I have to admit that writing about Sita was a complex undertaking on my part! This stuff is not for the faint-hearted for sure. The layers of understanding, interpretations and myriad sources of the Ramayana, add to that a variety of interpretations make it the most complex study I have undertaken and truth be told, I have not even scratched the surface yet! My greatest achievement will be to get a shrink-to-fit understanding of Sita for my blog post. How wrong can this be?
If we have to be truthful to the Ramayana we have to break away from our own mythical logic and understanding of Sita. Our perception of Sita’s conformity to our social constructs of woman, their sexuality and their role in a patriarchal society is plain wrong.
Ramayana is not to be blamed for our conceptions or misconceptions of women of our times. It is our interpretations and adaptations that are squarely to be blamed.
The epic Ramayan has been retold many times. Each of these retellings adds a concentric circle of understanding different and unique from the previous retellings. True to the Gnostic traditions of oral histories, many shades of meanings have been added, derived and adapted in a plethora of Indian languages.
The Ramkatha is a fluid narrative flowing through ages of narrative interpretations by creative authors. The moment we stop this fluid narrative undergoing adaptations by localizations through the ages, we risk fossilizing our understanding of the core teachings.
Valmiki interpreted Sita in Sanskrit.
Kambar interpreted Sita in Tamil.
Here are a few that interpreted Ramayana through their short story Ramkathas re-envisioning Sita, much more boldly than the above two.
Does Ramayan allow for an interpretation? Yes, it does. This is the beauty of Ramayan. It is this ambiguity that makes it a timeless classic. An ambiguity ripe for your interpretation is what makes it navigate through the centuries and not...