02.gif (22449 bytes)   

Seeta was standing at the entrance of the cottage, her eyes fixed on the forest, eagerly looking for Raama. Raavana who was waiting for Lakshmana's departure, came out of hiding and saw Seeta.

All these days, he had only heard of her beauty. Now, when he actually saw her, the desire planted in his heart by Soorpanakha took strong root and he became more deter mined than ever to possess Seeta. He was dressed as an ascetic and approached her.

Seeing a wandering ascetic clad in saffron clothes, carrying his water-pot and staff, Seeta greeted him respectfully, according to the courtesy due to holy men. He desired hospitality. As in duty bound, she offered him a seat and placed before him some fruits and roots as was the custom.

Seated in front of the fruits and roots offered by Seeta, the ascetic began to praise Seeta's beauty in terms too warm for a genuine ascetic. He dwelt on the charms of her person and asked "Who are you? Why are you here alone in the forest haunted by Raakshasas and wild beasts?"

She was astonished but answered his questions. She hoped that Rama and Lakshmana would return at once and therefor, she kept her eyes fixed on the doorway.

Little by little the visitor revealed that he was Ravana and described his greatness, his power and wealth. After praising himself, he proceeded to run down Raama and finally said: 'Be my wife and live a glorious life with me in Lanka. Come, let us go!"

Sita's purity gave her courage to defy the powerful monster whom she now knew for what he was. Hissing like an angry cobra, she told him: "Base and wicked fellow! Your destruction is near. Leave this aashrama at once if you want to escape with your life."

At this, Ravana became furious since no one had dared to oppose him. He completely threw off all pretence of the disguise as ascetic and assumed his real imperious wickedness. With one hand he caught hold of her hair and with the other lifted her up and carried her to the chariot which waited for him behind the trees, and forcing her into it, rose with her into the air. The Raakshasa held her firmly down and drove on in the aerial car towards Lanka. Seeta addressed the trees and plants down below and begged them to tell Raama of her fate.