Illustrated Ramayana – Part 13

Rama gave a long chase but the deer eluded him. Annoyed and angry, Rama shot an arrow from his bow and mortally wounded the deer. As Maricha sank to the earth he cried in Rama’s voice, “Ha! Sita. Ha! Lakshmana.”

Sita heard the cry. She feared that Rama might have come to some harm. She forced Lakshmana to go out into the forest after Rama.

Now was the moment for Ravana. He appeared at the cottage, disguised as a sanyasi (holy man) and asked for alms. Sita looked at him and knew that she was in great danger.

Ravana spoke of his great prowess and wealth and asked Sita to go with him to Lanka. He made many promises and said Rama was unworthy of her. When all his words failed to move Sita, Ravana threw off his disguise, seized Sita by the hair and dragged her to his chariot.

Jatayu, the eagle, was the only help at hand for poor Sita. The bird challenged Ravana and fought with all its might. It killed the chariot mules and the charioteer and smashed the vimana. But it was no match for the rakshasa king.

Ravana cut off the wings of the bird and left it to die.

He then dragged Sita with him and flew towards Lanka.

From above Sita threw, unknown to Ravana, her ornaments tied in a piece of cloth in the hope that Rama and Lakshmana might come upon them some day and guess what had happened to her.