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Raamaayana question

From: Krishna Susarla (krishna_at_ticnet.com)
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 18:06:27 PDT

According to the statement of the Kurma Puraana, it is understood that
Raavana never actually touched Mother Sita. As the story goes, Lakshmana
used his agni-astra to draw a protective circle around the hut where Mother
Sita was. When She crossed it, a curtain of fire appeared and she went to
take shelter in the kingdom of Agnideva. The Sita who emerged from that fire
was a "Maya-Sita," another personality who took the appearance of Sita-devi
so that the pastime of the Raamaayanam could go on. Then when Lord Raama
tried to "test" her chastity, this Maya-Sita went into the flames and the
real Sita emerged (although externally, Lord Raama did not take back Sita
because of concern that she was unchaste, the internal reason was that He
could not take her back because she was not the real Sita. The whole pastime
of asking her to enter the flames then was just to get the real Sita out).

What I have heard recently, however, is that the Maya-Sita was not satisfied
with this brief participation in the Lord's pastimes and thus petitioned Him
to give her the boon of having further association with Him. I was told then
that Lord Raama allowed her to become Padmaavathi when He descended as Lord
Venkateshwara.

I was wondering if anyone could confirm the above, that the Maya-Sita is the
same as Padmaavathi.

Also, can anyone tell me when Lord Venkateshwara was supposed to have
appeared on Earth?

thanks in advance,

 - Krishna Susarla