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Is Maya Sita story impossible?

From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 13:06:23 PDT

Is it possible to deny the story of Maya Sita as told in the Kurma
Purana just because Valmiki Ramayana does not mention it?  The Valmiki
Ramayana does not mention that Ahilya was turned to stone.  However the
meanings given for Raghuveer Gadyam by the late Sri Villivallam
Narayanachariar says that Sri Ramachandra transformed Ahilya from that
of a stone to that of a woman.  Here is another interesting aspect of
Sri's position in the Valmiki Ramayana.

The different manifestations of the Almighty were always undertaken with
the purpose of protecting the virtuous and destroying those who
transgressed dharma. According to Srivaishnava philosophy the Supreme
Being is Sriman Narayana denoting that the Lord is never separated from
Sri. This is true even during His incarnations. 

The general notion one is likely to get after reading the Ramayana is
that Sita, who was the incarnation of Sri, was separated from Rama,
which incidentally was instrumental for the slaying of Ravana who
abducted her and refused to return her to Rama though he was prevailed
upon to do so by those who knew about the divine nature of Rama and
Sita. But he did not heed to the advice as he assumed that he was
invincible and dismissed Rama as a human being who was no match for him.
In his benedictory address Srimad Azhagiyasingar, the Jeeyar Swami of
Ahobila Math said, Ravana's wife Mandodari was well aware of Sita's
divine nature and that Sri was inseparable from Her Lord. 

This idea comes through clearly when Mandodari gave vent to her grief
after Ravana's death, ``Assuming a human semblance, prompted as He was
by the desire to do good to all the worlds and surrounded by all the
gods, who had taken the form of monkeys, evidently the celebrated Lord
Vishnu of unfailing prowess, the eternal Supreme Spirit... who carries a
conch, a discus and a mace on His person and is distinguished by the
mark of Srivatsa on the breast, who is constantly endowed with fortune
(Sri) ... made short work of you.'' 

Another instance is in the Kamba Ramayana. After Rama helped Sugriva to
get back his throne from Vali and asked him to assist Him in the task of
finding Sita with his Vanara army, he was given four months time to do
so since it was the monsoon months not suitable for the task. But
Sugriva did not turn up as promised even after a considerable time
elapsed and Rama was anxious and was angry that he had forgotten his
duty in his new- found comforts. He sent Lakshmana to find out what had

Sugriva came to his senses seeing Lakshmana and assembled the monkeys
and went ahead of the army with Lakshmana and Angada anxious to meet
Rama. Kamban while describing this meeting says, ``Rama was relieved of
His anger the moment Sugriva prostrated before Him. `Hurting' Lakshmi
resting in His bosom, He embraced Sugriva with His long arms.'' Thus it
is apparent that though the Ramayana's focus is on the separation of
Sita and Rama and the eventual destruction of Ravana, that the Divine
couple is never separated is evident from a perusal of the epic.