Sita Navami, also known as ‘Sita Jayanti’ or ‘Janaki Navami’ is an important Hindu observance that is dedicated to Goddess Sita, who was married to Lord Rama. This day celebrates the birth day of Devi Sita and is observed on the ‘Shukla Paksha’ (the waxing phase of moon) ‘Navami’ (9th day) tithi in the lunar month of ‘Vaishaka’ as per the Hindu calendar. It is believed that Devi Sita was born during Pushya Nakshatra. As per the legends, Lord Rama was also born on the same tithi in the ‘Chaitra’ month and the celebrations of Rama Navami take place a month in advance of Sita Navami. Married Hindu women devotedly worship Goddess Sita on this day and ash Her blessings for long life and success of their husbands. Sita Navami is celebrated with immense fervour and gaiety all over India.
Rituals during Sita Navami:
On Sita Navami, Hindu devotees especially married women worship Devi Sita along with Lord Rama and Lakshmana. A small puja mandap is set and decorated with colourful flowers. The idols of Lord Rama, Devi Sita along with Lakshmana, King Janaka and Mata Sunayana are placed in this mandap. As Goddess Sita emerged from a ploughed land, Goddess Earth is also worshipped on this day. Worshipping Sita and Lord Rama together brings happiness and peace in marriage. devotees perform the puja by making various offerings in the form of til (sesame seeds), rice, barley and fruits. Special ‘Bhog’ is prepared for the occasion that is distributed as Prasad after completion of Aarti.
Women observe a strict fasting on this day known as Sita Navami Vrat. complete fast is observed during the day and not a still grain of food is taken until the completion of puja rituals. It is believed that performing the Sita Navami Vrat brings virtues like modesty, motherhood, sacrifice and dedication in a person. Married women mainly keep this fast for the long life of their husbands.
On this day, special rituals and prayers are held in Lord Rama and Janaki temples all across the country. Rituals like Sringar Darshan, Maha Abhishekam and Aarti are performed in all these temples. Recitals of Ramayana, followed by bhajan programs are also held at various places. Few temples even take out processions with the idols of their deity on a chariot, while chanting ‘Jai Siya Ram’ and singing devotional songs all the way.
Significance of Sita Navami:
Sita Navami holds great religious significance for Hindu devotees. It is considered that Goddess Sita is an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi. She is known to be the mother of all mortals and other living creatures. Devi Sita was an adopted daughter of King Janak and was also popularly called as ‘Janaki’. Lord Rama married Goddess Sita in a ‘Swayamvar’ that was organized by Maharaja Janak in his kingdom, Mithila. Goddess Sita was always recognized for per patience and dedication towards her husband, Sri Rama. Married women pray to Devi Sita on this auspicious day to be bestowed with Her virtues of purity and sincerity. They seek the blessings of Goddess Sita to remain a ‘Sumangali’ that is, dying before their husbands. By performing the puja rituals and vrat on Sita Navami, it is believed that one will be blessed with a joyful and contended married life.