Vedavati – The Emblem of Chastity and Patience.

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Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah.All this tapasya but Vishnu was not showing Himself and here is a chance to live with the wealthiest man on earth, Hare Krishna, the most powerful conqueror of the earth, the king of kings. She said, “Get out from here, I have given my heart to Lord Vishnu and I can accept no one else.” Oh, when Ravana heard the name Vishnu, that really excited his anger, then he said, “What is this Vishnu, what is He doing for you? You are worshipping Him for all this time and He is just leaving you alone with no companion in this jungle with nothing to eat. What is He doing for you? Come with me, I will give you the robes and the jewels of a queen.

I will give you pleasures that even the most elevated damsels of the heaven cannot dream of, you come with me!” She chastised him that “I have given my heart to Vishnu, get out from here”. So Ravana went to take her by force, he grabbed her by the hair, and Vedavati, by her mystic power, she took her hand and pht and just cut that hair right off and Ravana fell back. Then Vedavati invoked the presence of Agni Deva in the form of fire and then she spoke her final words to Ravana, “Because you have touched my body, my body is forever impure and therefore I must end it today. But I will take birth again and in my next birth I will be the cause of your destruction and the extermination of your entire dynasty.” And then her body was engulfed with flames.

Some time later, Suparnaka, the sister of Ravana, informed her brother about the beauty of Sita, and just by hearing the description of Sita’s qualities, Ravana’s heart was burning with desire. He induced Marica to take the form of a magnificent deer and allure Ram and Luxman away. At that time, Ravana came to kidnap the consort of Sri Ram. But it is not possible for a demon like Ravana to touch Sita Devi. Agni Dev appeared and he replaced the original Sita with Vedavati. Vedavati looked identical to Sita. The Kurma Purana calls her the Maya Sita, the false Sita. She is actually an expansion of the Goddess of fortune but not the original Sita. So it was Ravana, he thought he stole Sita, but in truth he stole Vedavati. And it was this Vedavati, after thousands of years of tapasya, she still never even saw Ram.

She came to the world and was immediately kidnapped by Ravana and she was screaming in the air, and she threw some jewels down to the monkeys, Sugriva and Hanuman, when she was flying over Kindakshetra and ultimately she was a prisoner of Sri Lanka, captive in the Ashoka groves of Ravana, where everyday she was tormented, she was emotionally tortured, she was threatened in so many ways. Ravana was coming with the finest perfumes, the most elegant gowns, with by his mystic powers making himself the most handsome among men, well-groomed hair with scented oils, promising her jewels, and gifts and pleasures and everything, just become my consort and she refused. He would threaten her and scream at her and roar at her. And other raksasas were tormenting her, and raksasis, ugly raksasis, horrible, demoniac beings were surrounding her practically day and night, trying to emotionally break her down to submission. And this went on for about 10 months.

Vedavati performed all this tapasya and this is all she was getting. She did it all as a service to Sita Devi. Ravana would curse her; Ravana would threaten her, “If you do not submit to me I will chop your body in fine pieces and I will drink your blood and eat your flesh as my morning meal. These are your two alternatives; either live as the primary queen of all the universe as my queen or die a miserable death and be eaten by me”. Those were the two choices he gave. But Vedavati, so chaste, so absolutely pure, not even for one second ever deviated her mind from the loving remembrance of Sri Ramachandra.

Lord Ram and Laxman crossed over the bridge to Sri Lanka with the soldiers of Sugriva of the Vanara race; there was a great war, ultimately Vedavati’s curse was fulfilled. All the sons, all the relatives, all the soldiers of Ravana were destroyed and ultimately Ravana fell to the ground dead. The raksasa race was exterminated of Ravana. Sita was brought back to Rameshwaram, where we will be going in a few days. It was Vedavati and after all this time, first time, Vedavati’s actually seeing Sri Ram and He rejects her. He says that, “How do I know you are perfectly chaste and pure? Living with such a great person as Ravana for 10 months, if even for one tenth of a second your mind went astray from thinking of Me then you are not pure, you’re not chaste, and I cannot have you.

