Sita Navami is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Maa Sita, the Divine Consort of Lord Rama. This day is also called as Sita Jayanti, Janaki Navami or Janaki Jayanti. Sita Navami is celebrated on Navami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Baisakh month. It is assumed that Goddess Sita was born on Tuesday in Pushya Nakshatra.
|Official name||Sita Navami (Sita Jayanti, Janaki Navami or Janaki Jayanti)|
|Celebrated on||Navami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Baisakh month|
|Date 2022||Sunday, April 10, 2022|
|Date 2023||Saturday, April 29, 2023|
On Sita Navami, the married women pray to Goddess Sita who spent her life dedicated to her husband, Lord Rama through all situations, as specified in the myth Ramayana. Hindu women observe the Sita Navami fast for the well-being of their married husbands and their families, the way Maa Sita did for Lord Rama. Read Also: Diwali – Festival of Lights
Rama Navami and Sita Navami
It is very interesting to know that Lord Rama was born on the same Navami tithi in the month of Chaitra. His birth anniversary is known as Rama Navami which is celebrated just before the Sita Jayanti.
Different Names of Sita
- Bhaumi – Produced from the Earth)
- Janaki – Daughter of King Janak
- Janaki Priya – Beloved of King Janak
- Janaknandini – Daughter of King Janak
- Janakatmaja – the one who is the soul of her father Janak
- Janak Dulari – Beloved daughter of Maharaj Janak
- Maithili – Princess of Mithila
- Vaidehi – Princess of Videha
- Bhumija – Born from Bhumi
- Parthavi – Daughter of Earth/ Parthivi
- Sunayanasuta – Daughter of Maharani Sunayana
- Kushambhika – Mother of Kushu
- Lasaki – Made of Lac
- Ram Vallabha – Beloved of Lord Rama
- Saumya – the pleasant one
- Jagat Priya – the dearest (Goddess) to the whole world
- Tara – the Radiant one
- Saraveshvari – She who is Goddess of all
- Triloksundari – Most beautiful in whole three worlds
- Tarini – the one who liberates
- Taruni – the young charming girl
- Rajeshwari – The supreme Goddess
- Lavamatre – Mother of Lava
- Ratnagupta – Secret Jewel
- Ram Mohini – the one who enchants Sri Ram
- Saraveshvarpriya – Beloved of Saraveshwar Rama
- Mahalaxmi – the Goddess Mahalaxmi
- Bhagwatpatni – the wife of Bhagwan( Sri Ram)
- Ayodhyanivasin – the one who lives in Ayodhya
- Vaikunthanilaya – the one who dwells in Vaikuntha
- Mulakasuramardini – the Goddess who killed the demon Mulakasura
- Padamakshaja – the lotus-eyed
- Hari Priya – Beloved of Hari( Rama)
- Pativrata – Devoted to her husband
- Siya – a beautiful woman
- Vandevi – the forest Goddess
- Raghavatoshini – the one who gives pleasure to Raghav
- Dhanurvidyavisharada – skilled in Archery
- Ramarametibhashini – the speaker of glories of Sri Ram
- Saryajalasankridaye – the goddess who plays in the water of the Saryu river.
- Shri – the Goddess Shri
- Ramavakshasthalashriya – the one who resides on the chest of Shri Ram as Shrivatsa
- Sita – who destroys all sorrows of her dependents and does supreme welfare of all beings who is honored by Vedas as the supreme beloved goddess for one and all in all the worlds.
Birth of Devi Sita
The story behind Devi Sita’s birth is divine and supernatural. There are many legends associated with the story of Devi Sita’s birth.
1) Sita as the daughter of Janaka – In Valmiki’s Ramayana, it is mentioned that Maa Sita is said to have been discovered in a furrow in a plowed field, believed to be Sitamarhi in the Mithila region of Bihar. She didn’t emerge from a mother’s womb, rather she appeared mysteriously in a furrow, while King Janaka was plowing the field. The king of Mithila Janaka was once plowing the land to conduct a Yajna. He found a baby girl in the Golden Casket. The girl was none other than Goddess Sita. She soon became a very beautiful and lovely princess.
