Many Hindu women worship Sita.
Many Hindu women worship Sita.

In Hinduism, Sita is the consort of Rama, who is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu Vishnu is the sustainer of the universe and is part of the Hindu trinity. This includes Brahma, the creator, and Shiva, the destroyer. Although Vishnu has many consorts with various forms such has Lakshmi, Sita is one of the more popular goddesses. Thus, she is worshiped for her ideals, fertility and as a form of the Divine Mother.

The Ideal Wife

Sita is most commonly portrayed in the "Ramayana," an epic written by Valmiki several thousand years ago. In the "Ramayana," Sita is the wife of Rama. Throughout the story, Sita must undergo numerous tribulations such as being exiled to a forest and later getting kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. Yet despite her suffering, Sita remains ever dutiful and devoted to Rama, who valiantly rescues her. As a result, Hindu women idolize her unceasing devotion for her husband.

A Fertility Goddess

Sita is also worshiped as a fertility goddess. In the "Ramayana," she enters and leaves the world from a plowed field. While living in exile, Sita finds little to fear. She feels naturally at home in the forest, but when she is kidnapped, all of the animals mourn her loss. Thus, her association with the natural world has led to veneration by farmers and those dwelling in the countryside.

Sita as a Form of Shakti

In Hinduism, Shakti is represented as the divine feminine energy of the cosmos. This energy consists of the entire universe with form. Its opposing force is the formless or masculine energy. In the "Ramayana," Rama represents the masculine energy and Sita the feminine energy. Moreover, gods and goddesses take on different forms depending on their personalities. Thus, worshipers of Sita are also worshipers of the divine feminine.

Chanting Sita Ram

Sita is also worshiped by chanting her name and a shortened version of her husband's name. When "Sita Ram" is chanted, both masculine and feminine energies of the universe are called upon. One of the most common ways to chant is by "Kirtan," or call and response with accompanied instruments. Depending on the mood, "Sita Ram Sita Ram" can be sung slowly or fast. Some believe that with repetition of the Divine name, peace of mind can be achieved.