Illustrated Ramayana – Part 14

In Lanka, Ravana made further advances to Sita but Sita would not deign to look at him or hear his words.

Enraged at Sita’s indifference, Ravana threatened to kill her. He said he would give her two months to make up her mind. If she did not yield by then, he would eat her up.

To frighten her into obedience, Ravana put her in a green park, known as Asokavana, with a gang of the most hideous-looking rakshasis to guard her.

Sita, desolate and woe be gone, pined away. She refused to touch food or drink. The raksihasis tormented her in many ways and tried to make her yield to Ravana.

Meanwhile in Dandakarnya Rama, returning exhausted from the deer-hunt, met Lakshmana on the way. Rama rebuked his brother for having left Sita alone in the cottage and feared that she might have come to grief already. Lakshmana explained that he did not want to leave the cottage, but Sita forced him to go out in search of Rama.

What Rama feared had come to pass. Near the cottage, they came across the signs of a big fight and found Jatayu gasping for his last breath. Before dying, Jatayu told the princes how Ravana took Sita forcibly with him, how he gave battle to the rakshasa king and how he came to be mortally wounded.

Rama’s cup of misery was full, friend of his father was slain.

He had lost his beloved wife and a dear friend.