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Story of Vedavati and Ravana – The Previous Birth of Sita

Long ago, there was a beautiful maiden named Vedavati. She was known for her fairness and purity, dedicating her life to ascetic practices in the forests with the sole aim of winning Lord Vishnu as her husband. Vedavati was the daughter of King Kushadhwaja and the granddaughter of the sage Brihaspati. Her father had named her Vedavati because she was born while he was reciting the Vedas.

Ravana’s Encounter with Vedavati

One day, as Vedavati was deeply engrossed in her prayers, the powerful demon king Ravana happened to pass by. Mesmerized by her beauty, Ravana was overcome with desire and approached her. Recognizing the presence of a guest, Vedavati greeted him with respect and offered him a seat. Ravana, consumed by passion, demanded to know who she was.

Vedavati humbly introduced herself, explaining her lineage and her vow to attain Lord Vishnu as her husband through her penance and devotion. She spoke of her unwavering commitment and the divine purpose she sought to fulfill.

Ravana’s Insult and Aggression

Ravana, arrogant and dismissive, scoffed at Vedavati's devotion to Vishnu. "Why desire a dark-skinned deity when you can have me?" he taunted. "Vishnu is cunning and deceptive. I am far more deserving of you."

Vedavati, maintaining her composure, rebuked Ravana for his blasphemous words against Vishnu. She firmly asserted that it was improper and disrespectful to speak ill of the divine.

Infuriated by her rejection and resistance, Ravana grabbed Vedavati by her hair, attempting to forcefully claim her. Vedavati, however, managed to escape his grasp and, in a desperate bid to preserve her purity, leaped into a blazing fire.

Vedavati’s Prophecy

As the flames consumed her, Vedavati declared with unwavering resolve, "I will be born again and will be the cause of your destruction. In that birth, I will be united with Vishnu as my husband."

True to her words, Vedavati was reborn as Sita, the divine consort of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu. It was through her that Ravana's doom was sealed, fulfilling the prophecy she had made in her previous life.

The story of Vedavati's self-sacrifice and her rebirth as Sita is a powerful testament to the strength of devotion and the triumph of righteousness. It underscores the themes of divine justice and the inevitability of karma. This tale is found in the Krittibasi Ramayana, highlighting the profound connection between Vedavati's unwavering piety and the epic saga of Sita and Rama, culminating in the ultimate downfall of Ravana.