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The Role of Women in Hinduism

Sita, the ideal Hindu wife
This role of a wife is most truly exemplified by Sita, wife of Rama in the epic Ramayana. 'Whatever one may feel about the nature of this epic, Sita epitomises all that is good in womanhood - to be emulated in real life (Swami Vivekananda, in his Letters from San Francisco 1900).

Sita, the princess of Ayodhya, is looked upon today by all Hindu women as virtue incarnate, and the ideal of Indian womanhood. She shines in this respect, principally as the obedient wife of Shri Rama, sharing his joys for a short time and thereafter following him in exile for fourteen years. In so doing she cast aside the pleas and warnings of her elders, resolving to stand beside Shri Rama at all times, bearing the rigours of forest life cheerfully. At one time in the forest she was abducted by Ravan, the King of Sri Lanka, and suffered intense humiliation by him and his attendants. She defied Ravan, who was intent on making her his queen, rejecting his offers and in his presence extolling the virtues of her own husband, Rama. In the end, she was rescued by Shri Rama in the Battle of Lanka. Her speeches from Ramayan prior to her departure with Shri Rama in exile are regularly quoted both in homes and temples. Strength of character, fidelity and willingness to undergo dire hardship for Shri Rama have not only earned her the accolade of the ideal wife but also the status of a goddess.

Hindu Woman's role as a mother