Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Controversies on Sita

The story of Sita is told in the Ramayana, one of the most popular stories in the Hindu mythhology. Sita is the one of the most popular goddesses of Hindu religion. She is regarded as the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the divine consort of Lord Vishnu. She is also considered as the ideal daughter, ideal wife, and ideal mother, since ages. Goddess Sita is remembered for her virtues and attributes. She symbolizes all that is noble in womanhood. Her entire life constitutes an example of idealism. Sita is said to be a perfect example of loyalty and morality that is why Sita is one of the principal characters in The Ramayana, the great epic of India.

Sita also known by many epithets like janaki, Maithili, Ramaa, Vaidehi, Siya. Sita was daughter of King of Mithila Janaka in hindu epic. Mithila comprised the present districts Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur, vaishali, Muzzaffarpur, Champaran, Mongyr, Saharsa and Purnea of North Bihar of India and Terai under Nepal lying between the districts of Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Saptari, Rautahat, Sunasari and Morang. Its total area was 25,000 sq.miles. In Nepal, Sita is considered as a brave woman of extraordinary brilliance. She has got all the values that people believe, a woman must have in her character.

The Ramayana, one of the most popular stories in the Hindu tradition, tells of Sita and Rama's exploits. As a young prince Ram performs heroic acts and in due course wins Sita as his wife after succeeding in bending a great war bow. Cheated of his rightful role as successor to his father the king, he goes off into exile. Sita and his brother Lakshmana insist in going with him. One day Sita is kidnapped by the ten-headed demon Ravana and carried off to his stronghold in the island of Lanka. Helped by Hanuman, the god-king of the monkeys, Rama eventually defeats Ravana and his army in battle and rescues Sita. They then return to their kingdom where Rama is given his rightful place as king.

After their reunion, Rama wondered whether Sita had remained faithful while held captive by Ravana. Sita proclaimed her innocence and proved it by passing through a fire unharmed. The fire god Agni also spoke on her behalf, and Rama accepted her innocence.

The couple returned to Ayodhya, and Rama began a long reign of peace and prosperity. But the people still questioned Sita's faithfulness. In time, Rama began to doubt her innocence as well, and he banished her. While in exile, Sita found refuge with an old wise man named Valmiki, and she gave birth to Rama's twin sons, Kusa and Lava.

After many years, the two boys visited Ayodhya. When Rama saw them, he recognized them as his sons and called Sita back from exile. Sita returned and protested her innocence again. She called on Mother Earth to verify that she was telling the truth. In response, the earth opened a crack beneath Sita and swallowed her.

Sita and Rama are said to be the model wife and husband in the Hindu tradition. Traditionally Hinduism has championed Sita as the role- model and epitome of domestic wifely duty towards one's husband. Her elevated status in Hindu mythology, however, has recently been tarnished and criticized by Indian feminists who see sita as an overly- submissive wife who commited suicide for an ultimately untrusting husband. Sita's ideal qualities are presented in the Ramayana to be her unquestioned subordintaion to the demands of her hsuband. Many indian feminists therefore reject Sita as archetype of women rights. In their reassessments of the Ramayana, they have concluded that Sita's behaviour is not worthy of emulation and instead identify Draupadi as better role model based upon her confidence and resolve.

Another controversial element surrounding Sita's mythology can be found in some part of North Bihar is People say that Sita chose her own husband! But it was her parents who put out the word that whoever can pull the bow, Sita's going to marry. So where did Sita choose her husband?! No, she did not really get a choice. But she saw that her husband is capable of doing something great.

But since her marriage wasn't a successful one, parents in that region have stopped letting girls choose their own husbands. They say that marriage wasn't a successful one, or that Sita should have been stopped.Everything that Sita did-- whatever she did---has been stopped for girls of Mithila region in India. Here sita is rejected as a role model

This legendary story, written between the 6th and the 4th century BC, is considered history, not legend, by most Indians. While in terai region of Nepal Sita is considered as an ideal daughter who obeyed her parents choice, lived as a faithful wife and a dutiful mother.

With change of years the impression of people on Sita have been changed a lot. But still we can say, Sita is a woman of virtue and of immeasurable patience. Through her great character, she has captured hearts of millions of people.

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