Seldom explored aspects of Divine Mother Sita

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Posted: 2013-08-02T23:16:36Z



Hello Friends!

I'm back with a new post.Hope you all will like this.Smile


SITA AS FERTILITY GODDESS

Sita did not spring into existence with the Ramayana. In fact, She predates that epic by a millennium or so, making Her earliest known appearance in the Rig Veda, where She is worshiped in several hymns as an agricultural and fertility deity. The Kausika Sutra also identifies Her as "mother of gods, mortals, and creatures," and equates Her with intelligence, growth, increase and prosperity. "Sita literally means 'furrow,' as in a ploughed field, or the parting of the hair on the head; it also implies the female vaginal furrow as the source of life." Vedic writings "show that She was worshiped as a goddess, the furrow personified." She is a Goddess who connects the fecundity of the earth with the eternal divine; and no doubt Valmiki had these powerful associations in mind when he described Her extraordinary birth in the Ramayana


Sita Devi as Goddess of Fertility

Sita's ancient associations with fertility and the Earth are continually echoed throughout the Ramayana. Plants and animals constantly reflect Sita's actions and moods. As the very essence of Prakriti, or Nature, Sita does not find Her jungle exile fearful: "Just as Sita used to delight in going through the city parks, so is She now content in the forest solitude." At one point, when Sita makes a sacrificial offering under a "green-leafed Nyagrodha tree," all growing plants are brought to Her for inspection . In general, Sita is presented as if She were truly the mistress of vegetation."

Goddess Sita with Lord Ram and Lord Lakshman showering love on other creatures.

When Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the forest itself reflects Her absence. as Rama surveys the spot from which She had been abducted -- "the trees nearby that seemed to be weeping, the melacholy birds, miserable deer, and faded flowers ..." Similarly, while in captivity, Sita literally begins to wilt like a flower deprived of its sap; at one point She is described as "a lotus pool stripped of its flowers"  But when She returns to Ayodhya, "fruitless trees became fruitful; trees without flowers abounded in blossoms; those that were withered sprouted leaves, and the foliage dripped honey." 

Sita has an similarly powerful effect on animals, another aspect of Nature: When She leaves Ayodhya, elephants and cows cease to perform their functions ; when She is kidnapped, lions and tigers follow Her shadow , a vulture tries to rescue Her , deer show Rama the direction in which She was taken , a crow keeps them on the right path , and an army of monkeys (led by the great God Hanuman) and bears helps Rama to defeat Ravana and rescue Her.

SITA AS UPHOLDER OF COSMIC ORDER

Shaktism -- and many non-Shakta schools of Hinduism -- associate Devi, the Goddess, with cosmic order. Countless legends, most prominently those associated with Durga in the Devi Mahatmyam, or with various other Goddess forms in the Devi Bhagavata Purana, depict Her as the force the Gods turn to when Universal Order is threatened by the forces of Chaos. Now, Sita is clearly no avenging warrior goddess like Durga or the Matrikas -- but a close reading of the Ramayana clearly reveals that Creation would unravel without Her.

Sita as independent Goddess

This aspect of Sita can also be traced back to the Vedas, which contain a primary source for the Ramayana.

In the Ramayana, where Ravana, by kidnapping Sita, has "obstructed the growing processes of Nature by confining their source.That Her death would mean the end of the world is echoed in Rama's expressions of despair at the thought of Her loss." And Ravana states that one of his principle motivations for kidnapping Sita is his knowledge that "Rama will not survive without Sita."

Indra comes to Earth with his wife to feed Sita

Rama reveals what is Sita to him

Indeed, the Ramayana itself refers to Sita at several points by the epithet, Ardhangini, "the half-body of Her husband" -- recalling the perfect Yin-Yang equality of Parvati and Shiva in the form of Ardhanarishwar/Ardhanarishwari -- and the overall sense of the text suggests that "Rama and Sita are to be regarded as one being, Her virtue the source of His power."

Indeed, Rama Himself declares: "Sita is to me what light is to the sun. ... I can no more forsake Her than an honorable man can renounce his honor."


And so Sita -- Earth Goddess, Fertility Goddess, Upholder of Cosmic Order, and Shakti -- when joined with Her masculine half, Rama, contributes Her divine power to His realm as devoted consort. United with the Hero/God, the Goddess Sita -- like all forms of Devi -- becomes the source and support of the ongoing prosperity of the world that is symbolized in the Rama's divine, 10,000-year rule.

