Indra feeds Sita ( valmiki rāmayańa – arańyakānDa )

Ravana abducted Sita, when they were staying at Panchavati and arranged for to stay in the Asoka Vana, till she agreed to marry him. Sita refused to eat the food offered to her by Ravana.

Then, Ravana’s paternal grandfather, Brahma asked Indra to go and feed Sita. Indra entered Lanka and told Nidra (sleep personified) to make everyone fall asleep. When everyone was asleep, Indra offered Sita Devi some ‘Havi’ to eat. ‘Havi’ is the food of the Devas. It is the uncooked grains, ghee etc offered in the Vedic Fire.

Here, Indra is called SataKratu – one who has performed 100 Kratus (like Yajnas) OR a hundred times as powerful, sahasrakhsa – one who has a thousand eyes, sacipati, the husband of Sachi and Pakasasana – the controller of Paka, Sachi is a variant of Sakthi which means energy, power, competence and such things.

Indra spoke to Sita. “I am the king of the Devas. Be safe! Don’t grieve. Oh daughter of Janaka, I will help Raghava (Rama, a descendant of Raghu) achieve his goal. By my grace he will cross the pcean with strong ones. It is my illusions (maya) that these Rakshasis are under. I have brought you the anna (food) of ‘Havi’. If you eat this you will neither be hungry nor thirsty for years.” Then Sita asked him to prove that he was a Deva so that she could trust him. Then Indra showed her that his feet did not touch the ground, his eyes did not blink, his clothes didn’t get dirty and his garland did not wilt.’ Sita was very happy. She told Indra,  ’I see you as a  father and a father-in-law and Sri Rama now has a protector. For the sake of the Raghuvamsam, I will eat this payasam (sweet made of milk, rice and sugar).’ Then Indra left for Amaravathi.

You can find this story between the 56th and 57th sarga in the aranyakanda, vālimiki rāmāyańam, Gita Press.

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Categories:Devata, Indra, Ramayanam, sītā

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