Sita, an incarnation of Vedavati : A story from the Valmiki Ramayan
Ravan is attracted to VedavatiOnce Ravan was wandering in the Himalayas. There he saw a beautiful maiden performing Vedic Mantras and austerities. Ravan got attracted to her and was overpowered by infatuation born of lust. He asked her as though laughing, "O devi, what are you doing here? It is incompatible with your youth. Such conduct fits ill with one of your beauty. Your unrivalled beauty generates madness born of lust in the minds of men. It is not proper for you to perform Tapas.". He further said, "O devi, who do you belong to? What are you doing here? Who is your husband? He who enjoys you is indeed a very fortunate person in the world. Tell me everything."
Vedavati (incarnation of the Vedas) wants to marry Lord Vishnu
Vedavati told him that she is the daughter of Kusadhwaja, a great Brahmasri. Her father is the son of Brhaspati and is equal to him in respect of intelligence. She told Ravan that she is the incarnation of the Vedas and thus her name is 'Vedavati'. Gandharvas, Yaksas, Raksasas and Nagas have approached her father and sought her hand in marriage. But her father did not give her to any of them. Her father wanted her to marry Lord Vishnu and he only accepted Him as his son-in-law. Outranged by this, the king of Daityas called Sambhu killed her father while he was asleep at night. Her mother became very depressed and entered the fire taking the body of her father in her arms. Since then Vedavati has installed Lord Vishnu in her heart so that she can fulfil her father's desire. She told Ravan that Lord Vishnu is her husband. She has been observing this hard penance to secure the hand of Lord Vishnu. Thus, she asked Ravan to go away.
Hearing this, Ravan asked her to marry him . He told her than Lord Vishnu is not equal to him in valour, Tapas, enjoyment and strength. Vedavati asked him to stop speaking. She couldn't bear anything against Lord Vishnu. Ravan then siezed hold of Vedavati by her hair with his hand. Outranged with anger, she cut off her hair with her hand. Hastening to put an end to her life, she kindled a fire. She said to Ravan, "Insulted by you, I no longer desire to live. I will therefore, enter the fire before your very eyes, O ogre! As I have been insulted in this forest by you, O sinner, I will be born again for your destruction. I will surely appear as Ayonija (not born of the womb), the pious daughter of a virtuous man." Having said this she entered the kindled fire.
Ravan throws baby Sita into the sea
Vedavati appeared again as an infant from a lotus. Ravan was informed that this baby girl will be his destroyer. So he threw her into the sea. Reaching the shore she came to the middle of a sacrificial ground. Dug out by the ploughshare of the King Janaka, she came up again.
"She who was known as Vedavati in her former birth in Satyuga, appeared again in the Tretayug as a daughter of the high - souled Janaka. Since she came out of a furrow (Sita), she is called Sita by human beings.
In this manner this highly meritorious lady will continue to appear again among mortals(in the following cycles), drawn out by a ploughshare in a furrowed field, like a fire on an altar" - Valmiki Ramayan
Edited by harianant - 24 August 2012 at 1:56pm