Valmiki Maharshi came to know directly from the ashramites that a great virtuous woman looking like the veritable Lakshmi was crying and that she needed protection and shelter. He was able to know from his inner vision the identity of the dame in distress. He left the ashram immediately to meet her on the banks of river Ganga. He found Sita crying loudly like an orphan. In contrast, however, it looked as though the grief stricken dame was being bathed blissfully by his effulgence.
Valmiki had also heard from the shishyas that according to their impression, she did not deserve to be in distress. They all followed the Maharshi to the banks of river Ganga and found Sita crying indeed like an orphan.
Valmiki’s thapas and thejas were such as to cast a spell of mental comfort to Sita. In a sweet tone, he said to Sita:-
“Pativrata! Daughter-in-law of Dasharata! You are Sri Rama’s queen and dearest to him. Virtuous as Janaka’s daughter, I extend a hearty welcome to you.”
“I had known from my yoga-dharma-samadhi, about your visit to this place even when you were on the way. I have also known from my inner vision the purpose of your visit.”
“Fortunate one,” continued Valmiki, “In sufficient measure, I know all about you. I am constantly aware of what goes on in all the three worlds.”
Naturally a great sage Valmiki had known from his divine facilities and vision that transpired after Sita’s abduction. Having seen everything he was absolutely sure that Sri Sita was above suspicion and beyond reproach.
He said to her:
“Apaapaaam vedmi Sitae twaam
Visrabdhaa bhava Vydehi
Saampratam mayi vartase” (U.K. Sar 49, Sl. 14)
“From the strength divine of my inner vision attributable to my thapas,” said Valmiki, “I am aware you are blemishless. So you have every reason to remain bold. Right now you can stay in my ashram.”
“Not far from this ashram, there are quite a few women who are dedicated to thapas and they will look after you as their daughter.”
“Vaidehi! This is verily your house. And think you have to come to your own house. Fearlessly, you can stay here. Do not grieve for any reason.”
Sita accepts Valmiki’s invitation
These wonderful and endearing words of Valmiki Maharshi brought Sita to her knees and bowing her head she offered prostration to the lotus feet of the Maharshi. She immediately consented to stay in the ashram. The Maharshi led his entourage to his ashram and Sita followed the Sage with folded hands. When the Rishi-patnis saw Valmiki Maharshi with Vaidehi, they were delighted.
Welcoming the Maharshi, they offered themselves in service. “Please give us directions” they said.
Valmiki Maharshi was not tired of repeating his firm intellectual conviction that Sita’s conduct was irreproachable.
He said to the Rishis-patnis :-
patnee Ramasya dhemataha,
Janakasya sutaa satee
Apaapaa patinaa tyaktaa
paripaalyaa mayaa sadaa.” (Sl; 20, 21)
“Sita, consort of Sri Ram, the intellectual, has come here. She is the daughter-in-law of Dasharata. She is the daughter of Janaka and paragon of virtue. Despite the fact she is free from any sin, as the husband Sri Rama has left her. We have now to protect her.”
Valmiki’s assertion of Sita’s purity is also evident from the following directions he gave to the Rishi-patnis and other ashramites:
“Look after her” said he, “with the friendliest approach. You should treat her in the best possible way not only because that would be in keeping with her dignity as the consort of a king but also because I am telling you myself. All of you must look upon her as being worthy of worship.”
After making over Sita to the Rishi-patnis with the above instructions, Valmiki left for his ashram with his shishyas.