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A gist of the epic Ramayana-Part VIII
The abduction of Sita by Ravana!
How things happen as per the supreme will of God is finely depicted in the great epic Ramayana. There are certain subtle points of Truth which reveals itself in the epic. First and foremost is Dasaratha was not having any progeny to continue the dynasty of "Raghu Vamsam", the ancestral King Raghu on whose name, the dynasty is linked. Many noble and virtuous kings have ruled the Kingdom. The glory of "Raghu vamsam" was sung by the great poet Kalidasa and he has penned the stories. In ancient Kingdoms, male progeny is a must to continue the dynasty. Though Dasaratha married three queens, none could bear a child!
Then King Dasaratha consulted the sage Vashista who was the preceptor to the King. After much thought, they have decided to perform a great fire ritual. A great hermit "Rishyasrunga" has to attend the ritual for its fructification. It is an irony that the second queen lost her share of porridge and she took the portions from the elder queen and youngest one. Hence she bore two princes Lakshmana and Satruguna but they were attached to their elder brother Rama and Bharatha respectively. It is the curse pronounced by the parents of Shravana kumar which resulted in the parting of Rama from Dasaratha which led to his death. This is the evidence for the hands of Fate! In fact, the youngest queen Kaikeyi was only a pawn in the hands of fate. When Rama took birth, his intention was slaying of demonic persons like Ravana, Kumbakarna etc. For achieving this grand task, certain events has to materialize. One such event was Kaikeyi's intention to make her son Baratha, the King. If Rama is present, this would not happen. Hence she planned to send Rama to forest for fourteen years. The period of fourteen years has a significance. If some one enjoys the position of King for fourteen years, he is legally eligible to continue as the king. In a way, Rama has willed thus so that he can go to the forest by which his tasks in this world would be accomplished. The episode of golden deer is a prelude to that. Now let us continue the story.
When Maricha was calling the name of Lakshmana and Sita, naturally Sita prodded Lakshmana to go to the help of Rama. She said , "Rama is in great trouble, otherwise he won't call our names. Rush to his side to help him. Lakshmana pleaded, "Oh Mother! Pardon me for not able to carry out your command. Rama specifically told me not to leave you even for a moment. This is the stratagem of demons. No harm will befall Rama. But I must guard you.(The mission set out for the incarnation has to fructify and hence Sita uttered very harsh words-This is the way how fate takes its course) She said, "Are you deaf to the cry of your elder brother? It seems that you have some evil intentions! Lakshmana closed his ears unable to bear the torturous words uttered by Sita.He treated Sita as his own mother. Hence he could not tolerate such piercing arrows from the mouth of Sita(Again it is fate which prompted her to talk in such vile tone). Lakshmana pleaded with her, "Do not leave the place and go out! Saying this he has drawn a border line protecting the cottage from evil demons. He requested Sita not to step out of the line drawn. He prayed the gods to protect Sita and rushed to the side of Rama. Meanwhile, Ravana, the King of Lanka who was a cruel demon tried to usurp Sita from her abode.
Actually, it is he who connived the plot to abduct Sita in the absence of Rama and Lakshmana. Hence he commissioned Maricha to assume the form of golden deer and roam in front of Sita. He knew that Sita would love to fondle it. He has instructed Maricha to run ahead of Rama and flee deep inside the forest. He told Maricha, that Rama will aim an arrow in case if he is not able to catch the deer. He instructed Maricha to call Lakshmana and Sita in the voice of Rama. When Lakshmana too left Sita, Ravana took the form of a recluse and he was demanding alms. It is the duty of house wives to give alms to any mendicant who comes to the door. Sita brought rice and she was about to pour it in the bag of recluse. Ravana knew that Lakshmana has drawn an invisible line which will prevent him to enter. So he accosted Sita to come out and give the rice. Unknowingly or forgetting the instructions of Lakshmana, she stepped out and Ravana seized the opportunity and lifted her and placed her in his Pushpak vimana(an airborne vehicle) and he willed it to move in the direction of Lanka. Sita was pitiably crying. None could come to her rescue. Rama saw Lakshmana approaching him. He told Lakshmana, "How you have left Sita alone? I surmise some mishap at the cottage. Let us rush! To be continued in Part IX.