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Re: Another question re: Siitaa-Maata

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu Nov 12 1998 - 21:17:39 PST

----------
> From: Krishna Susarla <krishna@ticnet.com>
> To: bhakti@lists.best.com
> Subject: Another question re: Siitaa-Maata
> Date: Thursday, November 12, 1998 6:39 PM
> 
> Dear devotees,
> 
> The recent discussion on the Raamaayana stirred up a memory of a story I
> heard long ago. The story went like this: When Lord Vishnu incarnated as
> Raama, Lakshmii went down to Earth as Vedavati to perform tapasya and
> meditation on the Lord. While she was there, Raavana happened by and
> attempted to disturb her meditation. For this, she cursed him (that She
> would be the cause of his downfall) and then incarnated as Siitaa.
> Apparently, She appeared as a baby in a lotus flower found by Raavana in
> Lanka. Remembering the curse, Raavana gave the baby to Varuna, who then
gave
> her to Mother Earth, who presented her to Janaka when the latter was
> performing his plough-sacrifice.
> 

This is an interesting coincidence.  I was just watching bits and pieces of
the Telugu sampUrna rAmAyanam just prior to checking e-mail, and happened
to watch the depiction of the incident described above.  I would concur
that this incident is not mentioned in Srimad Ramayanam.  

While I do not know the source of this story, it is my understanding (based
on my own recollection of this popular tale, the movie only touches on the
incident) that this Vedavati is not identified with Lakshmi, but is
actually the Maya-Sita of our previous discussion.  In fact, if I recall
the popular story surrounding the sthala purAnam of thirumalai correctly,
Naradar reminds Srinivasan and Lakshmi that Vedavati had become Maya-Sita
in order to fulfill the threat that she had made to Ravanan.  He also
reminds Them that this Maya-Sita had asked Ramar to protect and marry her,
since she had truly felt the separation that the "Real" Sita Piratti would
have felt for Him.  Sri Ramar tells her that as He was committed only to
one wife in this AvathAran, He would have to marry her in another one. 
Hence, Vedavati was born as Padmavati and married Srinivasan.

Whether Vedavati is Lakshmi or Maya-Sita, since her character does not
appear within Valmiki's Ramayanam, as stated before, it would be very
difficult for traditional SriVaishnavas to accept her role in the story,
nor, I would imagine, within the context of shastra.

adiyEn,

Mohan