to send the Mantris to Ayodhyas. (It is said that is why he brought the prices to Mithila in the first place. - Note that the popular folklore talks of a swayamvara (self-choice) and also talks as if all the other kings came to a competition. None of those details are present in the Balakanda. - Satya)

68th Sarga of Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana (Gita Press Critical Edition): 

 The manthris travelled for 3 days and nights from Mithila to Ayodhya, resting on the way because their horses were tired. There they saw the aged Dasaratha who looked like a Deva. They conveyed to Dasaratha that Raja Janaka in front of an Agnihotra (Sa agni hotra purah krutah), with due respect and using sweet words had enquired after Dasaratha’s welfare and the welfare of his advisors and subjects. They quoted Janaka on his resolve to give his daughter as a ViryaSulka and how so many kings had failed and had to be sent back. They finally submitted to Dasaratha that Sri Rama had broken the famous bow of Rudra and that Janaka wanted to give Sita to Rama in marriage and that Viswamitra and Satananda (the son of Gauthama and Ahalya) agreed with this decision.
Dasaratha then spoke to Vamadeva and Vasishtha and other mantris and said “My sons and the Viswamitra are in Videha. Janaka has decided to give his daughter to my son after seeing his Virya. Let us go to Mithila, the capital of Videha at once, without any delay”. All the rishis and mantris agreed with Dasaratha and they decided that the journey would begin the next morning. Janaka’s mantris spent that night at Ayodhya.

69th Sarga of Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana (Gita Press Critical Edition): 

The next morning, Dasaratha talked to Sumantra and made arrangements for the journey. He took gifts of precious stones and his army of 4 divisions (horse, chariot, elephant and infantry - caturanga bala). The brahmanas, Vasishtha, Vamadeva, Jabali, Kasyapa and the long lived Markandeya (Dirgha-ayu) preceded him. It took them 4 days to reach Videha. King Janaka received them with delight and honour and said “At the end of tomorrow morning’s worship (Yagnya), let us celebrate the wedding, O King!” Dasaratha said, “It is the giver who decides the gift, we shall do as you say, O Janaka”. Janaka slept happily having prayed for his daughters.

 70th Sarga of Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana (Gita Press Critical Edition): 

 The next morning, Raja Janaka sent for his brother Kusadhwaja to come from Sankasya - post-haste!  Kusadhwaja came at once and them the brothers called upon the best of the mantris Sudamana to invite Dasaratha and his people to the court. Dasaratha and the others came and Dasaratha named Vasishtha as the spoke person for the Ikshwakus. Vasishtha then described the Ikshwaku lineage and at the end suggested that Janaka’s daughter Urmila be given in marriage to Laksmana at the same time as Sita was given to Sri Rama.

 71st Sarga of Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana (Gita Press Critical Edition): 

Then King Janaka described his own decent from ing Nimi. He also told the story of how King Sudhanava of Sankasya had laid siege to Mithila in order to get Rudra’s bow as well as Sita’s hand. Raja Janaka killed Sudhanva in a battle and placed his brother Kusadhwaja on the throne of Sankasya. Then he happily offered to Dasaratha, Sita and Urmila for Rama and Lakshmana respectively. He suugested that the godanam (gift of cow accompnaying samavartana (return from gurukula) ceremony be performed for Rama and Lakshmana, followed by the Pitrukaryam (ceremony for elders0. On that day the Magha Nakshatra was in the ascendant. He set the wedding date as the day of the Uttara Phaluguni Nakshatra, on the 3rd day from that day. And he said that charity should be given which would bring good fortune to Rma and Lakshmana.





  ….In Progress….

All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

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