Goddess Sita Meditating

Sita-focused manuscripts of the Ramayana tend to come from the traditional Shakta strongholds in the East and South of India. As N.N. Bhattacharyya writes in his "History of the Sakta Religion":

"It is interesting to note that in the Adbhuta Ramayana, a late work highly favoured by the Kashmirian Shaktas, Sita is stated to have killed Ravana [by] assuming the form of Kali. The said work identifies Sita with the Supreme Being of the Shaktas. The [practice] of associating Shaktism with Rama-Sita legends may be traced even to the Sanskrit Ramacarita of Abhinanda, which is a work of the tenth century. ... [And] in Sarala Dasa's Oriya Ramamyana, the tradition of the Adbhuta Ramayana is followed, in which Sita herself killed Ravana in the form of Bhadrakali. The story of the slaying of Ravana by Sita is also found in the Jaiminibharata and other later Bengali Ramayanas. According to the popular Rama legends of the Mathura region, it was Sita who killed Ravana and, having accomplished the task, went straight to Calcutta instead of Ayodhya and settled there permanently as Kali Mai."

Hope you find this post informative and interesting friends,please comment if you like it.

Thank You!


Edited by Viraaga - 2013-08-02T23:18:55Z
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Posted: 2013-08-03T05:22:22Z

Thanks for this great post, Viraaga.Smile

It is with much hesitation that I'm placing the following points before you with reference to your post, because the last time we interacted on this forum, you deleted the thread!!!!!

Please don't do anything of the sort this time, or ever in future. The last thing I wish to see as a result of my reply to your post is you editing or anyway modifying your good post. These are points for your information & consideration, nothing more. Please don't let these points discourage you in anyway from posting more on this forum. 




Originally posted by Viraaga




Sita did not spring into existence with the Ramayana. In fact, She predates that epic by a millennium or so, making Her earliest known appearance in the Rig Veda, where She is worshiped in several hymns as an agricultural and fertility deity.



This timeline is of course what we are taught for last many decades in schools & colleges. Do note that the Sanatan Dharma's view on the time of Veds origin or the prevalence of Ramayan among humans or devtas, is entirely different.

 


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Posted: 2013-08-03T05:26:47Z
Originally posted by Viraaga





This photo you posted. Well, its drawn beautifully. However, pictures such as these, where Ram & Lakshman are shown with beards, it goes 180-degrees against the Vedantic view that Bhagvan (Ram) & Bhagvati (Sita) are Nitya-kishore & Nitya-kishori, (ever-youthful, never-changing) since their manifest "bodies" is not made of anything, but is rather INFINITE BLISS PERSONIFIED. Thus, whether we see Bhagvan Ram & Bhagvati Sita in their Supreme Eternal abode (Vaikunth/Saket/Golok) or we see them during any of their manifest divine play (leela), we can see them  either as a baby boy or girl, or as Nitya-kishore & Nitya-kishori, only because their "bodies" cannot change, for they are not bodies in the sense we understand the term.

That's why devotees of Maa Sita or Shri Radharani call her "Shri Kishori ji."

A lot of people over many, many decades have requested all artists to keep in mind these Vedic concepts when drawing the Supreme Lord & Maa Bhagvati. But this picture is another example that the request has been falling on deaf ears. 

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Posted: 2013-08-03T05:32:00Z
Originally posted by Viraaga


"It is interesting to note that in the Adbhuta Ramayana, a late work highly favoured by the Kashmirian Shaktas, Sita is stated to have killed Ravana [by


assuming the form of Kali. The said work identifies Sita with the Supreme Being of the Shaktas. The [practice


of associating Shaktism with Rama-Sita legends may be traced even to the Sanskrit Ramacarita of Abhinanda, which is a work of the tenth century. ... [And


in Sarala Dasa's Oriya Ramamyana, the tradition of the Adbhuta Ramayana is followed, in which Sita herself killed Ravana in the form of Bhadrakali. 



Actually, the old Sanskrit Adbhut Ramayan attributed to sage Valmiki tells the story of Maa Sita,  killing NOT the demon King of Lanka, the ten-headed Raavan, BUT HIS ELDER BROTHER, ALSO NAMED RAAVAN, & THIS RAAVAN WAS THOUSAND HEADED!!!!! The Sanskrit Adbhut Ramayan tells us in detail how Maa Sita killed this thousand-headed elder brother of original Raavan (whom Shri Ram killed, as you know), also named Raavan.

