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RAMAYANA, probably the oldest ‘epic’ in the world , and certainly in India , has been known to project ideal virtues in its heroes and heroines viz.: Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat, , Hanuman, SITA, Lav ,Kush, Mandodri and others.

Therefore, Sita’s role as a dutiful and sacrificing wife naturally comes out , keeping in line with the philosophical and social perceptions of that age. The epic brings out how she devoutly refused to be left behind in the palace in Ayodhya , but instead chose to follow her husband Lord Rama into the forests . Even under great duress , SITA remains devoted to her Lord Rama, as is borne out by the way she repulses all the advances and allurements of the demon king Ravana , when she had been abducted by him. For the love of her husband, after SITA is freed , she even offers to go through “Agni Pariksha” (trial by fire) to prove her fidelity to her husband. Rama has himself been idolised in the epic as a picture of a perfect son, a king etc. Kingship was then considered as a form of ‘trusteeship’, where the king looked after the entire well being of the citizens , who placed their whole- hearted trust in the king.Therefore, all personal considerations of the king had to be sacrificed to his duties as a king.

Sita , Lakshmana, Hanuman, have been depicted as the ideals to emphasize various virtues suiting their life roles. All of them sacrificed their own personal needs to their own respective relations to Rama.

Probably because of this , other virtues of SITA’s character , other than that of a faithful and dutiful wife were not developed.

No wonder then that SITA’s role as a strong mother, to bring up her twins Lav and Kush , as ideal world citizens , has not found sufficient emphasis.
It is this latter aspect which struck Pradeep Wagh the author of this SITA SHAKTI KAVYA . As a result of study , research and introspection, the anthology of SITA SHAKTI KAVYA to depict Sita as a strong mother took place. But a divine inspiration has also taken a key role in the blossoming of this vibrant SITA SHAKTI KAVYA. Many incidents in the anthology ,not recounted in other versions of the life of Rama and Sita , have found place for the first time in SITA SHAKTI KAVYA .

This aspect has been accepted and noted by eminent scholars of Ramayana like Dr.U.M.Pathan , Dr. Umashankar Upadhyaya and Dr. Siyaram Tiwari.

On a personal level, Pradeep would often discuss with me the bits and pieces of the anthology , sometimes as soon as they were received by him and penned down. It gave me immense happiness to share my perceptions of the anthology as it emerged over a couple of years.

It gives me great pleasure , therefore, to recommend to all young and old to peruse this unique SITA SHAKTI KAVYA and I hope that it will give them the same joy and peace as I have got from it.

Brig. P.V.Gole (Retd.), AVSM
Development Education (International) Society
Pune , India
Dt. 25 March 2001

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