Monday, April 17, 2017

The 11 Names of Sita

Sita and Her Son Lava
Last night, when we were heading home, out of sudden, my boss started talking in his native language. As everything was flowing above my head, I politely asked him, in which ancient language, he is talking? To which, he laughed and replied, “It’s not ancient, it’s my mother tongue, Mathili.”

Still confused, I inquired him about Maithili, and his native place. After hearing me out, he told me whole story of Maithili, Mithala, Janaka and Sita. And with that little chit chat, I came to know, Maithili is also one of the sobriquet used for Sita. Though, Maithili is not only sobriquet people gave her, she is known by several names like Siya, Vaidehi and many more. And some of them are listed here.

The name Sita derives from Sanskrit word for furrow, “seet”. According to Ramayana, Janaka, found her in a box when he was ploughing as a part of yagna to please Indra. As he found the box in which Sita was sleeping with help of seet (furrow), he named her after seet, Sita.

Siya is simply a variation of the name Sita. It is widely popular in local Hindi dialects like Awadhi, Maithili and Braj.

Janaki, the name derives from her father name Janak. Thus, Janaki simply means the daughter of Janak.

Janakatmaja translates as daughter of Janak but if one goes deep, the name means part of Janak’s soul. Janakatmaja is a combination of Janak, her father’s name and Atmaja, a Sanskrit word which means part of soul or one’s child.

Like Janaki and Janakatmaja, Janaknandani also means daughter of Janak. But in deeper context, nandani means one who is joyful or bring joy to someone. As she brought the happiness in the world of childless Janak, she is Janaknandani.

The daughter of Bhoomi (Earth) or someone who is born from Earth.

One who makes barren earth fertile, the sobriquet was given to her, as her birth brought the rain to the rainless and barren land of Mithala.

Maithili, the Princess of Mithala. For those who don’t know, Mithala is the name of Janak’s kingdom.

Rma (Rama)
Another popular sobriquet given to Sita, Rma (Rama) simply translates as the wife of Rama.

The daughter of Vaideh, a sobriquet Janak earned due to his ability to achieve the state of deep meditation.

She is also known by the name of Bhoomiputri (Daughter of Bhoomi) and Janaksuta.

Image Credit: India Miniature Paintings

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