Place where Sitamata had undergone Agni-pariskha for proving her chastity !

Om Janakajaayai Vidmahe Ramapriyaayai Dheemahi Tannah Sita Prachodayat II

Meaning : We know that Janaka-daughter. We worship such Goddess who is liked by Rama. We pray, ‘let Seeta motivate us to use our intellect in virtuous manner.’

1. There is a place in central mountainous region of Sri Lanka where Sitamata

had undergone Agni-pariskha (walked through fire) but nobody knows about this place

There are many places in Sri Lanka which are connected to Shriram, Sita and Lakshman. Many proofs of incidents written in Valmiki Ramayana by Maharshi Valmiki are found in Sri Lanka. One of such places is the one where Sitamata walked through fire as a test of her chastity. It is located in ‘Divirumpola’. It is 18 kms from ‘Nuwara Elia’ town situated on the high mountainous range in central part of Sri Lanka. We could get information on this place through a book published by Chinmaya Mission titled ‘Ramayana in Lanka’. Most of Sri Lankan Hindus have no knowledge of this place nor is any information available on internet about this place.

2. Budhdists’ ‘vihar’ have been built at many places next to Hindus’ temples and

management of temples as well as ‘Vihars’ has been entrusted with 2-3 Buddhist Bhikkhus

In past 30 years, Buddhists’ ‘Vihar’ have been built near Hindus’ temples, religious places and places associated with ‘Ramayana’ period. Buddhists have built a huge ‘Vihar’ at the place where Sitamata walked through fire. Buddhists call their temples as ‘Raj Mahaviharay’. At such places, management of Hindus’ temple and Buddhists’ ‘Vihar’ is entrusted to 2-3 Buddhist bhikkhus. Buddhist temple built at the place where Sitamata went through Agni-pariksha, is named as ‘Divirumpola Rajmahaviharay’.

3. There is not a single board outside this ‘Vihar’ to show that it was the place where Sitamata underwent Agni-pariksha

4. Looking at Sadguru (Sou) Anjali Gadgil, the elderly manager

felt she was some divine lady and didn’t take entrance charges from her

We were searching for this place along with Sadguru (Sou.) Gadgil kaku and only with Guru’s grace, we reached there. We met Buddhist Bhikkhu and elderly manager of that temple who was also a Buddhist. We asked the Bhikkhu about place where Sitamata had walked through fire, when he asked the elderly Manager to show us the place. The elderly manager looked at Sadguru Gadgil kaku and said, “I feel, you are some divine lady. I am working here for past 50 years but nobody like you has come here till now. I will take entrance charges from others who are with you but will not take any charge from you.” We were quite surprised to hear him say this.

5. Whole Ramayana was depicted on the walls of Buddhist Vihar and the elderly manager narrating

few incidents from Ramayana and giving detailed information on place where Sitamata walked through fire

We happily entered the premises with elderly manager. He first showed us Buddhist Vihar (temple). There were 27 Vigraha (idols) of Buddha in that Vihar. Whole Ramayana was depicted on the walls of Buddhist Vihar. The manager explained to us few incidents from Ramayana in English and gave detailed information on place where Sitamata had walked through fire.

6. Entrance of the temple where Sitamata walked through fire was closed but the elderly

manager said to Sadguru (Sou.) Anjali Gadgil, “You look exactly like Sitamata. You only open the door.”

Key to Sitamata Mandir

The elderly manager took us to Ashwattha tree where Sitamata had walked through fire. There was a small temple near it but its door was locked with a big size old lock. The lock was so big that it was not possible to hold it with two hands. He said, “Mataji, I feel you just look like Sitamata. I have never given key of this temple to anyone but I will give you the key. You open the lock.” All of us were overwhelmed with bhav when he said this. Sadguru Gadgil kaku couldn’t control her tears of bhav as she held the key in her hands.

Incident of Agnipariksha painted on the wall of Sita Mandir (heartbroken people are seen in this picture since Sita is entering fire)

7. Getting smell of sandalwood as Sadguru (Sou.) Gadgil opens the entrance-door; idol of Sitamata

seen standing there, there is picture of Sitamata going thro’ Agnipariksha painted on the background wall

Sadguru (Sou.) Anjali Gadgil opening the door of Sitamata Mandir; an elderly temple manager and last, at the back is Shri. Vinayak Shanbhag
Sadguru (So.) Anjali Gadgil making an earnest prayer to idol of Sitamata shown as entering fire

We solemnly prayed to Sriram form of Shri MahaVishnu and reached the entrance gate of this temple. Sadguru Gadgil kaku opened the lock of Sita Mandir with the key (Ref. Pic. No.1). Every one of us present there, got smell of sandalwood as Sadguru Gadgil kaku opened the door. We spent half an hour in the temple and till then we could get sandalwood smell. There is an idol of Sitamata in standing position and on the wall behind that idol is picture of Sitamata going through Agnipariksha. Sadguru Gadgil kaku and all seekers accompanying her recited Ramaraksha Stotra in that temple and prayed for establishment of Rama-rajya. (Ref. Pic. No. 2)

8. Presence of Ashvattha tree at the place of Agnipariksha undertaken by Sitamata and the old temple

manager informing about people knowing about this place since earlier population of Sri Lanka was Hindu

Sadguru (Sou.) Anjali Gadgil circumambulating Ashvattha tree at the place where Devi Sita underwent Agnipariskha

The elderly temple manager later took us to Ashvattha tree behind the temple. He said, “This Ashvattha tree is very old; but my grandfather used to tell me that there used to be another Ashvattha tree at this place even earlier. My grandfather was Hindu. Later, we adopted Buddhism; however, old people from this place used to say that Sitamata went through Agnipariskha at this place. We therefore, knew it from our childhood days.” Sadguru (Sou.) Gadgil kaku then thrice circumambulated around this Ashvattha tree. (Ref. Pic.3)

9. Gratitude expressed to ‘Paratpar Guru’ Dr. Athavale for getting the opportunity to visit place

where Sitamata underwent Agnipariksha and to pray for establishment of Ramarajya

It is said that wherever there are Rama-Sita, there is Hanumant. We felt that Hanumant came to help us in the form of that elderly person. We had no doubt that to experience such things in Sri Lanka, which is thousands of miles away from Ramnathi (Goa), was possible only due to the grace of ‘Paratpar Guru’ Dr. Athavale. We all are so fortunate to get opportunity to visit such holy place and to pray for establishment of Rama-rajya. All the gratitude offered at the feet of Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavale, will be inadequate.’

Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat