Mata Sita is such a holy name that even a holy word becomes holy. Today India sees him as a noun of purity and character. When Tulsidas composes Ramcharitmanas, he gives it the name of Bhakti. The spirit with which Mother Sita, despite being the wife of Lord Rama, worshiped him like a devotee makes her even more respectable. She is an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Whenever Lord Vishnu incarnates on earth she also incarnates with him. Apart from this, we call her by many names like Janaki, Mrignayani, Vaidehi, Bhumija etc. Mother Sita is the main goddess of the saint-tradition associated with devotion to Lord Rama. His birthplace currently falls in Nepal, although earlier this part was in the part of India. Nepal has recognized Mata Sita as a cultural personality of its country.
Meaning of different names of Mata Sita
We know Mother Sita by many names and each of her names has a special meaning.
Meaning of Sita
Sita is the most popular name for her and everyone knows her especially by this name. The word Sita is derived from Sanskrit, which means a pool.
The name Janaki is also very popular among his other names, this name is associated with his father and his native country. His father’s name was Janak and the name of his kingdom was Janakpuri. That’s why many people also call her by the name of Janaki.
She got the name Vaidehi from her father’s name. It is said about Maharaja Janak that despite being a king, he was living like a great saint and because of his conduct, people used to call him Videha.
This name is associated with his birth, a story about his birth is very famous that he was born from the land, so he is also called Bhumija.
There has been a dispute regarding the birthplace of Mother Sita. Some scholars consider it as the birthplace of Sitamarhi in Bihar, while some people consider Janakpuri of Nepal as the birthplace of Mother Sita. However, both the places are worshiped as holy places. However, there is no dispute regarding his date of birth. He was born on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha of Vaishakh month. Many stories related to his birth are heard. However, there is no concrete basis for any of the stories. Following are some of the stories related to his birth.
- Some writers and authors believe that Sita was the biological daughter of King Janak. The Ramopakhyan portion of the Mahabharata makes a similar claim, and Vimala Suri’s Paumchariya also depicts Mother Sita as the biological daughter of Maharaja Janak. However, the current version of Valmiki Ramayana does not show her as the biological daughter. Some people also believe that the story of the birth of Mother Sita in Valmiki Ramayana has been changed.
- In the Bangla version of Valmiki Ramayana, Mother Sita is said to be the spiritual daughter of King Janaka.
- In many places the story related to his previous birth is also found. Similarly, there is a story that the name of Mother Sita’s previous birth was Vedavati. She was doing penance to get Lord Vishnu as her husband when Ravana’s vision falls on her and Ravana tries to destroy her chastity. Vedavati burns her body to escape from Ravana and takes an oath that she will be born for the destruction of Ravana and she is born in Treta Yuga as Mother Sita to King Janak.
- There is another story related to the previous birth of Mother Sita, which is such that Ravana breaks the penance of Manivati, daughter of Amitvega of Alkapuri, then she is born as Ravana’s daughter to take revenge from Ravana. The astrologers gave inauspicious signs for this infant after which Ravana ordered to kill the infant. After which that child is kept in a pot and buried in the ground. Later, when farmers find that baby in the pot while plowing, King Janak adopts him.
But in all these stories one story is more famous which is like this. When Ravana became very powerful, he started destroying religion and torturing people. He ordered his ministers and soldiers to destroy religion in every way. Punish any sage who is seen doing penance. To follow this order of Ravana, many sages were imprisoned. Ravana used to extract blood from the bodies of all the sages and keep it in a pot. Due to this cruel behavior of his, he was cursed by the sages that one day this blood will destroy him.
One day Ravana buries all that blood in the soil in Janakpuri area. In the same period, there was a severe famine in the kingdom of King Janak and the rains stopped. Due to which the people were very sad and were also migrating from the state. King Janak asks a sage to solve this problem, then the sage tells that if King Janak plows the land with his queen, it will definitely rain. Then in an auspicious time, King Janak goes to the field to plow with his queen. While he was plowing with the plough, his plow collided with the same pot which Ravana had buried there. When that pitcher is taken out of the field, there is a beautiful girl in that pitcher. That’s why it rains very heavily. King Janak takes that girl as an auspicious omen and brings her to his palace. On the basis of this story, Mother Sita is not the biological daughter of Maharaja Janak. Although she appeared from the earth, hence she is also called Bhumija.
Sita was a very dear daughter of her father Janak. She also took special care of her father. One day Sita was cleaning the place of worship by lifting the bow of Lord Shiva with one of her hands. That Shiva bow was very special because that bow was given by Lord Shiva to Lord Parshuram and he gave it to King Janak. That bow was so divine that not everyone could lift it and offer it to Pratanjaya. On seeing such a divine bow being lifted by his daughter, King Janak thought in his mind that my daughter is not an ordinary daughter. That’s why I will marry her to a groom who will lift this Shiva bow with his own hands and offer Pratanjaya.
King Janak sent invitations to all the kings of the country and abroad for Sita’s Swayamvara. Apart from this, he also sent invitations to saints to see the Swayamvar. An invitation was also sent to sage Vishwamitra, one of the best sages of that time. When he received the invitation of King Janak, Lord Rama and Lakshmana were with him, so he reached Janakpuri with both the brothers. When the Swayamvar started, many kings tried hard to get a divine wife like Sita, but no one in that assembly could move her, let alone raise a bow. When no king could lift that bow, Maharaj Janak was very sad and he said bitterly in that assembly that today I realized that this earth is empty of heroes. On which Lakshman ji got angry and starts arguing with him, after which sage Vishwamitra explains to him and then orders Lord Rama to lift the bow.
On receiving the Guru’s permission, Lord Rama proceeds to lift the bow and very easily he lifts the bow with his hand and as soon as he pulls the string to offer Pratanjaya on it, the bow breaks into two. Maharaja Janak’s heart is filled with joy by this extraordinary feat of his, and then Mother Sita garlands Lord Rama’s neck with great affection and love. After which Maharaja Dasaratha is given the message of Lord Rama’s might and marriage. Although Mother Sita and Lord Rama were first married according to the method of Swayamvar, but later their marriage takes place in a traditional way. Along with him, the marriage of the other 3 brothers also takes place in the same mandap with King Janak and his brother’s daughter. King Dasaratha returns to Ayodhya with his four brides after staying in Janakpuri for some time.
Lord Rama's exile
When Lord Rama and Mother Sita return to Ayodhya, one day Maharaja Dasaratha proposes in his assembly to make Rama the king of Ayodhya, which is supported by all the courtiers and nobles. After which the time of his coronation is determined. Manthara who was a devious woman asked mother Kaikai to ask for the kingdom for Bharata. Impressed by Manthara’s devious intelligence, she asks King Dasharatha for the kingdom of Ayodhya for her son Bharat and 14 years of exile for Rama. Lord Ram happily accepts it by obeying the parents. Lord Lakshman and Mother Sita also go with them in exile.
Mother Sita was a great husbandly woman, she was spending the exile in the service of Lord Rama wearing saffron clothes just like Lord Rama. He met many sages and noble persons in the forest during his exile. He meets Nishadraj Guha, a friend of Lord Ram’s Gurukul. Apart from this, his dialogue with Kevat is also very famous. He meets Sage Sutikshna, Sage Bhardwaj, Sage Sharbhang etc. Apart from this, he goes to the ashram of Sati Anusurya and sage Atri, where Mata Anusurya teaches Mata Sita the greatness of being virtuous. Apart from this, he also gave clothes to Mother Sita which could never get dirty. This is how he spent the 13 years of his exile. In the last year of exile, he made a cottage in Panchavati and thought of spending the rest of the time there.
While he was living in Panchavati, one day Surpanakha was mesmerized by the beauty of Lord Rama and Lakshmana. She comes to him disguised as a beautiful woman and expresses her desire to marry him. Lord Rama had taken the vow of a wife so he sent her to Lakshmana. Laxman ji rejects his proposal of marriage, due to which Surpanakha gets angry and tries to eat mother Sita. Enraged by this, Lakshman ji cuts off his nose and ears. To avenge this insult, Soorpanakha brings her brother Khar-Dushan and then they have a fight with Lord Rama and Lakshmana and both of them are killed, after which Soorpanakha goes to the demon king Ravana and avenges the insult from him. Speaks to take On the advice of Soorpanakha, he plans to kidnap Mother Sita. With the help of his maternal uncle Marich, Ravana disguises as a monk and abducts him. Ravana has a fight with Jatayu when he is taking them to Lanka.
