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Ravana kidnapped not real sita, but Maya Sita; and later during Agni pariksha the real Sita comes back from fire.

ref: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Will-the-real-Sita-stand-up/articleshow/8247418.cms

Now, Is this from any scripture? Whether this episode of Chhaya Sita/Maya sita is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana or which scripture first?

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Maya Sita or Chhaya sita does not appear in the Valmiki Ramayana. In the original Valmiki Ramayana, Ravana kidnapped Sita but not a shadow. The maya sita comes from Skanda Purana. In Venkatachala Mahatmya of Vaishnava Kanda, Vishnu describes the events happened in the Treta Yuga. He says that it was Vedavati not Janaki who was abducted by Sita. From Venkatachala Mahatmya chapter 5,

19-23 Lakshmi appeared in the land of Janaka in the form of Sita. In the Panchavati forest, when I went away to kill Maricha, my younger brother followed me on being urged by Sita. In the meantime the king of Rakshasas came there to abduct Sita. Fire-god present in the (place of) Agnihotra sacrifice knew (i.e. anticipated) the attempt of Ravana. He took the real Sita to Patala and entrusted her to (his wife) Svaha. There was a splendid lady named Vedavati. Formerly, she was touched by the same Rakshasa (but not molested). Yet she cast off her body in fire. In order to kill Ravana she was created once again. It was she who was abducted by Ravana and kept in custody in Lanka. Afterwards when Ravana was killed, she entered fire once again. Agni handed over Lakshmi, my Janaki, who had been kept in protective custody by Svaha and told me about the attendant accompanying Sita.

24-26. Afterwards when Rãvana was killed, she entered fire once again. Agni handed over Lakshmi, my Jãnakl, who had been kept in her protective custody by Sváhá and told me about the attendant accompanying Sita: “O Lord, this is Vedavati who did what was pleasing to Sita. For the sake of Siti she rem ained in the abode of the Râkasa as one imprisoned by him. Hence, delight her with a good boon along with Sri.”

In the Valmiki Ramayana, there is no mention of Agni exchanging Sita with Vedavati. There is only returning after Ravana was killed.

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The purpose of Ramayana is to understand the journey of the Maryada Purushottam and his wife and the way he upholds Dharma amidst adverse circumstances.

The fabrication of Maya Sita is NOT mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana. And such fabrication is disastrous. Dharma is lost in the fabrication of a Maya Sita... Valmiki Ramayana cues that sublime legend of Sita is the primary aspect of the epic.

काव्यम् रामायणम् कृत्स्नम् सीतायाः चरितम् महत् | पौलस्त्य वधम् इति एवम् चकार चरित व्रतः || १-४-७

That sage with observed sacred vows has rendered the entire epic in the name of 'Ramayana', 'Sublime Legend of Seetha' and 'elimination of Ravana'. [1-4-7]

Seetha's conduct is the primary aspect and Ravana's elimination is secondary in the epic of Ramayana. poulasthya vadha . Giving one to many names to poem/epics is usual as in maagha kaavya' which is known as shishupaala vadha whereas it is actually kR^ishNa carita .

Ramcharitmanas has a different purpose. I have respect for Tulsidasji but to understand the sublime layers of Dharma you should stick to Valmiki Ramayana.

Such incidence is mentioned in Ramcharitmanas. If you are looking for this story then get Ramcharitmanas.

  • OP is not meaning this maya sita whom Indrajit created. He means that Ravana didn't kidnap sita at all but a shadow of her who is known as Vedavati. – Sarvabhouma Apr 14 '18 at 10:47

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