Vedavathi refuses Ravana
Vedavathi refuses Ravana

In Hindu mythology, Vedavati (Sanskrit:वेदवती ) is previous birth of Sita Devi, the wife of Lord Rama in the Ramayana. She was avatar of Devi Lakshmi.

Early life

Vedavati is the daughter of Brahmarishi Kushadhvaja, who is the son of Brihaspati, Lord-Guru of the Devas, the Gods. Having spent his life chanting and studying the sacred Vedas, he names his daughter Vedavati, or Embodiment of the Vedas, born as the fruit of his bhakti and tapasya.

Dedication to Vishnu

Her father wants his child to have Lord Vishnu as her husband. He thus rejects many powerful kings and celestial beings who sought his daughter's hand. Outraged by his rejection, King Sambhu murders her parents in the middle of a moonless night.

Vedavati continues to live in the ashram of her parents, meditating night and day and performing a great tapasya to win Vishnu for her husband.

The Ramayana describes her as wearing the hide of a black antelope, her hair matted in a jata, like a rishi. She is inexpressibly beautiful, in the bloom of her youth, enhanced by her tapasya.

Immolation and death

Ravana, the emperor of Lanka and the asura race found Vedavati sitting in meditation and is captivated by her incredible beauty. He proposes her and is rejected. Ravana mocks her austerities and her devotion to Vishnu; finding himself firmly rejected at every turn, he grabbed her hair and assaults her. This greatly incensed her, and she forthwith cut off her hair, and said she would enter into the fire before his eyes, adding, "Since I have been insulted in the forest by thee who art wicked-hearted, I shall be born again for thy destruction." So she entered the blazing fire, and celestial flowers fell all around. It was she who was born again as Sita, and was the moving cause of Ravana and his relatives's death, though Rama was the agent.[1]

Prophecy

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Vedavati refuses to curse Ravana as the penance would be rendered void, but pledges to return in another age and be the cause of his destruction.

Vedavati is the daughter of Janaka, her supposed father, O Strong-armed Lord, and your consort, for you are the eternal Vishnu. That woman, who, in anger, formerly cursed the enemy who resembled a mountain, destroyed him by appealing to your supernatural power. Thus that goddess was reborn among men, springing up like a flame on the altar, from a field which was turned by the blade of a plough. First she was born as Vedavati in the Golden Age and subsequently, in the Silver Age, she was re-born in the family of the magnanimous Janaka in the race of Mithila, for the destruction of that Rakshasa..[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Vedavati, The Encyclopaedia for Epics of Ancient India
  2. ^ "Ramayana of Valmiki, Book 7: Uttara kanda: Chapter 17". Wisdom Library.

Further reading