This article takes up a topic that was the subject of a relatively brief article by Camille Bulcke over half a century ago but, unlike that article, concentrates on the original Sanskrit 'Ramayana'. It is clear that the earliest understanding of 'Sita's' parentage within the original 'Ramayana' is that she was born in the normal way as the child of 'Janaka' and his wife. However, at a fairly early point in the development of the story, since it is attested from the second stage of growth onwards, the idea of 'Sita' emerging from the furrow begins to be put forward, quite probably as an ex post facto rationalisation of the etymological meaning of her name. Even more elaborate versions appear only later, starting with the story of 'Vedavati' in the 'Uttara-kanda' (the third stage of growth within the Sanskrit 'Ramayana'), and growing ever more exotic in other texts and other countries as time passes.
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