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Sri Rama was a great and just king of Ayodhya. There were some rumors reported by his subjects against the purity of Lady Sita.

So, as per the Raja Dharma, Rama had to banish Sita. But was it against Raja Dharma when Rama and his brother were witnesses to Sita's purity (no matter what the episode of Agni Pariksha (trial-by-fire) was)? How is it justified for a just king like Rama not to protect Lady Sita when there were witnesses proving her innocence?

Please note that there was no evidence in favor of the rumors spread by the people. Was it justified to ignore the witnesses of the trial-by-fire? Was it not against Raja Dharma? Was being unjust part of Raja Dharma?

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    possible duplicate of Did Lord Rama exile Maa Sita? – senshin Jun 22 '14 at 5:27
  • The linked duplicate does not ask the same question, but the answer does cover why Rama banished Sita despite witnessing her successful trial by fire. – senshin Jun 22 '14 at 5:28
  • @senshin: I cannot find the that point. – doptimusprime Jun 22 '14 at 5:35
  • "Now, yes. Sita was again sent to exile because some local men of Ayodhya nagari expelled rumours that she is not pure. Forced to follow his dharma, Lord Rama had to send Sita to exile again." If this doesn't answer your question / you're looking for more detail, feel free to edit your question and mention the points where you need clarification. – senshin Jun 22 '14 at 5:37
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    Well, in that case, I honestly do not understand what exactly you are asking. I will retract my close vote, but you should consider trying to better explain how this isn't a duplicate, because I (at least) am not seeing it. – senshin Jun 22 '14 at 5:39
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I will try to answer your question despite the comments pointing to a certain other answer.

It is not about justification, but about decision making. If there were rumors about Sita Devi then that could potentially reduce respect to her king by their subjects and eventually lead to lesser able administration. As a king, Rama had to sacrifice his personal life for his role as a king - but it is to be remembered that for the rest of his reign, he did not think of another woman either. Which is what makes him so admirable.

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    I think this answer the question and it justifies Raj Dharma. So, was it decision of both or lopsided? – doptimusprime Jul 30 '14 at 3:40
  • that I do not know for sure :) – Vid L Jul 30 '14 at 18:02
  • And then this atrocity was commited by Ayodhya's subject, not by king. Am I right in it? – doptimusprime Jul 31 '14 at 3:39
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    @doptimusprime It has been said (in Padma Purana) that Sita expressed a desire to spend time in muni Ashrams. So it was both her desire and Rama's decision for her to go to the forest. Remember that Sita's exile happened almost towards the end of Rama avatara. Rama had already reigned for more than 10,000 yrs by the time she was exiled. He remained on the earth for a few more years to train Lava and Kusha and then left for Vaikuntha. – user1195 Feb 7 '15 at 12:28
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    @moonstar2001 Can you cite your reference of Rama ruling Ayodhya for more than 10,000 years? I am very intrigued by such a fact and hope to get a better understanding of such phenomenal life span. – SoundStage Apr 14 '16 at 12:38
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UTTARA KANDA is a PRAKSHIPTA - an insertion made at a later date. As the episode of banishment of Sita finds place in this Kanda, it has to be rejected.

In view of the following contradictions in the UTTARA KANDA, I think the entire Uttara Kanda is a PRAKSHIPTA, an insertion made at a latter date.

  1. The story of Srimad Ramayana ends with Sri Rama's coronation as the King of Kosala Kingdom. Sage Valmiki describes in the concluding chapter of Yuddha Kanda that having enjoyed the kingship for ten thousand years, Sri Rama performed a hundred horse-sacrifices. It was described very briefly about the happy life of the people of Kosala kingdom during the reign of Sri Rama.

    सर्वे लक्षणसम्पन्नाः सर्वे धर्मपरायणाः || दशवर्षसहस्राणि रामो राज्यमकारयत् | (Yuddha Kanda 128 Sarga 106 Sloka)

    All the people were endowed with excellent characteristics. All were engaged in virtue. Rama was engaged in the kingship thus for Ten thousand years.

