Saturday, 23 December 2017

Seetha's Kidnap and the Associated Sexuality Politics

One of the most significant events in the Ramayana is undoubtedly the kidnap of Seetha, by Ravana. However, what I find is that most people dismiss it as just a villain forcing himself on a helpless female, like what we get to see in various TV shows, like Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana. However, from my reading of Valmiki Ramayana, this is clearly not the case. Instead, Seetha was far from being the helpless victim. She used her sexuality to provoke Ravana into kidnapping her, thereby orchestrating her own kidnap at the hands of Ravana for political reasons - partly the reason why she is my favorite character in the Valmiki Ramayana. If there was a real victim, it was Ravana, who fell for the charms of Seetha and was significantly manipulated by her sexuality and words to kidnap her.

In order to demonstrate this, an indepth analysis of the kidnap sequence of Valmiki Ramayana (Aranya Kanda Sections 42-56) is very necessary. This post will analysis these sections to demonstrate the point I was making in the previous paragraph. This is not to acquit Ravana from the act of kidnapping Seetha, but instead an attempt to look at the bigger picture and all the factors playing a role in Seetha's kidnap by Ravana. In order to demonstrate the aformentioned, I will break this post into 3 parts...
Part I: Seetha sending Rama and Lakshmana off after the Deer and the Subsequent Arrival of Ravana into Seetha's Hermitage (Aranya Kanda Sections 42-46)
Part II: Ravana's Lengthy Debate with Seetha and Seetha's Abduction (Aranya Kanda Sections 47-49)
Part III: Seetha's Abduction, Sex With Ravana, Arrival in Lanka, and her Lengthy Debate with Ravana (Aranya Kanda Sections 50-56)
Most of the verses in this post will be from the Southern Recension of Valmiki Ramayana. However, at times, some verses in the Southern Recension seem inappropriate, given the context. In such situations, I will use the Critical Edition verses, and have noted such verses using "(CE)", right next to the verse number.

That being said, let us begin with Part I, from the point where Mareecha disguises himself as a deer and begins to roam around, in the vicinity of Seetha.

Part I: Seetha sending Rama and Lakshmana off after the Deer and the Subsequent Arrival of Ravana into Seetha's Hermitage (Aranya Kanda Sections 42-46)

After Shurpanakha narrates about Seetha to Ravana, sexual curiosity for Seetha had arisen in Ravana. As a result, he then consults Mareecha and asks, or rather orders, him to help him in his attempt to woo Seetha and take her to his harem. Initially, Mareecha is reluctant, but after seeing that he has no option but to help Ravana, he reluctantly agrees to help Ravana out. He starts off by disguising himself as a deer:
स तु तद्रूपमास्थाय महदद्भुतदर्शनम्।
Maricha assumed the form of a wonderful and magnificent deer with his antlers studded with the most precious gems, his face dappled with luminous spots of white and black.

रक्तपद्मोत्पलमुख इन्द्रनीलोत्पलश्रवाः।
किंचिदभ्युन्नतग्रीव इंद्रनीलदलाधरः।।3.42.16।।

The deer's face was like a pink lotus, his ears were like blue lotus. His neck slightly raised, his lips were like petals of blue lotus.

कुन्देन्दुवज्रसङ्काशमुदरं चास्य भास्वरम्।
मधूकनिभपार्श्वश्च पद्मकिञ्जल्कसन्निभः।।3.42.17।।

His bright belly was shining like kunda flowers or the Moon or diamond. His flanks were like the golden madhuka flowers. comparable to the filaments of lotus. His hooves were like vaidurya, and his legs were slim and willshaped.

इन्द्रायुधसवर्णेन पुच्छेनोर्ध्वं विराजता।।3.42.18।।
मनोहरस्स्निग्धवर्णो रत्नैर्नानाविधैर्वृतः।

His tail stood up looking magnificent like a colourful rainbow. Bedecked with various gems, he shone beautiful.

क्षणेन राक्षसो जातो मृगः परमशोभनः।।3.42.19।।
वनं प्रज्वलयन्रम्यं रामाश्रमपदं च तत्।

Transformed into a most beautiful deer in a moment, Maricha brightened the beautiful forest and Rama's hermitage.
Aranya Kanda Section 42
After disguising himself as a deer, he begins to roam around in the vicinity of Seetha's hermitage and makes attempts to attract Seetha's attention. The purpose of doing this was so that she would express desire to obtain the deer, which Rama would attempt to fulfill by chasing after him. In the meanwhile, Ravana would enter the hermitage and try to woo Seetha and take her to Lanka. With this thought in mind, he began to run around near the hermitage of Seetha, attempting to obtain her attention:
मनोहरं दर्शनीयं रूपं कृत्वा स राक्षसः।।3.42.20।।
प्रलोभनार्थं वैदेह्या नानाधातुविचित्रितम्।
विचरन्गच्छते तस्माच्छाद्वलानि समन्ततः।।3.42.21।।

Transfigured into a beautiful, magnificent form painted with the colours of different minerals in order to tempt Sita, Maricha roamed all around the grassland.

रूप्यैर्बिन्दुशतैश्चित्रो भूत्वा स प्रियदर्शनः।
विटपीनां किसलयान्भङ्त्क्वाऽदन्विचचार ह।।3.42.22।।

That deer with hundreds of silver spots on the body appeared enchanting and pleasing to the eyes while he wandered about nibbling the tender leaves of trees.

कदलीगृहकं गत्वा कर्णिकारानितस्ततः।
समाश्रयन्मन्दगतिस्सीतासन्दर्शनं तथा।।3.42.23।।

The deer went wandering about the banana groves surrounding Rama's hermitage and moved slowly towards the karnikara trees in order to catch the attention of Sita.

राजीवचित्रपृष्ठस्स विरराज महामृगः।
रामाश्रमपदाभ्याशे विचचार यथासुखम्।।3.42.24।।

That magnificent deer glittered with the colour of blue lotus on its back, wandered merrily in the vicinity of Rama's hermitage.

पुनर्गत्वा निवृत्तश्च विचचार मृगोत्तमः।
गत्वा मुहूर्तं त्वरया पुनः प्रतिनिवर्तते।।3.42.25।।

The wonderful deer moved to and fro, now disappearing and now swiftly returning.
Aranya Kanda Section 42 
Soon enough, Seetha, who is out plucking flowers from Karnika, Ashoka, and Mango trees spots the deer, and is struck with astonishment (विस्मयं), and joy/love (स्नेहं) for it:
तस्मिन्नेव ततः काले वैदेही शुभलोचना।।3.42.30।।
कुसुमावचयव्यग्रा पादपानभ्यवर्तत।

In the mean time Sita who, with her auspicious looks, was busy plucking flowers drew near the trees.

कर्णिकारानशोकांश्च चूतांश्च मदिरेक्षणा।।3.42.31।।
कुसुमान्यवचिन्वन्ती चचार रुचिरानना।

With her inebriating glances and beautiful face, Sita, went about plucking flowers from karnikara, ashoka and mango trees.

अनर्हाऽरण्यवासस्य सा तं रत्नमयं मृगम्।।3.42.32।।
मुक्तामणि विचित्राङ्गं ददर्श परमाङ्गना।

The great lady Sita, unworthy of dwelling in the forest, saw the wonderful deer decked with gems, with spots of pearls all over the body.

सा तं रुचिरदन्तोष्ठी रूप्यधातुतनूरुहम्।।3.42.33।।
विस्मयोत्फुल्लनयना सस्नेहं समुदैक्षत।

A lady with beautiful teeth and lips, Sita saw the deer having silver and mineral coloured hair on the body. She gazed at the animal with wide-eyed wonder and joy and love.
स च तां रामदयितां पश्यन्मायामयो मृगः।।3.42.34।।
विचचार पुनश्चित्रं दीपयन्निव तद्वनम्।

That illusory deer saw Rama's wife and moved around wonderfully as if illuminating the forest with his radiance.

अदृष्टपूर्वं तं दृष्ट्वा नानारत्नमयं मृगम्।।3.42.35।।
विस्मयं परमं सीता जगाम जनकात्मजा।

Seeing such an unprecedented deer decorated with different gems, Sita, daughter of Janaka, stood amazed.
Aranya Kanda Section 42 
The text above makes it very clear that the upon seeing the deer, Seetha was instantly attracted to it, and was astonished by its wonderful form. However, another point to take note of is the emphasis of Seetha's beauty in these verses, by Valmiki, an observer of the incident. Men tend to be more visual-centric when it comes to (sexual) attraction. That is to say, when attracted to a female, they often tend to describe the parts of the female body that they are attracted to (in detail), either in their mind or even out loud. This is evident through the speech of Jayadratha and Kichaka when they first see Draupadi. They both, who were kama-struck describe the female body parts of Draupadi (i.e. breasts, hips, waist, smile, etc...) in much detail. As I will show later on in this post, Ravana does the same when he sees Seetha, upon his attraction to her body. Valmiki shows the same kama-type attraction to Seetha's beauty, which can be seen in the way he addresses Seetha as having "auspicious looks" (शुभलोचना) in verse 3.42.30, and then goes on to say that she has a "beautiful face" (रुचिरानना) in verse 3.42.31. The fact that much emphasis is placed by the viewer (Valmiki) on Seetha's beauty, and particular her facial features, suggests a possibility of a proactive role on her part, in using her beauty to attract the viewer (in this case, Valmiki et al...) towards herself. For example, it is possible for a female to employ various facial expressions/glances to attract men towards her. This possibility is supported by the fact that the observer of the entire incident, Valmiki, senses from Seetha's body language that she was employing "inebriating glances" (मदिरेक्षणा) at the moment (verse 3.42.31), with smiles large enough that her teeth and lips were completely visible (note how Valmiki can see them in enough detail in verse 3.42.33 to describe them as "beautiful"). The use of the phrase "inebriating glances" (which refers glances of the self that intoxicate the observer with attraction/kama for the self), suggests Seetha's proactive role in using her body language, in this case her eyes, to attract the observer and madden him with lust (kama) for her. This is corroborated by the huge smile that works to seduce Valmiki enough that he describes her teeth and lips as being beautiful.

Now that it has been established that Seetha was using her beauty to attract the viewer towards her, the main question is why...

Why was Seetha giving a large smile at whom would have just been a deer, according to any layman observer of the incident? Why was she using inebriating glances (that would generally be used to attract a human male viewer towards her body) towards what she thought was a deer? Or perhaps does this suggest that she saw through the deceit of Mareecha, realized he was a human, and was hence trying to seduce him, via her inebriating glances and smile? Or perhaps, did she realize the Ravana-Mareecha alliance, and was her body language directed at Ravana instead? Keep all these questions in mind while reading this post, as I will definitely refer back to them in this post...

After Seetha observed the deer, she then called out to Rama and Lakshmana, both of whom were equipped with weapons at the moment:
सा तं सम्प्रेक्ष्य सुश्रोणी कुसुमान्यपचिन्वती।
हेमराजतवर्णाभ्यां पार्श्वाभ्यामुपशोभितम्।।3.43.1।।
प्रहृष्टा चानवद्याङ्गी मृष्टहाटकवर्णिनी।
भर्तारमपि चक्रन्द लक्ष्मणं चापि सायुधम्।।3.43.2।
Sita while plucking flowers Sita who had large hips, buttocks, loin, flawless beautiful limbs and pure golden complexion felt delighted to see the deer with gold and silver colours on both sides of his body. She called out to Rama and Lakshmana who were equipped with arms.

तयाऽऽहूतौ नरव्याघ्रौ वैदेह्या रामलक्ष्मणौ।
वीक्षमाणौ तु तौ देशं तदा ददृशतुर्मृगम्।।3.43.3।।

When Sita called Rama and Lakshmana, the two tigers among men, they looked around and saw the deer.
Aranya Kanda Section 43 
Image result for uttariya dressWhat I would like to highlight in the above verses is the manner in which Valmiki addresses Seetha. We continue to see Valmiki's attraction to Seetha in the manner he addresses her as one with "flawless limbs" (अनवद्याङ्गी) and a "pure gold complexion" (मृष्टहाटकवर्णिनी). Things get interesting when he addresses Seetha as "सुश्रोणी", meaning "one with large hips, buttocks and loin". The use of the word "सुश्रोणी" suggests not only that Valmiki was attracted to Seetha, but also that he was able to see her hips, buttocks, and loins in excessive detail to describe them as being large. This would not be possible with the normal clothing style worn by commoners in ancient India. In Mahabharatha and Ramayana times, the commoner women would wear a single garment that covers up her lower body. This cloth would be long enough that it could be thrown over the shoulder, thereby forming the uttariya (उत्तरीय). No separate upper cloth was worn by the women. A depiction of a female wearing such a cloth is shown in the image on the right.

That being said, although the hips of a female might be visible to an observer, the loin and buttocks would be completely covered by the cloth. The fact that Valmiki is able to describe the hips and loin of Seetha suggests that she had loosened her garment enough to expose some of those body parts, or perhaps revealed enough skin in those body parts that prompted the observer to fantasize about the beauty of the naked version of those body parts - an obvious act of seduction on the part of Seetha.

That brings us back to the questions we had earlier, and strengthens the possibility that she had realized that the deer was actually a human, or perhaps that it was Ravana who was "behind the scenes". When Shurpanakha approached Rama in the presence of Seetha, she gave her introduction to Rama, and said that she was the brother of the mighty and valorous Ravana, the son of Vishrava (रावणो नाम मे भ्राता यदि ते श्रोत्रम् आगतः/वीरो विश्रवसः पुत्रो यदि ते श्रोत्रम् आगतः | 3.17.21b-22a). Hence, Seetha did know of Ravana from even before Ravana's arrival to her hermitage. I will get back to this later on in this post...

Coming back to the main narrative... Once Seetha calls Rama and Lakshmana, they see the deer and Lakshmana instantly realizes that this deer is actually Mareecha in disguise. He then tries to convince Rama that this is the case:
शङ्कमानस्तु तं दृष्ट्वा लक्ष्मणो राममब्रवीत्।
तमेवैनमहं मन्ये मारीचं राक्षसं मृगम्।।3.43.4।

Seeing the deer, Lakshmana suspected him to be Maricha and said this to Rama.

चरन्तोमृगयां हृष्टाः पापेनोपाधिना वने।
अनेन निहता राजन् राजानः कामरूपिणा।।3.43.5।।

Many kings, while on hunting expedition in the forest, have been deceitfully killed by malicious Maricha, who could assume any form at his free will.

अस्य मायाविदो मायामृगरूपमिदं कृतम्।
भानुमत्पुरुषव्याघ्र गन्धर्वपुरसन्निभम्।।3.43.6।।

O tiger among men, this deceitful demon (Maricha) has been transformed into the illusory form of a radiant deer which does not exist.

मृगो ह्येवंविधो रत्नविचित्रो नास्ति राघव।
जगत्यां जगतीनाथ मायैषा हि न संशयः।।3.43.7।।

O Rama, lord of the world nowhere on earth does exist this kind of wonderful deer sparkling with gems. That it is a mere trick, an illusion there is no doubt.
Aranya Kanda Section 43 
While Lakshmana was saying this, Seetha abruptly interrupts him, gives Rama a toothy-smile, and then convinces him to bring the deer for her. Valmiki attributes this behavior of Seetha to cozenage (meaning deceit/trickery) that occupied her mind at the moment:
एवं ब्रुवाणं काकुत्स्थं प्रतिवार्य शुचिस्मिता।
उवाच सीता संहृष्टा चद्मना हृतचेतना।।3.43.8।। (CE verse)

While Lakshmana of Kakutsthas is speaking thus, she who is self-satisfied as her heart is conjured by cozenage, such a Seetha of a toothy smile interrupted him and spoke.

आर्यपुत्राभिरामोऽसौ मृगो हरति मे मनः।
आनयैनं महाबाहो क्रीडार्थं नो भविष्यति।।3.43.9।।

O prince, O long armed one, this deer has captivated my mind. Fetch him for me. This will be our playmate.
Aranya Kanda Section 43 
From this passage, we get to see how Seetha uses her sexuality to manipulate Rama into going after the deer. She gave Rama a wide smile, such that her teeth were exposed. The use of the adjective  शुचि to describe this smile gives it a sexual connotation; after all, one of the many meanings of शुचि is "sexual love". Hence, Seetha was using this wide, seductive smile into manipulating Rama to go after the deer. All this can be understood from her earlier behavior. She fell for the beauty of the deer and wanted it at all costs, even if that meant manipulating her husband to get it for her.

However, the issue arises when Valmiki says that Seetha's heart was seized by deceit (चद्मना हृतचेतना।) when she asked Rama to go after the deer, and gave him the aforementioned, seductive smile. Why was she employing deceit (चद्मना) at that point? What was the purpose? Had she just wanted the deer and was asking Rama to go into the forest to grab it for her, why would Valmiki mention the deceit she was using at the time? Where was the deceit in such a situation? Valmiki's speech suggests that Seetha had reasons outside of the beauty of the deer, for sending Rama after the deer. Considering her previous behavior of using her seductive smile and inebriating glances, along with the beauty of her hips/buttocks/loins to attract the onlooker towards her, there are possibly two logical reasons for this deceit:
1. Seetha realized that the deer was actually Mareecha, even before Lakshmana spoke, and therefore, her earlier attempt at seduction was directed at Mareecha.
2. Seetha did not realize that the deer was Mareecha. All she thought of was that this deer was sent by Ravana and therefore, her attempt at seduction was directed at Ravana, whom she thought was in the vicinity.
In both cases, it was Seetha trying to seduce a man so that it would provoke him to build up his courage and approach her and interact with her. That being said, from my reading of Valmiki Ramayana, the latter option (number 2) seems more plausible. The reason why the first option does not seem plausible is because whenever Seetha refers to the ploy that Ravana employed to kidnap her, she says that it was just a deer that Ravana used; she does not mention the name Mareecha:
त्वयैव नूनं दुष्टात्मन् भीरुणा हर्तुमिच्छता।ममापवाहितो भर्ता मृगरूपेण मायया।।3.53.4।।
O wicked fellow, with an intention to abduct me you enticed my husband to a distance deceitfully in the form of a deer.
Aranya Kanda Section 53  
नूनं स कालो मृगरूपधारी मामल्पभाग्यां लुलुभे तदानीम्।यत्रार्यपुत्रं विससर्ज मूढा रामानुजं लक्ष्मणपूर्वजं च।।5.28.10।।
"Verily, it is the spirit of the time that assumed the form of deer and tempted this unfortunate soul. It was foolish of me to send away, the sons of a noble king, Lakshmana and his elder brother. 
Sundara Kanda Section 28 
The fact that Seetha does not blame Mareecha for the act or even mention him as the true identity of the deer suggests that in her eyes, the deer was, in all likeliness, an animal and not a human. This eliminates option number 1. There is no reason for us to believe that Seetha would attempt to seduce an animal; it just serves no purpose for her to do that. Moving on to option number 2...Considering the above verses, it seems like Seetha was aware of Ravana's plan of using the deer to drag Rama away from the hut. However, since Ravana gives no hint, in his conversation/interaction with Seetha, that the deer was sent by him, Seetha could not have learned about this plan of Ravana from their conversation/interaction. Instead, it suggests that this plan ought to have been known by Seetha even before Ravana approached her hermitage. With that information in mind, it is fair to conclude that Seetha knew of Ravana's plan beforehand, and attempted to use her beauty and art of seducing males (in Aranaya Kanda Sections 42-43) to provoke Ravana into approaching her as soon as possible.

This information serves as the basis for understanding Seetha's role in orchestrating her own kidnap. It also explains why Seetha interrupted Lakshmana abruptly when he tried to oppose her well thought out plan by asking Rama to not be fascinated by the deer and stay back in the hermitage instead of trying to capture it. Her interruption was in a rude manner, rather than in the polite manner one would usually expect from a sister-in-law. This rude interruption is understandable with the updated information, considering that Lakshmana was behaving like a thorn in Seetha's plan of calling Ravana to her hermitage. Seetha would later continue to behave rudely, albeit in a more intense manner, upon Lakshmana's continuous refusal to leave the hermitage and follow Rama, who was already in the pursuit of the deer. However, I will expand on this in the following paragraphs...

Returning to the direct narrative...

After Seetha interrupts Lakshmana, she gives reasons to Rama for why he should continue to go after the deer. She said that it would be best if the deer is caught alive, but even if killed, its skin could be used for clothing or as a cloth put on a seat, that one can sit on:
इहाश्रमपदेऽस्माकं बहवः पुण्यदर्शनाः।
मृगाश्चरन्ति सहिताश्चमरास्सृमरास्तथा।।3.43.10।।

Here at the hermitage there are many lovely deer, yaks and antelopes wandering in herds.

ऋक्षाः पृषतसङ्घाश्च वानराः किन्नरास्तथा।
विचरन्ति महाबाहो रुपश्रेष्ठा मनोहराः।।3.43.11।।

O longarmed one, most beautiful animals like bears, antelopes and groups of monkeys and kinneras are wandering here.

न चास्य सदृशो राजन्दृष्टपूर्वो मृगो मया।
तेजसा क्षमया दीप्त्या यथाऽयं मृगसत्तमः।।3.43.12।।

O prince this kind of beautiful, tame and glittering deer I have never seen before.

नानावर्णविचित्राङ्गो रत्नबिन्दुसमाचितः।
द्योतयन्वनमव्यग्रं शोभते शशिसन्निभः।।3.43.13।।

Its body glittering with different colours, speckled with gems of different kinds, is like the Moon shining and illuminating the forest.

अहो रूपमहो लक्ष्मीस्स्वरसम्पच्च शोभना।
मृगोऽद्भुतो विचित्राङ्गो हृदयं हरतीव मे।।3.43.14।।

Oh what a beauty, Oh what rich call what delightful, wonderful, graceful limbs This deer captivates my heart.

यदि ग्रहणमभ्येति जीवन्नेव मृगस्तव।
आश्चर्यभूतं भवति विस्मयं जनयिष्यति।।3.43.15।।

If this deer can be caught alive, it will be thrilling, it will work wonders.

समाप्तवनवासानां राज्यस्थानां च नः पुनः।
अन्तःपुरविभूषार्थो मृग एष भविष्यति।।3.43.16।।

After the completion of exile in the forest, when we are back in the kingdom, this deer will add beauty to the harem.

भरतस्यार्यपुत्रस्य श्वश्रूणां मम च प्रभो।
मृगरूपमिदं व्यक्तं विस्मयं जनयिष्यति।।3.43.17।।

O king this deer will create amazement in Bharata, in mothersinlaw, in you and in me as well.

जीवन्न यदि तेऽभ्येति ग्रहणं मृगसत्तमः।
अजिनं नरशार्दूल रुचिरं मे भविष्यति।।3.43.18।।

O best among men, if this great deer cannot be captured alive, I will wear its beautiful skin.

निहतस्यास्य सत्त्वस्य जाम्बूनदमयत्वचि।
शष्पबृस्यां विनीतायामिच्छाम्यहमुपासितुम्।।3.43.19।।

If this animal is killed and its golden skin is spread on a tender grass cushion, there will I like to sit.

कामवृत्तमिदं रौद्रं स्त्रीणामसदृशं मतम्।
वपुषा त्वस्य सत्त्वस्य विस्मयो जनितो मम।।3.43.20।।

This kind of request arising out of a woman's desire may sound terrible, still then the beauty of this animal's skin has produced in me a wonder.
Aranya Kanda Section 43
In the meanwhile, Rama sees the deer, and is himself quite fascinated by the deer. He then tries to convince Lakshmana why he should go after the deer. He reasons that if the deer is a real deer, there is nothing wrong in chasing it. Even if it is Mareecha, he reasons that it is the duty of a Kshatriya to eliminate the Rakshasa:
तेन काञ्चनवर्णेन मणिप्रवरशृङ्गिणा।
तरुणादित्यवर्णेन नक्षत्रपथवर्चसा।।3.43.21।।
बभूव राघवस्यापि मनो विस्मयमागतम्।

By his golden colour resembling the rising Sun, by his horns with excellent gems shining like the milkyway, even Rama's mind was wonderstruck.

एवं सीतावचः श्रुत्वा तं दृष्ट्वा मृगमद्भुतम्।।3.43.22।।
लोभितस्तेन रूपेण सीतया च प्रचोदितः।
उवाच राघवो हृष्टो भ्रातरं लक्ष्मणं वचः।।3.43.23।।

On hearing Sita's words and seeing the wonderful deer, Rama was tempted by its appearance.Prompted by Sita,he joyfully said this to Lakshmana:

पश्य लक्ष्मण वैदेह्याः स्पृहां मृगगतामिमाम्।
रूपश्रेष्ठतया ह्येष मृगोऽद्य न भविष्यति।।3.43.24।।
न वने नन्दनोद्धेशे न चैत्ररथसंश्रये।
कुतःपृथिव्यां सौमित्रे योऽस्य कश्चित्समो मृगः।।3.43.25।।

O Lakshmana, see the eagerness of Sita. Such a deer of exceptional beauty will not be found in this forest. There is no equal to this animal even in the Nandan garden of Indra, or the Chaitraratha, the garden of Kubera. Where can such an animal be found on earth?

