Mother Sita - an embodiment of Purity
- Mother Sita - an embodiment of Purity
Ramayana is Sitayana as well. In fact Valmiki refers to his work as
the Magnificent Story of Mother Sita ( Sitaayaah Charitam Mahat )
If Sri Rama is the embodiment of Dharma (Righteousness),
Mother Sita is the embodiment of Pavitrata (Purity).
Valmiki extols Mother Sita Devi with some of the Choicest words and attributes:
Sri Swaroopini - Personification of the mystic syllable Shri - Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
Dharmajna - Knowing what is right , Dharma Darshini - Seeing what is right
Yashasvini - Illustrious, Glorious , Tapasvini - Ascetic , Manasvini - Noble minded
Madhura Bhashini - Sweet tongued, Kalyaanatara Vaadini - Lady with an auspicious voice
Sah Dharmachaarini - Virtuous wife, Companion in practice of Dharma
Mother Sita accompanies Sri Rama to the forest
First Sri Rama tries to dissuade Sita with the dangers lurking in the Forest, and she pleads,
yaH tvayaa saha sa svargo nirayo yaH tvayaa vinaa |
iti jaanan paraam priitim gaccha raama mayaa saha || 2-30-18
"An abode which will be shared with you will be Heaven, and that which is shorn of you will be Hell. Knowing this my supreme love, proceed to the forest with me !"
Sri Rama quickly corrects himself saying he did not know her mind and agrees
"Beloved Sita you have arrived at a most welcome decision worthy in every way of my race as well as yours".
Infact, Sita chooses to even advice Lord Rama, as circumstances demand on Dharma itself, and Sri Rama acknowledges the depth of Sita's clarity in one such instance.."Your words are most appropriate for yourself and favorable also in the interest of the family. You are the follower of my dharma and so more dearer to me than my life".
This discussion is one of the outstanding examples where the wife reminds the husband about Dharma (Righteous Conduct), and the importance of following Dharma even during difficult days times.
Protective Spirit of Mother Sita
As ordered by Ravana, the demons wrap up old rags around Hanuman's tail, pour oil to it and burn it with fire. The demons tie Hanuman with ropes and conduct him to walk down the entire city, proclaiming to the citizens of Lanka saying that Hanuman is a spy. The female-demons inform Mother Sita about the burning of Hanuman's tail and making him move around the city by demons.
Mother Sita, worried about the safety of Hanuman, starts praying to the fire-god and invokes the blessings of the fire-god to do good to Hanuman.
yadi asti pati shushruuShaa yadi asti caritam tapaH || 5-53-28
yadi ca asti eka patniitvam shiito bhava hanuumataH |
yadi kashcit anukroshaH tasya mayi asti dhiimataH || 5-53-29
yadi vaa bhaagya sheSham me shiito bhava hanuumataH |
"O Fire-god! If I had served my husband, if I had practiced austerity, if I had been only devoted to my husband alone you may keep Hanuman cool. O Fire god! If wise Sri Rama has some compassion for me, if there is good wishes left for me, let Hanuman be cool.".
Then the intense flame appeared to the fawn-eyed Mother Sita indicating auspiciousness and assuring safety to Hanuman and moving clockwise steadily. Hanuman realizes to his pleasant surprise that the fire has been kind to him by keeping his tail cool, and also feels that the blessings of Mother Sita to have soothened the fire.
After setting fire to Lanka, it struck Hanuman, 'O, what have I done? What has happened to Mother Sita?' By virtue of asceticism, truth and devotion towards her husband, she may consume the fire, but fire will not burn her.
Agni Pareeksha - Mother Sita, a Burning fire of Purity
After the end of the war, Sita is brought to the assembly of citizens. Sita looks intently at Sri Rama, eagerly awaiting to hear him. Sri Rama addresses Sita, not in his role of Sita Pati (husband of Mother Sita) but as Dharmishta - and he needed to clear the name of Sita Devi to the mudance world.
Sita turns to Lakshmana, and asks him to prepare a pyre of fire for her. When Lakshmana prepares a pyre, Mother Sita, after doing circumambulation to Sri Rama and proceeded towards the blazing fire,
and spoke the following words:
yathaa maaM shuddhacharitaaM duShTaaM jaanaati raaghavaH |
tathaa lokasya saakShii maaM sarvataH paatu paavakaH || 6-116-26
"As Sri Rama worries about me, though of unimpeachable conduct, let the fire-god the witness of the world, protect me from all sides. As I have never been unfaithful in act, thought and speech to Sri Rama, who knows all the virtues, so let the fire-god protect me."
Thus speaking, Mother Sita walking around the fire-god, with her mind free from hesitation, entered the blazing fire.
Then the Agni-Deva appears in person from the burning pyre - and spoke to Sri Rama as follows
vishuddhabhaavaaM niShpaapaaM pratigRihNiiShva maithiliim |
na kiMchirabhidhaatavyaa ahamaajJNaapayaami te || 6-118-10
"Take back Sita, who is sinless, with a pure character. She should not be told anything harsh.
I hereby command you."
Rama, whose mind was set on virtue, with a pleasant mind to hear the aforesaid speech,
reflected on this, with his eyes, entirely filed with tears of joy.
Sita Rama Sharanam Mama (Lord Sri Rama & Mother Sita are my refuge)
When Hanuman sees Mother Sita for the first time in Ashoka vana after searching for her,
he feels immensely rewarded and blessed . He conjures up a mental image of
Sri Rama and Mother Sita as a couple and remarks they match each other in all respects.
What a divine event it is to see them together - and like Hanuman, from a Rama Dhoota,
we shall also become the Sita Rama Devotee with the mercy of Mother Sita !
Jai Sita Ram !!!