When Ravana is taking mother Sita to Lanka, then mother Sita wraps some of her jewelry in a bundle and drops it among the monkeys sitting on the hills around Pampapur so that when Lord Rama comes looking for her, they will find the way. Be easy to find. When Ravana reaches Lanka, he keeps them in Ashoka Vatika and appoints a demon named Trijata to serve them. Trijata takes care of Sita Mata like her own daughter. She assures them that one day Lord Rama will surely come and destroy Lanka and free them and take them away with him. Time passes and Lord Ram begins the search for Mother Sita by befriending the monkey king Sugriva. When all the monkeys are wandering in search of her, then Hanuman ji crosses the sea and searches for Mother Sita and requests Lord Rama to attack Lanka.
Lord Rama marches to Lanka equipping the army of all the monkeys and crosses the ocean by building a bridge over the vast ocean. In Lanka, his struggle is with Ravana and Ravana gets death in this great war. After this, Vibhishan frees Mother Sita with respect. As soon as Mata Sita is freed, everyone leaves for Ayodhya because if Lord Rama had delayed reaching Ayodhya even for a day, Bharat would have taken Agnisamadhi. Hanuman ji, Sugriva ji, Vibhishan ji are also with him while returning to Ayodhya. Mata Sita returns to Ayodhya with Lord Rama after completing her exile after visiting Maa Ganga on the way.
Abandonment of the Ayodhya by Mata Sita
When Mother Sita returns to Ayodhya after completing her exile, Lord Rama is made the king of Ayodhya and Mother Sita is made the queen. But after some time, the people start doubting the religion of Mata Sita and they start believing that there was a relationship between Mata Sita and Ravana. The people of Ayodhya start talking to mother Sita about relinquishing the post of queen by making some such fabricated stories. When Mother Sita comes to know that the people are doubting her patriotism, she herself leaves the palace. After this, she takes refuge in Maharishi Valmiki’s cottage and spends her further life there. Mother Sita’s name is kept secret in her cottage so that she can lead her life. Maharishi Valmiki takes care of her in every way and gives her his daughterly love.
Birth of labh kush
When mother Sita renounces Ayodhya, then she is from the womb. She gives birth to twin boys in Maharishi Valmiki’s ashram. Their names are Labh and Kush. Both the babies grow up there and grow up under the care of Maharishi Valmiki. He receives all kinds of teachings from him. His education like music, politics, warfare, use of celestial weapons etc. was imparted at a very young age. Labh and Kush were ardent disciples and had strong faith in the wisdom of their Guru. With the blessings of Lord Brahma, Maharishi Valmiki had foreknowledge of future events related to the lives of Lord Rama and Mother Sita. For this reason, he knew very well the power of Labh and Kush.
Lord Rama's Ashwamedha Yagya and Battle with Luv Kush
Once Lord Rama planned to perform Ashwamedha Yagya for the welfare of his kingdom. For this yagya, the king has to participate in the yagya along with his wife. But even after Mother Sita had left the palace, Lord Rama had not remarried and was living alone. Meanwhile, the people speculated that Lord Rama would marry again to complete this Yagya. Some Ayodhya residents also speculated that he would be married to the princess of Kashi. When this news reached Mother Sita, her mind was filled with doubt towards Lord Rama. When the talk of marriage became more talked about, then this news also reached Lord Rama and he denied it. He also said that to complete this Yagya, he will get a golden idol of Mother Sita made and with its help, he will complete this Yagya. His decision made the people very emotional that how great their king is. When mother Sita came to know that a golden statue was being constructed in her place, her love for Lord Rama became even deeper and she thought of conveying a message to him to make atonement. With the help of Maharishi Valmiki, he began to do penance duly.
