(Last Updated on : 12/03/2010)
Ravana abducts Sita
from the hermitage in the guise of a yogi and seized the gentle lady by the hair and limbs, and threw her into his golden ass-drawn car and rose up into the sky. In the way, the great vulture Jatayu confronted Ravana and fought tooth and nail with the demon king to rescue Sita but he was fatally wounded by Ravana. Later, when Rama and Lakshmana went searching for Sita, they found Jatayu dying and they got to know everything about the abduction of Sita by Ravana. The abduction of Sita was materialized by Ravana with valuable assistance from Maricha, who was ultimately killed by Rama.
, in the disguise of a golden deer moved Rama and Lakshmana
away from the hermitage and Ravana
assumed the shape of a wandering yogi; carrying a staff and a beggar's bowl and advanced towards Sita
who was waiting all alone for Rama to come back. The forest knew him: the very trees stayed still, the wind dropped; the River Godavari
flowed more slowly for fear. But he came close to Sita, and gazed upon her, and was filled with evil longings; and he addressed her by praising her beauty and asked her to leave that dangerous forest and go with him to dwell in gardens and palaces. But she, thinking him a Brahmin
and her guest, gave him food and water, and answered that she was the wife of Rama, and told the story of their life; and she asked his name and kin. Then he named himself as Ravana and besought her to be his wife, and offered her servants and palaces and gardens. But she grew angry beyond all measure at that, and told Ravana that she was the servant of, Rama, who was a lion amongst men, immovable as any mountain, vast as the mighty ocean, radiant as Indra. She told Ravana that how could he utter such thing in his mouth about her. He compared Ravana to a jackel in front of Rama, who is like a lion, an elephant
from a cat, the ocean from a tiny stream, or gold from iron. While telling this to Ravana, Sita shook with fear, as a plantain-tree is shaken by the wind.
Confrontation of Jatayu with Ravana
But the yellow eyes of Ravana grew red with anger and the peaceful face changed, and he took his own horrid shape, ten-faced and twenty-armed; he seized that gentle thing by the hair and limbs, and sprang her into his golden ass-drawn car, and rose up into the sky. But she cried aloud to Lakshmana and to Rama and addressed to the forest and flowery trees, and to the River Godavari and woodland deities, and deer, and birds, to inform her Lord Rama
stole her away. Then she saw the great vulture Jatayu
on a tree, and prayed him for help; he woke from sleep and, seeing Ravana and Sita, spoke soft words to the rakshasa, advising him to leave his evil course. Jatayu warned him that Rama would surely avenge the wrong with death, and told that he would not let Ravana to take away Sita in front of him. Then Ravana, with angry eyes, sprang upon Jatayu, and there was a deadly battle in the sky; many weapons he showered on Jatayu, while the king of birds wounded Ravana with beak and talons. So many arrows pierced Jatayu that he seemed like a bird half hidden in a nest; but he broke with his feet two bows of Ravana's, and destroyed the sky-faring car, so that Ravana fell down on to the earth, with Sita on his lap. But Jatayu by then was weary, and Ravana sprang up again and fell upon him, and with a dagger cut away his wings, so that he fell down at the point of death. Sita sprang to her friend and clasped him with her arms, but he lay motionless and silent like an extinguished forest fire.
After fatally wounding Jatayu, Ravana seized Sita again and went his way across the sky. Against the body of the rakshasa she shone like golden lightning amidst heavy clouds, or a cloth of gold upon a sable elephant. All nature grieved for her; the lotus-flowers faded, the sun grew dark, the mountains wept in waterfalls and lifted up their summits like arms, the woodland deities were terrified, the young deer shed tears, and every creature lamented. But Lord Brahma
, seeing Sita carried away, rejoiced, since he understood that the time neared for the death of Ravana by Rama. The hermits were glad and sorry at once: sorry for Sita and were also glad for Ravana must die.
Sita's Throwing of Jewels as Token for Rama
Ravana drove through the sky towards Lanka
and Sita saw five great monkeys on a mountain-top, and to them she cast down her jewels and her golden veil, unobserved of Ravana, as a token for Rama. But Ravana left behind the woods and mountains, and crossed the sea, and came to his great city of Lanka and set Sita down in an inner room, all alone and served and guarded well. Spies were sent to keep a watch on Rama. Then Ravana came back and showed to Sita all his treasure and palace and gardens, and prayed her to be his wife, and tried his best to seduce her in every way, but she hid her face and sobbed with wordless tears. And when he urged her again she took a blade of grass and laid it between Ravana and herself, and prophesied his death at the hand of Rama and the ruin of all rakshasas, and utterly rejected him. Then he turned from prayer to give threats to Sita, and, calling horrid rakshasas, gave her to their charge, and ordered them to break her spirit, by violence or by temptation. There sat the gentle Sita in Ashoka Vatika, like a sinking ship, or a doe amongst a pack of dogs.
The abduction of Sita by Ravana in the guise of a yogi is one of the major portions of the Aranya Kanda in Ramayana
. Maricha, one of the rakshasas of Ravana, was asked to take the shape of a golden deer and seduce Rama and Lakshmana and take them away from the hermitage so that Ravana could easily abduct Sita. The plan was well-implemented and Ravana takes Sita away with him from the hermitage for his kingdom in Lanka. In the way Ravana was confronted by Jatayu and the demon fatally injures the vulture and moves on his way crossing the great mountains and valleys towards Lanka. On the way, Sita drops her jewels towards five monkeys who were on the ground, as a token for Rama. Ravana ultimately reached Lanka and kept Sita in the Ashoka Vatika. There he ordered the rakshasas to seduce Sita by force or by temptation so that she could become his queen. Here, in the Panchavati hermitage, Rama became furious after seeing the hermitage empty. The two brothers searched for Sita every where in the forest and in the way met Jatayu who was fatally wounded by Ravana. Jatayu, after telling every thing about Sita's abduction by Ravana, lost his breath and died and Rama and Lakshmana continued in their search for Sita after completing the funeral of Jatayu.