Biographies | Women
Although Seetaa is the focal point of Raamaayan, its heroine, and writing about Her will be like repeating the whole Raamaayan, but still there are many facts and issues about Her life which are from out of the book. They are given here to enhance readers' knowledge base. We first meet Seetaa in Baal Kaand of Maanas when, after killing Taadakaa and Subaahu, Vishwaamitra Jee asks Raam to go along with him to see a Dhanush Yagya to Janak Puree. Next day in the morning, when Raam and Lakshman go to the royal garden to pluck some flowers for Muni's worship, they see Seetaa there. She had come there for Gauree Worship.
Who was Seetaa
She is believed to be the incarnation of Lakshmee Jee. According to another story, Vedvatee (see below) was reborn as Seetaa to take revenge of her insult from Raavan. She was married to Raam, Raajaa Dasharath's eldest son who was the incarnation of Vishnu.
The legend goes on to say that Vedvatee was the brainchild of a sage called Kushdhwaj, and Kushdhwaj decided to give her only to Bhagavaan Vishnu in marriage. But it remained an unfulfilled desire in his lifetime. Then Vedvatee started a rigorous penance to fulfill her father's wish. When she was at the culmination point of her penance, Raavan saw this beautiful lady from skyway when he was passing that way. He came to her, and disturbed her penance. Ved Vatee coming out of her meditation cursed Raavan saying that she would reincarnate herself to destroy Raavan and his entire dynasty. Then she caused a Yaugik fire and immolated herself. Raavan took this as prattle by a woman-hermit, dismissed that curse, and conveniently forgot it.
Later, Raavan, being an ardent devotee of Bhagavaan Shiv, one day entered a lake to get lotuses for his daily worship of Shiv Jee, and found a baby girl in a lotus flower among other lotuses. He brought that lotus flower and the baby to his palace in all his fondness for children. But his empress Mandodaree doubted the arrival of this baby like this in the lotus flower and recognized that baby as Devee Lakshmee. They consulted their teachers about that baby's arrival. Those teachers, priests and Pandit advised them to get rid of that baby immediately, for she was Vedvatee. And she arrived there only to end Raavan and his dynasty. Then Mandodaree ordered her servants to carry away that baby in a casket, and bury it.
Empress Mandodaree further cursed that girl saying: "this faithless girl (for wealth is not faithful to anybody, and this girl was recognized as Devee Lakshmee - presiding deity of Wealth) will thrive only in a house, where the householder has his senses conquered, and who being an emperor lives like a perfect hermit, and who, though wealthy and supreme by himself, will care nothing for the riches but view whole of the world and people as his own soul, with an impartial attitude..."
Mandodaree thought that such a person was impossible to take birth in this mortal world, and thus presumed this curse would work. But there was a King Janak (Seeradhwaj of Mithilaa) who had all these attributes. A King without ego, wealthy one, living simple, childless but yet does not crave for children like King Dasharath. Hence, he was called Raajarshi, a saintly King. While King Janak was about to perform a Vaidik ritual - he had to till some piece of land as a ceremonial act to commence that ritual. Then this casket with the baby is touched by the tip of the end of plough-beam and that plough halted. The attendants dug up that area only to find that casket with baby. The childless Janak took the baby into his arms and named her as 'Seetaa...' where Seetaa in Sanskrit means 'furrow' (this is as per Aanand Raamaayan). Thus, Devee Lakshmee became Vedvatee and Vedvatee became Seetaa of Raamaayan.
Seetaa's Marriage to Raam
When the time came to organize Seetaa's Swayamvar, many mighty kings and princes came to try their luck, but failed even to move that bow, leave to lift it. It is said that Raavan was also one of them. In that Swayamvar Raam lifted that bow like a flower and broke it just like that. Thus He married Jaanakee.
Although there are two incidents, not written anywhere in Tulasees Maanas or Vaalmeeki's Raamaayan, but once when Mandodaree tries to convince Raavan after the visit of Angad as a Peace messenger, not to fight with Raam (in Lankaa Kaand), as he is Bhagavaan, she refers these two incidents - one is of drawing the Lakshman Rekhaa; and his own attending the Seetaa's Swayamvar. Both Chaupaaee are given here for reference :--
After Dohaa 35, the 2nd Chaupaaee
After Dohaa 35, Chaupaaee 10 and 11
Some Issues About Seetaa
11. Why Raam sent away Seetaa and Lakshman while fighting with Khar and Dooshan?
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 10/16/13