Kidnapping of Sita from Panchvati

Lakshaman Rekha
Ravana went on his aerial chariot to Mareech, his maternal uncle, who was living an ascetic life in the forest. He told Mareech to take the form of a golden deer to lure Rama away from the hermitage so that he could kidnap Sita while she was alone at the ashram. Mareech tried to convinceRavana that Rama and Lakshman were not ordinary mortals. But Ravana threatened to kill Mareech if he did not obey him and help him in his plan. Mareech felt helpless and took the form of a golden deer in front of Panchavati ashram of Rama thinking to himself that it would be better to die from the hands of Lord Rama than this demon.
When Sita saw the golden deer, she asked Rama to capture it for her. On her insistence, Rama went to hunt the deer and followed it as it ran away into the forest. Before doing that he made Lakshmana promise him that he would not leave Sita alone in any circumstance. When they were far off and Rama was about to hit it with an arrow, Mareech, in the form of the deer cried out. He shouted in a piteous tone imitating Rama’s voice and said, “O Lakshmana!!” Sita heard the cry of help and persuaded Lakshmana to go to help Rama.
Lakshmana tried to explain to her that even in his dream, Rama couldn’t be threatened by anyone so this must be a trick. But Sita was adamant and she even accused Lakshmana of not going to save Rama on purpose. This forced Lakshmana to break his promise to Rama and he followed Rama in the direction of the cry.
While she was alone in the ashram, Ravana took the disguise of a sadhu and appeared in front of the hut. He called for alms outside the hut. While leaving Sita alone, Lakshmana, drew a line outside the hut and bid Sita not to cross it. Sita tried to give the Sadhu the alms while staying inside the line drawn by Lakshmana. But the Sadhu insisted that he would accept the alms only if she stepped forward. As soon as Sita crossed the ‘Lakshmana Rekha’ (the line drawn by Lakshmana), Ravana was able to lift her and take her away on his aerial chariot. He raced in the southward direction with Sita .
When Rama and Lakshmana returned to the ashram, they found Sita missing. Rama at once suspected that something was amiss and began crying out for her. He ran around shouting “Seete, Seete!” in the forest followed by Lakshmana in his search. As they roamed around the forest, they saw Jatayu who was wounded fatally, while fightingRavana to rescue Sita from his clutches. He told them aboutRavana carrying Sita off in his aerial chariot. Then succumbing to his wounds, the aging Jatayu laid his head on Rama’s lap and died. Rama performed his last rites.
In Lanka, Ravana placed Sita in a garden of Ashoka trees and put demonesses to guard her. He told the guards Trijata and others to scare and threaten Sita into marrying him and then returned to his place.

See also  Lakhmana and Urmila

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Kidnapping of Sita from Panchvati, Ramayana – The Epic Story

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