Mata Sita’s Agni Pareeksha – A representation of woman’s honour

It is to the woman that the entire world owes its existence. Not only for the existence of the world, but woman has been an integral part in supporting the existence of Dharma too. It is during these times, that she displayed exemplary courage proving to the world that when Dharma is equally preserved and protected by women too. This act of integrity was demonstrated by Mata Sita who proves that the real strength of a woman lies in protecting her honour during her trail of fire.


The Padma Puran mentions the reason of Mata Sita’s trail of fire. During their stay at Panchavati, Shri Ram realising that the time to fulfil his incarnation has come, entrusts Mata Sita to Agni Dev so that she does not get tainted because of Ravan’s deeds, while a Maya Sita comes in place of her and plays her role in a way pre decided for Ravan’s doom. Shri Ram and Mata (Maya) Sita then, go through all hardships to fulfil their duty preserving Dharma. After killing Ravan, Shri Ram sets the trail of fire to get back his real Sita back. However, while doing so, he proves that when a chaste woman is put to test, she faces it and overcomes it with great courage and determination.

After Ravan’s death, Vibhishan is crowned King and he brings Mata Sita to Shri Ram with all due honours. But Mata Sita is asked to go through a trail of fire by Shri Ram, proving her chastity. Mata Sita is shocked by his words and so are all the Vanar warriors and Lakshman. The real reason was that Shri Ram did not want anybody to point out at Mata Sita’s chastity and hence he takes the blame of putting her to test and show the world how pure and untainted is Mata Sita. As Shri Ram’s true companion of life and his wife, Mata Sita understands this and gets ready for the trail of fire. Supporting Shri Ram’s ideal, as a woman she sets the highest example of self -respect and will power that a virtuous woman overcomes any taint on her with determination and courage..

When Lakshman prepares the pyre with a heavy heart, Mata Sita enters the pyre. As the fires consumed her, all of them wept bitterly. But, Agni Dev appears with Mata Sita and mentions to all that all his impurities vanished with the touch of Mata Sita and she was the most pure form of devotion and love towards her husband. Shri Ram rejoices to have his beloved back and is more than happy that the chastity and purity of Mata Sita has been proves to the entire world so beautifully.

Mata Sita successfully delivers a message to the whole world that purity of the heart and mind can never be tainted and true love gives courage to face any difficult problem. Mata Sita proves that a woman’s honour not only lies in being devoted to her husband and family, but also to fight for own honour when the need arises. Mata Sita did not yield a weapon, nor was a warrior. She was a wife who faithfully followed her husband’s footsteps. Yet, she is an inspiration of undeterred strength, patience and courage with which she faced all the challenges of her life and proves her integrity and honour as a woman.