प्रतिलोमानुलोमाश्च रुचिरा रोमराजयः।
शोभन्ते मृगमाश्रित्य चित्राः कनकबिन्दवः।।3.43.26।।

The stretches of hair on the deer's body bent both in the natural order and in the opposite direction look beautiful. The spots of gold on the skin are wonderful.

पश्यास्य जृम्भमाणस्य दीप्तामग्निशिखोपमाम्।
जिह्वां मुखान्निस्सरन्तीं मेघादिव शतह्रदाम्।।3.43.27।।

Look at his tongue stretched out of the mouth while yawning. It is glowing like flaming fire. It is like the lightning sparkling in the cloud.

कस्य नामाभिरूप्योऽसौ न मनो लोभयेन्मृगः।।3.43.28।।

His face is a drinking pot of emerald, the belly is a conch or a pearl. Whose mind will not be attracted by this indescribable beauty ?

कस्य रूपमिदं दृष्ट्वा जाम्बूनद मयप्रभम्।
नानारत्नमयं दिव्यं न मनो विस्मयं व्रजेत्।।3.43.29।।

Whose mind will not be filled with wonder on seeing this divine beauty glittering like lustrous gold and studded with a variety of gems ?

मांसहेतोरपि मृगान्विनोदार्थं च धन्वनः।
घ्नन्ति लक्ष्मण राजानो मृगयायां महावने।।3.43.30।।

O Lakshmana kings who wield bows in hunting expeditions kill deer in the forest for sport as well as for venison.

धनानि व्यवसायेन विचीयन्ते महावने।
धातवो विविधाश्चापि मणिरत्नसुवर्णिनः।।3.43.31।।

From huge forests a variety of mineral wealth consisting of gems, stones and gold are collected with great effort.

तत्सारमखिलं नृ़णां धनं निचयवर्धनम्।
मनसा चिन्तितं सर्वं यथा शुक्रस्य लक्ष्मण।।3.43.32।।

O Lakshmana the essence of forest wealth is mineral wealth, which helps the growth of the treasury. It is conceived mentally as in the case of Venus.

अर्थी येनार्थकृत्येन संव्रजत्यविचारयन्।
तमर्थमर्थशास्त्रज्ञाः प्राहुरर्थ्याश्च लक्ष्मण।।3.43.33।।

A materialist moves about thoughtlessly for making money. Economists call it material wealth.

एतस्य मृगरत्नस्य परार्ध्ये काञ्चनत्वचि।
उपवेक्ष्यति वैदेही मया सह सुमध्यमा।।3.43.34।।

This slender-waisted Vaidehi will be sitting on that invaluable golden skin of that gem of a deer along with me.

न कादली न प्रियकी न प्रवेणी न चाविकी।
भवेदेतस्य सदृशी स्पर्शनेनेति मे मतिः।।3.43.35।।

The skins of various types of deer like Priyaki, Kadali or goats or sheep cannot be compared in softness to the skin of this deer.

एष चैव मृगश्श्रीमान् यश्च दिव्यो नभश्चरः।
उभावेतौ मृगौ दिव्यौ तारामृगमहीमृगौ।।3.43.36।।

This majestic deer and the deer flying in heaven (the deer's figure seen in the Moon called Mrgasira) both the deer of the star in the sky and the deer of the earth are divine.

यदि वाऽयं तथा यन्मां भवेद्वदसि लक्ष्मण।
मायैषा राक्षसस्येति कर्तव्योस्य वधो मया।।3.43.37।।

Lakshmana, as you say, if it is the illusion of a demon, even then it should be killed by me.

एतेन हि नृशंसेन मारीचेनाकृतात्मना।
वने विचरता पूर्वं हिंसिता मुनिपुङ्गवाः।।3.43.38।।

The great sages were tortured and killed earlier by this cruel, evilminded Maricha while wandering in the forest.

उत्थाय बहवो येन मृगयायां जनाधिपाः।
निहताः परमेष्वासास्तस्माद्वध्यस्त्वयं मृगः।।3.43.39।।

Many kings who were great archers who set out on hunting expedition were killed by him. Therefore, this animal deserves to be killed.

पुरस्तादिह वातापिः परिभूय तपस्विनः।
उदरस्थो द्विजान्हन्तिस्वगर्भोऽश्वतरीमिव।।3.43.40।।

Earlier in this forest, Vatapi used to humiliate the ascetic brahmins and to kill them by entering into their stomach like a womb killing the female mule.

स कदाचिच्चिराल्लोभादाससाद महामुनिम्।
अगस्त्यं तेजसा युक्तं भक्षस्तस्य बभूव ह।।3.43.41।।

That Vatapi after a long time, once greedily entered into the stomach of the great lustrous sage Agastya and became his food.

समुत्थाने व तद्रूपं कर्तुकामं समीक्ष्य तम्।
उत्स्मयित्वा तु भगवान्वातापिमिदमब्रवीत्।।3.43.42।।

When the venerable sage Agastya got up (after eating), he observed Vatapi wishing to turn into his real form. So smiling at him, he said:

त्वयाऽविगण्य वातापे परिभूतास्स्वतेजसा।
जीवलोके द्विजश्रेष्ठास्तस्मादसि जरां गतः।।3.43.43।।

'O Vatapi you killed the best of brahmins living in this world, disregarding them because of your power. Hence you were digested by me.'

तदेवं न भवेद्रक्षोवातापिरिव लक्ष्मण।
मद्विधं योऽतिमन्येत धर्मनित्यं जितेन्द्रियम्।।3.43.44।।
भवेद्धतोऽयं वातापिरगस्त्येनेव मां गतः।

O Lakshmana just like Vatapi, this demon will not live. Whoever violates a person of my kind who is ever righteous and selfcontrolled will be killed
Aranya Kanda Section 43
Upon giving these reasons, Rama foreshadows the kidnap of Seetha by showing apprehensions that her safety was at risk, and that she was in need of protection. He therefore asks Lakshmana to remain vigilant, along with Jatayu, and then proceeds to catch the deer:
इह त्वं भव सन्नद्दो यन्त्रितो रक्ष मैथिलीम्।।3.43.45।।
अस्यामायत्तमस्माकं यत्कृत्यं रघुनन्दन।

O Lakshmana, delight of the Raghu dynasty, be very alert and restrained and protect Sita. Whatever duty we have to perform depends on her protection.

अहमेनं वधिष्यामि ग्रहीष्याम्यपि वा मृगम्।।3.43.46।।
यावद्गच्छामि सौमित्रे मृगमानयितुं द्रुतम्।

O Lakshmana I will go quickly and either kill the deer or catch it. Now let me go.

पश्य लक्ष्मण वैदेहीं मृगत्वचि गतस्पृहाम्।।3.43.47।।
त्वचा प्रधानया ह्येष मृगोऽद्य न भविष्यति।

See, how Vaidehi ardently longs for the skin of this deer I will not let the animal live, O Lakshmana
अप्रमत्तेन ते भाव्यमाश्रमस्थेन सीतया।।3.43.48।।
यावत्पृषतमेकेन सायकेन निहन्म्यहम्।
हत्वैतच्चर्म चादाय शीघ्रमेष्यामि लक्ष्मण।।3.43.49।।

Keep vigil over Sita at the hermitage, O Lakshmana I will certainly kill the speckled antelope with a single arrow, get his skin and come back quickly.

प्रदक्षिणेनातिबलेन पक्षिणा जटायुषा बुद्धिमता च लक्ष्मण।
भवाप्रमत्तः परिगृह्य मैथिलीं प्रतिक्षणं सर्वत एव शङ्कितः।।3.43.50।।

O Lakshmana, be vigilant in guarding Sita, suspecting danger every moment from all directions. Take the help of Jatayu, the mighty and wise bird who will be on his rounds.
Aranya Kanda Section 43
These verses reveal a great deal about Rama's inner psychology at the time of Seetha's kidnap. However, I will keep the analysis of these verses to a later post, when I will discuss Rama's role in Seetha's kidnap, the dynamics of their husband-wife relationship and the insecurity in Rama towards his wife that led him to "test" his wife by putting her in a situation with another man (in isolation) and seeing her reaction...

Anyways... After saying these verses, Rama heads off towards the deer. Although Rama had told Lakshmana that he would kill it with a single arrow, he delayed the mission, and continued to chase the deer, deep into the forest, till he was exhausted. Upon exhaustion, Rama took an arrow of Brahma and shot down the deer with the arrow. As the deer was dying, it cast away the body of a deer and adopted his actual Rakshasa form. The Rakshasa then cried "Alas Sita! Alas Lakshmana!" in the voice of Rama so that Seetha would hear this and be provoked to send Lakshmana after Rama, thereby leaving Seetha in the hermitage all alone for Ravana to easily to easily approach her:
स प्राप्तकालमाज्ञाय चकार च तत स्वनम्।
सदृशं राघवस्येह हा सीते लक्ष्मणेति च।।3.44.19।।

Then Maricha realised that the appropriate time had come. In a voice similar to Rama's, he shouted loudly 'Alas Sita, Alas Lakshmana '
Aranya Kanda Section 44
And that is exactly what happened...

After Seetha heard Rama's voice, she used the opportunity to urge Lakshmana to leave the hut, go into the forest, and protect Rama:
आर्तस्वरं तु तं भर्तुर्विज्ञाय सदृशं वने।
उवाच लक्ष्मणं सीता गच्छ जीनीहि राघवम्।।3.45.1।।

On hearing the voice in distress and recognising that it was similar to her husband's voice, Sita said to Lakshmana, 'Go and find out Rama's whereabouts'.

न हि मे हृदयं स्थाने जीवितं वाऽवतिष्ठति।
क्रोशतः परमार्तस्य श्रुतश्शब्दो मया भृशम्।।3.45.2।।
आक्रन्दमानं तु वने भ्रातरं त्रातुमर्हसि।

I clearly heard Rama calling out in great distress. Indeed, my heart as well as my life is not in its place (restless). You ought to go and protect your brother who is crying in pain in the forest.

तं क्षिप्रमभिधाव त्वं भ्रातरं शरणैषिणम्।।3.45.3।।
रक्षसां वशमापन्नं सिंहानामिव गोवृषम्।

Like a bull caught by lions, your brother is seeking help caught by demons. You should run at once to your brother.
Aranya Kanda Section 45
Now why do I say she used the "opportunity" and that she herself was not convinced that Rama was injured or dead? 

Well, to understand my rationale for saying this, we need to look at the behavior of Seetha after Ravana entered her hermitage. As you will see later on in this post, after Ravana enters the hermitage of Seetha, she showed no worry regarding whether or not her husband Rama was alive. On the contrary, when Ravana proposed to her in marriage, she verbally attacked him, by saying that "O luckless Ravana you want the beloved wife of Rama.You will, for sure, see golden trees. (which those close to death do).You are seeking to pull the teeth from the mouth of a hungry and powerful lion who is considered the enemy of the deer(which you are). You intend to pull the fang of a poisonous snake. You are trying to carry the greatest of mountains, the Mandara, with one hand. You are wishing to go safe after drinking deadly poison (produced from the churning of the ocean). You wish to violate the loving wife of Rama. You are rubbing your eyes with a needle and licking the razor with your tongue... The difference between you and Rama is the difference between gold and lead, sandal and slime, an elephant and a cat of the forest. The difference between you and Dasaratha's son is the difference between a crow and Garuda, a watercrane and a peacock, a vulture and a swan in the forest. So long Rama, equal in prowess to the thousandeyed Indra stands with bow and arrows in hand, I will not, although abducted, wither away like a diamond gulped by an insect (fly)".

Now, is this the behavior of a wife who thinks her husband is dead? Where is the worry for whether her husband is alive or not? How can a wife who thinks her husband is dead, boast in such a manner about her husband's prowess? Does it seem logical? Furthermore, if Seetha thought that Rama was really dead, why would she unabashedly say "So long Rama, equal in prowess to the thousandeyed Indra stands with bow and arrows in hand..."? This speech of Seetha only makes sense if she was aware that Rama's life was not at risk, and that his health was perfectly fine...

Furthermore, when kidnapped by Ravana, Seetha called out to both Rama and Lakshmana to inform them that she was kidnapped. She also asked Jatayu to inform Rama about her kidnap. Had she actually thought her husband had died, those words would not have came out of her mouth. She would not have appealed to a dead (or fatally injured) man for help, right? In addition, as I mentioned earlier in this post, Seetha never really believed that the deer was actually Mareecha. She had always maintained that it was just an ordinary deer. In that case, there is no reason for her to believe that Rama was killed or fatally injured by the deer (who was in reality the Rakshasa Mareecha). Was Seetha to believe that Rama, the man who never returned empty handed when he went to wage war against cities, was killed by a mere deer (2.2.36)?

How logical is that? Does it make much sense? Surely, considering her boasts of Rama's prowess to Ravana, she had a much higher opinion of her husband's prowess. For all these reasons, Seetha likely knew that her husband was safe and not injured. Therefore, taking this fact into consideration, as well as the fact that Seetha was using deceit (चद्मना) when asking Rama to chase the deer for her, we can conclude that Mareecha imitating the voice of Rama and saying "Alas Sita! Alas Lakshmana!" was used as an opportunity by Seetha to urge Lakshmana to leave the hut and go and see if Rama is all well, so that Ravana could then come and approach her.

Even after hearing the words of Seetha, Lakshmana stood firm and did not go to search for Rama. As one would expect, this caused Seetha to be filled with rage as Lakshmana not leaving the hermitage would have foiled her entire plan of allowing Ravana to approach her and interact with her. As a result, in a state of extreme anger, Seetha accused Lakshmana of staying back in the hermitage as he desired her:
न जगाम तथोक्तस्तु भ्रातुराज्ञाय शासनम्।।3.45.4।।
तमुवाच ततस्तत्र कुपिता जनकात्मजा।

When he did not budge in obedience to his brother's order (to protect Sita), the daughter of Janaka in a rage said:

सौमित्रे मित्ररूपेण भ्रातुस्त्वमसि शत्रुवत्।।3.45.5।।
यस्त्वमस्यामवस्थायां भ्रातरं नाभिपत्स्यसे।

Since you, O son of Sumitra, are not reaching out to your brother in this situation, you are an enemy to your brother in the guise of a friend৷৷

इच्छसि त्वं विनश्यन्तं रामं लक्ष्मण मत्कृते।।3.45.6।।
लोभात्त्वं मत्कृते नूनं नानुगच्छसि राघवम्।

It is to possess me that you wish Rama's death. You do not rush to him certainly because of greed for me.

व्यसनं ते प्रियं मन्ये स्नेहो भ्रातरिनास्तिते।।3.45.7।।
तेन तिष्ठसि विश्रब्धंतमपश्यन्महाद्युतिम्।

I think Rama's adversity is welcome to you. You do not have any love towards your brother. It is for this that you stand unconcerned instead of proceeding to help your brilliant brother.

किं हि संशयमापन्ने तस्मिन्निह मया भवेत्।।3.45.8।।
कर्तव्यमिह तिष्ठन्त्या यत्प्रधानस्त्वमागतः।

When he for whose service you have primary come here, has met with difficulty, what is the use of your being here? What purpose you serve by staying here with me ?
Aranya Kanda Section 45 
Speaking in this manner served more than just a manner of venting Seetha's inner anger. Instead, it worked to evoke contemptuous disgust for Seetha in the mind of Lakshmana at the moment. This would eventually urge him to leave the abusive, vile lady in the hermitage, and proceed towards Rama as soon as possible (or so, Lakshmana would have thought her to be at the moment).

However, at that moment Lakshmana kept his calm and gave several reasons to Seetha why Rama would be able to handle the situation alone:
अशक्यस्तव वैदेहि भर्ता जेतुं न संशयः।

O Vaidehi there is no doubt that pannagas, asuras, gandharvas, gods, men or even demons cannot defeat him.

देवि देवमनुष्येषु गन्धर्वेषु पतत्रिषु।।3.45.11।।
राक्षसेषु पिशाचेषु किन्नरेषु मृगेषु च।
दानवेषु च घोरेषु स न विद्येत शोभने।।3.45.12।।
यो रामं प्रतियुध्येत समरे वासवोपमम्।

O brilliant Devi none among gods or men, gandharvas, birds or goblins kinnaras, wild animals or dreadful demons can encounter Rama in war.

अवध्यस्समरे रामो नैवं त्वं वक्तुमर्हसि।।3.45.13।।
न त्वामस्मिन्वने हातुमुत्सहे राघवं विना।

Rama is indestructible in war. It is not proper for you to say what you said. When he is not here I do not wish to leave you alone here in the forest.

अनिवार्यं बलं तस्य बलैर्बलवतामपि।।3.45.14।।
त्रिभिर्लोकैस्समुद्युक्तैस्सेश्वरैरपि सामरैः।

He cannot be stopped by the strength of the mighty, or by Indra supported by gods or by the wellequipped armies of all the three worlds.

हृदयं निर्वृतं तेऽस्तुसन्तापस्त्यज्यतामयम्।।3.45.15।।
आगमिष्यति ते भर्ता श्रीघ्रं हत्वा मृगोत्तमम्।

May your heart be relieved (of this fear) Give up this grief. Your husband will soon return with the excellent deer killed.

न च तस्य स्वरो व्यक्तं मायया केन चित्कृतः।
गन्धर्वनगरप्रख्या माया सा तस्य रक्षसः।।3.45.16।।

Surely it is not his voice. It is contrived by some one's illusory power. It is the illusion created by that demon, like the city of the gandharvas. (which does not exist.)

न्यासभूतासि वैदेहि न्यस्ता मयि महात्मना।।3.45.17।।
रामेण त्वं वरारोहे न त्वां त्यक्तुमिहोत्सहे।

O best of women Vaidehi great Rama has entrusted your safety to me. I do not wish to leave you here alone.

कृतवैराश्च वैदेहि वयमेतैर्निशाचरैः।।3.45.18।।
खरस्य निधनादेव जनस्थानवधं प्रति।

O Vaidehi since the killing of Khara and the residents of Janasthana we have developed enmity with the demons.

राक्षसा विविधा वाचो विसृजन्ति महावने।।3.45.19।।
हिंसाविहारा वैदेहि न चिन्तयितुमर्हसि।

These demons wander about tormenting others and spreading rumours of all kinds. You need not worry about them.
Aranya Kanda Section 45 
Hearing this well-thought out explanation, Seetha inflamed with anger and her eyes turned red. As that happened, she spoke more abusively to Lakshmana, accusing him of being Rama's enemy, lusting after her, and working on Bharatha's orders:
लक्ष्मणेनैवमुक्ता सा क्रुद्धा संरक्तलोचना।।3.45.20।।
अब्रवीत्परुषं वाक्यं लक्ष्मणं सत्यवादिनम्।

Addressed thus by Lakshmana, Sita got mighty angry. Her eyes turned red and she spoke harshly to truthful Lakshmana:

अनार्याकरणारम्भ नृशंस कुलपांसन।।3.45.21।।
अहं तव प्रियं मन्ये रामस्य व्यसनं महत्।

O ignoble, cruel Lakshmana, you are a disgrace to your family. I think this great disaster of Rama is a pleasure to you.

रामस्य व्यसनं दृष्ट्वा तेनैतानि प्रभाषसे।।3.45.22।।
नैतच्चित्रं सपत्नेषु पापं लक्ष्मण यद्भवेत्।
त्वद्विधेषु नृशंसेषु नित्यं प्रच्छन्नचारिषु।।3.45.23।।

O Lakshmana, do you speak such words seeing the disaster of Rama? No wonder that cruel men who always move like you in disguise will thus resort to sinful action against rivals.

सुदुष्टस्त्वं वने राममेकमेकोऽनुगच्छसि।
मम हेतोः प्रतिच्छन्नः प्रयुक्तोभरतेन वा।।3.45.24।।

You are very wicked. You are hiding your true identity, and employed by Bharata, you are following Rama in the forest as he is alone.

तन्नसिध्यति सौमित्रे तव वा भरतस्य वा।
कथमिन्दीवरश्यामं पद्मपत्रनिभेक्षणम्।।3.45.25।।
उपसंश्रित्य भर्तारं कामयेयं पृथग्जनम्।

O Lakshmana such intention of yours or even of Bharata's will not be fulfilled. I have held the hands of Rama who has eyes like the lotus petal, who has the complexion of the blue lotus. How can I prefer some other man?

समक्षं तव सौमित्रे प्राणांस्त्यक्षे न संशयः।
रामं विना क्षणमपि न हि जीवामि भूतले।।3.45.26।।

I will undoubtedly give up my life in your presence.I will not live even for a moment on earth without Rama, O son of Sumitra.
Aranya Kanda Section 45
Take note of the last verse in Seetha's above diatribe. She ends her abuse with a verse about her devotion to Rama so that Lakshmana would understand that the reason for her anger would be love for Rama. In other words, she wanted Lakshmana to leave the hermitage, but she did not want him to be so angry that he would report everything she said to Rama. Hence, she mellowed down the intensity of her narration at the end.

Nevertheless, the bitterness of this speech got Lakshmana really angry, and just as Seetha had planned, it filled Lakshmana with enough contempt to force himself to barge away from the hermitage in complete anger:
इत्युक्तः परुषं वाक्यं सीतया रोमहर्षणम्।।3.45.27।।
अब्रवील्लक्ष्मणस्सीतां प्राञ्जलिर्विजितेन्द्रियः।

The self-controlled Lakshmana with folded palms replied to Sita's harsh, horripilating words:

उत्तरं नोत्सहे वक्तुं दैवतं भवती मम।।3.45.28।।
वाक्यमप्रतिरूपं तु न चित्रं स्त्रीषु मैथिलि।
स्वभावस्त्वेष नारीणामेवं लोकेषु दृश्यते।।3.45.29।।

O princess from Mithila, I do not want to use such harsh words. To me you are a deity (worthy of adoration). It is not surprising that women of the world use such undeserving words. It is their nature.

विमुक्तधर्माश्चपलास्तीक्ष्णा भेदकराः स्त्रियः।
न सहे हीदृशं वाक्यं वैदेहि जनकात्मजे।।3.45.30।।
श्रोत्रयोरुभयोर्मेद्य तप्तनाराचसन्निभम्।

Women devoid dharma are fickle and inconsistent. They use sharp, piercing words. O daughter of Janaka, O princess from Videha, your words pierce my ears like redhot darts.I cannot tolerate them.

उपशृण्वन्तु मे सर्वे साक्षिभूता वनेचराः।।3.45.31।।
न्यायवादी यथान्यायमुक्तोऽहं परुषं त्वया।

I speak what is just while you use harsh and unjust words. Let all beings who move in the forest bear witness.

धिक्त्वामद्य प्रणश्य त्वं यन्मामेवं विशङ्कसे।
स्त्रीत्वलदुष्टं स्वभावेन गुरुवाक्ये व्यवस्थितम्।।3.45.32।।

Fie upon you. Like a woman of wicked nature you doubt me when I stood firm by my brother's words. You will go to ruin.

गमिष्ये यत्र काकुत्स्थ स्वस्ति तेऽस्तु वरानने।।3.45.33।।
रक्षन्तु त्वां विशालाक्षि समग्रा वनदेवताः।

O beautiful lady, I will go to Rama wherever he may be. Be happy. O largeeyed one, may all the deities of the forest protect you.

निमित्तानि च घोराणि यानि प्रादुर्भवन्ति मे।।3.45.34।।
अपि त्वां सह रामेण पश्येयं पुनरागतः।
न वेत्येतन्न जानामि वैदेहि जनकात्मजे।।3.45.35।।

O daughter of Janaka O princess from Videha, I see dreadful omens. I do not know whether I will see you when I am back with Rama.
Aranya Kanda Section 45 
Note that initially, Lakshmana folded his hands in an attempt to control his anger for his venerable sister-in-law, and said that Seetha was worthy of respect, like a deity. However, soon enough, the harsh words of Seetha resounded in Lakshmana's ears and were unbearable. As a result, Lakshmana ended up abusing Seetha and the entire womankind. He then tried to restrain his anger once more, and then very subtly gave Seetha ill wishes (note his contemptuous way of saying "may all the deities of the forest protect you", thereby implying and subtly wishing that something bad will happen to her), while trying to maintain her position as his respectable sister-in-law. After saying all this, Lakshmana was just about to proceed off in anger.


