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Rama and Sita: The Celestial Couple inspires and guides the humankind

Vasini Shyama Charan Jha

Vasini Shyama Charan Jha

India, June 2, 2024

Ramayana and the life and times of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita are said to have inspired millions of people all over the world for at least 7000 years (AI Image Supplied by Vasini Shyama Charan Jha)

 

Ramayana and the life and times of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita are said to have inspired millions of people all over the world for at least 7000 years (AI Image Supplied by Vasini Shyama Charan Jha)[/caption]

In the grand tapestry of Hindu mythology, the Divine love story of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita stands as an eternal testament to the triumph of righteousness, devotion, and the unbreakable bond between the human and the Divine.

At the heart of this sacred narrative lies the ancient Kingdom of Mithilanchal, a land steeped in spiritual significance and cultural richness, where the celestial Union between the two Divine beings took root.

Valmiki Ramayan, one of the two great Sanskrit epics of ancient India, is the primary source that unveils the Divine origins of Goddess Sita and her inextricable connection to Mithilanchal. In the Bala Kanda (the Chapter on Childhood), a miraculous event unfolds during a ploughing ceremony organised by King Janaka, the benevolent ruler of the prosperous Mithila Kingdom.

Editor’s Note: While Tamil literature proudly preserves and promotes ‘Kamba Ramayanam,’ this version by the 12th-century Tamil Poet Kambar emphasises the role and strength of women in society. Kamba Ramayanam has only six Kandas while Valmiki Ramayan consists of Uttara Kanda, narrating the reign of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, the birth of his twin sons Lava and Kusha and the famous Ashvamedha Yagna. Valmiki Ramayan is considered original and authentic since Sage Valmiki lived during those times.

As the King tilled the fertile soil, a resplendent infant girl emerged from the furrow, radiating a celestial glow that illuminated the entire realm. This extraordinary birth marked the Divine manifestation of Goddess Sita, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Sita,’ meaning ‘The Furrow.”

The sacred verses of the Valmiki Ramayan immortalise this auspicious moment:

Sarga 65, verses 8-14:

“Khanitrāntargatā kāncidāvirbhūtā mahātmanā |

Bālikā rūpasampannā bhāsvatī dyutimattamā ||”

“From the ploughed field, an infant girl arose,

Her radiance outshining the resplendent Sun.

Janaka, the wise King, beheld this marvel,

And with a joyful heart, he raised her as his own.”

Sarga 66:

“Siteti nāma tasyā vai pitā dadhre mahātapāḥ |

Sītāyāstārayāmāsa jātāṁ kṣitisutāṁ tadā ||”

“With love and reverence, he named her Sita,

For she emerged from the fertile furrow.

Blessed by the Gods, she grew in grace and wisdom,

A jewel among the women of Mithila.”

 

Lord Rama and Goddess Sita personify the Celestial and Matrimonial Bond of mutual love and respect (Microsoft CoPilot AI Image)

The Divine Manifestation

Sita’s Divine birth in Mithilanchal was no mere coincidence; it was a celestial event orchestrated by the cosmic forces, forever intertwining the destiny of the land with the sacred tale of the Ramayana.

The Sita Upanishad, a revered Hindu scripture, extols the virtues and divinity of Sita, the embodiment of feminine strength, purity, and devotion, as an incarnation of the Goddess Lakshmi herself.

Sundara Kanda (Beautiful Chapter), a section of the Valmiki Ramayan, vividly portrays Sita’s unwavering dedication to Lord Rama during her captivity in Lanka, solidifying her status as the epitome of marital fidelity and righteousness. This timeless narrative has inspired countless generations of devotees, reminding them of the eternal values that transcend the boundaries of time and space.

The Mithilanchal Connection

The unique relationship between Goddess Sita, Lord Rama, and Mithilanchal is one of profound spiritual significance and cultural reverence. Mithilanchal, the birthplace of Sita, is revered as a sacred land, where the Divine and mortal realms converged, giving birth to an eternal symbol of righteousness and marital fidelity.

