Ravana is considered to be the evil and his death is signified as victory of good over evil. Very few know Ravana not only was a genius who worked with prisms to create his 10 heads but also was/could be the father of Sita. Surprised? The is one of the most significant narratives that have shaped Indian culture and there are many versions of Ramayana. Each showcasing slightly different tales. As the culture changes from one location to the other, some ambiguities are created which leads to change in the mythology. Though this is hard to say which mythology or the history is correct but non of them could be neglected before understanding each one of them.
Same with Sita’s birth, it has been depicted differently in different versions of Ramayana. In Valmiki’s Ramayana, Sita is said to have been discovered by the Mithila king Janaka in a furrow while he was ploughing the drought hit lands of his country, and for that reason is regarded as a daughter of Bhoomi Devi (the goddess earth), she was then adopted and brought up by the Mithila Naresh Janaka and his wife Sunayana.
Sita as Daughter of Ravana-
Now as I wrote earlier that there could be many versions of a story. Likewise there are some versions of Ramayana which mentions Sita as daughter Ravana.
Vedavati(An Avtar of Goddess Lakshmi), a pious brahmin woman wanted to marry Vishnu. She was living in an ashram on a riverbank. Once while Vedavati was meditating on the riverbank, Ravana happened to see her. He was enamored by her beauty and tried to violate her. To escape from Ravana she jumped into a fire pit created for Yajna. Before dying she cursed Ravana that in her next birth she will be responsible for his death.
In her next birth, Vedavati was born as Ravana and Mandodhari’s daughter. Astrologers predicted that the baby will be responsible for her father’s death. To save his life, Ravana threw the little girl child into the sea. The child fell on the lap of sea-goddess Varuni. Goddess Varuni took the girl child to the shores and gave her to Bhoomi Devi. Goddess Bhoomi then gave her to King Janaka while ploughing a field.It won’t be wrong to say Vedavati was reincarnated as Sita.
According to Uttara Purana, Ravana had bad intentions for Manivati the princess of Alkapuri. Manivati pledged to take revenge on Ravana. Later she was reborn as the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari. But the astrologers predicted that the child would destroy his lineage. So, Ravana ordered his servant to kill the child. However the servant did not kill the girl and instead buried her in Mithila where she was found by Janaka.
Jaina Ramayana portraits Ravana’s love towards Sita the other way round
According to Jaina Ramayana, Sita was born as daughter of Ravana. However the astrologers predicted that the first child of Ravana would be responsible for his death. Therefore Ravana ordered his servants to take the child to some distant lands and bury her there. Thus, she was found and adopted by Janaka.
It appears in Jaina Ramayana that Ravana was in love with Sita but only as a father loves his daughter. Though Ravana ordered his servants to bury her in a distant land, he kept a check on Sita’s whereabouts. He was overjoyed to find that Sita was adopted by a Janaka. He also attended Sita’s swayamvara ceremony to see her get married.
He was happy to see that Sita got married to Raghuvamshi Rama. All was well until Ram was sent to exile for 14 years.
He didn’t want his daughter to suffer in forest and wanted to put an end to the misery. So he abducted her and brought her to Lanka.
There are many explanations for a single story. It is upon the readers to consider which theory they like. Ravana was a genius Brahmin, the mightiest worshippper of Lord Shiva who always knew what will be the outcome of his next step. He always knew the fate of provoking war against Rama. Even the evils have a paltry of good in them, the voice deep down under which led to the victory of good over evil.