At that moment, Seetha started to shed some crocodile tears, and said the following words of devotion for her husband:
लक्ष्मणेनैवमुक्ता सा रुदन्ती जनकात्मजा।
प्रत्युवाच ततो वाक्यं तीव्रं बाष्पपरिप्लुता।।3.45.36।।

At these words of Lakshmana Sita started crying. With eyes filled with tears she replied with harshness :

गोदावरीं प्रवेक्ष्यामि विना रामेण लक्ष्मण।
अबन्धिष्येऽथवा त्यक्ष्ये विषमे देहमात्मनः।।3.45.37।।

O Lakshmana without Rama I will drown myself in Godavari or hang myself or leap from a cliff into death.

पिबाम्यहं विषं तीक्ष्णं प्रवेक्ष्यामि हुताशनम्।
न त्वहं राघवादन्यं पदापि पुरुषं स्पृशे।।3.45.38।।

I will drink deadly poison or enter fire and die, but will not touch any other man even with my feet.

इति लक्ष्मणमाक्रुश्य सीता दुःखसमन्विता।
पाणिभ्यां रुदती दुःखादुदरं प्रजघान ह।।3.45.39।।

Thus Sita cried in distress, sadly hitting her belly with both the hands, blaming Lakshmana (all the time).
Aranya Kanda Section 45 
The reason for this overemphasis on her devotion to Rama was a way to subtly convince Laksmana that she did not really mean the aforemention abusive language, but instead, it all came out due to her devotion to Rama. It also was a way of showing that she was truly in distress, and that he should not take her words to heart. As I mentioned above, it served to prevent Lakshmana from narrating the entire sequence of events with the same, bitter intensity to Rama. In the last verse of the above passage, 3.45.39, Seetha hurts herself to further emphasize her misery, and blames Lakshmana, in a very soft, gentle manner, with her tears, such that it would have evoked compassion in Lakshmana for her (and thereby eliminated the effect her earlier abusive language had on Lakshmana).

And that is what happened...

After this behavior of Seetha, Lakshmana truly felt sorry for the words he said earlier, and as a result attempted to pacify and console her instead of getting angry at her. He then folded his palms and saluted her with great reverence, suggesting she had regained her lost respect in his eyes, and then he proceeded off towards Rama:
तामार्तरूपां विमना रुदन्तीं सौमित्रिरालोक्य विशालनेत्राम्।
आश्वासयामास न चैव भर्तु स्तं भ्रातरंकिञ्चिदुवाच सीता।।3.45.40।।

Saumitri saw the largeeyed, dejected Sita crying in distress.He pacified and consoled her but she did not say anything at all to her husband's brother.

ततस्तु सीतामभिवाद्य लक्ष्मणः कृताञ्जलिः किञ्चिदभिप्रणम्य च।
अन्वीक्षमाणो बहुशश्च मैथिलीम् जगाम रामस्य समीपमात्मवान्।।3.45.41।।

Selfcomposed Lakshmana with joined palms saluted her with great reverence.And then, turning towards her again and again, left for Rama.
Aranya Kanda Section 45
This overall behavior of Seetha managed to evoke enough compassion and sympathy for her in Lakshmana that he ended up reporting the events to Rama (after Seetha's kidnap) in such reduced intensity that Rama found no fault in Seetha, and only blamed Lakshmana for abandoning her. It just speaks volumes about the presence of mind of Seetha, that she could turn such a hopeless situation into more hopeful one, using her tears and beauty. I say beauty in addition to her tears because we can see the way Seetha's beauty influenced Lakshmana's behavior in the above verses. For example, he addresses Seetha as a "beautiful lady" in verse 3.45.33, when trying to restrain his anger, and sees her as a "largeeyed lady" in verse 3.45.40, when he was filled with compassion for her. Both of these adjectives are expressions of attraction to Seetha's beauty...

[Note: Inlike what many TV shows display, Lakshmana did not make any Lakshmana Rekha to protect Seetha, prior to leaving the hermitage and going into the forest to search for Rama...]

After Lakshmana left the hermitage, Ravana approached Seetha in the guise of a medicant-sanyasi:
रामस्य त्वन्तरप्रेप्सुर्दशग्रीवस्तदन्तरे।।3.46.8।।
उपतस्थे च वै देहीं भिक्षुरूपेण रावणः।

The tenheaded Ravana who was waiting for Rama's absence now got it. Disguised as a mendicant he stepped toward to where Sita was.

अभव्यो भव्यरूपेण भर्तारमनुशोचतीम्।।3.46.9।।
अभ्यवर्तत वैदेहीं चित्रामिव शनैश्चरः।

The evilminded Ravana in the guise of a holy man, like Saturn moves towards Chitra star, came close to Sita who was regretting regarding her husband.

स पापो भव्यरूपेण तृणैः कूप इवावृतः।।3.46.10।।
अतिष्ठत्प्रेक्ष्य वैदेहीं रामपत्निं यशस्विनीम्।

Just like a well is concealed by an overgrowth of grass, Ravana guised as a holy man stood looking at illustrious Sita, the wife of Rama.

शुभां रुचिरदन्तोष्ठीं पूर्णचन्द्रनिभाननाम्।।3.46.11।।
आसीनां पर्णशालायां बाष्पशोकाभिपीडिताम्।
स तां पद्मपलाशाक्षीं पीतकौशेयवासिनीम्।।3.46.12।।
अभ्यगच्छत वैदेहीं दुष्टचेता निशाचरः।

The wicked demon came close to that auspicious princess from Videha sitting in the cottage Her face was like the full moon. Her teeth and lips were lovely. She was clad in yellow silk. Her eyes were like lotus petals tormented by tears of grief.
Aranya Kanda Section 46
In verse 3.46.9, it is mentioned that Seetha was regretting over her husband at the time. Considering my above analysis of Aranya Kanda Section 45, I interpret this as Seetha's worry about Rama's reaction to Lakshmana's speech when he would narrate all the bitter words she spoke. We can see this worry of Seetha from even verse 3.45.40, where Seetha remained quiet in her distress despite Lakshmana's attempts to pacify her and tell her that he is no longer angry with her. This regret over her husband's reaction to Lakshmana's speech is seen in the way her eyes were being tormented with tears of grief (बाष्पशोकाभिपीडिताम्) (3.46.11). However, soon enough she controls her tears such that her face was described as being (devoid of them) like a full moon (3.46.11). Valmiki then describes Seetha's teeth and lips as lovely, which would not have been possible unless she gave a seductive smile, large enough that the teeth would be completely exposed for Valmiki to observe them in such detail (3.46.11). Ravana would later praise this seductive smile of Seetha during his praise of her overall beauty. The purpose of this seductive smile is simple to understand - Seetha used this smile to further pain Ravana with the pangs of kama, thereby urging him to approach her as soon as possible.

And that is what happened. As we can see in the above verses, the smile resulted in Ravana approaching Seetha...

After approaching Seetha, Ravana began to praise her beauty to the skies, with what Valmiki calls "well-mannered sentences":
स मन्मथशराविष्टो ब्रह्मघोषमुदीरयन्।।3.46.13।।
अब्रवीत्प्रश्रितं वाक्यं रहिते राक्षसाधिपः।

He who is struck by the arrows of the god of love, that Lord of demons Ravana, while chanting from the Vedas, spoke these well-mannered words to she whom is in solitariness.

का त्वं काञ्चनवर्णाभे पीतकौशेयवासिनि।।3.46.15।।
कमलानां शुभां मालां पद्मिनीव हि बिभ्रती।

Who are you with a golden complexion, clad in yellow silk, and looking like a lotus pond and wearing an auspicious lotus garland?

ह्रीः कीर्तिः श्रीश्शुभा लक्ष्मीरप्सरा वा शुभानने।।3.46.16।।
भूतिर्वा त्वं वरारोहे रतिर्वा स्वैरचारिणी।

O lady with a beautiful face, with lovely thighs, are you 'hri', shyness personified? Are you the auspicious lovely Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth? Are you the goddess of fame? Are you an apsara? Are you Bhuti, the goddess of fortune? Or are you Rati, the goddess of love moving at your free will ?

समाश्शिखरिणस्स्निग्धाः पाण्डुरा दशनास्तव।।3.46.17।।
विशाले विमले नेत्रे रक्तान्ते कृष्णतारके।

Your teeth are even and pointed, white and beautiful. Your eyes are large and clear and sparkling with dark pupils with a red tinge at the corner.

विशालं जघनं पीनमूरू करिकरोपमौ।।3.46.18।।
एतावुपचितौ वृत्तौ संहतौ सम्प्रवल्गितौ।
पीनोन्नतमुखौ कान्तौ स्निग्धौ तालफलोपमौ।।3.46.19।।
मणिप्रवेकाभरणौ रुचिरौ ते पयोधरौ।

Your big hips are stout and strong. Your smooth thighs are like the trunk of an elephant, your breasts adorned with gems, are round and robust like palm fruits and are rubbing with one another and are swinging up and up, with nipples are brawny and jutting out, shining and delightful, adding beauty.
चारुस्मिते चारुदति चारुनेत्रे विलासिनि।।3.46.20।।
मनो हरसि मे कान्ते नदी कूलमिवाम्भसा।
करान्तमितमध्यासि सुकेशी संहतस्तनी।।3.46.21।।

O lady with an elegant smile, beautiful teeth, lovely eyes you are enticing. Your slender waist can be compassed by my fist. Your hair is beautiful and your large breasts are rubbing against each other. You are capturing my mind just as the flow of water in a river touches its banks.
नैव देवी न गन्धर्वी न यक्षी न च किन्नरी।
नैवंरूपा मया नारी दृष्टपूर्वा महीतले।।3.46.22।।

O beautiful lady I have not seen such a beauty earlier either among goddesses or among gandharvis, or yakshis or even among kinnaris.

रूपमग्र्यं च लोकेषु सौकुमार्यं वयश्चते।
इह वासश्च कान्तारे चित्तमुन्मादयन्ति मे।।3.46.23।।

You are the most beautiful among women in the world. With all your tenderness and youth you are living in this forlorn forest. This maddens my heart.

सा प्रतिक्राम भद्रं ते नैवं वस्तुमिहार्हसि।
राक्षसानामयं वासो घोराणां कामरूपिणाम्।।3.46.24।।

It is not safe for a lady like you to reside here. Move out at once. This is only fit for the dwelling of horrible demons who can change their form at will.

प्रासादाग्राणि रम्याणि नगरोपवनानि च।
सम्पन्नानि सुगन्धीनि युक्तान्याचरितुं त्वया।।3.46.25।।

You deserve to stroll in the terraces of palaces, in beautiful, luxurious and fragrant city gardens.

वरं माल्यं वरं भोज्यं वरं वस्त्रं च शोभने।
भर्तारं च वरं मन्ये त्वद्युक्तमसितेक्षणे।।3.46.26।।

O beautiful, black-eyed lady, I think you deserve the best of garlands, best of food, and clothes and a suitable husband.

का त्वं भवसि रुद्राणां मरुतां वा वरानने।
वसूनां वा वरावोहे देवता प्रतिभासि मे।।3.46.27।।

O best of women O lady with beautiful buttocks can you be one of the Rudras or Maruts or Vasus? To me, you appear like a goddess.

नेह गच्छन्ति गन्धर्वा न देवा न च किन्नराः।
राक्षसानामयं वासः कथं नु त्वमिहागता।।3.46.28।।

Neither gandharvas, nor kinnaras, nor gods move here. This is only a dwelling place for the demons. How did you come here ? 
इह शाखामृगास्सिंहा द्वीपिव्याघ्रमृगास्तथा।
ऋक्षास्तरक्षवः कङ्काः कथं तेभ्यो न बिभ्यसि।।3.46.29।।

There are monkeys, lions, panthers, tigers, hyenas, bears, kanka birds and other wild animals here. How is it that you are not afraid of them?

मदान्वितानां घोराणां कुञ्जराणां तरस्विनाम्।
कथमेका महारण्ये न बिभेषि वरानने।।3.46.30।।

O Charming lady how is it that although alone you are not afraid of the dreadful, swift, powerful wild animals like elephants in rut ?

कासि कस्य कुतश्चित्त्वं किं निमित्तं च दण्डकान्।
एका चरसि कल्याणि घोरान्राक्षससेवितान्।।3.46.31।।

Who are you, O auspicious lady? Who are your people? Why are you here? From where have you come? For what reason are you going about alone in this fierce Dandaka tract, inhabited by demons?
Aranya Kanda Section 46
Take note of several important points in the above verses. In verse 3.46.17, Ravana mentions that Seetha's eyes are "large, clear and sparkling", thereby suggesting that her eyes were devoid of tears at that moment, when Ravana approached her. In addition to that, in that same verse, Ravana mentions that Seetha's teeth were "even and pointed". Such details of the teeth would not be ascertainable unless they were exposed to the observer, via a large smile. This seductive smile, that was very enticing for Ravana, is directly mentioned by him, in verse 3.46.20. In addition to this seductive smile, Ravana praises Seetha's thighs as being "smooth" and "like the trunk of an elephant", in verse 3.46.18. Earlier on in this post I mentioned about the clothing style of the common women in ancient India. Their lower body was covered with cloth. With such a style of clothing, observing the thighs in much detail would be quite difficult. So how was Ravana able to see it? Clearly Seetha was exposing a bit of her body to Ravana, in the aforementioned attempt of her to attract him towards her body. That also explains why Ravana was able to describe Seetha's buttocks as "beautiful" in verse 3.46.27. This attempt at seducing Ravana becomes much more evident if we look at the way Ravana praises Seetha's breasts. He describes them as "round and robust like palm fruits", "rubbing with one another" and "swinging up and up" in verse 3.46.19, and their nipples as "brawny and jutting out" in verse 3.46.19. Of course in order to describe the breasts and nipples in such a manner, a detailed observation of them would be necessary. This would require a displaced uttariya, above and beyond the kind of natural displacement that would occur due to movement, wind, etc... In other words, Seetha would have herself had to move the uttariya and make her breasts more visible.

This act of seduction is more visible when we observe more closely what Ravana had to say about Seetha's breasts. He says that they were "rubbing with one another" and "swinging up and up". Now what movement was Seetha doing that caused them to move in such a manner? She was definitely not running or moving quickly in the area, that would cause her breasts to move in such a fashion. At least, we have no reason to believe so. This behavior of Seetha was clearly a way of seducing Ravana, and it was quite successful, seeing from his comments about her breasts. To understand one reason behind this seduction that is evident from this passage, lets turn our attention to what Ravana has to say about Seetha's nipples. He notices a nipple erection, which is evident in the way he says that her nipples were "brawny and jutting out" in verse 3.46.19. As we know from research, nipple erection is quite common during emotional stress, cold temperature, and sexual arousal. The first option can be disregarded as Seetha was giving a smile and showed no signs of emotional distress at the moment. The second can also be disregarded since there was no temperature change described, after Ravana's arrival to the hermitage and because this nipple erection was not described prior to Ravana's arrival in the hermitage. This leaves us with the last option, suggesting that Seetha was sexually aroused upon seeing Ravana in her hermitage. Hence, her seductive behavior does have some sexual undercurrents, in addition to the political aspect  that I will discuss later on in this post...

After such a kama-filled speech, Ravana's sexual attraction towards Seetha would have been evident to her. However, despite such speech she still invites him into her hermitage:
इति प्रशस्ता वैदेही रावणेन दुरात्मना।
द्विजातिवेशेण हि तं दृष्ट्वा रावणमागतम्।।3.46.32।।
सर्वैरतिथिसत्कारैः पूजयामास मैथिली।

Seeing Ravana, a villain in the guise of a brahmin praising her, Sita, the princess of Videha, honoured him with all hospitality.

उपनीयासनं पूर्वं पाद्येनाभिनिमन्त्र्य च।।3.46.33।।
अब्रवीत्सिद्धमित्येव तदा तं सौम्यदर्शनम्।

She offered the handsome man a seat first and then water for washing his feet with, and then invited him for food.

द्विजातिवेषेण समीक्ष्य मैथिली तमागतं पात्रकुसुम्भधारिणम् |
अशक्यमुद्द्वेष्टुमुपायदर्शनान् न्यमन्त्रयद्ब्राह्मणवद्यथागतम् ।।3.46.34।। (CE verse)

Maithili thoroughly inspected the one who came bearing a bowl, and saffron clothes, in the guise of a brahmin. Finding it impractical to tie down the one exhibiting deceit, she invited that one who came as a brahmin.

इयं बृसी ब्राह्मण काममास्यतामिदं च पाद्यं प्रतिगृह्यतामिति।
इदं च सिद्धं वनजातमुत्तमं त्वदर्थमव्यग्रमिहोपभुज्यताम्।।3.46.35।।

O brahmin, here is the seat for you. Feel free to sit. Here is water to wash your feet with. This is the best of food for you collected from the forest. Please partake this without hesitation.
Aranya Kanda Section 46 
I had mentioned above that one of the reasons why Seetha behaved in a seductive manner was her sexual attraction to Ravana. This point is further shown in verse 3.46.33, where Valmiki attributes Seetha offering hospitality to Ravana due to his handsome figure (सौम्यदर्शनम्) - a clear role of sexual attraction in her decision. That being said, verse 3.46.34 then goes on to say that Seetha thoroughly inspected Ravana, and considering her sharpness, she instantly realized that Ravana was using deceit (i.e. that he was a pseudo-sanyasi). However, she still invited Ravana into her hermitage as she found it impractical to tie or bind him down. It is definitely impractical to tie or bind down the man whom one is sexually attracted to and whom can be manipulated in such a way that would lead to the destruction of his Rakshasa kingdom!

Despite realizing Ravana's deceit, Seetha played along and made him believe that she did not realize his upaaya. She therefore gave Ravana a seat, fetched water to wash his feet, and offered him food, just as one would greet a brahmin-sanyasi.

Seeing Seetha and her hospitality, Ravana then made up his mind to obtain Seetha at all costs, even if that meant using force (the sanskrit word प्रसह्य used in the verse below is translated as "at all costs", but it also refers to "force/violence"). However, at that moment, Ravana did not speak of his intentions to Seetha:
निमन्त्र्यमाणः प्रतिपूर्णभाषिणीं नरेन्द्रपत्नीं प्रसमीक्ष्य मैथिलीम्।
प्रसह्य तस्याहरणे धृतं मनः समर्पयत्स्वात्मवधाय रावणः।।3.46.36।।

Ravana was observing the princess from Mithila, wife of a king inviting him and speaking to him in cordial manner. Looking at her, he resolved to obtain Seetha at all costs, inviting his own death.
Aranya Kanda Section 46 
In the meanwhile, Seetha was being paranoid thinking that her husband would arrive anytime, and as a result, she was constantly watching into the great forest to see if Rama and Lakshmana were arriving. Although she looked out for her husband, she did not see him. She only saw the greenery of the forest:
ततः सुवेषं मृगयागतं पतिं प्रतीक्षमाणा सहलक्ष्मणं तदा।विवीक्षमाणा हरितं ददर्श तन्महद्वनं नैव तु रामलक्ष्णौ।।3.46.37।।
Then, Seetha, the one who is watching for her beautiful husband, who had gone to hunt the deer along with Lakshmana, thus gazed and saw the greenery of that great forest, but not Rama and Lakshmana
Aranya Kanda Section 46
Take note of how Seetha thinks of Rama as "beautiful" (सुवेषं) at the moment. It just speaks about her level of sexual arousal at that time that she was thinking in such terms. This sexual behavior towards Rama can also be explained from the perspective of neuroscience. During stress, the sympathetic nervous system gets activated, which in turn enhances sexual arousal (in the case of female, an orgasm). This is why we tend to feel sexually excited under stressful conditions...

That concludes Part 1 of this post. In Part 2, I will start off by discussing how Seetha's paranoia urges her to ask for Ravana's introduction and start a conversation with him as soon as possible, before Rama returns to the hermitage, and how her words in this conversation provoke Ravana to kidnap her.

Part II: Ravana's Lengthy Debate with Seetha and Seetha's Abduction (Aranya Kanda Sections 47-49)

This paranoia Seetha felt, that Rama would return to her hermitage anytime urged her to begin a conversation with Ravana and ask for him to give his introduction:
रावणेन तु वैदेही तदा पृष्टा जिहीर्षता।
परिव्राजकरूपेण शशंसात्मानमात्मना।।3.47.1।।

When Ravana, in the guise of a mendicant, with the intention of obtaining Seetha has enquired thus, Seetha informed about herself on her own.
ब्राह्मणश्चातिथिश्चायमनुक्तो हि शपेत माम्।
इति ध्यात्वा मुहूर्तं तु सीता वचनमब्रवीत्।।3.47.2।।

'He is a brahmin and also a guest. If unanswered he may curse me'. Thinking this Sita thought for a moment and said:

दुहिता जनकस्याहं मैथिलस्य महात्मनः।
सीता नाम्नास्मि भद्रं ते रामभार्या द्विजोत्तम।।3.47.3।।

O best of brahmins be pleased to know I am Sita by name, daughter of the great Janaka, king of Mithila and wife of Rama.

उषित्वा द्वादश समा इक्ष्वाकुणां निवेशने।
भुञ्जाना मानुषान्भोगान्सर्वकामसमृद्धिनी।।3.47.4।।

I lived in the house of the Ikshvakus for twelve years and enjoyed all kinds of pleasures meant for mortals.

ततस्त्रयोदशे वर्षे राजामन्त्रयत प्रभुः।
अभिषेचयितुं रामं समेतो राजमन्त्रिभिः।।3.47.5।।

In the thirteenth year, the king and lord Dasaratha consulted other kings and ministers to consecrate Rama.

तस्मिन्सम्भ्रियमाणे तु राघवस्याभिषेचने।
कैकेयी नाम भर्तारमार्या सा याचते वरम्।।3.47.6।।

Arrangements for consecration were on when queen Kaikeyi sought a boon from the king.

प्रतिगृह्य तु कैकेयी श्वशुरं सुकृतेन मे।
मम प्रव्राजनं भर्तुर्भरतस्याभिषेचनम्।।3.47.7।।
द्वावयाचत भर्तारं सत्यसन्धं नृपोत्तमम्।

For the fulfilment of the promise made to Kaikeyi earlier by my truthful father-in-law, who, to my good luck, was the best of kings, she asked for two boons. One was banishment of my husband and second, consecration of Bharata.

नाद्य भोक्ष्ये न च स्वप्स्ये न पास्येच कथञ्चन।।3.47.8।।
एष मे जीवितस्यान्तो रामो यद्यभिषिच्यते।

'I shall not eat, or sleep or even drink if Rama is consecrated and I shall put an end to my life itself' (said Kaikeyi).
इति ब्रुवाणां कैकेयीं श्वशुरो मे स मानदः।।3.47.9।।
अयाचतार्थैरन्वर्थैर्न च याञ्चां चकार सा।

The king, my father-in-law, who respected her offered riches. Which she did not accept.

मम भर्तामहातेजा वयसा पञ्चविंशकः।।3.47.10।।
अष्टादश हि वर्षाणि मम जन्मनि गण्यते।

My husband who was very bold was twentyfive years and I had completed eighteen years since my birth.

रामेति प्रथितो लोके गुणवान्सत्यवान्शुचिः।।3.47.11।।
विशालाक्षो महाबाहुस्सर्वभूतहिते रतः।

My husband known in the world as Rama is largeeyed, longarmed, virtuous, truthful, pure and is always engaged in the welfare of all beings.

कामार्तस्तु महातेजाः पिता दशरथस्स्वयम्।।3.47.12।।
कैकेय्याः प्रियकामार्थं तं रामं नाभ्यषेचयत्।

The brilliant king, Dasaratha, father of Rama, overcome by passion, did not consecrate Rama in order to please Kaikeyi.

अभिषेकाय तु पितुस्समीपं राममागतम्।।3.47.13।।
कैकेयी मम भर्तारमित्युवाच धृतं वचः।

When my husband Rama approached his father for the consecration she said these unhesitating words:

तव पित्रा समाज्ञप्तं ममेदं शृणु राघव।।3.47.14।।
भरताय प्रदातव्यमिदं राज्यमकण्टकम्।

'O Rama, listen, your father has ordered that this kingdom be bestowed on Bharata without any obstacles.

त्वया हि खलु वस्तव्यं नव वर्षाणि पञ्च च।।3.47.15।।
वने प्रव्रज काकुत्स्थ पितरं मोचयानृतान्।

'O Rama of the Kakutstha dynasty, you should live in the forest for fourteen years and save your father from falsehood'.

तथेत्युक्त्वा च तां रामः कैकेयीमकुतोभयः।।3.47.16।।
चकार तद्वचस्तस्या मम भर्ता दृढव्रतः।

My husband Rama, a man of fearlessness and firm resolution, said to Kaikeyi 'Be it so' and carried out her words.