2) Reincarnation of Vedavati – In Adbhuta Ramayana, Sita was a reincarnation of Vedavati. Vedavati was a beautiful lady and wanted to become the partner of Lord Vishnu. While she was doing meditation, Ravana tried to molest Vedavati and her virginity was sullied beyond Ravana’s redemption when she was performing punishment to become the consort of Vishnu. Vedavati sacrificed herself on a funeral pyre to escape Ravana’s lust. Vedavati cursed Ravana, vowing to return to another age, reincarnate in another time, and would be the cause of Ravana’s death. She was rightly reborn as Sita.
3) Reincarnation of Manivati – According to Gunabhadra’s Uttar Purana, Ravana disturbs the austerity of Manivati, daughter of Amitavega of Alkapuri. Manivati took a promise to take revenge on Ravana. Later, Manivati is reborn as the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari. But according to the astrologer’s prediction, the daughter would be the destruction of Ravana and ruin the empire. So, the demon king ordered his servant to kill the child. Although the servant didn’t kill the girl and instead placed her in a Casket and buried her in Mithila where she was found by Janaka. Then King Janaka adopts her.
4) Another very fascinating fact mentioned in some versions of Ramayana is Maya Sita (the illusionary version of Devi Sita). One day when Lord Rama, Lakshman, and Goddess Sita were in exile in the forest, The Hindu Fire God- appeared before Sri Ram and reminded him that the purpose of his avatar was to kill Demon King Ravana and the time has arrived for Ravana to kidnap Maa Sita.
The Fire God Agni deva thought that it was improper for demon Ravana to kidnap Mata Sita, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Therefore Agni advised that he will guard the original Sita and provide a Maya Sita to Sri Ram.
Lord Rama agreed and the original Sita was thus replaced with Maya Sita. Therefore Ravana kidnapped Maya Sita from the forest. After Ravana was killed, when Lord Rama asked Maya Sita to undergo Agni Pariksha to prove her chastity. When Maya Sita entered the fire, the Fire God took her back and returned the original Maa Sita to Lord Rama.
Qualities of Devi Sita
The role played by Goddess Sita in Lord Rama’s life was of sweet, silent, calm, all-accepting, devoted partner, devotion to Lord Rama as her husband.
When Lord Rama was asked to go on an exile of 14 years, Devi Sita stayed calm, expressing her balance and acceptance of situations. Lord Rama wanted his wife, Maa Sita to stay back at the palace of Ayodhya but Mata Sita refused to do that. She listened to her inner voice and insisted that she would accompany her husband Lord Rama at every stage of her life.
It was a very huge sense of duty towards her beloved husband. Rama tried to divert her by saying that the forest is not a safe place as there would be wild animals, and there would be no luxuries. However, Sita Devi stayed undervalued. She said she would be very happy to be in the safety of the arms of her husband and would follow all discipline and sacrifice which she was meant to and be beside him to serve him.
Lord Rama was finally persuaded by Sita Devi and on his instruction, she easily donated all her ornaments and followed Lord Rama to the forest for exile. Sita was the princess of Mithila and was the queen of Ayodhya. Mata Sita knew that life in the forest was not easy but she faithfully followed her inner instruction.
Sita Mata was in complete harmony with nature and mother Earth, in the forest, and willingly accept the life which was a sharp difference from the luxurious life she had always lived. Sita Devi happily ate the fruits and nuts from the forest, that her husband ate.
Mata Sita’s devotion and dedication to Lord Rama were proved when she was abducted and kept in custody by Ravana. She grew stronger in the unfavorable situation and all of Ravana’s attempts towards her, in order to win her completely failed. Fearlessly she told Ravana that he would soon meet his death in the hands of Lord Rama.
With single-minded devotion and dedication, Sita Devi focused only on the figure of Lord Rama in her heart and believed that all will be well.