  2. This was followed by PHALA SRUTI. In the fag end slokas of Yuddha Kanda PHALA SRUTI, the result of reading Srimad Ramayana, was described.

    धर्मयं यशस्यमायुष्यं राज्ञां च विजाअवहम् || आदिकाव्यमिदं चार्षं पुरा वाल्मीकिना कृतम् | पठेद्यः शृणुयाल्लोके नरः पापात्प्रमुच्यते || (Yuddha Kanda 128 Sarga 107-108 Slokas)

    In this world, whoever person reads and listens to this foremost lyric derived from the speech of a sage, which is endowed with righteousness, conferring fame and longevity, fetching victory to kings and as written at first by Valmiki, that person is delivered from all misfortune.

    श्रुत्वा रामायणमिदं दीर्घमायिश्च विन्दति | रामस्य विजयं चैव सर्वमक्लिष्ठकर्मणः || (Yuddha Kanda 128 Sarga 112 Sloka)

    On hearing this epic of Ramayana and all the episode of victory of Rama, who was unweary in his actions, a person gets longevity to life.

    विनायकाश्च शाम्यन्ति गृहे तिष्ठन्ति यस्य वै | विजयेत महीं राजा प्रवासि स्वस्तिमान् भवेत् || (Yuddha Kanda 128 Sarga 116 Sloka)

    Whoever carefully listens to the epic in his house, all obstacles come to an end. A king conquers the earth. A person staying away from home, fares well.

    In all Hindu Paraayana texts it is a tradition to incorporate the PHALA SRUTI, the result of reading a Sacred Text, in the end of any PAARAYANA but not in the middle.

    Hence, if the PHALA SRUTI was added at the end of Yuddha Kanda of Srimad Ramayana, it indicates that Sage Valmiki in fact closed his writing on Srimad Ramayana with that Sarga. Consequently, UTTARA KANDA can be concluded to be a PRAKSHIPA, and insertion made at a latter date,

  3. While trying to stop Ravana in ordering killing of Sri Hanuma, Vibhishana says there was no precedence, of killing messenger (Sundara Kanda).

    वैरूप्याम् अन्गेषु कश अभिघातो | मौण्ड्यम् तथा लक्ष्मण सम्निपातः | एतान् हि दूते प्रवदन्ति दण्डान् | वधः तु दूतस्य न नः श्रुतो अपि || (Sundara Kanda 52 Sarga 15 Sloka)

    Some of the punishments to an envoy are-deforming the limbs, striking with a whip, shaving the head and impressing marks on the body. Indeed, we have not heard at any time of killing a messenger.

    Vibhishana was saying just One month before Great Battle that took place in Lanka. He was saying that till then there was no precedence of Killing a messenger.

    However, it was narrated in the 13 th Sarga of Uttara Kanda about killing of the messenger of Kubera by Ravana. This incident stated to had been took place at the time of Ravana's commencement of wars on Devatas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, etc, at his younger age.

    Had Ravana really killed a messenger of Kubera, Vibhishana might not had said that there was no precedence of Killing a messenger.

    Hence, the Uttara Kanda is PRAKSHIPTA

  4. In the fag end slokas of Yuddha Kanda it was described that While Rama was ruling the kingdom, people survived for thousands of years, with thousands of their progeny, all free of illness and grief. And, old people did not perform obsequies concerning youngsters.

    निर्दस्युरभवल्लोको नानर्थः कन् चिदस्पृशत् | न च स्म वृद्धा बालानां प्रेतकार्याणि कुर्वते || (Yuddha Kanda 128 Sarga 100 Sloka)

    The world was bereft of thieves and robberies. No one felt worthless nor did old people perform obsequies concerning youngsters.

    It is said by 'Valmiki' that in Sri Rama's reign there were no premature deaths in his kingdom. It would be unbearable to a father, if his son dies before him. Any father wishes to die in the hands of his son. It was stated in above sloka that while Sri Rama was ruling the kingdom of Kosala, no youngster died before his father died consequently old people did not perform obsequies concerning youngsters.