दद्यान्न प्रतिगृह्णीयात्सत्यं ब्रूयान्न चानृतम्।।3.47.17।।
एतद्ब्राह्मण रामस्य ध्रृवं व्रतमनुत्तमम्।

O brahmin this is his firm resolve and his great vow: 'One should give and never take one should speak the truth and nothing but he truth.'

तस्य भ्राता तु द्वैमात्रो लक्ष्मणो नाम वीर्यवान्।।3.47.18।।
रामस्य पुरुषव्याघ्रस्सहायस्समरेरिहा।

Son to the second mother of Rama, his mighty halfbrother, by name, Lakshmana, a tiger among men and a slayer of enemies in battle is a companion to him.

स भ्राता लक्ष्मणो नाम धर्मचारी दृढव्रतः।।3.47.19।।
अन्वगच्छद्दनुष्पाणिः प्रव्रजन्तं मया सह।

Lakshmana, his brother, is righteous and steadfast. Bow in hand, he followed Rama along with me, into exile.

जटी तापसरूपेण मया सह सहानुजः।।3.47.20।।
प्रविष्टो दण्डकारण्यं धर्मनित्यो जितेन्द्रियः।

Rama who is ever righteous and selfcontrolled entered the Dandaka forest with matted locks, his brother and me.
ते वयं प्रच्युता राज्यात्कैकेय्यास्तु कृते त्रयः।।3.47.21।।
विचरामो द्विजश्रेष्ठ वनं गम्भीरमोजसा।

O best of brahmins three of us have been wandering with courage in the deep forest, dislodged from the kingdom on account of Kaikeyi.

समाश्वस मुहूर्तं तु शक्यं वस्तुमिह त्वया।।3.47.22।।
आगमिष्यति मे भर्ता वन्यमादाय पुष्कलम्।
रुरून्गोधा न्वराहांश्च हत्वाऽदायाऽमिषान्बहून्।।3.47.23।।

Rest here for a muhurta (moment). My husband will return with plenty of meat of many kinds from the forest, killing deer, alligators and wild boars.

स त्वं नाम च गोत्रञ्च कुलं चाचक्ष्व तत्त्वतः।
एकश्च दण्डकारण्ये किमर्थं चरसि द्विज।।3.47.24।।

O brahmin, tell me your name, your gotra and your pedigree. And the purpose for which you are going about all alone in this Dandaka forest
Aranya Kanda Section 47
My analysis of the above passage suggests that (a portion of) the first two verses are a later addition to the epic (verses 3.47.1a,2). My rationale for this can be seen if we stop looking at single verses in isolation, but instead look at the big picture. The entire passage above shows a hospitality-type conversation by Seetha, where she acts as the host, trying to start a conversation with her guest. She introduces herself, talks about her husband, and then asks the guest (Ravana) to introduce himself. This is definitely not the type of "reply to Ravana's question" type of speech. Had her speech simply been a reply to Ravana's question, due to fear of being cursed, she would not gone above and beyond the question and asked for Ravana's identity. Why would she risk being cursed by such speech that may sound too nosy? Furthermore, verse 3.47.1 deals with the question that Ravana had asked Seetha in verse 3.46.31. However, between that time and the time verse 3.47.1 was spoken, much time had elapsed, during which Seetha offered a seat, water, and food to Ravana, and Ravana accepted all of that. However, Ravana did not pursue his original question about Seetha's identity during that time period. Hence, there should have been no pressure on Seetha to reply to that question at this point in time. If she did reply to that, however, it would be as a result of her own initiative to start a conversation, instead of due to the fear of being cursed. Verse 3.47.1b (परिव्राजकरूपेण शशंसात्मानमात्मना) alludes that it was Seetha's own initiative to start the conversation and was not influenced by Ravana's words. The translation of verse 3.47.1b reads "Seetha informed about herself, on her own, to the one in the guise of a mendicant". The translation clearly shows that Seetha made the decision of speaking about herself on her own (aatmanaa), without influence of Ravana. This is strong evidence of verse 3.47.1b in the original epic, with verse 3.47.1a (and by extension verse 3.47.2, since that verse also alludes that Seetha's speech was spoken in reply to Ravana's question instead of the speech being spoken on her own, without any external influence) added to the epic by later poets, sort of like a second layer superimposed over the single, original layer of the epic.  Lastly, verse 3.47.2 shows ignorance of the true identity of Ravana, on Seetha's part. This is in direct conflict with verse 3.46.34, thereby supporting my claim that verse 3.47.2 is also a later addition to the epic.

If we then ignore verses 3.47.1a,2, and analyze the rest of the passage, it would seem that Seetha proactively attempted to begin a conversation with Ravana. The reason for doing this can be understood from my above claim that Seetha was paranoid and thinking that Rama could come at any instant back to the hermitage. In addition to Seetha constantly looking in the forest for Rama and Lakshmana, this claim of paranoia is supported by verse 3.47.23. Take note of the fact that in this verse, Seetha tells Ravana that Rama will return in a "मुहूर्तं". मुहूर्तं is a word that means "instantly", or "in a jiffy", or even "a period of 48 minutes". Hence, Seetha was essentially telling Ravana that her husband would come very quickly. This would have worked to ring a bell in Ravana that he should act quickly, before Rama returns to the hermitage. Hence, by using the word मुहूर्तं in verse 3.47.23, Seetha indirectly urged Ravana to act quickly before Rama returns to the hermitage, thereby assuaging her paranoia. After saying that Rama would return in a मुहूर्तं, Seetha then asked for Ravana to quickly introduce himself.

As a result, Ravana quickly gave his introduction. He did not waste much time on details, but said he is Ravana, the Lord of Lanka, praising his accomplishments, and then quickly proposed to Seetha, in marriage (in the following manner):
एवं बृवन्त्यां सीतायां रामपत्न्यां महाबलः।
प्रत्युवाचोत्तरं तीव्रं रावणो राक्षसाधिपः।।3.47.25।।

To these words of Sita, Rama's wife, Ravana, the powerful king of demons, replied sharp:
येन वित्रासिता लोकास्सदेवासुरपन्नगाः।
अहं तु रावणो नाम सीते रक्षोगणेश्वरः।।3.47.26।।

O Sita I am called Ravana, the lord of demons by whom all the worlds of demons, snakes and gods are frightened.

त्वां तु काञ्चनवर्णाभां दृष्ट्वा कौशेयवासिनीम्।
रतिं स्वकेषु दारेषु नाधिगच्छाम्यनिन्दिते।।3.47.27।।

O flawless beauty of golden complexion seeing you clad in silk, I am not inclined to show any interest in my own wives.

सर्वासामेव भद्रं ते ममाग्रमहिषी भव।।3.47.28।।

You will be the chief queen among the best of women I have won in wars. Be blessed.

लङ्कानाम समुद्रस्य मम मध्ये महापुरी।
सागरेण परिक्षिस्ता निविष्टा नगमूर्धनि।।3.47.29।।

My great city called Lanka is on the peak of a mountain surrounded by, and in the middle of, the sea.

तत्र सीते मया सार्धं वनेषु विहरिष्यसि।
न चास्यारण्यवासस्य स्पृहयिष्यसि भामिनि।।3.47.30।।

O Sita, you can stroll with me in my pleasuregardens. O beautiful lady, you will not like living in the forest (thereafter).

पञ्च दास्यस्सहस्राणि सर्वाभरणभूषिताः।
सीते परिचरिष्यन्ति भार्या भवसि मे यदि।।3.47.31।।

O Sita if you become my wife, five thousand female attendants adorned with all ornaments will attend on you.
Aranya Kanda Section 47
Pay close attention to this proposal. In sync with Ravana's gentleman-type behavior with women that we get to see throughout the epic, Ravana proposes in a very gentle manner. He asked her to become his wife, but despite his inner desire of obtaining her at all costs (even if it meant forcibly kidnapping her) he did not force himself on Seetha and made no claim that if she rejected him, he would kidnap or rape her.

Now lets have a look at Seetha's reply to this gentle proposal:
रावणेनैवमुक्ता तु कुपिता जनकात्मजा।
प्रत्युवाचानवद्याङ्गी तमनादृत्य राक्षसम्।।3.47.32।।

Thus addressed by Ravana, Janaki, a lady of blemishless limbs, got enraged and replied without caring for the demon:

महागिरिमिवाकम्प्यं महेन्द्रसदृशं पतिम्।
महोदधिमिवाक्षोभ्यमहं राममनुव्रता।।3.47.33।।

I am devoted to Rama, my husband, who is unshakeable like a huge mountain, is comparable to lord Indra and is imperturbable like the mighty ocean.

सर्वलक्षणसम्पन्नं न्यग्रोधपरिमण्डलम्।
सत्यसन्धं महाभागमहं राममनुव्रता।।3.47.34।।

I am the loyal wife of venerable Rama who is endowed with all excellences, a refuge to all like a spreading banyan tree, and a votary of truth.

महाबाहुं महोरस्कं सिंहविक्रान्तगामिनम्।
नृसिंहं सिंहसङ्काशमहं राममनुव्रता।।3.47.35।।

I am the faithful wife of the longarmed, broadchested Rama, a lion among men. His gait is the gait of an advancing, invincible lion.

पूर्णचन्द्राननं रामं राजवत्सं जितेन्द्रियम्।
पृथुकीर्तिं महात्मानमहं राममनुव्रता।।3.47.36।।

I am the devoted wife of great Rama, whose face is like a fullmoon, who is the son of a king, who has conquered his senses and whose fame is widespread (on earth).

त्वं पुनर्जम्बुकस्सिंहीं मामिच्छसि सुदुर्लभाम्।
नाहं शक्या त्वया स्प्रष्टुमादित्यस्य प्रभा यथा।।3.47.37।।

You are a jackal, and you want a lioness like me who is difficult to win. I am like the Sun's radiance whom you cannot even touch.

पादपान्काञ्चनान्नूनं बहून्पश्यसि मन्दभाक्।
राघपस्य प्रियां भार्यां यस्त्वमिच्छसि रावण।।3.47.38।।

O luckless Ravana you want the beloved wife of Rama.You will, for sure, see golden trees. (which those close to death do).

क्षुधितस्य हि सिंहस्य मृगशत्रोस्तरस्विनः।
आशीविषस्य मुखाद्दंष्ट्रामादातुमिच्छसि।।3.47.39।।

You are seeking to pull the teeth from the mouth of a hungry and powerful lion who is considered the enemy of the deer(which you are). You intend to pull the fang of a poisonous snake.

मन्दरं पर्वतश्रेष्ठं पाणिना हर्तुमिच्छसि।
कालकूटं विषं पीत्वा स्वस्तिमान्गन्तुमिच्छसि।।3.47.40।।

You are trying to carry the greatest of mountains, the Mandara, with one hand. You are wishing to go safe after drinking deadly poison (produced from the churning of the ocean).

अक्षि सूच्या प्रमृजसि जिह्वया लेक्षि च क्षुरम्।
राघवस्य प्रियां भार्यां योऽधिगन्तुं त्वमिच्छसि।।3.47.41।।

You wish to acquire the loving wife of Rama. You are rubbing your eyes with a needle and licking the razor with your tongue.

अवसज्य शिलां कण्ठे समुद्रं तर्तुमिच्छसि।
सूर्याचन्द्रमसौ चोभौ पाणिभ्यां हर्तुमिच्छसि।।3.47.42।।
यो रामस्य प्रियां भार्यां प्रधर्षयितुमिच्छसि।

You want to rape Rama's dear wife. It is like girding a stone round the neck and trying to cross the sea.It is like intending to take the Sun and the Moon with both your hands.

अग्निं प्रज्वलितं दृष्ट्वा वस्त्रेणाहर्तुमिच्छसि।।3.47.43।।
काल्याणवृत्तां रामस्य यो भार्यांहर्तुमिच्छसि।

You intend to abduct the wife of Rama, who is a lady of virtuous conduct. You wish to hold blazing fire in your cloth.

अयोमुखानां शूलानामग्रे चरितुमिच्छसि।।3.47.44।।
रामस्य सदृशीं भार्यां योऽधिगन्तुं त्वमिच्छसि।

You want to acquire Rama's worthy wife. You wish to walk on sharp ironheaded spear.

यदन्तरं सिंहशृगालयोर्वने यदन्तरं स्यन्दिनिका समुद्रयोः।
सुराग्र्य सौवीरकयोर्यदन्तरं तदन्तरं वै तव राघवस्य च।।3.47.45।।

The difference between you and Rama is the difference between a jackal and a lion in the forest, between a ditch and the sea, and between sour gruel and the best of wines.

यदन्तरं काञ्चनसीसलोहयोर्यदन्तरं चन्दनवारिपङ्कयोः।
यदन्तरं हस्तिबिडालयोर्वने तदन्तरं दाशरथेस्तवैव च।।3.47.46।।

The difference between you and Rama is the difference between gold and lead, sandal and slime, an elephant and a cat of the forest.

यदन्तरं वायसवैनतेययोर्यदन्तरं मद्गुमयूरयोरपि।
यदन्तरं सारसगृध्रयोर्वने तदन्तरं दाशरथेस्तवैव च।।3.47.47।।

The difference between you and Dasaratha's son is the difference between a crow and Garuda, a watercrane and a peacock, a vulture and a swan in the forest.

तस्मिन्सहस्राक्षसमप्रभावे रामे स्थिते कार्मुकबाणपाणौ।
हृतापि तेहं न जरां गमिष्ये वज्रं यथा मक्षिकयावगीर्णम्।।3.47.48।।

So long Rama, equal in prowess to the thousandeyed Indra stands with bow and arrows in hand, I will not, although abducted, wither away like a diamond gulped by an insect (fly).

इतीव तद्वाक्यमदुष्टभावा सुदुष्टमुक्त्वा रजनीचरं तम्।
गात्रप्रकम्पाद्व्यथिता बभूव वातोद्धता सा कदलीव तन्वी।।3.47.49।।

Having said thus to the wicked nightwalker Ravana, Sita, pure in thought remained distressed. Her slender body started trembling like a banana plant becomes shaken by a violent wind.
Aranya Kanda Section 47
If you had the patience to read this bitter, cringeworthy diatribe, you would have noticed a few things. The first thing is Seetha's boasting of Rama's prowess and her attack of Ravana's prowess by comparing him to a jackal and Rama to a lion, him to a cat and Rama to an elephant, him to a crow and Rama to Garuda. She even calls Ravana an insect... You probably get the point! She was attacking Ravana's ego, pride, manliness, prowess etc... For a man like Ravana, who had a huge ego, such words would be a direct assault on his manliness and pride, and he would do anything and everything to reassert this assaulted manliness. When a beautiful woman says this, as any man can testify, such words would have a much greater impact.

In addition to this attack on Ravana's manliness, Seetha says that if he tries to abduct or rape her, it will be like death for him as Rama will not spare him. However, one interesting thing to note is that Ravana never told Seetha that he desired to kidnap or even rape her. He had just proposed to her very gently, as shown in the previous passage, with no hint that he intended to force himself on her if she refused to accept him.

So where did Seetha get the idea of kidnap and rape from?

The most logical answer is that if not due to external influence, then the idea had developed due to internal influence, in her mind for quite some time. That is to say, Seetha had either the internal desire or the internal fear of being kidnapped or raped by Ravana. However, it is also a fact that Seetha never behaved with fear when Ravana approached her as mendicant-sanyasi. She fearlessly accepted him into her hermitage despite his kama-filled words, and offered him hospitality. This rules out the possibility of fear being the reason why she had the ideas of kidnap and rape developing in her mind. Instead, it was therefore her internal desire of being kidnapped and raped that she attempted to actualize via her speech. This should not be a surprise, considering Seetha's sexual arousal at that time, which I have already discussed in this post, and the fact that research has shown that 62% of undergraduate female students (and therefore the same age group as Seetha) have had a rape fantasy at least once in their lifetime. By talking about kidnap and rape without provocation, and by saying that Ravana would be killed if he attempted to do either of them to her, she was essentially challenging Ravana's manliness. She was challenging Ravana to survive after doing both acts to her, thereby attempting to actualize her desires of being abducted and raped by Ravana.

Just a quick analogy to better understand the situation... Suppose you are the best chess player among your friends, and some stranger comes to you one day and tells you that you better not play chess with him otherwise you will be defeated badly. An analysis of this speech at the literal level suggests that it is just a warning. However, a more in depth analysis of this speech would suggest that he is challenging you to defeat him in a game of chess, and that you are most likely to play a game of chess with him, to reassert your superiority (in the game) that the stranger had just verbally attacked.

Similar was the case here. Seetha attacked Ravana's ego and manliness, and then by her kidnap/rape speech, challenged Ravana to survive after kidnapping and raping her. This ego attack definitely did have an impact on Ravana, as it initially urged Ravana to attempt to reassert his manliness by boasting of his accomplishments to Seetha. After his boasting of his accomplishments, he asked Seetha to accept his proposal, and that if she did not accept the offer, she would later regret losing the opportunity to marry a man like him:
एवं बृवन्त्यां सीतायां संरब्दः परुषं वचः।
ललाटे भृकुटीं कृत्वा रावणः प्रत्युवाच ह।।3.48.1।।

Addressed thus by Sita, Ravana, his anger roused, knitted his eyebrows with a frown on his forehead and replied to her harshly:

भ्राता वैश्रवणस्याहं सापत्न्यो वरवर्णिनि।
रावणो नाम भद्रं ते दशग्रीवः प्रतापवान्।।3.48.2।।

O paragon of beauty I am the halfbrother of Kubera, born of his stepmother. I am known as the tenheaded, powerful Ravana. Be blessed.
यस्य देवास्सगन्धर्वाः पिशाचपतगोरगाः।
विद्रवन्ति भयाद्भीता मृत्योरिव सदा प्रजाः।।3.48.3।।

Just as people get scared of death, all (creatures) including gandharvas, gods, evil spirits, birds and snakes run away from me.

येन वैश्रवणो राजा द्वैमात्रः कारणान्तरे।
द्वन्द्वमासादितः क्रोधाद्रणे विक्रम्य निर्जितः।।3.48.4।।

For some reason or other a duel took place between me and king Kubera. With my prowess, I defeated him in the duel.
यद्भयार्तः परित्यज्य स्वमधिष्ठानमृद्धिमत्।
कैलासं पर्वतश्रेष्ठमध्यास्ते नरवाहनः।।3.48.5।।

Out of fear for me, Kubera is residing on the mighty mount Kailasa, leaving his own earlier prosperous place of residence.

यस्य तत्पुष्पकं नाम विमानं कामगं शुभम्।
वीर्यादेवार्जितं भद्रे येन यामि विहायसम्।।3.48.6।।

O noble lady with my valour I gained over from Kubera the aerial chariot 'Pushpaka', which can go wherever one desires and in which I move about in the sky.

मम सञ्जातरोषस्य मुखं दृष्ट्वैव मैथिलि।
विद्रवन्ति परित्रस्तास्सुराश्शक्रपुरोगमाः।।3.48.7।।
O Princess from Mithila, seeing my angry face even gods led by Indra take to their heels in fear.

यत्र तिष्ठाम्यहं तत्र मारुतो वाति शङ्कितः।
तीव्रांशुश्शिशिरांशुश्च भयात्सम्पद्यते रविः।।3.48.8।।

Wherever I am, the Windgod blows with hesitation. So are the Sun and the Moon afraid of me. Afraid of me the Sun duly discharges his duties.

निष्कम्पपत्रास्तरवो नद्यश्च स्तिमितोदकाः।
भवन्ति यत्र यत्राहं तिष्ठामि विचरामि च।।3.48.9।।

Wherever I stay or move about, the leaves of trees do not shake, and the waters in rivers remain still.

मम पारे समुद्रस्य लङ्का नाम पुरी शुभा।
सम्पूर्णा राक्षसैर्घोरैर्यथेन्द्रस्यामरावती।।3.48.10।।

My city known as Lanka, teeming with terrific demons, is on the other side of the sea. It is beautiful like the city of Indra's Amaravati.

प्राकारेण परिक्षिप्ता पाण्डुरेण विराजता।
हेमकक्ष्या पुरी रम्या वैढूर्यमयतोरणा।।3.48.11।।

The beautiful city of Lanka shines with its pale white ramparts and golden interiors. The entrance gates are encrusted with vaidurya (cat'seye).

हस्त्यश्वरथसम्बाधा तूर्यनादविनादिता।

It is crowded with elephants, horses and chariots. It resounds with the music of trumpets. The trees in the delightful pleasuregardens yield fruits in all seasons.

तत्र त्वं वसती सीते राजपुत्रि मया सह।
न स्मरिष्यसि नारीणां मानुषीणां मनस्विनि।।3.48.13।।

O highminded princess, O Sita while living with me, you will not even think of other women.

भुञ्जाना मानुषान्भोगान्दिव्यांश्च वरवर्णिनि।
न स्मरिष्यसि रामस्य मानुषस्य गतायुषः।।3.48.14।।

O blessed lady of fine complexion, while enjoying both human and heavenly pleasures with me there, you will not remember Rama who is a mortal of short lifespan.

स्थापयित्वा प्रियं पुत्रं राज्ञा दशरथेन यः।
मन्दवीर्यस्सुतो ज्येष्ठस्ततः प्रस्थापितो वनम्।।3.48.15।।

Considering the eldest son a weakling, king Dasaratha has sent him away to the forest so that he could consecrate his dear son(Bharata).

तेन किं भ्रष्टराज्येन रामेण गतचेतसा।
करिष्यसि विशालाक्षि तापसेन तपस्विना।।3.48.16।।

O largeeyed Sita dislodged from the kingdom, Rama has lost his capacity to think. He is doing penance, assuming an ascetic role. What can he do (for you)?

सर्वराक्षसभर्तारं कामात्स्वयमिहागतम्।
न मन्मथशराविष्टं प्रत्याख्यातुं त्वमर्हसि।।3.48.17।।

I am lord of all the demons. You should not reject me I am here (only because I am) overcome by the arrows of the god of love.

प्रत्याख्याय हि मां भीरु परितापं गमिष्यसि।
चरणेनाभिहत्येव पुरूरवसमूर्वशी।।3.48.18।।

O timid lady if you reject me, you will regret like Urvasi who kicked Pururava and regretted later.

अङ्गुल्या न समो रामो मम युद्धे स मानुषः।
तव भाग्येन सम्प्राप्तं भजस्व वरवर्णिनि।।3.48.19।।

O lady of fine complexion, Rama is a (mere) mortal. In war he is no match (even) for my finger. It is your good fortune that you have got me here. Take refuge in me.
Aranya Kanda Section 48
We can see from the passage above how Ravana becomes a little bit more assertive regarding his request to Seetha for her to accept him. But still, he issues no threat to her and is still very polite in his request to her that she marry him. Seeing this passive behavior in Ravana, Seetha got very angry and her eyes turned red. She then increased the intensity of her diatribe, and again challenged Ravana to kidnap and rape her:
एवमुक्ता तु वैदेही क्रुद्धा संरक्तलोचना।
अब्रवीत्परुषं वाक्यं रहिते राक्षसाधिपम्।।3.48.20।।

Thus addressed, Sita was enraged and her eyes turned red. She replied in harsh words to the chief of the demons in that solitary place:
कथं वैश्रवणं देवं सर्वभूतनमस्कृतम्।
भ्रातरं व्यपदिश्य त्वमशुभं कर्तुमिच्छसि।।3.48.21।।

Why do you wish to do something inauspicious by calling Lord Kubera who is worshipped by all beings your brother ?

अवश्यं विनशिष्यन्ति सर्वे रावण राक्षसाः।
येषां त्वं कर्कशो राजा दुर्बुद्धिरजितेन्द्रियः।।3.48.22।।

O Ravana, you are cruel and evilminded. You have no control over your senses. (And yet) you are the ruler of your breed. Surely they are going to be destroyed.

अपहृत्य शचीं भार्यां शक्यमिन्द्रस्य जीवितुम्।
न च रामस्य भार्यां मामपनीयास्ति जीवितम्।।3.48.23।।

It may be possible (for some one) to live after abducting Indra's wife, Sachi, but it is not possible for any one to live after kidnapping the wife of Rama.

जीवेच्चिरं वज्रधरस्य हस्ताच्छचीं प्रधृष्याप्रतिरूपरूपाम्।
न मादृशीं राक्षस दूशयित्वा पीतामृतस्यापि तवास्ति मोक्षः।।3.48.24।।

O demon, you may survive for a long time from the hands of Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, after violating the most beautiful Sachi, but after raping a woman like me, you will not be released from death even if you drink nectar.
Aranya Kanda Section 48
This increase in intensity of the abuse, and the challenge to abduct and rape her had a greater effect on Ravana. He got more angry...