Ram Sita Marriage
The marriage of Lord Rama and mother Sita is very beautifully described in the epic Ramayana. King Janaka organized a Swayamvara ceremony for his daughter after she reached adulthood. He invited all eligible royal princes to string and break the bow of Lord Shiva named Pinaka in order to win the hand of Sita in marriage. The bow of Lord Shiva was not an ordinary bow but the divine one that can never be handled by anybody who is not pious.
The bow was selected because King Janaka wanted the perfect man with spotless character for his daughter Sita.
When Vishwamitra who had Lord Rama and Lakshmana in the forest with him to guarding the Yajna, heard about the Swayamvara ceremony, he asks Rama to take part in the same. when King Janaka heard about Rama, being the son of King Dasaratha, taking part in the ceremony, he became joyful.
On the day of the ritualistic performance of Swayamvara, when all the princes failed to even lift the bow, Lord Rama arrived and lifted it, shocking all others as well as pleasing Sita. After lifting it, the Lord stretch the bow tightly, and as the Pinaka broke apart. King Janaka became delightful and considered himself to be the fortunate father to have found a perfect man for his daughter. The entire Mithila, King Janaka’s kingdom, fell into an abundant joy as Sita was going to live with a prince who was sought by thousand women.
Nowadays people especially the devotees of Lord Rama celebrate the Lord’s marriage as Vivah Panchami on the fifth day of Shukla Paksha in the Margashira month (Nov-Dec). The day is observed as Vivah Utsav of Sita and Rama in temples.
How to Celebrate Sita Navami
★ Take a bath before sunrise on the day of Sita Navami. The mantras are also chanted while bathing in Holy Rivers.
★ On the day of Sita Navami, fasting should start at sunrise. It is advised to drink water throughout the day. If this is difficult then milk, fruits, nuts, and dried fruits are included in a simple meal. After the next day, in the morning women can break the fast by having a sip of water.
★ Women visit the Rama Sita temple and offer prayers. The deity should be worshipped with sandalwood, flowers, fruits, and dhoop.
★ The devotees meditate on Lord Rama and Sita.
★ Chanting or hearing the Sita Navami Vrat Katha before breaking the fast is admirable.
★ The devotees also perform Rama Sita puja and Yajna on this pious day. It is mostly recommended activity on this day. It includes Rama Raksha Strota, Rama mantra Japa, Rama Homa and Yajna, and Aarti.
★ Devotees wear a twelve Mukhi Rudraksha bead as it is led by Lord Rama.
★ Wearing Rudraksha on this day purifies the inner soul and strengthens the willpower of an individual.
★ This festival is given a lot of importance in places like Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Bhadrachalam in Andhrapradesh, Sita Samahit Sthal in Bihar, and Rameswaram in Tamilnadu.
★ Darahan, Aarati and Maha Abhishek are performed on this day. Yatra is done by making idols of Maa Sita, Lord Rama, Hanuman, and Lakshmana.
Benefits of Sita Jayanti
The auspicious occasion of Maa Janaki Jayanti or Sita Navami is mainly observed by married women. The significance of Sita Navami is for the reason that Sita Devi is believed to be a form of Goddess Lakshmi, observing fast on that day, praying to Maa Sita leads to blessings of Goddess Sita and Goddess Lakshmi.
★ Married women observe the Sita Navami fast meticulously and pray to Goddess Sita for their well-being, safety, and the long life of their families.
★ Maa Sita Jayanti or Sita Navami can bring the gift of motherhood, if there are complications in childbirth or if the devotee finds it difficult to conceive.
★ Mother Earth is also worshipped on the day of Sita Navami as Maa Sita is correlated with Mother Earth, to shower her blessings. As Mother Earth holds many gifts to grant to her devotees, it gives benefits of opulence, wealth, and happiness.
★ Devotees who honestly worship or perform puja of Lord Rama and Sita together on Sita Navami get the blessings of marital joy and happiness.
★ Sita Devi grants the qualities of modesty, and sacrifice to her devotees when Sita Navami rituals are followed and a fast is observed on this religious day.
★ The blessings of Lord Rama are also received by those who observe Sita Jayanti or Sita Navami and pray on this day.
★ Married women and those who are about to get married get the blessing of being a perfect wife, just like Maa Sita.