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Ramayana is one of the holy texts in Hinduism, depicting the life of Lord Ram, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Sri Rama is seen as an ideal king, ideal son, ideal brother, etc., but was he an ideal husband as well?
While the story of him rescuing Sita from Ravana's Lanka suggests that he was so, the episode of him sending Sita to exile, raises questions at his image as an ideal husband. This episode is one of the most disturbing and incomprehensible episodes in the Ramayana. Rama had abandoned Sita on the demands of a washerman in his kingdom, when Sita was five months pregnant. The washerman had questioned her chastity.
Views are held that Rama did this because, his duty as a responsible king taking care of all the demands of the people of the kingdom was more important than the duty as a husband at that time. However, the truth is that Sita, who is worshiped as a Goddess and is believed to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, had to face the pain of separation from her husband.
Why Rama Abandoned Sita?
But do you know there is another story associated behind this separation? The real story can be traced back to the childhood days of Sita when she was cursed to face separation from her husband by a couple of parrots. Read on to know what led to Sita being cursed.
Once, Sita was playing with her friends in the palace garden. Much to her surprise, she saw that a couple of parrots were discussing something very gravely about her. She heard her name being associated with Rama. This made her even more curious. She inquired who they were, where they came from and what they were talking about. The parrots told that they belonged to the Ashram of Maharishi Valmiki. They often heard him discuss Ram and Sita in the ashram.
Surprised by what the parrots told her, Sita got them captured. She asked them many questions, and came to know that Rama is the son of Ayodhya King Dashratha and he would marry her after breaking the Shiva Dhanusha in a swayamvar. Thus, the parrots would tell her all that she wanted to know, but her questions seemed unending. And the couple wanted to go back. They sought her permission to leave. But Sita was too adamant and said that they will not be allowed to go until she gets married to Sri Rama. The male parrot requested saying that his wife is pregnant and they need to go back before it is much late. But Sita told them to comfortably stay in the palace.
The birds still insisted that there is nothing more comfortable for birds than the open sky.
But Sita would not listen at all and declared that the male bird might go but she would not allow the female bird to leave.
As per her decision, the parrots were separated. The male parrot was set free and the female parrot was left in the palace with Sita. Hurt by this, the male parrot cursed Sita that just as he and his wife are separated by her when his wife was pregnant, Sita would also have to suffer the pain of separation from her husband while in pregnancy.
As a result of the curse, Sita was abandoned by Rama a few months before the birth of Luv and Kush. It is believed that the washerman who had demanded that Sita be abandoned, was the same male parrot who had cursed her. Thus, the curse became the real reason behind the separation of Rama and Sita, when Sita was five months pregnant.