Although he got very angry hearing her words that attacked his manliness, he controlled them for a moment and initially thought of giving Seetha one more chance to accept him. So he flexed his muscles, thereby obtaining his larger, more handsome, Rakshasa form, and then praised his manliness and prowess one last time, hoping that this time Seetha would agree to go with him to Lanka:
सीताया वचनं श्रुत्वा दशग्रीवः प्रतापवाम्।
हस्ते हस्तं समाहत्य चकार सुमहद्वपुः।।3.49.1।।

On hearing the Sita's words, the powerful Ravana struck his palms one over the other and assumed a huge form (original figure).

स मैथिलीं पुनर्वाक्यं बभाषे च ततो भृशम्।
नोन्मत्तया श्रुतौ मन्ये मम वीर्यपराक्रमौ।।3.49.2।।

Ravana again said to that princess from Mithila, I suppose you are too insane to disregard my strength and valour.

उद्वहेयं भुजाभ्यां तु मेदिनीमम्बरे स्थितः।
आपिबेयं समुद्रं च हन्यां मृत्युं रणे स्थितः।।3.49.3।।

Standing in the sky, I can lift the earth with my arms. I can drink the oceans. I can kill even the god of death in a combat.

अर्कं ऱुन्ध्यां शरैस्तीक्ष्णैर्विभिन्द्या हि महीतलम्।
कामरूपिणमुन्मत्ते पश्य मां कामदं पतिम्।।3.49.4।।

I can obstruct the Sun and shatter the earth with my sharp arrows. O mad woman I am a husband who can fulfil your desires, and can assume any form at my own free will. Look at me.

एवमुक्तवतस्तस्य सूर्यकल्पे शिखिप्रभे।
क्रुद्धस्य हरिपर्यन्ते रक्ते नेत्रे बभूवतुः।।3.49.5।।

As Ravana exploded in anger, his ambercoloured eyes turned red like the radiance of the flaming fire, and almost as bright as the Sun.

सद्यस्सौम्यं परित्यज्य भिक्षुरूपं स रावणः।
स्वं रूपं कालरूपाभं भेजे वैश्रवणानुजः।।3.49.6।।

Ravana, brother of Kubera, shed the gentle figure of a mendicant and assumed the form of the god of death.

क्रोधेन महताविष्टो नीलजीमूतसन्निभः।।3.49.7।।
दशास्यः कार्मुकी बाणी बभूव क्षणदाचरः।

Overcome by intense anger, Ravana's eyes reddened. The nightranger, stood armed with bow and arrows and shining with glittering gold ornaments, appeared like a black cloud.

स परिव्राजकच्छद्म महाकायो विहाय तत्।।3.49.8।।
प्रतिपद्य स्वकं रूपं रावणो राक्षसाधिपः।
संरक्तनयनः क्रोधाज्जीमूतनिचयप्रभः।।3.49.9।।
रक्ताम्बरधरस्तस्थौ स्त्रीरत्नं प्रेक्ष्य मैथिलीम्।

Ravana, chief of the demons, shed the mendicant's form and assumed his real self. Clad in red garments, his eyes turned red in anger. Looking like layers of clouds, he stood in front of Sita, a gem among women.

स तामसितकेशान्तां भास्करस्य प्रभामिव।।3.49.10।।
वसनाभरणोपेतां मैथिलीं रावणोऽब्रवीत्।

Ravana said to the princess from Mithila, whose black hair was shining, who was luminous like the Sun and was clad in the best of clothes and ornaments.

त्रिषु लोकेषु विख्यातं यदि भर्तारमिच्छसि।।3.49.11।।
मामाश्रय वरारोहे तवाहं सदृशः पतिः।

O beautiful lady if you desire a husband who is famous in the three worlds, take refuge in me. I am fit to be your husband.

मां भजस्व चिराय त्वमहं श्लाघ्यः प्रियस्तव।।3.49.12।।
नैव चाहं क्वचिद्भद्रे करिष्ये तव विप्रियम्।
त्यज्यतां मानुषे भावो मयि भावः प्रणीयताम्।।3.49.13।।

I am your praiseworthy husband. I will not cause any unpleasantness to you at any time. Abandon on your inclination towards, a (mere) mortal. Divert your love to me.
Aranya Kanda Section 49
However, seeing no change in Seetha's body language, he got angry, rebuked her for his decision, and decided to show her his manliness by kidnapping/raping her and continuing to survive from the hands of Rama. He initially grabbed her from her thighs and nape, but then placed her on his lap, and then ascended the chariot:
राज्याच्च्युतमसिद्धार्थं रामं परिमितायुषम्।
कैर्गुणैरनुरक्तासि मूढे पण्डितमानिनि।।3.49.14।।
यः स्त्रिया वचनाद्राज्यं विहाय ससुहृज्जनम्।
अस्मिन्व्यालानुचरिते वने वसति दुर्मतिः।।3.49.15।।
O stupid woman you think you are very wise. What is there in Rama so that you are attached to him ? He has left the kingdom and his kith and kin due to the words of a woman. He has not accomplished anything (in life). He has a limited life span and now lives in this forest haunted by wild animals.

इत्युक्त्वा मैथिलीं वाक्यं प्रियार्हां प्रियवादिनीम्।
अभिगम्य सुदुष्टात्मा राक्षसः काममोहितः।।3.49.16।।
जग्राह रावणस्सीतां बुधः खे रोहिणीमिव।

Just as Budha (planet Mercury) catches Rohini (a cluster of five stars) in the sky, the evilminded, infatuated Ravana advanced towards the pitiable, pleasing Sita and caught hold of her.

वामेन सीतां पद्माक्षीं मूर्धजेषु करेण सः।।3.49.17।।
ऊर्वोस्तु दक्षिणेनैव परिजग्राह पाणिना।

Ravana seized with his left hand the lotuseyed Sita by the hair and lifted her by the thighs with his right hand.

तं दृष्ट्वा मृत्युसङ्काशं तीक्ष्णदंष्ट्रं महाभुजम्।।3.49.18।।
प्राद्रवन्गिरिसङ्काशं भयार्ता वनदेवताः।

The sylvan deities fled out of fear on seeing the dreadful appearance of Ravana who had sharp teeth and mighty arms. He looked like a mountain, a veritable god of death.

स च मायामयो दिव्यः खरयुक्तः खरस्वनः।।3.49.19।।
प्रत्यदृश्यत हेमाङ्गो रावणस्य महारथः।

There arrived the great golden chariot of Ravana, illusive and wonderful, harnessed with donkeys and braying like donkeys.

ततस्तां परुषैर्वाक्यैर्भर्त्सयन्स महास्वनः।।3.49.20।।
अङ्केनादाय वैदेहीं रथमारोपयत्तदा।

Reproaching the princess from Videha loudly and harshly, Ravana took her on his lap and ascended the chariot.
Aranya Kanda Section 49
From the above analysis, it should be evident how Seetha had punctured Ravana's ego greatly, with her words, thereby forcing him to abduct her to show her his manliness. These harsh words attacking his manliness were also the reason why a man like Ravana did not dare to forcibly marry Seetha. Her words struck the raw nerve of his inferiority complex, and forcibly marrying her would only intensify this complex in Ravana. Hence, Ravana seeked to win her over with his virtues, and show her that he was a brave, accomplished man, and not the coward that Seetha accused him of being. As I said earlier, for any man, words of abuse from the woman he is attracted to hurt much more than abuse from others that he is not in as much awe of. In this case, it was Seetha, who had essentially bullied her way to force Ravana to kidnap her, thereby orchestrating the act.

When taken off her feet so abruptly, this would have caused Seetha to momentarily enter a state of shock and confusion. As a result, her natural instinct resulted in her calling out to Rama in that state of shock:
सा गृहीता विचुक्रोश रावणेन यशस्स्विनी।।3.49.21।।
रामेति सीता दुःखार्ता रामं दूरगतंवने।

Seized by Ravana, illustrious Sita screamed aloud Alas, Rama. for one who was far away in the forest.

तामकामां स कामार्तः पन्नगेन्द्रवधूमिव।।3.49.22।।
विवेष्टमानामादाय उत्पपाताथ रावणः। 
Ravana who is afflicted with lust took her, who is reluctant and who is wrapped around him, like the wife of King Serpent, and then he surged skyward and flew off with her in his air-chariot.
Aranya Kanda Section 49
In verse 3.49.22, the root वेष्ट is used, which means “to wrap around/enclose”, describing how Seetha was wrapped around Ravana. This verb has a sexual connotation, as one of its derivatives वेष्टनक, refers to wrapping in the context of coitus. Furthermore, Seetha being wrapped around Ravana, and compared to the wife of the king Serpent at that time has great significance. If we search through the epic, we would realize that Rama has been compared with Garuda and Ravana's Rakshasas have been compared with serpents, thereby making their king Ravana, the king of serpents. Alternatively, Ravana is compared to Vritra, the king of serpents, and an adversary of Indra (in this case, Rama), in the Rig Veda...
य एते राक्षसाः प्रोक्ता घोररूपा महाबलाः।
राघवे निर्विषास्सर्वे सुपर्णे पन्नगा यथा।।3.56.6।।

Those dreadful, mighty demons you have described are ineffective in his presence just like the serpents who with their venom are ineffective in the presence of Suparna (Garuda).

राक्षसेन्द्रमहासर्पान् स रामगरुडो महान्।।5.21.27।।
उद्धरिष्यति वेगेन वैनतेय इवोरगान्।"

Just as Garuda swiftly extirpates the serpents, Rama will exterminate the demon leaders.

तस्य हस्तद्धतस्याशु कार्मुकं च ससायकम् |
विपपात सह प्राणैर्भ्रुश्यमानस्य जीवितात् || ६-१०८-२१
गतासुर्भीमवेगस्तु नैरृतेन्द्रो महाद्युतिः |
पपात स्यन्दनाद्भूमौ वृत्रो वज्रहतो यथा || ६-१०८-२२

From the hands of the slain Ravana, who was being separated from his life, fell his bow with its arrows (fitted to it), at the same time coinciding indeed with his life-breath.Having lost his life, that king of demons for his part, who was endowed with terrible swiftness and invested with great splendour, fell down from the chariot to the ground , like Vritra the demon when the latter was struck down by the thunderbolt.
These verses suggest suggest that symbolically, Ravana was the king of serpents (Vrita), whereas verse 3.49.22 suggests that Seetha like the queen of serpents when wrapped around Ravana, the king of serpents. If one looks at how serpents mate, they would notice it occurs through extensive wrapping of their bodies around one another. The comparison of Ravana and Seetha therefore as serpents, and that too the king and queen (i.e. spouses), suggests that when they were wrapped around one another, it was during the act of sexual intercourse that spouses often engage in.

Verse 3.49.22 mentions that Seetha was unwilling in the act of sexual intercourse. Her unwillingness can be explained by the fact that Ravana lifted her off her feet in a quick instant. This momentarily loss of control over one’s body would no doubt make the individual enter a state of confusion, for a brief moment... During this state, Seetha would be unwilling to accept Ravana, sexually. However, after that brief moment, she was described as being filled with sexual excitement:
ततस्सा राक्षसेन्द्रेण ह्रियमाणा विहायसा।।3.49.23।।
भृशं चुक्रोश मत्तेव भ्रान्तचित्ता यथाऽऽतुरा।
While Sita was being carried off in the sky by the king of demons, she cried a lot like a woman filled with sexual excitement, afflicted with an unsteady state of mind.
Her unsteady state of mind, described by Valmiki in verse 3.49.23 supports the claim I made above... Right after Ravana lifted Seetha off of her feet, she would have been in a confused state of mind, where she was not sexually excited. However, upon regaining control of her body she transitioned to becoming sexually excited. This change in her state of mind was quite unsteady, and that explains why Valmiki says that Seetha was "afflicted with an unsteady state of mind".

After feeling sexually excited, and crying (moaning?) due to this excitement, Seetha's presence of mind kicked in, and as a result, she called out to Rama and Lakshmana to let them know about her kidnap. However, not once did she ask them to come and save her at that instant... Likewise, she calls out to all of nature to let Rama know about her kidnap. But once again... Not once does she ask them to come and save her. The reason for such behavior should be obvious, considering the fact that (as I mentioned earlier) she herself orchestrated her own kidnap. She would not want Rama to come in and ruin her well-executed plan:
हा लक्ष्मण महाबाहो गुरुचित्तप्रसादक।।3.49.24।।
ह्रियमाणां न जानीषे रक्षसा माममर्षिणा।

Alas, O longarmed Lakshmana, you who used to entertain your brother do not know that I am being carried away by this ruthless demon.

जीवितं सुखमर्थांश्च धर्महेतोः परित्यजन्।।3.49.25।।
ह्रियमाणामधर्मेण मां राघव न पश्यसि।

O Rama, you have given up your life, pleasure and treasure for the sake of righteousness. Do you not see me carried off by an unrighteous fellow ?

ननु नामाविनीतानां विनेतासि परन्तप।।3.49.26।।
कथमेवंविधं पापं न त्वं शासि हि रावणम्।

O scorcher of enemies you are the chastiser of the haughty. Why do you not punish such a sinner like Ravana.

ननु सद्योऽविनीतस्य दृश्यते कर्मणःफलम्।।3.49.27।।
कालोऽप्यङ्गीभवत्यत्र सस्यानामिव पक्तये।

The effect of arrogant action cannot be seen right away. Just as the crop yields results only after ripening, in the same way it takes time. Time acts as a supporting factor.

त्वं कर्म कृतवानेतत्कालोपहतचेतनः।।3.49.28।।
जीवितान्तकरं घोरं रामाद्व्यसनमाप्नुहि।

Time has taken a toll of your senses. This has made you do what you have done. A great calamity is awaiting you in the hands of Rama. It will end your life.

हन्तेदानीं सकामास्तु कैकेयी सह बान्धवैः।।3.49.29।।
ह्रिये यद्धर्मकामस्य धर्मपत्नी यशस्विनः।

Alas, the lawful wife of the glorious and righteous Rama is being abducted now. Let Kaikeyi along with her relations be happy with her desire fulfilled.

आमन्त्रये जनस्थाने कर्णिकारान्सुपुष्पितान्।।3.49.30।।
क्षिप्रं रामाय शंसध्वं सीतां हरति रावणः।

O karnikar trees in full bloom in Janasthana, tell Rama quickly that Ravana is kidnapping Sita.

माल्यवन्तं शिखरिणं वन्दे प्रस्रवणं गिरिम्।।3.49.31।।
क्षिप्रं रामाय शंस त्वं सीतां हरति रावणः।

I salute to Malyavan and Prasravana mountains. Tell Rama at once that Ravana is carrying away Sita.

हंसकारण्डवाकीर्णां वन्दे गोदावरीं नदीम्।।3.49.32।।
क्षिप्रं रामाय शंस त्वं सीतां हरति रावणः।

O river Godavari abounding in swans and cranes, my salutations to you Tell Rama immediately that Ravana is taking away Sita.

दैवतानि च यान्यस्मिन्वने विविधपादपे।।3.49.33।।
नमस्करोम्यहं तेभ्योभर्तुश्शंसत मां हृताम्।

I offer my salutations to different deities residing in this forest abounding in trees of many kinds. Tell my husband about me that I am being whisked away.

यानि कानि चिदप्यत्र सत्त्वानि निवसन्त्युत।।3.49.34।।
सर्वाणि शरणं यामि मृगपक्षिगणानपि।

I seek refuge in all those living beings as well as herds of animals and birds in the forest.

ह्रियमाणां प्रियां भर्तुः प्राणेभ्योऽपि गरीयसीम्।।3.49.35।।
विवशाऽपहृता सीता रावणेनेति शंसत।

Tell Rama that his dear wife Sita whom he loves more than his life is abducted helplessly.

विदित्वा मां महाबाहुरमुत्रापि महाबलः।।3.49.36।।
आनेष्यति पराक्रम्य वैवस्वतहृतामपि।

If he knows that I am abducted by Yama, the god of death, that mighty, longarmed hero will save me even from there by virtue of his valour.
Aranya Kanda Section 49
Note how Seetha appeals to Rama to make him aware of her kidnap. She even asks Rama to eventually, after a long period of time, punish Ravana. However, she does not ask Rama to come and save her from Ravana at that very instant. Instead, the only time she mentions "save" is in verse 3.49.36, and even in that verse, she asks nature to tell Rama about her kidnap so that he would come to Lanka and save her. Asking Rama to attack Lanka and save her has a two-pronged political purpose. She would live in Lanka, and continue to manipulate Rama and force him to focus entirely on how to win her love, which in turn would have an adverse affect on Ravana's administration of Lanka as he would then pay less attention to the affairs of the state, and more attention on his personal life (kind of like how Prithviraj Chauhan III abandoned his kingdom's needs and instead paid more attention to his wife, Samyukta). This would weaken the invincible kingdom of Lanka, allowing Rama to easily conquer the kingdom and annex it into the Vedic Aryan-fold (just like how Muhammad Ghori was able to easily do away with a kama-struck Prithviraj Chauhan II).

[Take note of the fact that no physical resistance was offered by Seetha during this so-called abduction of her. This is one fact that most proponents that assert the victim-hood of Seetha during this abduction forget to address (or rather ignore)...]

In order to urge Rama to attack Lanka, she portrays herself as a "dear wife" who was "helpless" during the kidnap. To a patriarchal man like Rama, who always viewed his wife as inferior both physically and intellectually, this would pain him the most, and urge him to exert his 100% in attacking Lanka and saving her. We must applaud Seetha for keeping her presence of mind in such a situation, such that she was able to carefully select her words...  After speaking in such a manner, Seetha was described as keeping her eyes wide open (आयत लोचना), a sign of sexual attraction. At that time, Seetha, who was having sex with Ravana, saw, nay stared at Jatayu (who was resting on a tree), and subsequently, she was struck by fear, and stuttered - clear signs of being caught red-handed, while enjoying the sexual act:
सा तदा करुणा वाचो विलपन्ती सुदुःखिता।।3.49.37।।वनस्पतिगतं गृध्रं ददर्शाऽयतलोचना।
She that wide-eyed Seetha who is highly anguished and bewailing with pitiable words then with a wide-eyed expectancy saw the eagle Jatayu perching on a tree.
सा तमुद्वीक्ष्य सुश्रोणी रावणस्य वशं गता।3.49.38।।समाक्रन्दद्भयपरा दुःखोपहतया गिरा।
She that lady with large hips, buttocks, and loin, who has entered in the captivity of Ravana, in sexual intercourse, craned and stared at the eagle, and worsted by fear she shrieked squeakily with a stuttering voice that is walloped with anguish.
Aranya Kanda Section 49
Just as a side note... The description of Seetha as having large hips, buttocks, and loins (सुश्रोणी) further confirms that Seetha was having sex with Ravana. The reason for this is that if these body parts were covered with her clothes, Valmiki would not have been able to see them in enough detail to describe them in such a manner. Hence, these body parts were exposed for Valmiki to describe, which would be possible during sex. Furthermore, the word “गता” used in verse 3.49.38, is derived from the word “ग”, and refers to entering another individual in sexual intercourse. When Vayu describes his sexual intercourse with Anajana (Hanumana’s mother), in verse 4.66.18, he uses the phrase “मनसा गतो” to describe how he had sexual intercourse by entering her mind. 

In Valmiki Ramayana, the words ग/गता/गम are all used to describe Seetha entering Ravana, in sexual intercourse.

After Seetha thinks she is caught red handed by Jatayu (in reality, Jatayu was taking rest at the time, probably sleeping, but due to the distance from him, she could not tell that he was sleeping), she tries to divert his attention by crying and telling Jatayu that whatever Ravana was doing was against her will. To increase the impact of her words, she portrays herself as helpless and addresses herself as "pitiable" and an "orphan", thereby gaining the sympathy of Jatayu:
जटायो पश्य मामद्य ह्रियमाणामनाथवत्।।3.49.39।।अनेन राक्षसेन्द्रेण करुणं पापकर्मणा।
O Jatayu, see me now being carried away by the sinful king of demons in this pitiable condition as though I am an orphan.
नैष वारयितुं शक्यस्तव क्रूरो निशाचरः।।3.49.40।।सत्त्वाञ्जितकाशी च सायुधश्चैव दुर्मतिः।
This nightranger is equipped with weapons. Cruel, strong and evilminded, he has won wars. You cannot stop him.
रामाय तु यथातत्त्वं जटायो हरणं मम।।3.49.41।।लक्ष्मणाय च तत्सर्वमाख्यातव्यमशेषतः।
O Jatayu narrate to Rama and Lakshmana the exact facts of my abduction and all the details without any omission.
Aranya Kanda Section 49
Take note of the fact that the same Seetha who was earlier abusing Ravana and belittling his manliness and prowess now goes on to praise his prowess in verse 3.49.40. This just goes to show how she had earlier belittled Ravana's prowess on purpose, so that Ravana would be tempted to reassert his prowess via various actions (i.e. boasting, abusing, kidnap, rape, etc...). More importantly, lets turn our attention to verses 3.49.41-42. Note how Seetha orders Jatayu to not try to save her, but instead to narrate all details of her abduction to Rama. Now which actual victim behaves in such a manner, telling an individual that came to save her to instead go back and report her violation to her husband so that he can save her, thereby delaying her own rescue? One can assert that this may be because Seetha felt that Jatayu was no match for Ravana. However, I do not find this explanation very convincing because Jatayu gave Ravana quite a competition when he attacked him. He managed to deprive Ravana of his weapons (barring his sword), and chariot; clearly not the prowess of a novice...

This concludes Part 2 of this post. In the next and final part, I will discuss Jatayu's attempt to convince Ravana to not abduct Seetha, his subsequent heroic resistance upon Ravana's refusal to give up Seetha, and all that transpired in Ravana's chariot, with Seetha, till he reached Lanka.

Part III: Seetha's Abduction, Sex With Ravana, Arrival in Lanka, and her Lengthy Debate with Ravana (Aranya Kanda Sections 50-56)

After hearing Seetha's words, Jatayu woke up from his rest and was convinced with her explanation. As a result, he then attempted to stop Ravana from kidnapping Seetha, by lecturing him on dharma. I will not go into details about his speech. However, if you are interested in reading it, you may do so in Aranya Kanda Section 50...

Even after hearing Jatayu's speech, Ravana did not care for his friendly words. Instead, he got angry and pounced on Jatayu. Initially Ravana was fighting with one hand, and as a result, Jatayu had the upper hand. He managed to wound Ravana on many parts of his body, and then destroyed Ravana's bow, killed the animals steering his chariot, broke down this chariot, pulled down the parasols and fans of the chariot along with the Rakshasas holding them, and then killed Ravana's charioteer. As a result, Ravana fell to the ground, holding Seetha in his lap. He then boarded a new chariot, and happily took off, with Seetha in his lap. Seeing this, Jatayu, who was exhausted at the time tried to stop Ravana by saying:
वज्रसंस्पर्शबाणस्य भार्यां रामस्य रावण।।3.51.24।।अल्पबुद्धे हरस्येनां वधाय खलु रक्षसाम्।

Foolish Ravana, you are kidnapping this lady, wife of Rama, whose arrows can hit like a thunderbolt. This will lead to the destruction of all demons.

समित्रबन्धुस्सामात्यस्सबलस्सपरिच्छदः।।3.51.25।।विषपानं पिबस्येतत्पिपासित इवोदकम्।

You are drinking poison along with all your friends, relatives, ministers, the army and your allies. like a thirsty man drinks water.

अनुबन्धमजानन्तः कर्मणामविचक्षणाः।।3.51.26।।शीघ्रमेव विनश्यन्ति यथा त्वं विनशिष्यसि।

Fools who do not know the consequences of their action perish soon. Similarly you are going to die soon.

बद्धस्त्वं कालपाशेन क्व गतस्तस्य मोक्ष्यसे।।3.51.27।।वधाय बडिशं गृह्य सामिषं जलजो यथा।

You are bound by the noose of death like a fish holding on to the bait of the fishing hook. Where can you go now?

न हि जातु दुराधर्षौ काकुत्स्थौ तव रावण।।3.51.28।।धर्षणं चाश्रमस्यास्य क्षमिष्येते तु राघवौ।

O Ravana know that Rama and Lakshmana, the Kakutsthas, are invincible. They will not forgive your rape of the one of the hermitage (Seetha).

यथा त्वया कृतं कर्म भीरुणा लोकगर्हितम्।।3.51.29।।तस्कराचरितो मार्गो नैव वीरनिषेवितः।

Your cowardly action will be condemned by the whole world. The path you have chosen is the path of a thief and not of a hero.

