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LAKSHMANA

Where is Sita?

Mareecha was an expert in disguising. He turned himself into a lovely animal and moved about in front of the Ashram. Sita saw the animal and was attracted by its beauty. She called Rama and Lakshmana to come and see it and as they watched it, asked: "The animal is so beautiful. Please catch it and bring. We will tend it in our Ashram. If you can’t catch it alive, kill it and bring along. Its skin is beautiful and we will stuff it with grass and later take it to our palace at Ayodhya." "The animal too impressed Rama but Lakshmana said: "It may be an illusive animal. We better not catch it." But Rama and Sita did not agree. Rama said: "What could any enemies gain by such illusive tactics? If it is any trick, we better kill it. You stay here. I will go and hunt the animal down," and went in its pursuit.

As the animal went running Rama followed it. They must have gone quite far.

Moved about in front of the Ashram. Sita saw the animal and was attracted by its beauty. She called Rama and Lakshmana to come and see it and as they watched it, asked : "The animal is so beautiful. Please catch it and bring. We will tend it in our Ashram. If you can't catch it alive, kill it and bring along. Its skin is beautiful and we will stuff it with grass and later take it to our palace at Ayodhya." The animal too impressed Rama but Lakshmana said: "It may be an illusive animal. We better not catch it." But Rama and Sita did not agree. Rama said : 'What could any enemies gain by such illusive tactics? If it is any trick, we better kill it. You stay here. I will go and hunt the animal down," and went in its pursuit.

As the animal went running Rama followed it. They must have gone quite far. There was then a cry : "Oh, Lakshmana! Oh, Sita!" and the voice resembled Rama's

Hearing it, Sita feared that her husband may have got into trouble and asked Lakshmana to rush and join Rama. Lakshmana said:

"Can there be any danger to Rama? Will he wail like this? It must be some trick of the Rakshasas. Don't be worried." But his words could not assuage her concern. She was determined to send him to Rama and shouted harshly: 'what is this, Lakshmana? When your brother is in danger, you remain so unconcerned. Do you wish him to succumb to danger? All right, stay. If anything happens to Rama, I will not live. You cannot touch me. I won't touch anybody except Rama even with my foot." True, bad words, which should not be uttered. But fully knowing it is false, she intentionally uttered these words. Lakshmana's calm broke down. Sita had her way. Should he, who had considered Rama as his father and Sita as his mother, be subjected to such condemnation? He said angrily: "I can't remain hereafter hearing such words. As you wish, I will go to find Rama. May the gods protect you," and went off in the direction of the cry they had heard.

Ravana, hiding behind the Ashram, was waiting for this moment. As soon as Lakshmana left, a 'sannyasi' (monk) appeared in front of the Ashram. Saying he is Ravana, he implored Sita to go with him. When she refused and denounced him, he carried her away by force and began to leave that place in his chariot, which is a kind of vimana flying in the sky as chariot. Hearing Sita's cries, Jatayu, who was nearby, came and tried to stop Ravana. But the latter hit Jatayu hard, threw him down, and went away with Sita. Lakshmana had to walk quite a good distance before sighting Rama. On seeing him, Rama said with concern: 'why did you come here leaving Sita alone? It was not an animal but a Rakshasa in disguise. I killed him. When he cried out imitating my voice, I knew you would feel anxious. Still, how could you leave Sita and come over without thinking of the possibility of some harm happening to her?" Narrating what transpired, Lakshmana said: "However much I persuaded her, sister-in-law wouldn't listen and when she uttered such words, I was forced to come." Rama, however, was not happy.

When they returned to the Ashram, Sita was to be found nowhere on the premises. Where did she go? What had happened to her?

Rama was so grief-stricken that he began to wail like a mad man. Lakshmana found it difficult to console him. He was worried as to what should be done.

At the Ashram, the flowers Sita was wearing were strewn here and there. Nearby there were signs of a struggle. A little further away, lay Jatayu. He informed the brothers that Ravana had kidnapped Sita.

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Lakshmana -  Younger Brother Of Sri Rama, personifies brotherly love and self-effacement
About Lakshmana
Introduction
Sage Vishwamitra's Blessings
Rama Obliged To Go In Exile To Forest
"Don't Leave Me And Go"
It Is Bharata- Why Is He Coming?
" I am Ravana's Sister"
You are Here! Where Is Sita?
Sugriva's Friendship
Lakshmana - Heroes' Hero
A Pyre For Sister-In -Law
Ideal Brother
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