Updated: April 24, 2018 6:24:37 pm
The Katha Upanishad (2.2.23) says ekon bhuna santi yo viddhati kaaman (The supreme personality of godhead) is one, but expands into multiple forms in order to fulfill his desires to enjoy. This enables the the lord to enjoy and share the love, much like a father who expands his family into a wife and then, sons, daughters, grandsons etc. All of it is done so as to share the loving propensity with the associates.
As per Brahma Sutras (1.1.2), janmadyasya yatah or the lord is the ultimate source of everything. Therefore, our tendencies resemble that of the lord. Just how a king is never alone, and is always accompanied by his ministers, queens and other members of the royal order, the lord too is never alone. He is always accompanied by his eternal consort, devotees, incarnations and other spiritual beings.
Among them, the most important is the pleasure potency of the lord, his eternal consort, Srimati Radharani. According to Chaitanya Charitamrita (Adi 1.6), the love affair of Sri Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Sri Radha and Krishna are one in their identity, they are eternally separated themselves.
Meanwhile, Srimati Sita Devi is the divine embodiment of pati bhakti or selfless chaste service to one’s husband. Just as Lord Ramchandra is an expansion of the supreme Lord Madhav, Sita Devi is an expansion of Srimati Radharani.
This year, Sita Navami or the appearance day of Sita Devi is on April 24, 2018.
History associated with Sita Navami
Generally, the supreme lord makes his appearance in the material world by accepting a father and a mother. But, there’s something interesting about his pleasure potency. She doesn’t appear like the way the supreme lord appears. No one has the capacity to bear her. Therefore, she appears in various magnificent ways. Srimati Sita Devi, also known as Vaidehi, appeared in the Treta Yuga, the second celestial cycle of duration 1,296,000 years. Her father Sri Janakaraj was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and is revered in Srimad Bhagwatam (6.3.20) as a mahajana or one who has a spiritual authority. He was the king of Mithila Pradesh (present day Bihar), the kingdom of Videha. He was known to his subjects and audience as a great pious selfless king, who served them with great humility.
Once, as per the divine arrangement, he was ploughing a field for the performance of a fire sacrifice (yagya). While tilling the land, he came across a hurdle and he asked his men to dig. On digging, he found a golden casket, in which a girl child was there. Dazzling with effulgence, the child appeared divine to him. He took the child and since the child was discovered by the head of the plough, he called her, Sita. The word Sita means, “To whom the head of the plough has given birth”. The divine girl stayed in the house of Lord Janaka as his own daughter Urmila, and was under his special care and attention.
She was beautifuol beyond compare, her splendour, appearance, humility and devout devotion towards Supreme Lord Hari was unparalleled. Once Lord Parshurama came to visit Maharaja Janaka and he had left his divine bow outside his room. On coming back, he couldn’t find the bow. While looking for it, he saw child Sita playing with it like a toy. For an ordinary man, it was impossible to move it. Even very powerful men couldn’t move it. He told Janakaraj that his daughter was not ordinary and he must marry her to a purushottama meaning a man of unparalleled strength, ideals and valour and blessed the girl child.
Later on, in the Svayamvar, when no one was able to lift the Shiva bow, Lord Ramchandra, on the order of his guru, lifted it and broke in into pieces and hence, married Janaki, the daughter of Maharaja Janaka.
Significance of Sita Navami
The day of Sita Navami holds great significance in Ayodhya, especially in Mithila, where people consider Sita Devi, their own daughter. They say that they belong to her maternal house and hence, are blessed to live in the lands where she appeared. People observe fast on that day and decorate the temples of Lord Ramchandra. This festival holds great importance to married women. They observe strict fast on this day and keep themselves engaged in worshipping of Sita Rama.
On the successful completion of the puja, they break their fast with water. The next day, they accept the prasadam offered to them. Since she appeared from earth, people worship Mother Earth on this day and devotees offer wheat, barley and rice. The women arrange for small pandals or mandapas and install the deities of Lord Rama and Sita Devi and worship them with devout devotion. In various places, people organise Maha Abhisheka, Akhanda Ramayana, Path, Bhajan Sandhya and Kirtan path. It is mentioned in Vishnu purana that the worship of Sita Devi on this day bestows the married couple with long wedded life, modesty, love for each other and stability in their married life.
Puja Timings of Sita Navami
The timings of puja for Sita Navmi are from 11:08am – 01:41pm on April 24.
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