युध्यस्व यदि शूरोऽसि मुहूर्तं तिष्ठरावण।।3.51.30।।शयिष्यसे हतो भूमौ यथा भ्राता खरस्तथा।

O Ravana if you are courageous, tarry awhile and fight with me. Like your brother Khara, you will lie on the ground dead.

परेतकाले पुरुषो यत्कर्म प्रतिपद्यते।।3.51.31।।विनाशायात्मनोऽधर्म्यं प्रतिपन्नोऽसि कर्म तत्।

You have resorted to unrighteous action like a dying man. This will spell your destruction.

पापानुबन्धो वै यस्य कर्मणः कर्मको नु तत्।।3.51.32।।कुर्वीत लोकाधिपतिस्स्वयंभूर्भगवानपि।

If the consequences of an action be sin, who will do it ? Even the selfborn lord of the world may not.
Aranya Kanda Section 51
Seeing that Ravana was not going to stop, Jatayu chased Ravana and pierced his back. The pain from the attack caused Ravana to tremble with anger. As a result, he then  used his palm to strike Jatayu. But Jatayu countered this attack, and then attacked Ravana's arms. As a result, Ravana was forced to leave Seetha. After leaving her, he used his sword and cut off the wings of Jatayu, causing him to crash land, and die. In the meanwhile, Seetha who was dropped by Ravana did not leave the area and was constantly watching the fight. Upon Jatayu's fall, she became emotional, ran to him, and hugged him due to the emotional bond she shared with him:
तं दृष्ट्वा पतितं भूमौ क्षतजार्द्रं जटायुषम्।।3.51.44।।
अभ्यधावत वैदेही स्वबन्धुमिव दुःखिता।

Sita, princess of Videha, saw the wounded Jatayu fallen on the ground drenched in blood. Grieving, she ran towards him as if he was her relative.

तं नीलजीमूतनिकाशकल्पं सुपाण्डुरोरस्कमुदारवीर्यम्।
ददर्श लङ्काधिपतिः पृथिव्यां जटायुषं शान्तमिवाग्निदावम्।।3.51.45।।

Lord of Lanka saw that very bold Jatayu of dark blue colour of the cloud, fair chest, fallen on the ground, looking like the forest fire that had been put out.

ततस्तु तं पत्ररथं महीतले निपातितं रावणवेगमर्दितम्।
पुनः परिश्वज्य शशिप्रभानना रुरोद सीता जनकात्मजातदा।।3.51.46।।

Sita, daughter of Janaka, whose face was radiant like the Moon once again embraced Jatayu, the winged warrior, fallen on the ground, crushed by Ravana's onslaught and wept.
Aranya Kanda Section 51
An interesting thing to note is Seetha's decision to stay back until Jatayu's death instead of fleeing from the area to save her life. Although one perspective for her decision was that she loved Jatayu and cared for his fate, it is also worthy of noting that a victim's natural instinct would be to flee from her perpetrator at that moment. The fact that she did not have an instinct urging her to do that tells us volumes about her so-called oppression at the hands of Ravana.

Did she really feel oppressed by Ravana? The evidence suggests otherwise...

After Jatayu's death, Seetha has a momentary emotional breakdown, and she starts to lament over Jatayu's death:

सा तु ताराधिपमुखी रावणेन समीक्ष्य तम्।
गृध्रराजं विनिहतं विललाप सुदुःखिता।।3.52.1।।

Sita,whose face was like the lord of the stars (Moon), saw Jatayu, king of birds, struck down by Ravana, and lamented in extreme grif :

निमित्तं लक्षणज्ञानं शकुनिस्वरदर्शनम्।
अवश्यं सुखदुःखेषु नराणां प्रतिदृश्यते।।3.52.2।।

People, for sure, foresee weal and woe in life from auspicious symptoms and ominous sounds.

नूनं राम न जानासि महद्व्यसनमात्मनः।
धावन्ति नूनं काकुत्स्थं मदर्थं मृगपक्षिणः।।3.52.3।।

O Rama you are, indeed, unaware of the great disaster that has befallen you. All the animals and birds are running for my sake to tell you about me, O scion of the Kakutsthas.
अयं हि पापचारेण मां त्रातुमभिसङ्गतः।
शेते विनिहतो भूमौ ममाभाग्याद्विहंगमः।।3.52.4।।

'This bird that came forward to save me is hit by the sinner(Ravana) and lies down on the ground, as ill luck would have it.
Aranya Kanda Section 52
However, soon enough, she gets her senses right and puts up a pretense of resisting Ravana:
त्राहि मामद्य काकुत्स्थ लक्ष्मणेति वराङ्गना।सुसन्त्रस्ता समाक्रन्दच्छृण्वतां तु यथान्तिके।।3.52.5।।
Terribly frightened, the beautiful lady (Sita) cried bitterly, 'O Rama, O Lakshmana, save me', as if they were close by and were listening to her.
तां क्लिष्टमाल्याभरणां विलपन्तीमनाथवत्।अभ्यधावत् वैदेहीं रावणो राक्षसाधिपः।।3.52.6।।
Ravana, king of the demons, ran towards Sita who was weeping like an orphan with her garlands and ornaments crushed.

तां लतामिव वेष्टन्तीमालिङ्गन्तीं महाद्रुमान्।मुञ्च मुञ्चेति बहुशः प्रवदन्राक्षसाधिपः।।3.52.7।।क्रोशन्तीं राम रामेति रामेण रहितां वने।जीवितान्ताय केशेषु जग्राहान्तकसन्निभः।।3.52.8।।

Separated from Rama in the forest, Sita hugged huge trees, running round and round like a creeper coiled, crying loudly, 'Rama, O Rama' . The king of the demons, like Yama, caught hold of her hair only to invite his death, all the time saying, Leave it, Leave it (Leave the tree).
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
The pretense can be seen in the manner Valmiki says that Seetha was appealing to Rama and Lakshmana to save her as if they were close by and listening to her, thereby suggesting that Seetha was appealing to them in a very soft voice that Rama and Lakshmana in reality, would not be able to hear. Hence, it becomes very clear from an analysis of the way she appealed to Rama and Lakshmana that it was purely pretense. Her pretense is further shown in the manner in which Seetha tried to clasp to nearby trees to avoid Ravana...

Is this realistic? Was Seetha really thinking that by clasping to a nearby tree she would escape Ravana?

Of course it is not realistic. If she was genuinely interested in escaping Ravana, she ought to have fled from the vicinity of Ravana at that moment, instead of running around in circles and clasping to trees in the vicinity of Ravana, that Ravana could clearly notice. Or better yet, she should have fled from Ravana during his fight with Jatayu itself, when Ravana was occupied with Jatayu and was therefore not paying attention to her.

Upon seeing Ravana catching Seetha by her hair and abducting her, Brahma and many other sages were happy that their political plan for the destruction of Ravana would be successful:
प्रधर्षितायां सीतायां बभूव सचराचरम्।
जगत्सर्वममर्यादं तमसान्धेन संवृतम्।।3.52.9।।
न वाति मारुतस्तत्र निष्प्रभोऽभूद्दिवाकरः।

While Sita was being assaulted, the earth with the animate and the inanimate crossed all limits of moral law and became enveloped in blinding darkness. The wind ceased to blow and the Sun, to shine.

दृष्ट्वा सीतां परामृष्टां दीनां दिव्येन चक्षुषा।।3.52.10।।
कृतं कार्यमिति श्रीमान्व्याजहार पितामहः।

Brahma, the glorious Grandfather, saw with his divine eyes, Sita in a desperate state caught by the enemy and said, 'The task is accomplished.

प्रहृष्टा व्यथिताश्चासन्सर्वे ते परमर्षयः।।3.52.11।।
दृष्ट्वा सीतां परामृष्टां दण्डकारण्यवासिनः।
रावणस्य विनाशं च प्राप्तं बुद्ध्वा यदृच्छया।।3.52.12।।

All the great seers residing in Dandaka forest felt both happy and sad, happy because the destruction of Ravana is at hand and sad because Sita was in distress.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
Take note of the fact that during the kidnap, Brahma and other sages of the Dandaka Forest were in the vicinity of Seetha's hermitage and were able to see Seetha being kidnapped. For them to all be at the site of the kidnap, at the same time that the kidnap was occurring, they must have known Ravana's plan of kidnapping Seetha from beforehand. This would not have been possible if they did not have spies informing them of Ravana's intentions. Furthermore, Brahma alludes to the fact that Seetha's kidnap was their political plan, with his speech that "the task is accomplished". The final goal of this political plan was the destruction of Ravana, as alluded to by the happiness of the sages in verse 3.52.11. Now this kidnap would not have been successful without Seetha's role in orchestrating it. Hence, in order for Brahma to execute this political plan, he must have collaborated with Seetha, and therein lies the political aspect of Seetha seducing Ravana and manipulating him enough that he would kidnap her and take her to Lanka. This political purpose is also the reason why Seetha refused to return to Rama on Hanumana's back when the latter went to meet the former (Seetha) in Sundara Kanda. Seetha's presence in Lanka and her manipulation of Ravana was a necessity to fulfill the political plan of Ravana's destruction.

Ravana then took Seetha into the skies (presumably in another chariot). As he was doing so, Seetha cried out to Rama and Lakshmana to once more inform them of her kidnap, so that they would eventually attack Lanka and fulfill the political plan of Seetha et al...:
स तु तां राम रामेति रुदन्तीं लक्ष्मणेति च।
जगामादाय चाकाशं रावणो राक्षसाधिपः।।3.52.13।।

While Sita was crying, 'O Rama, O Lakshmana', Ravana, lord of the demons, carried her back into the sky.

Aranya Kanda Section 52
Seetha's yellow skin color, along with her yellow colored garment, and gold ornaments made her shine like lightning. Then, Ravana took Seetha and tossed off her yellow colored garment, (this is the single garment that wrapped around her lower body and was thrown down her shoulder to form the uttariya - refer to image shown above in post if there is any confusion about this dressing style), thereby making her naked. Some of this garment fell on Ravana's body, causing him to shine like a mountain (this is a reference to Ravana's body) with fire burning around it (this is a reference to Seetha's yellow garment):
तप्ताभरणजुष्टाङ्गी पीतकौशेयवासिनी।रराजराजपुत्री तुविद्युत्सौदामिनी यथा।।3.52.14।।
Sita who had put on pure gold ornaments on her body and who was clad in yellow silk shone like lightning.
उद्धूतेन च वस्त्रेण तस्याः पीतेन रावणः।अधिकं परिबभ्राज गिरिर्दीप्त इवाग्निना।।3.52.15।।
When her yellow silk cloth is tossed onto Ravana, he shone excessively, like a mountain shining with fire burning around.
Aranya Kanda Section 52
Due to Ravana’s close proximity with Seetha’s body, and the colliding of the two bodies during the sexual act, the red lotus flowers that Seetha was wearing had slipped off her person, and scattered onto Ravana’s body. The overall effect of Seetha's yellow garment and petals falling on Ravana's body was that he started to look like a coppercoloured cloud (his natural black skin color + the red lotus petals) illuminated by the evening Sun (the yellow garment) in the sky:

तस्याः परमकल्याण्यास्ताम्राणि सुरभीणि च।पद्मपत्राणि वैदेह्या अभ्यकीर्यन्त रावणम्।।3.52.16।।
The red lotus petals worn by the most auspicious Sita, princess of Videha, were scattered onto Ravana.
तस्याः कौशेयमुद्धूतमाकाशे कनकप्रभम्।बभौ चादित्यरागेण ताम्रमभ्रमिवातपे।।3.52.17।।
As the goldencoloured garment worn by Sita was tossed, it looked like a coppercoloured cloud illumined by the evening Sun in the sky.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
[Note: There are two possible interpretations of verses 3.52.14-17. The first interpretation is that Seetha's clothes were tossed around by the wind, and it then fell on Ravana's body, along with the red lotus petals she was wearing. The second interpretation is that Ravana tossed Seetha's clothes, and the colliding of his body with her body (during sexual intercourse), caused Seetha's red lotus petals to scatter on Ravana's body. I find the second explanation more convincing because if wind was what was tossing Seetha's garments around, it should have also tossed Ravana's garments around. However, there is no mention of the displacement of Ravana's garments.]

After Ravana removed Seetha's garments and made her naked, she entered his lap in sexual intercourse (रावणाङ्कगम्). The detail given in the verses suggest this was oral sex:
तस्यास्तत्सुनसं वक्त्रमाकाशे रावणाङ्कगम्।
न रराज विना रामं विनालमिव पङ्कजम्।।3.52.18।।

Sita's face with her beautiful nose which entered Ravana's lap in sexual and not Rama's, shone no more like a lotus without its stalk.

बभूव जलदं नीलं भित्त्वा चन्द्र इवोदितः।
सुललाटं सुकेशान्तं पद्मगर्भाभमव्रणम्।।3.52.19।।
शुक्लैस्सुविमलैर्दन्तै प्रभावद्भिरलङ्कृतम्।
तस्यास्तद्विमलं वक्त्रमाकाशे रावणाङ्कगम्।।3.52.20।।
रुदितं व्यपमृष्टास्रं चन्द्रवत्प्रियदर्शनम्।
सुनासं चारुताम्रोष्ठमाकाशे हाटकप्रभम्।।3.52.21।।

Sita's face looked beautiful with her smooth forehead, shining hair and spotless complexion like the inside of a lotus, with clean, white, shining teeth, a nice nose and lovely red lips. She was continuously weeping and wiping her tears. Her face which was pleasing like the Moon, that had entered the lap of Ravana in sexual intercourse, appeared as though the Moon was rising through dark clouds.

राक्षसेन समाधूतं तस्यास्तद्वदनं शुभम्।
शुशुभे न विना रामंदिवा चन्द्र इवोदितः।।3.52.22।।

Shaken up by the demon and deprived of Rama's company, Sita's beautiful face looked like the Moon during daytime without any glow.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
Please take note of how, in verse 3.52.18, Valmiki says that Seetha's face, with her nose, entered Ravana's lap in sexual intercourse. This form of sexual intercourse that was described clearly resembles what we would call oral sex. That verse, as well as verse 3.52.22, also mention that her face no longer shone now that it entered Ravana's lap in sexual intercourse instead of Rama's. This suggests that Seetha would engage in oral sex quite often with Rama, and Valmiki did not like the change in the sexual partner from Rama to Ravana. My interpretation of Seetha's face entering Ravana's lap in sexual intercourse as oral sex is further supported by verse 3.52.19-22. In those verses, Valmiki places emphasis on Seetha's face, or to be more specifice, on her "clean, white, shining teeth", and "lovely red lips". The emphasis on the teeth and lips suggest their role in the action Seetha was performing at that moment. Furthermore, for such a detailed description of the teeth and lips, Seetha's mouth ought to have been open (in the act she was performing). All of this applies to oral sex. In addition, the comparison of the act to the Moon (Seetha) rising through the dark clouds (Ravana) is an appropriate description of how oral sex occurs - if you think about it (I don't want to expand any more on that point, but I think the sensible person would understand what I am trying to say with that comparison...).
Also take note of how verse 3.52.22 mentions that Seetha was "shaken up by the demon (Ravana)". This supports my aforementioned interpretation of verses 3.53.14-17, where I said that Seetha's yellow garment was tossed onto Ravana due to Ravana's actions, instead of the force of the wind. He had shaken Seetha, thereby tossing her yellow garment off, onto himself. After describing this sexual intercourse between Ravana and Seetha, Valmiki then spends a few verses to describe how physically close the bodies of Ravana and Seetha were:
सा हेमवर्णा नीलाङ्गं मैथिली राक्षसाधिपम्।
शुशुभे काञ्चनी काञ्ची नीलं मणिमिवाश्रिता।।3.52.23।।

Goldencomplexioned Sita, princess of Mithila, held by the darkcoloured king of the demons, shone like a girdle resting on a dark blue sapphire.

सा पद्मगौरी हेमाभा रावणं जनकात्मजा।
विद्युद्घनमिवाविश्य शुशुभे तप्तभूषणा।।3.52.24।।

Bright like a golden lotus, adorned with gold ornaments, Sita, the daughter of Janaka, held by Ravana, looked like a streak of lightning shining bright in a dark cloud.

तस्या भूषणघोषेण वैदेह्या राक्षसाधिपः।
बभौ सचपलो नीलस्सघोष इव तोयदः।।3.52.25।।

The lord of the demons by the side of Sita, princess of Videha with her jingling ornaments looked like the darkblue raincloud with its lightning and thunder.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
These verses just show how very close the two bodies were during their sexual intercourse. Seetha was like the girdle wrapped around the circumference of a dark blue sapphire (Ravana). She was also likened to the lightning that has an intricate association with its dark raincloud (Ravana) during the time of rain. Their bodies were so close to one another that it seemed like the goldenness of Seetha's body was merging into the blackness of Ravana's body.

Valmiki then describes that the flowers on Seetha's body had slipped off of her body, and fell onto Ravana's body, and onto the ground:
उत्तमाङ्गाच्च्युता तस्याः पुष्पवृष्टिस्समन्ततः।
सीताया ह्रिममाणायाः पपात धरणीतले।।3.52.26।।

As Sita was being carried away, the shower of flowers dropped from her head and scattered on the earth.

सा तु रावणवेगेन पुष्पवृष्टिः समन्ततः।
समाधूता दशग्रीवं पुनरेवाभ्यवर्तत।।3.52.27।।

The shower of flowers that fell flew towards the tenheaded Ravana again in the swirling motion (of the chariot).

अभ्यवर्तत पुष्पाणां धारा वैश्रवणानुजम्।
नक्षत्रमाला विमला मेरुं नगमिवोन्नतम्।।3.52.28।।

The shower of flowers that dropped went round towards Ravana, brother of Vaisravana, like the bright garland of stars move towards mount Meru. 
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
Considering the verses preceding verse 3.52.26 that describe the close proximity between the two bodies, and verse 3.52.22, which describes Ravana shaking Seetha, it is fair to conclude that this fall of flowers onto Ravana and the ground occurred due to the colliding of the two bodies, that were already in very close proximity. This colliding of the two bodies was also likely the cause of the unexpected fall of Seetha's ornaments from her person onto the ground:
चरणान्नूपुरं भ्रष्टं वैदेह्या रत्नभूषितम्।विद्युन्मण्डलसङ्काशं पपात मधुरस्वनम्।।3.52.29।।
The gemstudded anklet of Sita, looking like an orb of lightning, dropped with a gentle sound.
तरुप्रवालरक्ता सा नीलाङ्गं राक्षसेश्वरम्।प्राशोभयत वैदेही गजं कक्ष्येव काञ्चनी।।3.52.30।।
She that Vaidehi who is so delicate like reddish leaflets of trees made that blackish bodied lord of demons, Ravana, well and truly lambent, herself becoming a golden girdle girded around the elephant like Ravana. 
तां महोल्कामिवाकाशे दीप्यमानां स्वतेजसा।
जहाराऽकाशमाविस्य सीतां वैश्रवणानुजः।।3.52.31।।
The younger brother of Vaisravana (Ravana), like a massive comet, carried Sita, who was glowing in the radiance of her own beauty, and entered the sky.
तस्यास्तान्यग्निवर्णानि भूषणानि महीतले।
सघोषाण्यवकीर्यन्त क्षीणास्तारा इवाम्बरात्।।3.52.32।।
Like the dim stars falling from the sky, her ornaments, bright as flame, scattered on the ground tinkling. 
तस्यास्स्तनान्तराद्भ्रष्टो हारस्ताराधिपद्युतिः।
वैदेह्या निपतन्भाति गङ्गेव गगनाच्च्युता।।3.52.33।। 
Sita's necklace shining like the bright Moon slipped from between her breasts like the river Ganga falling down from the sky.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
I say that the colliding of Ravana and Seetha's bodies was the cause of the falling of Seetha's ornaments from her body because Valmiki alludes to a very close proximity of the two bodies in verses 3.53.30-31. He says that the bodies were so close that Seetha was like a golden girdle wrapped around an elephant (Ravana), and that the colors of their bodies were merging into one another. With such closeness, rubbing between the bodies was bound to occur. Since these verses were spoken in the context of the ornaments falling from Seetha's body, Valmiki alludes that the reason for the falling of these ornaments was the colliding/rubbing of the two bodies.

After this, Valmiki describes how all of nature was lamenting Seetha's kidnap and how the kidnap of Seetha was the first step taken by Ravana that would lead to his destruction - another allusion to the political aspect of the kidnap of Seetha:
उत्पातवाताभिहता नानाद्विजगणायुताः।माभैरिति विधूताग्रा व्याजह्रुरिव पादपाः।।3.52.34।।
The trees filled with birds of all kinds, shaken at the top by stormy winds seemed to be saying to Sita, 'Be not afraid'.
नलिन्यो ध्वस्तकमलास्त्रस्तमीनजलेचराः।सखीमिव गतोच्छ्वासामन्वशोचन्त मैथिलीम्।।3.52.35।।
Lotusponds with withering lotuses and with disturbed aquatic life like fishes in fright were as if grieving for Sita as one would grieve for a companion who is unable to breathe.
समन्तादभिसम्पत्य सिंहव्याघ्रमृगद्विजाः।अन्वधावंस्तदा रोषात्सीतां छायानुगामिनः।।3.52.36।।
Then the lions, tigers, deer and birds gathered together in anger (also anguish) and ran after Sita's shadow.
जलप्रपातास्रमुखाश्शृङ्गैरुच्छ्रितबाहुभिः।सीतायां ह्रियमाणायां विक्रोशन्तीव पर्वताः।।3.52.37।।
The mountains were shedding tears in the form of waterfalls, and crying with hands lifted up in the form of peaks, while Sita was being carried away.
ह्रियमाणां तु वैदेहीं दृष्ट्वा दीनो दिवाकरः।प्रतिध्वस्तप्रभश्श्रीमानासीत्पाण्डरमण्डलः।।3.52.38।।
Seeing Sita abducted, the glorious Sun looked lustreless and distraught. He developed a pale white disk around him.
नास्ति धर्मः कुतस्सत्यं नार्जवं नानृशंसता।यत्र रामस्य वैदेहीं भार्यां हरति रावणः।।3.52.39।।इति सर्वाणि भूतानि गणशः पर्यदेवयन्।
When Rama's consort, the princess of Videha, is being carried away by Ravana, how can there be rightousness or truth or uprightness or compassion for men? Thus bewailed all beings in groups.
वित्रस्तका दीनमुखा रुरुदुर्मृगपोतकाः।।3.52.40।।उद्वीक्ष्योद्वीक्ष्य नयनैरस्रपाताविलेक्षणाः।
The young deer full of fear and distress looked again and again with eyes blurred with tears at the direction in which Sita went. And wept.
सुप्रवेपितगात्राश्च बभूवुर्वनदेवताः।।3.52.41।।विक्रोशन्तीं दृढं सीतां दृष्ट्वा दुःखं तथा गताम्।
The sylvan deities shivered, seeing Sita's grief and cried aloud.
तां तु लक्ष्मण रामेति क्रोशन्तीं मधुरस्वरम्।।3.52.42।।अवेक्षमाणां बहुशो वैदेहीं धरणीतलम्।स तामाकुलकेशान्तां विप्रमृष्टविशेषकाम्।।3.52.43।।जहारात्म विनाशाय दशग्रीवो मनस्स्विनीम्।
The ten headed Ravana abducted Sita who was calling out, O Rama, O Lakshmana with her sweet voice, weeping , looking down on the earth her hair dishevelled and auspicious mark on the forehead erased. Ravana abducted this highminded Sita for his own destruction.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
Seetha, who was giving a wide smile up until this point (perhaps due to her enjoyment in sexual intercourse), then abandoned this smile and grew pale in intense fear:
ततस्तु सा चारुदती शुचिस्मिता विनाकृता बन्धुजनेन मैथिली।अपश्यती राघवलक्ष्मणावुभौ विवर्णवक्त्राभयभारपीडिता।।3.52.44।।
Then Sita whose teeth were beautiful and smile, sweet was distanced from her kins, and, unable to see both Rama and Lakshmana, grew pale in intense fear.
Aranya Kanda Section 52 
The reason for this intense fear, as given in the verse above, was the inability to see Rama and Lakshmana. This would have tormented Seetha as it would have raised the doubt regarding whether or not Rama and Lakshmana had actually even heard her cries that she was being kidnapped by Ravana. Had they not heard her cries, her political game would be toppled, as they would not know that she was being taken by Ravana to Lanka, and would therefore not attack Lanka...

