Sita Navami is known as ‘Sita Jayanti’ or ‘Janaki Navami.’ It is an important Hindu observance dedicated to Goddess Sita, who was married to Lord Ram. Sita Navami celebrates the birthday of Goddess Sita. It falls on the ‘Shukla Paksha’ ‘Navami’ of the ‘Vaishaka’ month.
Sita Navami Sita Navami is a day that is very important to all the devotees of Lord Rama and Mata Sita. As Mata Sita is a form of Goddess Maha Lakshmi, she is worshipped by the devotees of Goddess Maha Lakshmi too. Mata Sita is a symbol of purity, chastity and fertility. The Hindus consider her to be the mother of all living beings.
The devotees of Mata Sita are blessed with wealth, health, intelligence and prosperity. Women worship Mata Sita for the long lives of their husbands. Childless couples pray to the Goddess to obtain healthy offsprings. If you are a devotee of Lord Rama, worshipping Mata Sita will make you even dearer to him. If you worship Mata Sita, Lord Hanuman will bless you and will be at your side. This year Sita Navami falls on April 24, 2018.
As per our religious text there are two great legends regarding birth of Maa Sita.
First legend about Sita Navami
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Sita is the rebirth of Vedavati. Vedavati was the great reverent woman who wanted to marry Lord Vishnu. Her father was a great Brahmarishi Kusadhvaja.
Vedavati performed a deep penance and tapas to please Lord Vishnu. At that time, Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, was obsessed by her beauty and tried to outrage her.
Vedavati escaped from Ravana and jumped into the fire. As she was in Tapas, she did not curse Ravana. However, she said that she would take rebirth to destroy Ravana.
Vedavati took rebirth as the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari. Astrologers predicted that the born girl child would be the reason for the death of Ravana. So, Ravana threw the girl child into the sea. However, the girl child was saved by the Sea Goddess, Varuni. She gave the girl child to Bhoomi Devi – Goddess Earth.
When Janaka, king of Mithila, was plowing the land, he discovered a baby girl in a golden casket. Janaka considered it a gift from Goddess Earth and adopted the child. She named the girl child as ‘Sita.’
Sita’s extraordinary birth:
Sage Valmiki described Sita’s extraordinary birth in the Ramayana. Maa Sita was discovered in a groove of ploughed field by King Janaka. So Sita – Daughter of Bhumidevi, who got adopted by Janaka and Sunaya. When King Janaka was ploughing a field to perform Yagna, Sita appeared splitting the earth. The king found her as a baby girl in a golden basket. He saw her body all covered with dirt and was amazed. Having no children of his own, he put her affectionately on his lap. Overwhelmed with love for her, King declared her as his own child. Raja Janak was the king of Mithilaa. Janak was his family name. His real name was Seeradhwaj. His wife Rani Sunaya brought up Sita as her own daughter.
Sita Navami Rituals Or Sita Jayanti Rituals:
* On Sita Navami or Sita Jayanti, married women have to worship Goddess Sita along with Lord Rama and Lakshmana.
* It’s one of the important Sita Navami rituals to set up a small puja mandap with four pillars and decorate with bright flowers.
* Place the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita along with Lakshman, Lord Hanuman and King Janaka in the mandap.
* You have to pray to Mother Earth too since Goddess Sita emerged from a ploughed land.
* Now, worship Goddess Sita and Lord Rama together so as to welcome happiness, peace, and prosperity in married life. Sita Navami rituals include offering sesame seeds, rice, barley, and fruits to the idol.
* Then, perform Aarti during the auspicious Sita Navami rituals.
* Prepare Sita Navami special bhog as Prasad as a part of the important Sita Navami rituals.
* If you are a married woman, you have to observe a strict Sita Navami fast for the long life of your husband. It is believed that performing the Sita Navami fast will make you a good daughter, an honest wife and daughter-in-law and a virtuous mother.
* It would be great if you can perform rituals like Sringar Darshan, Maha Abhishekam and Aarti at the Lord Rama temple on Sita Navami or Sita Jayanti.
* Recite Ramayana.
* Sing a devotional song.
* As a beloved wife of your husband, you should chant “Jay Siya Ram” in the commemoration of Goddess Sita who was the devoted wife of Lord Rama.
* Read the stories of Goddess Sita on the auspicious day of Sita Navami or Sita Jayanti.
* Donate barley, rice or jaggery to the poor or feed some cows.
* According to Sita Navami rituals, you should also break the Sita Navami fast on time by having the prasad.
Let the goddess Sita bless all!