The legend of Goddess Sita’s birth
Numerous legends surround the birth of Goddess Sita, which associates Sitamarhi, a pilgrimage site in Bihar, as the birthplace of Goddess Sita. The Tamil version of Ramayana depicts Goddess Sita as being found hidden in a ploughed furrow of a field at Sitamarhi of Mithila region in the state of Bihar by King Janaka, the then king of Mithila. Hence, Goddess Sita is revered as the daughter of Mother Earth or Bhoomi Devi. While Valmiki’s Ramayana describes Goddess Sita as King Janaka’s daughter, an excerpt from revised texts of Ramayana Manjari describes Goddess Sita as born to Menaka, who King Janaka then adopted upon Menaka’s request. Some versions of Ramayana depict various stories regarding the birth of Goddess Sita. One such version suggests that Ravana molested goddess Vedavati during her penance to become Lord Vishnu’s consort. Ravana’s deeds destroyed the purity and chastity of Goddess Vedavati, who cursed Ravana that she would reincarnate and cause the death of Ravana before immolating herself in a pyre. Goddess Vedavati later reincarnated as Goddess Sita and became the cause of Ravana’s death. Another story suggests Ravana was responsible for tarnishing the ascetic life of Manivati, who vowed to punish Ravana for his deeds. She then reincarnated as Ravana’s daughter. Ravana’s astrologers advised Ravana that his daughter would be the cause of his end, and therefore he buried his daughter in a furrow, where she was found by the farmers and was adopted by King Janaka. Goddess Sita is revered by several names. The name Sita is derived from the Sanksrit word “seet”, which implies furrow as she was found in a furrow. She is also revered by other names such as Janaki, Vaidehi, Janaknandini, Maithili, Bhoomiputri or Bhumija, Janakatmaja, Siya, Bhusuta, etc.
Sita Navami will be observed on May 10, 2022. The timings are as below:
- Navami Tithi Begins at 06:32 PM on May 09, 2022
- Navami Tithi Ends at 07:24 PM on May 10, 2022
- Puja Muhurat Begins at 11:17 AM on May 10, 2022
- Puja Muhurat Ends at 01:53 PM on May 10, 2022
On the day of Sita Navami, bathe before daybreak, repeating sacred mantras dedicated to the seven holy rivers.
||Ganga Cha Yamuna Chaiva Godavari Saraswati
Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru||
Some people perform the Rama Sita Puja and the Rama Puja Mantra Japa and Yajna, which comprises the Rama Homa Rama Raksha Stotra, Ram mantra Japa, Yajna, and aarti. Wearing a twelve Mukhi rudraksha bead, ruled by Lord Rama, is also beneficial. Wearing these Rudraksha beads purifies the soul and strengthens one’s willpower.
- The Sita Navami fast is observed by married women who observe a strict fast throughout the day.
- Devotees worship Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, and Lakshmana by constructing a mandap and placing the deities’ idols on it.
- Flowers and garlands embellish the mandap or place of worship.
- Goddess Earth, or Bhoomidevi as she is known, is worshipped alongside Goddess Sita since Goddess Sita is believed to have emerged from the earth.
- Devotees also offer fruits, sesame seeds, barley, and rice to the deities, along with performing puja.
- Devotees also prepare Satvik food, which is first offered to the gods and then distributed to family members or guests as Prasad after the completion of the aarti.
- Huge celebrations and rituals such as Maha Aarti, Maha Abhishek, and Sringaar Darshan are conducted at numerous temples dedicated to Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.
- Several venues also host Ramayan recitation, bhajans, kirtans, etc.
- Devotees sing and dance to religious music while chanting ‘Jai Siya Ram’ as the processions of deities are carried through the streets in decorated chariots.
Women seek longevity in their husbands’ lives by fasting on Janaki Navami. Goddess Sita is considered the incarnated form of Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Sita is considered the personification of purity, sacrifice, devotion, courage, and patience. Women who observe the Sita Navami fast are said to receive the Goddess’s heavenly graces as well as a happy married life. Married women who observe the Sita Navami fast pray to Goddess Sita for their husbands’ safety, happiness, long life, health, and general well-being. Goddess Sita also bestows the bliss of motherhood on devotees who are having difficulty conceiving or giving birth. Worshipping Mother Earth on this day brings success, wealth, and abundance.
Devotees who worship and perform puja for Lord Rama and Goddess Sita together during Sita Navami are granted marital bliss and contentment. Moreover, by observing a fast on this auspicious day, Goddess Sita bestows the attributes of modesty, sacrifice, and other virtues on her followers who maintain the rites and fast steadfastly.