Maharishi Valmiki was watching everything with his divine vision and when Lord Rama’s war chariot came near Luv and Kush, he went to the battlefield to stop the war because now it was necessary to stop the war because Maharishi did not want that Luv and Kush Hit your father. He reached there and got the war ended and ordered Luv-Kush to free the yagya horse and let him go with Lord Ram. Lord Ram was greatly impressed by the valor of Luv and Kush and was overjoyed to see such a brave child in his kingdom. He also invited Luv and Kush to visit the palace in Ayodhya.
Mata Sita's descent into the earth
When the war between Luv Kush and Lord Rama ends, only then Mother Sita’s atonement is complete and she returns to the hut. An old woman there tells them about the bravery done by Luv and Kush in the war. Due to which Mother Sita is very sad and tells them that both of them are the sons of Lord Rama and they have unknowingly become a part of the sin by attacking people like their fathers. When Luv Kush comes to know that his father is Lord Ram and mother Sita and he fought with them, he becomes very sad. Then on the orders of Maharishi Valmiki, both of them go as a child monk to question the people of Ayodhya for the injustice done to their mother Sita, who roams the streets of Ayodhya reciting the Ramayana based on the lives of Rama and Sita.
When the people of Ayodhya listen to the song sung by him, they become very emotional as to how Sita left the palace because of her doubts. This news also reaches Lord Rama, then Lord Rama calls him to his palace for a discourse on the story of Ramayana. During the same discourse, Luv and Kush reveal the secret that they are the sons of Lord Rama and Mother Sita. Lord Ram is very happy to hear this, but he is constrained in front of his Rajdharma. He calls Maharishi Valmiki for its verification and demands Mother Sita to repeat her vow of chastity. (Lord Ram takes such a decision to follow his Rajdharma, this is also said by Lord Ram – he has full faith in the love of his Sita and he is taking this decision only to fulfill Rajdharma so that in future no one can prove his integrity But do not doubt nor the chastity of Mother Sita)
When Mata Sita and Maharishi Valmiki come to the assembly of Ayodhya, first of all they declare on their behalf that Mata Sita is completely chaste and they also say that if this thing is false, then my saree virtue will be destroyed at this very moment. On his declaration, Lord Ram accepts this in front of his subjects that it is a sin to even suspect that Sita is not a husband, he loves Sita very much, but she has to do all these things to follow her Rajdharma. It is being read, that’s why Mother Sita herself will have to announce her chastity so that this dispute ends forever. Mother Sita is very sad to see this scene in the assembly of Ayodhya and declares with the power of being a husband that if her love is pure for Raghuvar, then this earth should explode at this very moment and I should get absorbed in it.
With this announcement of his, the land of that royal court splits into two parts and from there Bhudevi appears. Seeing the power of Mother Sita’s chastity, the people of Ayodhya realize their mistake, but by then it is too late. They all apologize to Mother Sita with folded hands and ask her to withdraw her decision. Mother Sita forgave everyone, but as a result of her decision, she got buried in the earth along with Bhudevi in the same assembly. After this incident everyone accepts Luv and Kush as the sons of Lord Rama.
Author Note of Mata Sita
Mata Sita is not only the pride of India, but she is the pride of the entire women’s world. He added a new chapter in every form of woman. When we read about her as a daughter, we call her Janaki because her father’s name was Janaka. She was the most beloved daughter of her father. When we see her as a mother she comes across as an ideal mother and is said to be the mother of great sons like Luv and Kush. When seen as a wife, she reveals herself as a chaste wife who challenges the influence of a majestic king like Ravana and with great faith awaits the arrival of her Rama. Not only this, when a social question mark arises on her family, she also leaves the palace so that the respect of her Raghuvar does not decrease. She is worshipable in all forms of woman, mother, daughter, wife, bride. Not only this, the people of Ayodhya who doubted him, his attitude towards them also never got contaminated. Forgiving them all in his last moment, he goes to Bhulok forever with Bhudevi. We can take inspiration from him for every subject of life. Especially in terms of love, he did not let his love for Lord Rama diminish at any time, no matter how opposite the times.