Sita

May 13th, 2008 by sabrina

Sita is the Hindu Goddess of female virtue, the ideal wife and mother. She is the wife of Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, which therefore makes her an incarnation of Vishnu’s wife, Lakshmi. Sita followed her husband into exile when he gave up his throne to one of his younger brothers. She was then kidnapped by the demon king Ravana and held by him for a year. During her confinement, Sita remained faithful to her husband Rama, and even the demon Ravana did not touch her. He saw that her virtue was such that it would be death to violate her.

When Rama freed Sita from the demon king, he doubted her fidelity. To allay his fears, Sita volunteered to an ordeal by fire, which proved that she was virtuous. Her purity was such that the God of fire, Agni, was himself burnt by the flames. Even so, Rama was disturbed by the rumors that his wife had been unfaithful to him, and he banished her, even though she was pregnant with his children. Sita gave birth to twin sons, Luva and Kush, and raised them alone.

When the boys were teenagers, Rama heard news of their exploits, and realized that they were indeed his sons. He asked Sita and their sons to return to the kingdom. Unfortunately, the people’s rumors were still more important to Rama than his own wife, and he again asked Sita to undergo an ordeal by fire. This time, Sita refused, saying “If I have remained true to Rama in mind, speech and action, may the Mother Earth embrace me in her bosom.” On her words, the earth opened up and swallowed her, leaving behind a husband who was not worthy of such a faithful and virtuous wife.

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