According to the Valmiki Ramayan and other revered scriptures, Goddess Sita took birth in the present-day Sitamarhi district of Bihar, India, a region steeped in the rich cultural heritage of the Maithili people. This sacred land continues to be a pilgrimage site for devotees seeking blessings and spiritual enlightenment, as they retrace the footsteps of the Divine princess.

The Maithili language and cultural traditions are deeply rooted in the veneration of Sita, with numerous folk songs, poetry, and rituals celebrating her virtues and the eternal bond between her and Lord Rama. One of the most revered folk songs is the “Sita Swayamvar Geet,” which narrates the tale of Sita’s grand Swayamvara (Bride’s Choice Ceremony), where the mighty Lord Rama emerged victorious and won her hand in marriage.

The intricate art of Madhubani paintings, a vibrant and intricate form of folk art originating from Mithilanchal, depicts scenes from the Ramayana, paying homage to the Divine couple and their unwavering love. These vibrant paintings, created with natural dyes and intricate patterns, are not merely works of art but sacred offerings to the deities, imbued with the spiritual essence of the land and its people.

Sage Valmiki is revered as the Adi Kavi or the First Poet and his Ramayan is considered most authentic since he lived during the time of Lord Rama (Microsoft CoPilot AI Image)

The Cosmic Union

The sacred Union between Lord Rama and Goddess Sita is not merely a mortal tale; it is a cosmic event that resonates across the realms of existence. The Ramayana, the epic narrative that chronicles their Divine journey, is a rich tapestry woven with profound spiritual truths, timeless wisdom, and the eternal struggle between good and evil.

One of the most powerful Mantras associated with Lord Rama is the “Sri Rama Jayam” which invokes the blessings and protection of the Divine prince:

“Om Sri Rama Ramaya Namah”

(Salutations to the Victorious Lord Rama.)

This sacred chant is believed to purify the mind and heart, instilling the devotee with the virtues of righteousness, courage, and unwavering faith – the very qualities embodied by Lord Rama himself.

Similarly, the “Sri Sita Rama” Mantra pays homage to the Divine couple, celebrating their eternal bond and the triumph of their love over the forces of darkness:

“Om Sri Sita Rama Rama Rama Sita Sita”

(Salutations to the Divine couple, Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.)

This powerful Mantra is a reminder that true love transcends the boundaries of time and space and that the Divine Union between Rama and Sita serves as an inspiration for all seekers on the path of spiritual enlightenment.

Mithila (Janakpur in current-day Nepal) the birthplace of Goddess Sita was a flourishing Kingdom, promoting peace and prosperity (Microsoft CoPilot AI Image)

The Legacy of Righteousness

The story of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita is not merely a tale of romantic love; it is a profound narrative that imparts invaluable lessons on Righteousness, Dharma, and as mentioned, the eternal struggle against the forces of evil.

The Ramayana is a living scripture, a timeless guide that has shaped the ethical and moral fabric of Hindu civilisation for centuries.

One of the most profound teachings of the Ramayana is the concept of “Rama Rajya,” or the ideal Kingdom of Lord Rama, where justice, peace, and prosperity prevailed. The famous shloka from the Valmiki Ramayan encapsulates this vision:

“Na atra bhayam kincit, na ca soka-bhayam kvacit |

Sarve loka mahabhaga, Rama-rajya-prasadatah ||”

(In the kingdom of Rama, there was no fear, no sorrow. All beings, by the Grace of Rama’s reign, were happy and free from fear.)

This powerful verse serves as a guiding light for rulers and leaders, reminding them of their sacred duty to uphold the principles of righteousness, compassion, and the welfare of all beings – a legacy that has its roots in the Divine reign of Lord Rama.

Moreover, the Ramayana teaches the virtues of filial piety, loyalty, and unwavering commitment to one’s duties, as exemplified by the characters of Lakshmana, Hanuman, and Bharata. The famous shloka from the Valmiki Ramayan encapsulates Lakshmana’s devotion to his elder brother:

“Yatra Raghava-ramas tatra me nityam vasati |

Ahalyasya mahabhaga, vane vasa na durbhara ||”

(Wherever the illustrious Rama resides, that is my eternal abode. O virtuous one, residing in the forest with Rama is not a hardship for me.)

