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
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.