So you should be tested by fire”. He ordered Luxman to get big logs, big logs of trees and start it on fire, it was a blazing fire, and Vedavati, in the role of Sita, she had absolute confidence of her chastity and her purity, she walked right into the fire. It was at that time according to Kurma Purana that Agni Deva appeared with the original Sita, Whom he had taken away and put in the care of Parvati for all of this time. And Agni Deva explained to Sri Ram this is the original Sita, and this is Vedavati, the Maya Sita, who is taken by Ravana. Lord Sri Ramachandra accepted the real Sita as His wife. And Sita, Sita told Ram that, “Vedavati has performed such devotional service, such sacrifice under the torments of the prisonership of Ravana for all this time she did all for Me and You.

Please accept her as Your wife; this is her only admission, her only ideal”.And Lord Ram said that, “In this incarnation I have taken a vow of only one wife, so I cannot accept her in this incarnation, however in a future…. incarnation I will fulfil her desire and marry her”. And Ram left with Sita.Vedavati still was alone with her mind fixed on the promise of the Lord that was in Treta yuga, the whole Dvarpa yuga passed, Krishna’s lila was manifested on this world and then it went to another universe. Vedavati was waiting a long time, through Treta yuga, through Dvarpa yuga and in Kali yuga, she appeared, and it’s a wonderful story how she appeared. In the dynasty of the moon there was a great king of the Chola family of the name Sudarma. Sudarma had two sons, Aksharaj and Thondaman.

He raised them and they were loving brothers. When they were of age to take the responsibility of the kingdom, Sudarma accepted Vanaprastha, he wanted to divide his kingdom in half before he left and give each of his two sons who were both worthy of being kings half of his kingdom, but the two brothers they had such deep love for each other, neither of them wanted half of the kingdom. “We will both rule the same kingdom together; we don’t want to be separated”. So that was the arrangement. Sudarma went to the forest, never to return, Aksharaj and Thondaman together ruled the kingdom as two kings, one kingdom, amazing example of brotherhood, they weren’t suing each other in courts, they were working together with total love and respect.

Aksharaj was the elder of the two. All of his desires were fulfilled in the way he was ruling his citizens except one, he had no child, he longed for a child, he approached the Brahmans, and they told him, “You should perform a yajna for the purpose of having a child”. So as a part of the process of yajna the king had to plough several times around the yajnashala, so as he was ploughing around and around and around, his plough got caught in something in the ground and he pulled it, and out from the ground came an effulgent, golden box, on its own the box opened, revealing an exquisite golden lotus flower, in the whorl of the lotus flower was an effulgent little baby girl, smiling and glancing mercifully upon everyone. Aksharaj picked up the little child and showed her to the Brahmans and the Brahmans were amazed, they said, “Just as Janak Maharaja was ploughing the fields around the yajna and from the earth came Mahaluxmi, the Goddess of fortune, Sita, in the same way the Goddess of fortune has come again, and because she has been found on a lotus flower, her name will be Padmavati”.

This Padmavati was Vedavati, who had taken birth again in this world.Aksharaj brought little Padmavati to his wife, Darini Devi, and they raised her with great, great affection. When she came of marriageable age, it created a big problem in the house. Who possibly is qualified to marry Padmavati? So many people were coming and offering their proposals but Aksharaj did not see that anyone was qualified. One day, Narada Muni took the form of a Brahman and while Padmavati was sitting in the garden, he said, “Let me see your palms”. She showed her palms, he saw beautiful lotus flowers in both palms, Narada Muni was ecstatic, tears flowed from his eyes, “I understand who you are, you don’t know but I know, you are the Goddess of fortune, who has incarnated on this earth and Lord Vishnu will soon be your husband.”

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