When Rama faced the negative feedback of his citizens about Sita Devi, he exiled her to the forest. My first question is why did he do that, just for the common talk of some people? Because the logical thing would be to either call for a public audience and address their grievances, or just ignore them. Preferably the first option.

Coming to the main question. After Sitadevi spent twelve years in the forest, and Rama accepted Lava Kusha as his sons, what was the dire need for another Pariksha? I know that one can can it Their Infinite Leela, but what was the logical reason behind it? That is, when Rama himself accepts Lava Kusha as his own sons, where does the question of chastity arise?

(On a side note, Ashok Banker has portrayed this scene beautifully in his 'Sons of Sita'. That does not mean that I base my question on his series. That also does not mean that I am against Rama or anything.)

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    Rama never doubted Sita's chastity, he just demanded another test of her chastity to demonstrate it to the people of Ayodhya. They were a stubborn lot. Dec 5, 2015 at 16:12
  • Sri Rama and Lakshmana who went through all kinds of difficulties/worries/tensions, searching for Sita, in dense forests, inhabited by demons- only worshipped Sita.The Dharmasatras/Manu smriti etc exiled people, took Parikshas etc etc. Oct 22, 2016 at 6:12
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    Answer for part 1 of your question hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/42382/661
    – hanugm
    Aug 8, 2020 at 13:31

3 Answers 3


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.

  • I agree that Uttara Kanda is considered to be Prakshipta, but somehow that seems like an escapist answer... No offence. But surely there must be a logical answer for the questions posed above.
    – Surya
    Oct 13, 2015 at 16:44
  • If not for anything else, not considering the originality of Uttara Kanda, we can at least learn some lessons from the story.
    – Surya
    Oct 13, 2015 at 16:45
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    @Surya: If you are accepting the inserted story as original, then you are accepting that Sri Rama was not Dharmaatma;; (2) If you are accepting Uttar Kanda as original, then you have to accept that Sri Rama's rule was a Caste based because he killed Sambuka for no reason. Then why did he praised Sabari for her austerities. A BIG NO. As far as I am concerned, The Uttara Kanda is A prakshipta Oct 14, 2015 at 4:04
  • Rama killed Shambuka because he was violating Dharma. Shambuka was performing penance to reach heaven and Indrapadavi in his own body, which is forbidden for all, except maybe certain people like Yudhishthira (who, if I am right, gave up his body after visiting the Illusionary Naraka). And even though he was not qualified to do so, he persisted in his adharmic act, which led to Rama ending his life, (which, because Rama was an avatara, was just as beneficial for Shambuka.)
    – Surya
    Oct 14, 2015 at 15:40
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    @Surya: I do not want argue further on this issue, because we both are sticking to our stands. I offered my opinion on this issue. It is upto you to decide whether to accept or reject it. Oct 14, 2015 at 15:46

For your first question:

Why did Rama exile Sita?

The general reason is that in Rama Rajya, Ram used to provide everything to his people what they wanted. So he exiled Sita for the sake of people.

But every general seeing thing have some deep mystic connection to something. Similar is the case here. It was because Sita was cursed by a parrot to happen that. These parrots were near Valmiki Ashram hence they have mastered some verses of Ramayana. One time they went to Mithila and Sita heard about her story singing by them. This is in Padma Puran.

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.

For your second question:

Why did Rama ask Sita for a second test?

Again the general reason is same as before i.e., as a King for the sake of people.

But this also comes under a mystic leela. This was done to depart earlier from earth to his eternal abode. At that time age was very high. E.g., Dasharath was more than 60000 years old when Ram was born. But it was necessary for Rama to depart earlier as he came to rule only for 11000 years.

In Adhyatma Ramayana [ Brahmanda Puran ] Uttar kanda 7.8. Kaal disguised as sage tells Rama..

7.8 To emancipate the gods you incarnated as Vaman, and later you dawned over earth for a period of eleven thousand years to eliminate Ravan. The period is now over, still if you wish to stay you may do that otherwise you may plan your departure to your abode of Vishnu lok.” Ram responded positively to kal and confirmed his departure back to the eternal abode.

Hence Rama had preplanned for his earlier arrival from earth. In Adhyatma Ramayan [Brahmanda Puran ] Uttar Kanda 7.4.

7.4 Finding appropriate time, Sita spoke to him, “Gods have approached me to remind you to leave the earth and move to vaikunth. They miss your presence in the celestial world. Since I am here, you can’t leave the earth. They advised me to first leave for eternal abode.” Responding over the message of gods he planned course of action with Sita, “On the pretext of public criticism I would discard you. You are pregnant, and you will be sent to the ashram of Valmiki. There you will give birth to two sons. Thereafter you will again come back to me, but to prove your chastity you will ask the earth a safe place. Accordingly the earth will split, and entering through the earth you will reach vaikunth. I would thereafter follow you.” After this conversation, Sita left the royal garden and entered the palace. Ram continued in his palace meeting the people. He enquired from Vijay, a royal spy, as to what was the peoples’ impression about Sita and Kaikeyi. Ram was told, “Some people condemn the acceptance of Sita after her long stay in Lanka. They are of the impression that this incident has made their wives also wilful.”

Hence Gods Leela are very mystic. If we go deeper and deeper we find more and more mystic.

  • As usual, Good answer.
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:54
  • Did Rama know that He was avatar of Vishnu?
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:55
  • @The Destroyer in Valmiki Ramayan he knew he was avatar of Vishnu in Yuddha Kanda ( ie. Gods appear and tell after Fire test of Sita ). Hence he knew during his rule..
    – Tezz
    Apr 14, 2016 at 11:57
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    @The Destroyer I think that Sati testing part was of earlier kalpas... Ramayan of earlier kalpas were very amazing if you read them.. for eg. In Padma Kalpa, during Setu Bandhan, Lord Shiva directly gives his bow to Rama. And there was no need for making setu.. All vanars Crossed the ocen by stepping in that bow... Isn't that amazing?.... But Personally I believe Ram knew he was incarnation from his birth. He just pretended as being unknown... what do you believe?
    – Tezz
    Apr 14, 2016 at 12:07
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    @Surya I don't think it can be justified in other normal way other than telling it as Rajdharma.. we can't tell other because other reasons will blame Lord Rama and Sita which is impossible... But Prajas get the punishment of their fault as they were deprived from golden rule of Rama due to their fault (after a short period.)
    – Tezz
    Apr 16, 2016 at 1:56

Rama and Sita suffered separation due to curse of Sage Bhrigu on Lord Vishnu that he has to take reincarnation on Earth and will separate from his wife during one birth


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