Devi Sita, consort of Lord Rama was known for her dedication, self sacrifice, courage and purity. She is one of the main characters of Ramayana- a famous Hindu epic.She was a adopted daughter of King Janak of Mithila and Queen Sunanya. She was considered as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.
Legend of Sita’s Birth
Sita was found in a furrow while ploughing the field. King Janaka has no children of his own so when he saw Sita, he was overwhelmed with love for her and declared her his own daughter.
Thus she is considered as daughter of Bhumidevi or Goddess Earth. Also, she was adopted daughter of King Janak so she was also known as Janaki. King Janaka was ruler of Mithila hence Sita was also known as Mythili. King Janak was also known as Videha hence, Sita was also known as Vaidehi.
When Sita was a little girl, Sage Parashuram saw her playing with Bow of Lord Shiva. He advised Janaka to marry Sita with the man who lifts the Lord Shiva’s bow (Pinaka) and able to string it.
When right time arrived, Janaka organised a swayamwara with a condition that Sita will marry only that person who would be able to string Pinaka, the bow of Lord Shiva.
Many Princes and Kings tried their luck but failed to even move the bow. To the utter surprise of all, Rama not only lifted the bow with an ease string it and finally broke it.
Thus on fulfilling the condition Ram got married to Sita.
Some time after wedding, Kaikeyi (stepmother of Rama) forced Dasharatha to crown Bharat as King and send Rama to forest for fourteen years. Sita and Lakshman willingly renounced the comfort of palace and joined Rama in exile. Dasharatha in utter guilt and grief died by the next day.
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were spending their time peacefully in the forest of Dandaka (later known as Panchwati). One day, Sita saw a golden deer she was charmed and asked Rama to catch it.
Golden deer was actually a demon who was sent by Ravana to lure Rama and Lakshmana away from hermitage so that Ravana could abduct Sita.
When Rama went in the forest in search for dear he ordered Lakshmana not to leave Sita alone in any circumstances. When Rama killed the deer- Mareech imitated Rama’s voice and cried for help. In Spite of Lakshmana refusal to leave Sita alone, she forced him to go and help his brother Rama.
Before leaving Lakshmana took his arrow and made a line(Lakshmana rekha) and asked Sita not to step out of it in any circumstances.
When Sita was all alone in the hut, Ravana disguised as sadhu came for alms. The moment Sta crossed Lakshman rekha to give alm Ravana came in his original form and abducted Sita on his aerial chariot.
When Rama and Lakshmana came back they find Sita missing . They started searching for her. Deep in the forest they saw Jatayu, who was badly wounded. Jatayu said he saw Ravana forcefully taking away Sita, when he tried to rescue her Ravana cut his wings. Then Jatayu took his last breath.
Sita in Ashok van
Ravana took Sita to Lanka and kept her in Ashok van. Ravana appointed many demonesses to take care of Sita and prevent her from escaping. During her captivity for a year in Lanka, Ravana keep expressing his desire for her, but Sita refused his advances and struggled to maintain her chastity
Meanwhile Rama meets Hanuman and his Vanara sena and made plan to rescue Sita.
Ram wages war against Ravana
Rama with the help of vanara sena build a bridge- Ram Setu connecting India and Lanka. Rama waged a war against Ravana. Finally, Sita was rescued by defeating Ravana.
Since Sita was kept in captivity by Ravana she had to give a agnipariksha in order to prove her chastity.
In some version of Ramayana , during this test Fire God Agni appeared before Rama and handed over him real Sita and said it was Maya Sita who was abducted by Ravana.
While other version states that Sita voluntarily enters the fire, and when she stepped in the coal turned into lotuses.
Abandonment of Sita
Couple came back to Ayodhya, Rama was crowned king. Ram’s faith and affection for Sita has never wavered but some people of Ayodhaya could not accept Sita after her long captivity. Rama being a noble king had to listen to his praja and send Sita off into exile once again.
Later life of Sita
Abandoned Sita was pregnant she wandered in the forest and finally got shelter in the hermitage of sage Valmiki. She gave birth to twins, Kusha and Lava. Sita raised her sons all alone under the guidance of sage Valmiki. Twins grew into brave and intelligent princes. When Lava and Kusha were united with their father Rama, Sita considered her mission complete and decided to take final refuge in the arms of her mother Bhumi.
Sita requested Bhumi devi to have mercy on her and give her release from unjust world and sadness filled life. The earth suddenly split open and Bhumi devi emerge from inside and took Sita away with her.
This was the extraordinary life of Devi Sita. Who went to the forest with her husband only to be denounced later. Even she passed the test of Agnipariksha. Who says our society is matured?