Every Hindu diety
embodies traits that can be found in human life; their religion and its icons both reflect and determine the society in which they live. Some goddesses represent various ideals like culture, nature, voice, learning, demonic power, etc. Sita, probably the most well known and revered Hindu goddess, is known for embodying all of the traditional qualities of the ideal woman and wife.
In a male-dominated culture
, a woman is expected to be docile, obedient, ever-faithful and ever-loyal to her man. Sita displayes all of these virtures in the extremely pertinent, tragic and well-known Ramayana
(Rama and Sita story).
While she is held captive by the evil and lustful king Ravana she spends years pining away for Rama, even though the king's bad spirits deliver her Rama's gold ring
to indicate that he has either died or no longer wants her. When Sita is finally released, Rama will not believe her desperate pleas
that she had no sexual encounters
with her captor. When he exiles her, she obediently leaves and later kills herself. It is only after she is gone that Rama realizes his mistake and is regretful.
Unbelievably, a very central theme and moral to this story is that Sita was the ideal wife
and that Hindu women should strive to be like her.