    However, a premature death of a son of a Brahmin was described in the 73 - 76 Sargas of Uttara Kanda.

    It happened that a certain Brahman's son died in a premature death. The bereaved father carried his body to the gate of the king's palace, and placing it there, cried aloud and bitterly reproached Sri Rama for the death of his son, saying that it must be the consequence of some sin committed within his realm, and that the king himself was guilty if he did not punish it; and finally threatened to end his life there by sitting on a dharana (hunger-strike) against Sri Rama unless his son was restored to life.

    Sri Rama thereupon consulted his council of eight learned Rishis, and Narada amongst them told him that some Shudra among his subjects must have been performing Tapasya (ascetic exercises), and thereby going against Dharma (sacred law), for according to it, the practice of Tapasya was proper to the twice-born alone, while the duty of the Shudras consisted only in the service of the "twice-born". Sri Rama was thus convinced that it was the sin committed by a Shudra in transgressing Dharma in that manner, which was responsible for the death of the Brahmin boy.

    So, Sri Rama mounted his aerial car and searched the countryside for the culprit. At last, in a wild region far away to the south he espied a man practicing rigorous austerity of a certain kind. He approached the man, and with no more ado than to enquire of him. That person inform himself that he was a Shudra, by name Sambuka, who was practicing Tapasya with a view to going to heaven in his own earthly person. Sri Rama without so much as a warning, expostulation or the like addressed to him, cut off his head.

    At that very moment the dead Brahman boy in distant Ayodhya began to breathe again. Here in the wilds the Gods rained flowers on the king from their joy at his having prevented a Shudra from gaining admission to their celestial abode through the power of the Tapasya which he had no right to perform. They also appeared before Sri Rama and congratulated him on his deed. In answer to his prayer to them to revive the dead Brahman boy lying at the palace gate in Ayodhya, they informed him that he had already come to life.

    This episode of Sambuka described in 73 - 76 Sargas of Uttara Kanda contradicts the statement of Sage Valmiki that in Sri Rama's reign there were no premature deaths.

    Thus, UTTARA KANDA can be concluded to be a PRAKSHIPA, and insertion made at a latter date,

  5. Srimad Ramayana was written much earlier to Mahabharata. In the 272-289 Sections of Vana Parva of Mahabharata, the story of Sri Rama was narrated to Yuddhistara by Sage Markandeya. Though the story contains minor variations compared to the story told in the Srimad Ramayana, those episodes describe the story of Sri Rama in full.

    However, the sage Markandeya ends the story of Sri Rama in 289 Section of Vana Parva of Mahabharata with the coronation of Sri Rama as the king of Kosala Kingdom. No mention was made therein the story of UTTARA KANDA.

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    It is very well researched. I read part of Brahmin's son's premature death. But I wonder how a Shudra is not allowed to do tapasya. When a Kshatriya like Vishwakarma can become Brahmarishi, then why not shudra. This seems some deliberate corruption. What do you say about this? – doptimusprime Oct 16 '15 at 3:19
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    I already said that the UTTARA KANDA has to be rejected in its entirety. – srimannarayana k v Oct 16 '15 at 3:53
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    It would be interesting to find clues to verify if 'UTTARA KANDA' was composed by sage Valmiki himself or was it added after his lifetime. Thank you much for presenting a well researched answer. You have my vote. – WeShall Sep 17 '16 at 16:54
  • there can always be an exception.. apart from that single premature-death incident, which Rama rectified (son came back alive), there were none other. that doesn't make it a contradiction and cause for rejection. Maybe Vibhishana didn't know about the earlier messenger-murder, or he was saying 'it is unheard of' in the sense of 'it is not allo.wed', not that he had never heard of it. When Markandeya's account has minor variations it is "just minor", but when he omits uttara khanda, it "never happened" ? – ram Sep 20 '17 at 2:01
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Rama himself never doubted lady Sita but it was for the satisfaction of the people of his kingdom. And being an ideal man and ideal king he was supposed to fulfill wishes of people of his kingdom. And how can you say he did not protect his wife? He went to all the way to Lanka like an ideal husband. But Rama is ideal man, means ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal father and ideal king. So in every circumstance he behaved the way an ideal man is supposed to behave. Had he not asked Sita to go to live in forests people would have said he was not good king So people will never be satisfied. But he did what could possibly be done to keep his foolish subjects happy.

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My first answer was regarding Sita’s first fire test, while they were in Lanka after winning the war.

Regarding Second time fire test

Once The King Rama went for town travel cloak(That no one can know that this is our king) to know what the people are thinking about the kingdom and king, Is there any who unsatisfied with king?

He saw some people who were discussing about Ram-Ravana war, Some people had doubt on sita, Some blamed Rama that he is very Fatuous by accepting Sita after she had stayed in lanka. Rama could not tolerate that majority people had doubt about the holiness of sita.

He believed that if the public have not trust on their king then he is not a good king. He also found that the people of kingdom are unsatisfied with his decision. For public satisfaction he abandoned his wife Sita, because he believed that it’s his duty although he knew about Sita’s holiness.

At the end he told Sita to give fire test again in front of all (the public of avadh) to show her holiness and purity. Rama showed his Raj-Dharma(A duty of King).

Sita did not attempt second fire test as well as she attempted subside by going into the earth(land).

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Leela of Abandoning Godesses Sita also illustrates the greatness of 'Raam Naam'. By the mere chanting of Raam Naam and singing their virtues even animals and birds become so powerful that they gain the power of cursing Gods. Lord Ram and Sita although are beyond the rules of Karma but still act as being in Karmic influenee. Similar is the case here...

This story comes in Padma Puran. There were 2 parrots living around Valmiki ashram. They used to hear some verses of Ramayan when Valmiki used to teach verses to his disciples. Thus due to continuous hearing they mastered the verses. One day they came Mithila and were singing the verses. Sita heard them:

Padma Puran Chapter 57 "Former Birth Of Washerman"

41-53. Lucky is that queen Janaki (i.e. Sita), > having a very attractive form, who will gladly enjoy with him for a myriad years. O beautiful lady, who are you? What is your name that you cleverly and respectfully ask me to narrate (the account) of Rama?" Hearing these words, Janaki, telling the couple of birds about the charming and enticing (story of) her birth, said to
them: "I am that Janaki, the daughter of Janaka, whom you mentioned. I shall truly release you when that very charming
Rama comes to me; not otherwise-—being (just) allured by your words! I shall caress you. You, having (i.e. speaking) sweet
words, stay happily (with me)." Hearing these words they trembled and were frightened. They were mutually (i.e. both) afraid; (and) said this to Janaki: "O good lady, we are birds, living in forests and resorting to trees. We wander everywhere. We would not get happiness (merely by staying) at home. I am pregnant. Having gone to my place and having given birth to sons (i.e. young ones) I shall come (back). I have told you the truth." (Though) thus addressed by the female parrot, she did
not release her. Then her husband (i.e. the male parrot), eager, and with his face hung down spoke to her: "Sita, release my wife. How do you keep this my beautiful wife? We shall go to the forest and shall happily move in the forest. My charming wife would be (i.e. is) pregnant. Having performed her (i.e. after her) delivery I shall come to you, O lovely one?" Thus,
addressed, she said to him: "O you very intelligent one, you can gladly go. I shall keep this happy one, doing what is dear to me, near me." Thus addressed, the bird was unhappy; and full of tenderness, he said to her: "Those words which are uttered by the meditating saints are true: (The words are:)


54-56. 'One should not speak, one should not speak. One should remain by resorting to silence. Otherwise, due to the
blemish in one's utterance, the mad one would be fettered.' Had we not talked (to each other) on this tree, how would we have been bound? Therefore, one should resort to silence." Saying so, he spoke to her: "Obeautiful lady, O Sita, I shall not live
without this wife of me. Therefore, O you charming one, leave her."