Just as Anand Ramayan tells us about Bhagvati Sita killing the son of Kumbhkarna, named Moolkasur, by manifesting Mahakali from her body, & ordering her to kill Moolkasur. 

So don't get confused. Smile


1 Likes this
Posted: 2013-08-03T05:48:07Z

Finally, just to reassure you that I like your post very much, I post here a Rig Vedic prayer to Maa Sita. 

"O Auspicious Bhagvati Sita; we bow down to you & greet you. O Supreme Deity, please be kindly disposed towards us; be compassionate hearted towards us; & be a bestower of beautiful bleesings for us." 

Here's another old prayer, 

"Who gives all prosperities, blessings, & liberation; who is the creator of all worlds; who destroys intelligence of wickeds & ego of egoists; who is the origin of all; cause of all causes; who ensures safety & well being of her devotees; I bow to that Mother Sita, the daughter of Janaka, the daughter of Earth."    

Smile


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Posted: 2013-08-03T07:14:11Z
Originally posted by sherlock


Originally posted by Viraaga





This photo you posted. Well, its drawn beautifully. However, pictures such as these, where Ram & Lakshman are shown with beards, it goes 180-degrees against the Vedantic view that Bhagvan (Ram) & Bhagvati (Sita) are Nitya-kishore & Nitya-kishori, (ever-youthful, never-changing) since their manifest "bodies" is not made of anything, but is rather INFINITE BLISS PERSONIFIED. Thus, whether we see Bhagvan Ram & Bhagvati Sita in their Supreme Eternal abode (Vaikunth/Saket/Golok) or we see them during any of their manifest divine play (leela), we can see them  either as a baby boy or girl, or as Nitya-kishore & Nitya-kishori, only because their "bodies" cannot change, for they are not bodies in the sense we understand the term.

That's why devotees of Maa Sita or Shri Radharani call her "Shri Kishori ji."

A lot of people over many, many decades have requested all artists to keep in mind these Vedic concepts when drawing the Supreme Lord & Maa Bhagvati. But this picture is another example that the request has been falling on deaf ears. 


Thank You for liking my post and replying to it with some wonderful Vedic Verses and accurate information from Adhbut Ramayan.SmileNo,No I wont delete this post,actually I wanted to make a good informative post.

Since I liked the picture above very much I posted it here unaware of the Vedantic View.

But onething I would like to share here is when Shri Hanuman meets Mother Sita he describes the appearance and greatness of Ram for her confirmation (that he was sent by Shri Ram).There he said Shri Ram has fine or sharp hair on head,body and face as the moustaches and the beard.(Valmiki Ramayan)


Edited by Viraaga - 2013-08-03T07:37:13Z
1 Likes this
Posted: 2013-08-03T09:41:47Z

Oh yes, yes, I remember that verse from Valmiki Ramayan's Sundar kand.Smile

Now recall Viraaga that the verse in Sanskrit that Valmikiji wrote, has no mention of moustache or beard. The verse is among a very many number of verses in which Shri Hanuman is describing Shri Ram's appearance, qualities and present condition to Sitaji.

God, I miss not having Valmiki Ramayan with me right now, otherwise I would have definitely written that particular Sanskrit verse here for you to read & see for yourself. Alas, now I have to rely on my memory.

So as I was saying, the verse in Sanskrit says something like, "ten lotus like, ten ample, three well spread," so on & so forth, and says "nine fine or sharp, & then something about three periods." Now, most translators, to make sense of this figure of nine sharp, include moustache & beard in this list of nine. Why they do so, honestly I've never understood.Confused Confused

 

OK, OK, I'll stop nitpicking a single verse of Valmiki Ramayan, & return to big picture.LOL 

Who is this Shri Ram which Hanumanji is describing?? From Vedas to Valmiki Ramayan, everyone tell us just one thing. For example, quoting from Valmiki Ramayan again, "Rama is the eternal Lord, the Primordial Lord, He is the eternal Vishnu. Rama is pleased with those who listen to or read Ramayan daily." (If I remember correctly, this is from the very last chapter of Yuddha Kand of Valmiki Ramayan.)

And this Supreme Lord is Supreme Infinite Bliss, His body is Bliss, not material, and that's why He is Nitya-kishore.

And that's why, pictures like the one under discussion, are a severe misrepresentation of this basic fact.    

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Posted: 2013-08-03T21:09:38Z

^ ^ No not translators it was interpreted as such by some great scholars!


Edited by Viraaga - 2013-08-04T02:22:39Z
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