These profound teachings have resonated across generations, shaping the ethical and moral compass of Hindu society and inspiring individuals to embody the virtues of righteousness, devotion, and selfless service.

Enduring Relevance

The relevance and impact of the Ramayana extend far beyond the boundaries of Mithilanchal and the Indian Subcontinent. This epic narrative has transcended geographical and cultural barriers, captivating the hearts and minds of people across the globe with its timeless wisdom and universal appeal.

The Ramayana has been retold and reinterpreted in various art forms, including dance, music, theatre, and literature.

The renowned Indian poet and playwright, Goswami Tulsidas, composed the Ramcharitmanas, a beautiful rendition of the Ramayana in the Awadhi dialect, which has become a literary masterpiece and a source of spiritual guidance for millions.

The Ramlila, a vibrant and colourful theatrical performance depicting the life and adventures of Lord Rama, is an integral part of the cultural fabric of India. During the auspicious Dussehra Festival, communities across India come together to celebrate the victory of good over evil, as depicted in the climactic battle between Rama and the demon king Ravana.

The Ramayana’s influence extends beyond the realm of religion and spirituality, permeating various aspects of Indian culture, including art, architecture, and social values. The grand Temples of Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh, India), Hampi (Karnataka, India) and Angkor Wat (Cambodia) stand as magnificent testimonials to the enduring legacy of the Ramayana, their intricate carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from the epic.

Spiritual Awakening

At the heart of the Ramayana lies a profound call to spiritual awakening, a reminder that the journey towards enlightenment is paved with trials and tribulations, but ultimately leads to the triumph of truth, righteousness, and the realization of one’s Divine potential.

The Yoga Vasishtha, a revered Hindu scripture, draws upon the wisdom of the Ramayana to impart profound spiritual teachings. In one of its verses, Lord Rama is advised by the sage Vasishtha:

“Jnana-yogena samyukto, nara-bhavam avapnuyat |

Tato brahma-padam gacched, brahma-bhutendriyatmana ||”

(Through the path of knowledge and Yogic Union, one attains the human form. Thereafter, with the senses and mind subdued, one reaches the Supreme State of Brahman.)

This verse encapsulates the essence of the spiritual journey, where the seeker must first embrace the human experience, cultivate self-knowledge and discipline, and ultimately transcend the limitations of the material world to merge with the Divine.

The Ramayana’s message of Divine love, cosmic unity, and the triumph of righteousness over evil continues to resonate across cultures and generations, inspiring countless souls to embark on the path of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment.

The Eternal Embrace

In the grand tapestry of Hindu mythology, the Divine love story of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all seekers on the path of spiritual awakening.

In the grand symphony of existence, the tale of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita is a celestial melody that echoes across the ages, inviting us to attune our hearts and souls to the eternal rhythms of love, truth, and righteousness.

As we surrender to this Divine embrace, we awaken to the realization that our lives are but a fleeting chapter in the grand narrative of the cosmos, and that our ultimate destiny lies in merging with the infinite source of love and light that permeates all existence.

So, let us draw inspiration from the sacred lands of Mithilanchal, where the Divine and mortal realms converged to birth an eternal saga of love, sacrifice, and spiritual awakening. Let us embody the virtues of Rama and Sita and find the key to unlocking the profound mysteries of the universe and awakening to the Divine potential that resides within each of us.

In this sacred journey, may the blessings of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita guide us, illuminating our path with the radiant light of truth, love, and eternal bliss.

Jai Siya Ram!

Vasini Shyama Charan Jha is a classical music singer and teacher, recognised by All India Radio and Doordarshan, the two major news channels of the Indian government. She shares the magic of folk and classical forms of music with a passion for promoting India’s cultural, religious and social legacy worldwide. The above article was sent to Indian Newslink for exclusive publication. 

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