Devi Sita, the adopted daughter of King Janak and consort of the great Lord Ram, is the female protagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayana written by Maharishi Valmiki. Even though she is said to be an incarnation of goddess Laxmi, the goddess of all the worldly comforts, Devi Sita spent a period of 14 years of exile in a forest, following her husband, setting up an example of loyalty and patience to the world.
The great King Janak of Mithila discovered this beautiful girl child while ploughing a field and raised her as his own with all the love, care and comfort. Sita, also known as Janaki, was married to the great prince Ram of Ayodhya, who left all the worldly comforts to be by her husband’s side when he had to leave his kingdom to keep his father's word.
It was only during this exile that Devi Sita was abducted by the Demon King Ravana, who was mesmerised by her beauty and grace. Even in those turbulent times she remained calm, patient, and with an immense courage faced all the challenges while still maintaining her chastity and respect. Even after being rescued, she went through the test of fire to prove her purity.
Goddess Sita is an emblem for purity, fidelity, virtue, devotion and all the attributes a woman should have as a daughter, wife and mother. Here are some unknown facts about Sita.
1. The name “Sita” has been derived from a Sanskrit word meaning, “furrow”, to indicate her being found by King Janak while plowing the field. It is also connected to a Vedic goddess of fertility of the land.
2. She is also said to be the daughter of Mother Earth, and hence is also known as “Bhumije”. She was also known as “Vaidehi” during her exile in the forest and as “Rama” for being the beloved of Lord Ram.
3. There has been a long dispute regarding the birthplace of Devi Sita. Some say it is Janakpur of Mithila in southern Nepal, whereas some consider it to be Sitamarhi in Bihar.
4. An interesting fact about Sita is that she is also considered to be a reincarnation of Vedvati, whom Ravan had tried to molest while she was under penance, so as to become the consort of Lord Vishnu. She then cursed Ravana to become the cause of his destruction in her next birth.
5. It has also been mentioned in the Puranas that Devi Sita was the first born of Ravana and Mandodari. Astrologers had predicted that the first born of Mandodari will be the cause of the destruction of his entire linage.
Hence, Ravana had abandoned her and ordered the child to be buried away in a distant land, who was then discovered by King Janak and his wife to be raised as the princess of Mithila.
6. Another unknown fact about Sita is that, in some versions of Ramayana, there is a reference of Maya Sita (Devi Sita’s illusionary version). According to these, it was Maya Sita who was actually abducted by Ravana, whereas the real Sita took refuge with the fire god Agni, who took her to the abode of Goddess Parvati.
Later, she returned to Lord Ram after the war got over. Maya Sita is then said to have been reborn as Draupadi in her next life.