Another reason for this fear may have been Seetha's smile that she was giving Ravana for quite some time. Considering her political purpose behind orchestrating the kidnap, she ought to have made Ravana feel like she was not enjoying his act of abduction, thereby urging him to do anything and everything to win her heart, be it even paying a lack of attention towards his kingdom and diverting this attention towards her and his personal life. Men like Ravana, who have conquered everything that they have desired in life are generally unable to bear a lady refusing their advances (read "failure and rejection"), and therefore would put their 100% in trying to please such a lady and win her love. Seetha's political game involved trying to exploit this tendency in Ravana. However, making him feel, via her smile, that she was happy with what he was doing would topple over this well executed political plan. For that reason, Seetha may have been in fear due to her worry about whether Ravana noticed her smile and saw through her pretense of intense anger for him.

In order settle down any suspicion that may have raised in Ravana regarding Seetha's "enjoyment/happiness" at that moment, Seetha once again lashed out at Ravana in a very abusive manner, attacking his manliness and ego once more, and saying that now that he had abducted her, Rama would kill him at all costs:
खमुत्पतन्तं तं दृष्ट्वा मैथिली जनकात्मजा।
दुःखिता परमोद्विग्ना भये महति वर्तिनी।।3.53.1।।

Looking at Ravana up in the skies, Sita, daughter of Janaka, princess of Mithila felt miserable, and got very much agitated out of fear.

रोषरोदनताम्राक्षी भीमाक्षं राक्षसाधिपम्।
रुदन्ती करुणं सीता ह्रियमाणेदमब्रवीत्।।3.53.2।।

While being carried away, Sita wept piteously and her eyes went red with tears of anger and grief. Looking at the frightening eyes of the king of the demons, she said these words :

न व्यपत्रपसे नीच कर्मणानेन रावण।
ज्ञात्वा विरहितां यन्मां चोरयित्वा पलायसे।।3.53.3।।

O mean Ravana, are you not ashamed of kidnapping me when I was separated (from my husband)?

त्वयैव नूनं दुष्टात्मन् भीरुणा हर्तुमिच्छता।
ममापवाहितो भर्ता मृगरूपेण मायया।।3.53.4।।

O wicked fellow, with an intention to abduct me you enticed my husband to a distance deceitfully in the form of a deer.

यो हि मामुद्यतस्त्रातुं सोऽप्ययं विनिपातितः।
गृध्रराजः पुराणोऽसौ श्वशुरस्य सखा मम।।3.53.5।।

This Jatayu, an old friend of my father-in-law tried to protect me but he too has fallen a prey.

परमं खलु ते वीर्यं दृश्यते राक्षसाधम।
विश्राव्य नामधेयं हि युद्धे नास्मि जिता त्वया।।3.53.6।।

O lowly demon, you have, indeed, shown your heroism (in killing this old vulture). You have not won me in a battle declared by you.

ईदृशं गर्हितं कर्म कथं कृत्वा न लज्जसे।
स्त्रियाश्च हरणं नीच रहिते च परस्य च।।3.53.7।।

O lowly fellow how is it that you are not ashamed of committing such a despicable act abducting another's wife when she is alone ?
कथयिष्यन्ति लोकेषु पुरुषाः कर्म कुत्सितम्।
सुनृशंसमधर्मिष्ठं तव शौण्डीर्यमानिनः।।3.53.8।।

You consider yourself to be brave after committing such a cruel, despicable and unrighteous act for which people of the world will condemn you.

धिक्ते शौर्यं च सत्त्वं च यत्त्वं कथितवांस्तदा।
कुलाक्रोशकरं लोके धिक्ते चारित्रमीदृशम्।।3.53.9।।

Fie upon your heroism and strength about which you boasted. Fie upon your character that would bring calumny to the race and the world. I condemn such behaviour of yours.

किं कर्तुं शक्यमेवं हि यज्जवेनैव धावसि।
मुहूर्तमपि तिष्ठस्व न जीवन्प्रतियास्यसि।।3.53.10।।

Tarry a little, you will not go back with life. What can be done now since you are running away so swiftly?

न हि चक्षुष्पथं प्राप्य तयोः पार्थिवपुत्रयोः।
ससैन्योऽपि समर्थस्त्वं मुहूर्तमपि जीवितुम्।।3.53.11।।

If you come within sight of these two princes, it will not be possible for you to live for a moment even if you are with your entire army.

न त्वं तयोश्शरस्पर्शं सोढुं शक्तः कथञ्चन।
वने प्रज्वलितस्येव स्पर्शमग्नेर्विहंगमः।।3.53.12।।

Just as a bird cannot bear the touch of forest fire, you will not be able to endure the mere touch of arrows of the two heroes indeed.

साधु कुर्वाऽऽत्मनः पथ्यं साधु मां मुञ्च रावण।
मत्प्रधर्षणरुष्टो हि भ्रात्रा सह पतिर्मम।।3.53.13।।
विधास्यति विनाशाय त्वं मां यदि न मुञ्चसि।

O Ravana be good and do whatever is beneficial to you. It is proper for you to release me. If you do not, enraged over my assault, my husband along with his brother, will bring about your destruction.

येन त्वं व्यवसायेन बलान्मां हर्तुमिच्छसि।।3.53.14।।
व्यवसायस्स ते नीच भविष्यति निरर्थकः।

O vile creature, the effort you are making to abduct me forcibly will be fruitless.

न ह्यहं तमपश्यन्ती भर्तारं विबुधोपमम्।।3.53.15।।
उत्सहे शत्रुवशगा प्राणान्धारयितुं चिरम्।

I will not be eager to hold on to my life for long to live at the mercy of the enemy without being able to see my godlike husband.

न नूनं चात्मनः पथ्यं श्रेयो वा समवेक्षसे।।3.53.16।।
मृत्युकाले यथा मर्त्यो विपरीतानि सेवते।

At the time of death, mortals behave very differently. They act contrary to their own welfare. Likewise you are not able to foresee what is beneficial and good for you.

मुमूर्षूणां हि सर्वेषां यत्पथ्यं तन्न रोचते।।3.53.17।।
पश्याम्यद्य हि कण्ठेत्वां कालपाशावपाशितम्।

Those who wish to die, do not like anything salutary. I see the noose of death wound round your neck now.

यथा चास्मिन्भयस्थाने न बिभेषि दशानन।।3.53.18।।
व्यक्तं हिरण्मयान् हि त्वं सम्पश्यसि महीरुहान्।

O tenheaded Ravana, since you do not fear the source of fear, evidently you see golden trees. (a symptom of death).

नदीं वैतरणीं घोरां रुधिरौघनिवाहिनीम्।।3.53.19।।
असिपत्रवनं चैव भीमं पश्यसि रावण।

O Ravana, you see the dreadful river Vaitarani with torrents of blood flowing and frightening forest of trees with swords as leaves.

तप्तकाञ्चनपुष्पां च वैडूर्यप्रवरच्छदाम्।।3.53.20।।
द्रक्ष्यसे शाल्मलीं तीक्ष्णामायसैः कण्टकैश्चिताम्।

You will see a log of salmali tree with bright golden flowers and excellent vaidurya stone with pointed iron thorns.

न हि त्वमीदृशं कृत्वा तस्यालीकं महात्मनः।।3.53.21।।
धरितुं शक्ष्यसि चिरं विषं पीत्वेव निर्घृणः।

You are pitiless. You will not be able to survive for long after deceiving such noble Rama just as man cannot survive after drinking poison.

बद्धस्त्वं कालपाशेन दुर्निवारेण रावण।।3.53.22।।
क्वगतो लप्स्यसे शर्म भर्तुर्मम महात्मनः।

O Ravana you are bound by the inevitable noose of death. Where shall you get away from great Rama, my husband to obtain peace.

निमेषान्तरमात्रेण विना भ्रात्रा महावने।।3.53.23।।
राक्षसा निहता येन सहस्राणि चतुर्दश।
स कथं राघवो वीरस्सर्वास्त्रकुशलो बली।।3.53.24।।
न त्वां हन्याच्छरैस्तीक्ष्णैरिष्टभार्यापहारिणम्।

Rama has killed fourteen thousand demons alone without his brother within a moment. He is a strong warrior and wellversed in the use of all kinds of weapons. You have stolen his loving wife. How can he live without killing you.
Aranya Kanda Section 53
This speech of Seetha attacked Ravana's manliness even more. She accused him of being scared of Rama and fleeing away from him, in addition to her continued boasts of Rama's prowess. This increased the stress level of Ravana, and as a result, it led to increased sexual desire (remember back to earlier in the post where I said that stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn increases sexual excitement) in Ravana. This can be seen in the manner a distressed Ravana does not reply back to Seetha, but rather continues to engage in coitus with her, albeit in a more extreme manner than earlier, such that Seetha's body begins to spasmodically jerk in an intense manner:
तच्चान्यच्च परुषं वैदेही रावणाङ्कगा।।3.53.25।।भयशोकसमाविष्टा करुणं विललाप ह।
On saying this much and other exacting words, Vaidehi who entered the lap of Ravana in sexual intercourse, indeed lamented lamentably as her dismay is coalesced with her distress.
तथा भृशार्तां बहुचैव भाषिणीं विलापपूर्वं करुणं च भामिनीम्।जहार पापः करुणं विवेष्टतीं नृपात्मजामागतगात्रवेपथुम्।।3.53.26।। (CE)
In that manner, the highly agonized youthful king's daughter, weeping before speaking in a very pitiable manner, wrapped herself around that sinner who abducted her and began intense spasmodic jerks of her body.
Aranya Kanda Section 53
Take note of how Seetha tries to hide any inner feelings she may have had at the moment, by lamenting and weeping. Her pretense is evident in the way Valmiki says that she performed the weeping and lamenting in a well thought out manner, by employing a pattern of weeping prior to speaking (भाषिणीं विलापपूर्वं). Such a planned manner of weeping and lamentation is definitely not a natural way of expressing sorrow... After curbing any suspicions that may have arisen in Ravana's mind at the time, Seetha then directed her attention to ensuring that Rama and Lakshmana know about about her kidnap and where she was kidnapped to. For that reason, she saw 5 Vanaras, and tied some ornaments in her uttariya (which as I mentioned earlier, was the single cloth she was wearing; it was long enough to cover her lower body as well) and released it towards them so that they would see it and narrate about her kidnap to Rama when he comes searching for her:
ह्रियमाणा तु वैदेही कञ्चिन्नाथमपश्यती।
ददर्श गिरिशृङ्गस्थान्पञ्च वानरपुङ्गवान्।।3.54.1।।

While Sita was being kidnapped, she saw no one to protect her. Only five great monkeys stood on the top of a mountain.

तेषां मध्ये विशालाक्षी कौशेयं कनकप्रभम्।
उत्तरीयं वरारोहा शुभान्याभरणानि च।।3.54.2।।
मुमोच यदि रामाय शंसेयुरिति मैथिली।

Largeeyed, bright and beautiful Sita dropped her uttariya silk garment shining like gold and auspicious ornaments in their midst with a hope they may report this to Rama.
Aranya Kanda Section 54
When Seetha was doing that, Ravana did not notice Seetha's actions because Seetha's prior rant had caused him to be agitated and stressed out as I had previously mentioned. Ravana just wanted to reach Lanka as soon as possible, before encountering Rama, whom Ravana was now in fear of, due to Seetha's excessive boasts about his prowess. This agitation prevented Ravana from noticing Seetha's actions:
वस्त्रमुत्सृज्य तन्मध्ये निक्षिप्तं सहभूषणम्।।3.54.3।।
सम्भ्रमात्तु दशग्रीवस्तत्कर्म न स बुद्धवान्।

In his agitation Ravana failed to notice when Sita dropped down that garment along with ornaments in their midst.
Aranya Kanda Section 54
As soon as Ravana crossed the lake Pampa and was outside of the reach of Rama he was delighted, and sped his way to Lanka with Seetha in his lap. He soon reached Lanka, and placed Seetha in her harem:
स च पम्पामतिक्रम्य लङ्कामभिमुखः पुरीम्।।3.54.5।।जगाम रुदतीं गृह्य वैदेहीं राक्षसेश्वरः।
Ravana crossed the lake Pampa and flew towards the city of Lanka carrying with him lamenting daughter of Videha. 
तां जहार सुसंहृष्टो रावणो मृत्युमात्मनः।।3.54.6।।उत्सङ्गेनेव भुजगीं तीक्ष्णदंष्ट्रां महाविषाम्। 
Delighted Ravana, carried off Sita, the very embodiment of his death, like one carrying a highly poisonous sharpfanged female snake on his lap. 
वनानि सरितश्शैलांत्सरांसि च विहायसा।।3.54.7।।स क्षिप्रं समतीयाय शरश्चापादिव च्युतः। 
Like an arrow released from the bow, Ravana went through the sky, at once crossing forests, rivers mountains and tanks. 
तिमिनक्रनिकेतं तु वरुणालयमक्षयम्।।3.54.8।।सरितां शरणं गत्वा समतीयाय सागरम्। 
Ravana soon crossed the refuge of rivers, the abode of Varuna, god of the sea, inexhaustible ocean, and the home for whales and crocodiles. 
सम्भ्रमात्परिवृत्तोर्मी रुद्धमीनमहोरगः।।3.54.9।।वैदेह्यां ह्रियमाणायां बभूव वरुणालयः। 
While Sita, princess of Videha was being carried away, the ocean, abode of Varuna got bewildered, waves rolled back, the movement of big serpents and fishes stopped. 
अन्तरिक्षगता वाचस्ससृजुश्चारणास्तदा।।3.54.10।।एतदन्तो दशग्रीव इति सिद्धास्तदाब्रुवन्। 
The charanas and siddhas moving in the sky said, O tenheaded Ravana this is your end . 
स तु सीतां विवेष्टन्तीमङ्केनादाय रावणः।।3.54.11।। (CE)
प्रविवेश पुरीं लङ्कां रूपिणीं मृत्युमात्मनः।  
Ravana entered the city of Lanka holding Sita who was wrapped around him and who was the very embodiment of his death. 
सोऽभिगम्य पुरीं लङ्कां सुविभक्तमहापथाम्।।3.54.12।।संरूढकक्ष्याबहुलं स्वमन्तःपुरमाविशत्। 
Ravana went through the well laidout roads of the city of Lanka and through the well many guarded halls of the palace and entered the inner apartment. 
तत्र तामसितापाङ्गां शोकमोहपरायणाम्।।3.54.13।।निदधे रावणस्सीतां मयो मायामिवस्त्रियम्। 
Sita, with her dark eye lashes and lost in utter sorrow was kept in the harem by Ravana, like demon Maya kept Mayamayi.
Aranya Kanda Section 54 
The political plot of the kidnap is emphasized even more in these verses. Seetha is addressed as the "very embodiment of his death" in verses 3.54.6, 11 and compared to a "poisonous sharpfanged female snake" in verse 3.54.11, thereby suggesting her proactive role in this political plot that was initiated with her orchestrating her kidnap and would continue up until Ravana is finally killed by Rama. Just as a snake would proactively allure its victim and then bite it when it is not prepared for the assault, so did Seetha behave. I am reminded of this verse by Vibhishana in Yuddha Kanda Section 14, where he describes Seetha's proactive role in manipulating Ravana and leading to his downfall:
वृतो हि बाह्वन्तरभोगराशि |श्चिन्ताविषः सुस्मिततीक्षणदम्ष्ट्रः |पञ्चाङ्गुलीपञ्चशिरोऽतिकायः |सीतामहाहिस्तव केन राजन् || ६-१४-२

By whom, O, king, has been wrapped around your neck, this great serpent of gigantic body called Sita, with heap of expended hoods as her bosom, having poison as her anxiety and with sharp fangs as her sweet smile and with five hoods as her five fingers.

यावन्न लङ्का समभिद्रवन्ति |वलीमुखाः पर्वतकूटमात्राः |दम्ष्ट्रयुधाश्चैव नखायुधाश्च |प्रदीयताम् दाशरथाय मैथिली || ६-१४-३

Even before the monkeys with their body size as mountain peaks, having their teeth and nails as weapons, rush full upon the city of Lanka, give back Sita to Rama.
Yuddha Kanda Section 14
In addition, in verse 3.54.10, we are informed that the siddhas and charanas see Ravana kidnapping Seetha and say "O tenheaded Ravana this is your end". Ravana was a king and known to take women via the skies to his harem. So how did these siddhas and charanas, know that this specific woman (Seetha) would lead to Ravana's end? It would not have been possible unless they were aware of the political plan executed by Brahma and Seetha. Hence, verse 3.54.10 alludes to the awareness of these siddhas and charanas regarding the political game that was plotted using Seetha as a bait to allure Ravana and ultimately lead to his demise.

After placing Seetha in his harem, Ravana ordered strict security to be placed for Seetha, and also ordered his Rakshasiis that they give her whatever she wants, be it pearls, gems, gold, clothes, ornaments, etc...
अब्रवीच्च दशग्रीवः पिशाचीर्घोरदर्शनाः।।3.54.14।।
यथा नेमां पुमान् स्त्री वा सीतां पश्यत्यसम्मतः।

Ravana ordered the female goblins of fearful appearance,'Let no outsider whether man or woman, see her, without my permission'.

मुक्तामणिसुवर्णानि वस्त्राण्याभरणानि च।।3.54.15।।
यद्यदिच्छेत्तदेवास्या देयं मच्छन्दतो यथा।

Pearls, gems or gold, clothes or ornaments, whatever she desires, be made available to her without any hesitation.

या च वक्ष्यति वैदेहीं वचनं किञ्चिदप्रियम्।।3.54.16।।
अज्ञानाद्यदि वा ज्ञानान्न तस्या जीवितं प्रियम्।

Whoever utters any unpleasant words knowingly or unknowingly to Sita, princess of Videha is not worthy to survive (must be killed).
Aranya Kanda Section 54 
Then, Ravana left his harem for a brief moment, so that he could find a way to deal with his fear of Rama, that was developed by Seetha's boasts of his prowess... So, he consulted 8 powerful Rakshasas and asked them to go to Janasthana, keep watch on Rama's activities, and eliminate him when they get an opportunity. After sending them to Janasthana, Ravana was overjoyed, thinking that all his problems would not come to an end (read "his fear for Rama would come to an end"). So he then happily entered his harem, grabbed Seetha and showed her around his palace and its glory. As he was doing so, he felt Seetha had become his, and asked her to marry him and become his chief queen. However, Seetha strictly refused...

She once again started abusing Ravana and attacked his manliness:
सा तथोक्ता तु वैदेही निर्भया शोककर्शिता।तृणमन्तरतः कृत्वा रावणं प्रत्यभाषत।।3.56.1।।

Thus addressed by Ravana, Sita, immersed in deep sorrow and unafraid of him, placed a blade of grass between her and him (intending not to speak to him straight) and replied:

राजा दशरथो नाम धर्मसेतुरिवाचलः।सत्यसन्धः परिज्ञातो यस्य पुत्रस्सराघवः।।3.56.2।।

Rama is a son of the renowned king Dasaratha, who was a firm ambankment (protector) of righteousness and was true to his promise.
रामो नाम स धर्मात्मा त्रिषु लोकेषु विश्रुतः।दीर्घबाहुर्विशालाक्षो दैवतं हि पतिर्मम।।3.56.3।।

The longarmed, largeeyed Rama is famous in all the three worlds. He is my husband, a righteous soul and a god to all.

इक्ष्वाकूणां कुले जातस्सिंहस्कन्धो महाद्युतिः।लक्ष्मणेन सह भ्रात्रा यस्ते प्राणान्हरिष्यति।।3.56.4।।

The brilliant Rama of the Ikshvaku dynasty with the lion's shoulders will come with his brother Lakshmana and take away your life.

प्रत्यक्षं यद्यहं तस्य त्वया स्यां धर्षिता बलात्।शयिता त्वं हतस्संख्ये जनस्थाने यथा खरः।।3.56.5।।

Had you raped me forcibly in his presence, you would have been lying down dead just as Khara in Janasthana.

य एते राक्षसाः प्रोक्ता घोररूपा महाबलाः।राघवे निर्विषास्सर्वे सुपर्णे पन्नगा यथा।।3.56.6।।

Those dreadful, mighty demons you have described are ineffective in his presence just like the serpents who with their venom are ineffective in the presence of Suparna (Garuda).

तस्य ज्याविप्रमुक्तास्ते शराः काञ्चनभूषणाः।शरीरं विधमिष्यन्ति गङ्गाकूलमिवोर्मयः।।3.56.7।।

The goldtipped arrows released from his bowstring will shatter your body like the waves erode the banks of river Ganga.

असुरैर्वा सुरैर्वा त्वं यद्यवध्योऽसि रावण।उत्पाद्य सुमहद्वैरं जीवंस्तस्य न मोक्ष्यसे।।3.56.8।।

O Ravana, even if you stand invulnerable to gods and demons, you will not come out alive in the combat with Rama with whom you have earned great enmity.

स ते जीवितशेषस्य राघवोऽन्तकरो बली।पशोर्यूपगतस्येव जीवितं तव दुर्लभम्।।3.56.9।।

Powerful Rama will put an end to whatever little life you are left with. Just as a beast tied to a sacrificial post, you will not survive.

यदि पश्येत्स रामस्त्वां रोषदीप्तेन चक्षुषा।रक्षस्त्वमद्य निर्धग्धो गच्छेस्सद्यः पराभवम्।।3.56.10।।

O demon, you will be completely consumed if Rama looks at you with eyes burning in anger.

यश्चन्द्रं नभसो भूमौ पातयेन्नाशयेत वा।सागरं शोषयेद्वापि स सीतां मोचयेदिह।।3.56.11।।

He who can bring down the Moon to the earth from the sky or even dash it down, he who can drain the sea dry will definitely release me from here.

गतायुस्त्वं गतश्रीको गतसत्त्व गतेन्द्रियः।लङ्का वैधव्यसंयुक्ता त्वत्कृतेन भविष्यति।।3.56.12।।

Your life is coming to an end. Your fortunes will wane, your strength will be sapped. Your senses will be dissipated. By your deeds Lanka will attain widowhood.

न ते पापमिदं कर्म शुखोदर्कं भविष्यति।याऽहं नीता विनाभावं पतिपार्श्वात्त्वया वने।।3.56.13।।

This evil deed (of abduction) will not yield happy results.You have brought me from my husband from the forest without any forethought.

स हि दैवतसंयुक्तो मम भर्ता महाद्युतिः।निर्भयो वीर्यमाश्रित्य शून्ये वसति दण्डके।।3.56.14।।

My effulgent, valiant husband armed with divine power resides fearlessly in the desolate Dandaka.

स ते दर्पं बलं वीर्यमुत्सेकं च तथाविधम्।अपनेष्यति गात्रेभ्यश्शरवर्षेण संयुगे।।3.56.15।।

He will remove your pride, your power, your valour and haughtiness from your limbs with a shower of arrows in the fight.

यदा विनाशो भूतानां दृश्यते कालचोदितः।तदा कार्ये प्रमाद्यन्ति नराः कालवशं गताः।।3.56.16।।

When destruction draws near, people being prompted by time start commiting blunders in their deeds.

मां प्रधृष्य स ते कालः प्राप्तोऽयं राक्षसाधम।आत्मनो राक्षसानां च वधायान्तःपुरस्य च।।3.56.17।।

You vilest of demons, since you have violated me, the time of your death and destruction of all demons and of all women in the harem has drawn near.

न शक्या यज्ञमध्यस्था वेदी सृग्भाण्डमण्डिता।द्विजातिमन्त्रपूता च चण्डालेनावमर्दितुम्।।3.56.18।।

The sacrificial altar adorned with ladles and vessels and sanctified by the sacred mantras recited by brahmins cannot be defiled by a chandala (man of lowest caste).
तथाऽहं धर्मनित्यस्य धर्मपत्नी पतिव्रता।त्वया स्पृष्टुं न शक्यास्मि राक्षसाधम पापिना।।3.56.19।।

O lowly demon similarly I am a devoted wife of the ever righteous Rama. It is not possible for a sinner like you to touch me.

क्रीडन्ती राजहंसेन पद्मषण्डेषु नित्यदा।हंसी सा तृणषण्डस्थं कथं पश्येत मद्गुकम्।।3.56.20।।

How can a female swan ever sporting in lotusponds in the company of a royal swan look at the watercrow resting on a grassy land?

इदं शरीरं निस्संज्ञं बन्ध वा खातयस्व वा।नेदं शरीरं रक्षयं मे जीवितं वापि राक्षस।।3.56.21।।न तु शक्ष्याम्युपक्रोशं पृथिव्यां दातुमात्मनः।
O demon this body has (now) no consciousness. You may bind it or bury it. I do not think that this body or even this life need to be protected. But at no cost can I make myself an object of censure on earth.
Aranya Kanda Section 56 
Take note of how Seetha says in verses 3.56.18-19 that Ravana could not even touch her. Well, we obviously know that he grabbed her and placed her on his lap during the kidnap. Hence, her words should not be taken literally. Instead, after reading in the context, I interpret these verses as Seetha likening Ravana to an untouchable (चण्डाल) and then insulting him by saying that he is so insignificant that his touch is like no touch in her eyes. She then goes on to clarify this in verses 3.56.20-21, by saying that Ravana is so inferior to herself that it is below her standard and dignity to even look at him with affection, and that although he may have acquired her body (i.e. physically), he will never be able to acquire her at an emotional level. It was this emotional connect with Seetha that Ravana strived to acquire, after he took her to Lanka. As I mentioned in a previous post, the two eventually did form an emotional bond with one another, but by the time this had happened, it was a little too late, as Rama's forces had already reached the shores Lanka, ready to invade the nation.