57-66. Though admonished with various words, she did not release her. The (parrot's) wife, who was angry, and miserable, then cursed Janaka's daughter: "As you are separating me from my husband, in the same way you will be, when pregnant, separated from Rama." When she, the afflicted one, was repeatedly > saying like this, her life departed due to misery, full of the distress of her husband. For her who was repeatedly remember-
ing Rama and uttering (the name) Rama, a divine car properly arrived. The female parrot became luminous when she had gone to heaven. When she died, her husband, that lord of birds, was
extremely angry, and being distressed, fell into Ganga: ''In Rama's city, full of people, I will be born as (a sudra so) that due to my words she will be dejected, and extremely unhappy due to separation (from her husband)." Saying so, he who was
distressed, angry, frightened and shaking due to separation from her, fell into the water of Ganga graced with eddies.
Due to his being angry, due to his being distressed, and due to his having insulted Sita, he obtained very (mean) sudrahood (as he was born as) a washerman named Krodhana. That best bird (or best brahmana) who, doing ill to the great, abandons his life through anger, obtains sudrahood after he dies. That took
place. Due to the words of the washerman she was censured and separated. On account of the curse of the washerman, she was separated (from Rama), and she went to the forest
.

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    Do you really believe this story? Why does Valmiki Ramayana makes no mention of this? Seems like a story later made-up to explain Rama's actions. – sv. Sep 17 '16 at 17:08
  • @sv. If a story is present in Purana then at least it can become a Pramana to certain level ... regarding authenticity.. as Padma Purana narrates story of Padma Kalpa ot is possible that it is describing Ramayana of that Kalpa... and also ValmikiRamayana doesn't covered up whole thing... for eg. Present Venkateshwara is based on story of Maya Sita of Ramayana reborn as Padmavati... but ValmikiRamayana doesn't have a concept of Maya Dita at all... so it is based on Puranic accounta... like story present in Skandha Purana and so on.. – Tejaswee Sep 25 '16 at 9:23
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    What I believe is Puranic explanations for some events in Itihasa's are added later for the doubting public who simply cannot accept the facts of Itihasa's as they are. BTW, I did upvote your answer because it includes a proper reference. – sv. Sep 25 '16 at 14:28
  • @sv. You are right. Always it happens. When the Pandavas had to suffer greatly, even after devoting them to Vishnu, and more so, after doing the Raajasuya Yagya, then it is saif that they did not collect pure substance for the Yagya and thus suffered. All the Scriptures give justification making a whole new stories. Maybe to overshadow what ram did, the Scriptures composer wrote- Sita wanted to live in Muni Ashram, Sita wanted this that. Ram wanted this, Narad had cursed her, and what not so. – user9392 Sep 8 '17 at 12:50
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Shri Rama took birth as a common human and he is also known as “Maryada-Purshottum” (A man who never use his power though he is god, he lives in the area of limitation of a human).Whatever he did, he never crossed his boundary.

Rama knew that Sita was perfect and Sita too knew that Rama does not have a single doubt on her. But they wanted the world to realize that Sita was pure despite she was in Ravana's custody. That's why Rama "Asked" Sita to do the Agni Pariksha(A fire test).

According to scriptures, fire wont burn a woman who never thought of any man other than her husband. (This is the highest level of chastity) So, Rama and Sita knew that fire would not burn Sita because she never thought a man other than Rama. Rama too was a perfect husband who never thought of another woman other than Sita. Moreover, Ramayana itself tells that Rama never doubted Sita.

Some authors and film makers of today changed the tone of the original story in order to make it an arguable topic in terms of the current female-male issues of the Indian society.

There was another thing in Ramayana related to this: One day Ram told Sita during their exile,"The time comes to end for which we took birth". He produced fire and Sita entered in it ,which replaced her “Actual form” to “Fictional form” before Ravana kidnaped her.In Lanka there was sita’s fictional form. After Ravana's death, Rama told sita to pass through the fire ,where-by she came with her actual form.

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    I don't think this answerers the question. – Vineet Menon Jul 29 '14 at 17:00
  • You should merge both of your answers into one. – sv. Oct 31 '16 at 15:28

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