Sri Seetha Navami is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Sri Seetha Devi, the consort of Sri Rama. It is also called as Sri Seetha Jayanthi.
Sri Seetha Navami is celebrated exactly a month after the celebration of Sri Rama Navami. As per belief, even Sri Seetha Devi is considered to be born in the Navami Tithi in Pushya Nakshathra.
Sri Seetha Navami occurs on the Shukla Paksha Navami of the Vaisaka month. For the year 2022, it occurs on Tuesday, 10th May 2022. The exact duration of the Navami Tithi has to be ascertained from the applicable regional calendar.
As per another belief, Sri Seetha Jayanthi is also observed on the Krishna Paksha Ashtami of Phalguna month as Sri Janaki Jayanthi as well as Sri Seetha Ashtami. The festival is observed mostly in North India.
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There a few legends pertaining to the birth of Sri Seetha Devi.
During his younger days, Ravan was following Sri Vedavathi, then a scholar and an ardent Vishnu Bhakt. She was interested in spirituality and not in worldly life. However, Ravan kept pursuing her.
She had ended her life by jumping into the fire. Before ending her life, She cursed Ravan that he would face his end through Her next birth.
It is believed that Sri Vedavathi was again re-born as Sri Seetha Devi. However, Sri Seetha Devi is always considered as the incarnation of Sri Mahalakshmi.
Sri Janaka, the King of Mithila was a spiritual person and a scholar. He was a regular performer of Yagna / Homam for the welfare of his people.
One day, he was planning to plough his field prior to performing Yagna. He saw a girl child near the plough. He was surprised.
He considered the child as God’s gift to him. He took the child to his wife. She was elated. They had decided to adopt the child as their own daughter.
Sri Seetha Devi
The child was named Sri Sita. As She is the daughter of Janaka, She is also called as Janaki. The day She was found near the plough is being considered as Sri Seetha Navami.
Later Sri Sita Devi had married Lord Rama.
Women observe this Vrat for the welfare and long life of their husbands. The Vrat is also observed as the Sumangali Vrat. They get up early in the morning and take holy bath.
At the puja place at home, a small mandap is set up. In the mandap, the vigrahas of Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Sri Lakshmana are kept. Sri Janaka and Sri Sunayana, the foster parents of Sri Sita Devi are also depicted. A small plough in reminder of Sri Sita Devi’s birth is also kept. The mandap is decked up with flowers.
Pujas are done to the Deities. Slokams are recited. Arti is taken.
Women observe fasting for this day. Rice, sesame seeds and barley are offered as Neivedyam. Sri Sita Mantra is recited.
At the Ram temples, bhajans are held. Discourses on Ramayana are arranged.