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Janaki Jayanti is also called as Sita Navami. Janaki Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Sita Mata (Goddess Sita).Goddess Lakshmi took re-birth in the kingdom of Mithila as Sita in Treta Yug and the birth anniversary is celebrated as Janaki Jayanti/ Sita Navami. Maa Sita was adopted daughter of Janaka, the king of Mithila and so was also known as Janaki.
Janaki Jayanti is celebrated on 9th day or Navami Tithi during Shukla Paksha (Ninth day of bright half) of Vaishakha month (as per Hindu month). It is believed that Maa Sita was born in Pushya Nakshatra on Tuesday. She was married to Lord Rama (Ramachandra is the 7th avatar of the Hindu Lord Vishnu) who was also born on the 9th Day (Navami Tithi) during Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month (as per Hindu calendar). Sita Jayanti / Janaki Jayantifalls after one month of Rama Navami.
According to Indian mythology, when King Janaka was ploughing the field to conduct a Yajna/ Vedic Homam/ Yagya he found a baby girl in the Golden casket in the field. Because Sita emerged from the Goddess earth,hence King Janaka named the baby girl as Sita, literal meaning a plough.
Significance of the Janaki Jayanti
Though Lord Rama and Maa Janaki faced numerous hurdles in life; they are considered to be an ideal couple. Women performing this Vrat get blessings from the divine that their life is filled with peace and harmony with an abundance of happiness and pleasure. As Mata Sita is the epitome of purity and sincerity, females aspire to be like her and seek blessings as such.
Rituals of Sita Jayanti / Janaki Jayanti
Women observe Sita Jayanti / Janaki Jayanti with a lot of devotion, enthusiasm and dedication. A fast and an early morning bath should be maintained. Then a small Mandap should be prepared, housing the statues of Janaki/ Sita Mata, Lord Rama, King Janak and a plough should be placed. The worshipper should then welcome the incarnation of Lord Vishnu; Lord Rama and Sita Mata with lamp, panchopochar, or the incense, grains, sweets, and flowers.
The mandap should be decorated with bhogas (pious eatebles), colourful flowers and sweets fruits; which are offered as Prasads (sacred food). The bhogas made should be satvik (pure vegetarian),to be made without onion, ginger, salt and garlic. One should chant the Sita Mantra of Om Sri Sitaoi Namah. Rice, til, barley and rice are also offered to the Gods and Goddesses during this festival celebration. Women fast on Janaki Jayanti/ Sita Jayanti celebration.
Sita Jayanti / Janaki Jayanti festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm almost everywhere in India. In most of the temples Sringar Darshan, Arati andMaha-abhishek are performed. The statues of Lord Rama, Maa Sita, Laxman and Lord Hanuman are taken in processions on this day and Bhajans (holy songs) are sung and Ramayana is recited in shrines/ temples.