Returning back to the point I was making... After Seetha spoke in such a manner, Ravana orders her to be taken to the Ashoka Grove, where some Rakshasiis were ordered to humble her pride. He also tells Seetha that if she does not accept him as a husband in 12 months, he will chop her to pieces and eat her for his morning breakfast. In my opinion, the verses that mention that he will eat her for breakfast in 12 months are a result of the merging of the original Valmiki Ramayana, with a later version of Valmiki Ramayana. In other words, they are likely an interpolation to the original epic. I will expand on this and give my rationale for saying so in a later article, as the explanation is beyond the scope of this article.

That concludes Part 3 of this post, and my analysis of Seetha's kidnap by Ravana. Hence, in conclusion, I would like to say that if anyone was truly a victim, it was not Seetha, but instead Ravana, who fell prey to Seetha's political plot, and eventually weaved his own destruction!

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  1. Hi Milin, nice article, logically layed-out, well presented. Your argument about Sita's political game plan to destroy Ravan is very convincing, although I will mention below of some doubt in my mind about it.

    Ravan came to the jungles to kidnap Sita without any defense/army, which is yet another proof that he and Sita may have communicated in some form prior to the kidnapping and Sita knew of Ravan's plan to come meet her alone prior to the day of the kidnapping. Ram had killed Khar and Dushan (Ravan's equally powerful brothers) + 14000 demons, so Ravan had to have an accomplice in Sita to come defenseless.

    Regarding Sita's political plan to destroy Ravan - I find it hard to believe that she would work with Brahma/gods on the game plan, but Ram would be in the dark. Ram seemed to be in the dark, otherwise why else would he question Sita's chastity after the war with Ravan ended.

    In the verse where Sita uses the word 'muharat' to Ravan, she also uses the word 'samashvas'. So, I got the sense that Sita was trying to calm Ravan down and assuring him that it will be 48 more minutes before Ram comes back, so be relaxed, you have time to do what you gotta do. My feeling is that she did not expect to be kidnapped, but expected Ravan to do something else here.

    It was Ravan who first brought up the proposal of Sita being his wife, so in my mind it made sense that Sita then gets ticked-off by the marriage proposal and smartly deduces that it would require abduction in order for Ravan to marry her, hence all the abuse from Sita to Ravan that followed.

    In my opinion, Sita wanted to see Ravan alone in the hut for a sexual rendezvous, and possibly to establish Ravan as viable candidate down the road to make her pregnant. Ram had a sexual affair with Ravan's sister, so it is not against 'dharma' for Sita to have an affair with Surpankha's brother. Moreover, Ravan was a brahmin.

    Sita did not call out various elements, including Jatayu, to protect her from Ravan, but simply asked them to inform Ram, because 1) they are not capable of defeating Ravan 2) she did want to have a sexual relationship with Ravan (but, not marriage).

    The gist of confusion here is, the concept of marriage in vedic times vs marriage in present times. In the vedic times, marriage took place to allow religious duties to be performed in the lives of the husband and wife, which includes sex and giving birth to children. But, no exclusiveness in sexual partnership.

    Milin - I am very grateful to you for this article and other articles on this blog, it has served as a great light for me to understand the truth about Ramayan and recognize the BS that this world has become, thank you so much.

    1. Rohit,

      Thanks for your comment. Below is my attempt to clear your doubts about the political angle I presented...

      "Ravan came to the jungles to kidnap Sita without any defense/army, which is yet another proof that he and Sita may have communicated in some form prior to the kidnapping and Sita knew of Ravan's plan to come meet her alone prior to the day of the kidnapping. Ram had killed Khar and Dushan (Ravan's equally powerful brothers) + 14000 demons, so Ravan had to have an accomplice in Sita to come defenseless."

      Well, if he and Seetha had communicated in advance, why did both Seetha and Ravana pretend that they didn't know each other. If Seetha asked Ravana to give his introduction, why didn't Ravana say something along the lines of "hey, you already know me from before... remember how we interacted back then...". My explanation for Ravana coming without an army would be that he was lovestruck. When one is struck by kama, they tend not to think as well from their head. They are guided by passion and tend to make silly mistakes. Hence, although Ravana brought a couple of Rakshasas with him, he did not come with an army...

      "I find it hard to believe that she would work with Brahma/gods on the game plan, but Ram would be in the dark. Ram seemed to be in the dark, otherwise why else would he question Sita's chastity after the war with Ravan ended."

      Yes, Rama was indeed in the dark. He was too possessive to allow his wife to be used as a bait in this political plan. Perhaps Brahma knew this much about Rama (which is quite reasonable to assume) and hence approached Seetha in secrecy.

      "In the verse where Sita uses the word 'muharat' to Ravan, she also uses the word 'samashvas'. So, I got the sense that Sita was trying to calm Ravan down and assuring him that it will be 48 more minutes before Ram comes back, so be relaxed, you have time to do what you gotta do. My feeling is that she did not expect to be kidnapped, but expected Ravan to do something else here."

      You are looking at the incident from Seetha's perspective and assuming that Ravana knows all that Seetha knows. But that is not the case. Ravana did not know that Seetha was trying to urge him to kidnap her. Hence, he interpreted the verses as "relax down for a moment, Rama should be coming soon". It is apt of him to interpret it in that manner because it was expected in those days that a husband meet and greet brahmins, so Seetha was telling him that relax here, and my husband will be here in a jiffy to greet you. If we were to accept your interpretation, why would the word muhurta, which refers to a small period of time, be used?

      "It was Ravan who first brought up the proposal of Sita being his wife, so in my mind it made sense that Sita then gets ticked-off by the marriage proposal and smartly deduces that it would require abduction in order for Ravan to marry her, hence all the abuse from Sita to Ravan that followed."

      If there was no political aspect, then why the abuse in the first place? Couldn't she have had a secret affair with Ravana, just like I proposed Rama had with Shurpanakha? BTW, dharma did allow such relationships, but people back then engaged in it, regardless. Even today, how many people follow the rules dictated by religion?


    2. "Sita did not call out various elements, including Jatayu, to protect her from Ravan, but simply asked them to inform Ram, because 1) they are not capable of defeating Ravan 2) she did want to have a sexual relationship with Ravan (but, not marriage)."

      I agree with point 2. For point 1, Jatayu managed to give Ravana a tough fight. Also, she called out to Rama/Lakshmana, both who could have given Ravana a tough fight. But she did not ask them to save her then, at that very moment.

      "The gist of confusion here is, the concept of marriage in vedic times vs marriage in present times. In the vedic times, marriage took place to allow religious duties to be performed in the lives of the husband and wife, which includes sex and giving birth to children. But, no exclusiveness in sexual partnership."

      Yes, this is something I agree with. Sexual relationships were not limited to marriage. Bhil Bharatha has Draupadi having sex with Vasuki. Other versions of Mahabharatha have Draupdi having sex with Krishna and a hunchback servant, and sexual attraction towards Karna. Some alternate versions of Ramayana have Seetha trying to seduce Lakshmana and Ravana. According to one version of Ceylon Ramayana, after Rama killed Ravana and returned to Ayodhya, he caught Seetha having drawn an image of Ravana and clasping it to her bosom. Rama got angry seeing that and exiled her.

      You might find Ramanujan's essay on the 300 versions of Ramayana, interesting:

  2. Hi Milin - I am doing whatever research that I can, on, on Sita's character, since I am interested. Been studying Ayodhya kand chapters 24-30. Just want to outline my impressions on these chapters -

    1) Wife's devotion to husband - it is way overdone, which makes me believe it is interpolation. Few centuries ago, women in India may not have been chaste, hence interpolations to emphasize chastity.

    2) Ram is sexually addicted to Sita. Sita exposes her body below the waist to Ram when he comes to give her the news of exile. She does not seem to have a very high opinion of Ram (calls him a woman), so wondering why she wants to go along with him to the forest. Ram is right, she is not obligated to. Probably, because she does not want to be a mistress to Bharat, would rather suffer hardships in forest and be the #1 to Ram.

    3) Sita mentions "mother father" 2-3 times. I get the sense that she is referring to Janak and Sunayna. She must have frequently visited her parents home even after marriage to Ram. How many times does Valmiki call her - Janak atmaja/Vaidehi/Janaki? Quite a bit. Just thinking aloud here - if you were Janak and had a stunningly beautiful and sexy daughter (biological or otherwise), would you simply give her in marriage to another family and never see her again? No shame in natural instincts and attraction. Giving her in marriage to Ram was big enough sacrifice already, by Janak. I am sure that he appreciated intimacy with her during her visits back to Mithila. The custom of daughter not being close to parents after marriage seems to have stemmed from only over the last few centuries, probably because of jealousy of mother for her daughter. One obvious point that I would like to make is - Sita was given in marriage to Ram, not gifted/sold/born to/in Dashrath's family.

    Kausalya, I think, was described as both 'bhamini' and old, which is conflicting, lots of interpolations.

    There is mention in Ram Charit Manas, I think, that Janak and his wife came to see Ram, Lakshman, Sita in the forest. He appreciated his daughter's sacrifice. Janak and Sita would have remained close even after her marriage.

    1. Rohit,

      You have made some nice points. Here are my perspectives on these issues...

      1) Yes, I got the feeling that she was overdoing it as well. But I don't think they were interpolations. Rama was the orthodox type of husband that wanted to see his wife as devoted to him (like Savitri to Satyavan). Hence, Seetha behaved in such a manner around him, to please him. But such behavior does not necessarily dictate her true feelings. When in a state of anger, which is when only generally tends to outpour true feelings, she abuses him by calling him a woman in a man's body. She later tries to cover up for that by overemphasizing her internal pain and diverting Rama's attention from the nitty gritty of her insults. She does the same in her abusive speech to Lakshmana (that I have shown in this post).

      2) I think she was not fully clothed in her inner apartments, as queens in a king's harem tend to be. For example, just read up on the descriptions of the women in Ravana's harem in the beginning of Sundara Kanda. The reason why Rama allowed her to come to exile was her tears, which enhanced her beauty. This can be seen in the various (kama-filled) epithets Rama addresses Seetha in when he agrees to take her to exile. This kama played a big role in him agreeing to take her to exile. Yes, you are right that Seetha wanted to go to exile to avoid a sexual relationship with Bharatha. Her contempt for Bharatha is evident in the way she insults him in Aranya Kanda Section 45.

      She tells Rama:

      स्वयम् तु भार्याम् कौमारीम् चिरम् अध्युषिताम् सतीम् |
      शैलूषैव माम् राम परेभ्यो दातुम् इच्चसि || २-३०-८

      " Oh, Rama! I am a young girl, lived for a long time with you, a chaste woman and your wife. How would you like an actor intend to deliver me to others by your own will?"

      She is clearly alluding to Rama forcing her into a sexual relationship with Bharatha (take into consideration her use of the word "chaste", thereby implying a sexual connotation of Rama "delivering her to others")

      3) The alternative narrative in Ayodhya Kanda (during Seetha-Anusuya speech) suggests that Seetha was past her puberty and was aging, and that was the reason Janaka decided to marry her off. So, he did keep her unmarried for quite some time. Your perspective on this matter is quite interesting...

      Kaushalya was an aged woman. But, as the saying goes, "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder".

  3. To clarify what I wrote above, on marriage of Sita to Ram -

    Sita is Ram's wife (dharma patni). She is the partner of Ram in observing religious rites/duties/ceremonies, etc. She cannot be a partner in this form with any other man, including Janak. But, that is all it is. She is not precluded from sexual enjoyment with other men, including with Janak.

    But, today, the situation is almost exact opposite. Almost no religiosity observed, but pre-marital or extra-marital affairs are frowned upon. Guess who started this reverse tradition? Good guess would be the race where sex scandals are headlines these days.

  4. Hi Milin, thanks for your 3 comments.

    1) Check out Ayodhya kand 118.34. Janak was worried about loss of wealth when Sita came to be of age. Here, wealth means 'stri dhan', women. He felt socially pressured to marry Sita to another man, but he did not want to, it means he was enjoying her, and why not? She was his. He then, feeling pressured by the customs, searched for a husband for Sita, but "could not find one", wink wink. He then establishes a challenge that any man who can lift Varun's bow can marry Sita, knowing how difficult it is to lift that bow, he fully hoped that no man would do so and Sita would remain his. Unbelievable !! Not surprising that Janak and Sita continued being lovers even after Sita's marriage.

    2) Since Sita was giving sexual glances in the hopes that Ravan was hiding somewhere, I inferred that she and him would have communicated about the game plan of meeting alone in the hut. Although, they didn't know each other. Sita asked for Ravan's introduction, because she wanted to make sure that the brahmin is indeed Ravan. Ravan did the same, I believe. They didn't know what each other looked like, but they were expecting to meet.

    3) You have been so right on so many things about Ramayan, I will give the political plan angle another thought. It is possible that Brahma may have approached Sita secretly about destroying Ravan, without knowledge of Ram. Sita was entertaining gods and other guests in the hermitage, Brahma and her could have discussed this in private during, say, sex hospitality.

    4) Thanks for the link of Ramanujan essay, will read it.

    5) I did not mean to suggest strongly that Sita undressed in front of Ram on the morning of the exile. I meant, her nakedness from waist down was an attraction and a factor for Ram, along with the tears like you said.

    6) In my opinion, 48 minutes was enough time for Sita to engage in sex with Ravan, but he wasn't making a move (he was contemplating kidnapping and marriage), so Sita tried to relax him and hoping he would make a move, because she thought Ravan is worried about Ram coming back, but that is not what he was thinking. Sita got angry once Ravan spoke his intention (marriage to Sita, which would require him to abduct her, she did not want to leave Ram), just as Ram did not leave Sita when he had an affair with Surpankha. But, I will give your angle another thought, you are been right very often.


  5. A question might arise after reading verse 118.4 of Ayodhya kand, which I read after Milin prompted me to. The question being - would there really be a dearth of wealth (women) if Janak marries off Sita? Sita is certainly the crowning jewel in his treasury, but there are other women. This means, Janak gifted innumerable women to Ram, Dashrath and their family when he gave Sita and Urmila in marriage. That is a massive loss of wealth, Janak was aptly worried.

    Not in the Valmiki Ramayan, but the folklore being that Sita re-entered her mother earth in Uttar kand. I think, she went back to her 'anshi' Janak after completing her task as Ram's wife (she is Janak atmaja). But, you can't write good things like that in scriptures, else peeps will question as to why she went back to Janak and soon they will discover the answer, so best not to raise the question !

  6. Hi Milin, yesterday I posted a short comment on Janak and Sita, but I don't see it, not sure what is going on, but I am going to try and post another one here.

    In that comment, I had mentioned that Ayodhya kand 118.4 says that upon Sita coming of age, Janak is afraid of loss of women (wealth). Sita is certainly the crowning jewel in his treasury, but there are other women as well. So, my guess is that Janak donated as gift, innumerable women to Ram and Dashrath during the marriage of Ram and Lakshman to Sita and Urmila. Those women were given as gifts, not in marriage. That would certainly be a massive loss of wealth for Janak, so he was rightly worried.

    1. In above comment, 118.4 should read 118.34.

      Above comment seems to have been posted fine.

    2. Rohit, it seems your comment went into my spam box. I have published it. In Vedic times, with the marriage of a princess, many women were also given by to the husband, from the wife's side. I even remember Krishna giving Yuddhistira many female servants/slaves after his marriage with Draupadi (in Adi Parva).

  7. Thanks Milin, for posting my missing comment.

    I am re-reading your blog article. Regarding the part where Sita sees the deer to when Ram goes after the deer, can I make the following comments?

    Sita loosens her garments to expose herself, then calls out Ram and Lakshman. Why did she call out Lakshman? He ended-up being a thorn in her plans, as you said, and she was taking a risk (what if Ram was completely convinced of what Lakshman said, and did not pursue the deer?).

    You can correct me, if I am wrong here, but this is what must have transpired between the 3 of them -

    Sita loosened her garments to attract Lakshman. She calls out Ram and Lakshman, they come to where she is. Lakshman is visibly aroused upon seeing Sita, just as Sita expected. Ram notices too. He is fine with it, because there is a history in Ayodhya as well, Ram was fine with that too. Ram also thinks that Sita has exposed herself for Lakshman, but in reality Sita is not thinking of Lakshman. Then, Ram goes after the deer saying that he will come back quickly (in order to provide a thrill to Sita and Lakshman). Ram goes after the deer, even though knowing that no deer can look this beautiful, because he thought that Sita wants some alone time with Lakshman and he wanted to leave them alone for intimacy. As you mentioned in the blog article, Ram actually takes his sweet time to kill the deer. If I am not wrong, after killing Mareech, he even kills another deer for food.

    Meanwhile, Lakshman approaches Sita for intimacy, she rebuffs him, because she is expecting Ravan and is thinking of Ravan. That is probably why Lakshman was standing aloof or distant when Sita-Lakshman dialogue starts (after Mareech's cry). So, when Sita hurls abuses at Lakshman (him lusting after her), Lakshman seems to have taken the abuses to heart. If he wasn't aroused for her, why would he take it to heart and not deny Sita's accusations outright?

    If Sita had not attracted Lakshman, or made him feel that she is attracting him, Lakshman may not have left the hermitage.

    When Sita interrupted Lakshman and gave a deceitful smile to Ram to go fetch the deer, Ram understood it to be - Sita wants to spend some time alone with Lakshman, that is the deceit as understood by Ram. I am sure that Ram understood the deceit, but just wrongly. Sita had other plans.

    1. rohit your love angle of janaka and seeta is very interesting :) i never came across anything like that
      you even told that janak was afraid to loose wealth
      its due to social pressure that he agreed to gift seeta to ram in marriage is also very interseting

    2. Thank you. Love has virtually disappeared from this world, thanks to looking down on sex or de-sexualization. In the olden times, parents used to give a lot of love to their children, which made them good and satisfied human beings, and eliminated frustration, depression, dissatisfaction from the children's lives. Sexual intimacy (when children came of age) was a part of the bigger love that parents gave their children.

      In olden times, I don't believe there were any unwanted or accidental pregnancies. The individual souls that entered the womb were highly evolved souls, as their parents, and I don't think there was any reason to fear biological defects in children.

      Sita was Janak's soul's 'ansh' or part. After completing her service for Ram, she must have gone back to Janak. Every part is attracted to its source. Issac Newton proved it scientifically.

    3. Request to all readers - please do not consider my views on incest as any kind of green light to indulge in sense gratification, it is sinful and immoral and will hurt innocent persons.

      In my opinion, incest was practiced in Vedic times, but stemming from greater/purer love for each other. Love should take precedent and for both parties.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. capt vadkayil is a cunt,

      YSV Rao is a female who was raped when she was 4 yrs old? Really? Its hard to believe though, considering the way he speaks... Whether it is true or not, he needs to visit a psychiatrist as he has issues that need attention. Earlier, he was abusing Vadakayil's wife by saying that if he was not a captain his wife would be working in a brothel... and that too without knowing the lady personally. He is a very shameless person.

      I realized quite early that he is not only a bigot but also ignorant. He rejected all that I told him on incest (and how it is ok if regulated), and acted like a geneticist, over exaggerating the genetic defects from children of incest. But we later get to know that he has no actual background in the sciences, and was just parroting info from some online websites, not even research papers. Earlier, when I said some facts on neuroplasticity in the brain he accused me of trying to show off info related to my field of study. So, its not even worth discussing anything with him.If you disagree with him, he takes it as an attack on his ego.

      A while back I saw how he banned Sonam from his blog. I had earlier warned her that Ysv Rao didn't have a high opinion of her but she refused to listen. I can just feel bad for her. Its just not worth commenting on that blog. Even if he brings up my name on that blog, I would just ignore whatever he says, as its not worth the time and energy to reply to his nonsense.

    2. Hi Milin - I don't visit any such blogs, so I am not familiar with what you wrote on there or the discussions going on over there, but ...

      I am very interested in some details from you regarding incest-genetics, as well as neuroplasticity. Can you please post a brief comment on this blog, so that I can learn about them and your views on them?

      Looking forward to.


    3. milin ysv rao full name is yashasvini v rao or as captain refers it as yashasvini vulva rao LOL...
      i read it frm his bog in one of his rant against ysv rao ,i don't know if this true or not but i have suspicion .earlier i had posted few comments his/her blogs , i saw few comments of urs deleted
      that's how i came to this blog .but unlike captain
      ysv rao doesn't delete comments immediately or calls you a jew agent etc lol..

    4. @capt vadakayil is a cunt, YSV Rao is not a female. He had once written a post against a young feminist blogger called Anceeta Martis. She has probably deleted her blog now. One of the capt's brain dead followers, Amit Mishra with comprehension problems assumed that Rao himself was Anceeta Martis and reported to capt.

    5. hakunamatata500 u could right but captain in his blogs refers ysv rao as yashvini v rao how come captain know the full name . i still have a suspicion ysv was frnds with captain earlier also as milin pointed out ysv has written about captains family.captain must have meet this person at some point of time

    6. Oh, the capt has a habit of using nicknames for persons he dislikes. He calls Shobha de as Ariana and YSV Rao as Yashaswini Vulva Rao. Rao mentioned that he does not know capt personally but came across him in the comments section of Koenraad Elst's blog.

    7. hakunamatata500 thanks for the info so it was captain
      who gave nickname to ysv rao lol...

    8. capt vadkayil is a cunt,

      Yeah, I agree with Hakunamatata500. I don't think YSV Rao is a female. From the way he speaks, it does not seem like he is a female. He is a thoroughly patriarchal, misogynist, racist fellow. There are so many similarities between him and captain. When I pointed that out, he got pissed off and ended up trying to abuse Gujaratis. You can see some of his posts/comments to see the contempt he has for Gujaratis. He was earlier saying that Gujarati men cannot satisfy Gujarati women and hence they go out of their community for marriage, in his attempt to insult me. LOL...

      Anyways, I don't pay much attention to the comedy on his blog nowadays. He is completely ignorant when it comes to Hindu itihaasa (Mahakavyas - Mahabharatha/Ramayana), so it is futile to even discuss such topics with him. As for your comment on moderation in his blog, he is not as much of a bigot as captain but does moderate on his blog. He had removed many of my comments...

    9. Rohit,

      Ysv Rao is a blogger who runs his website "". I had a discussion with him back over a year back, and I was referring to that in my comment.

      As for the incest-genetics... The male and the female, during reproduction both give one copy of a gene (called allele) to their child. For example, one copy of a gene can encode black eyes (B), and the other, brown eyes (b). Now one of these alleles is given (at random) by each parent to the child, giving a combination of BB, Bb, or bb to the child. One of the alleles is dominant and the other is recessive. Assume the B is dominant. In this case, in combinations of Bb, the B will be expressed (black eyes), not the b (brown eyes). Brown eyes will only be expressed when the child has both recessive alleles (bb).

      Now, depending on the gene we are talking about, having two recessive alleles can be problematic. For example, consider sickle cell anemia, a disorder that involves a disastrous change to the structure of Red Blood Cells. When one has two dominant alleles of the trait (SS) or one dominant and one recessive allele (Ss), there is no problem. But when one has two recessive alleles (ss), they will have the disorder.

      Hence, if both members of a couple are Ss, there is a 25% chance that the offspring will have the disease. The most ideal way to prevent this is to marry outside of your family/relatives, because if you marry within the family, it would allow the "s" allele frequency of the family gene pool to increase over time, thereby increasing the risk of the offspring obtaining the "s" allele in its set of two. Marrying outside would diffuse the increasing frequency of the "s" allele as it would allow the "S" allele (of the partner) to be incorporated into the family gene pool.

      But now we have an increased knowledge of genetics. So we can visit a genetic counselor, and see the risk of incest. For example if a person and his sister have both Ss, then they should not marry as there is a 25% risk of the child acquiring the disorder. However, if one is SS and the other is Ss, there is no risk and they can marry. By regulating in such a manner, there is a 50% chance that the "s" allele frequency in the family gene pool would reduce (depending on whether the child acquires as "s" or an "S" from the Ss parent). There is also a 100% chance that the child from such a marriage will not acquire the disorder.

      As for neuroplasticity, it is the concept that our brains are not fixed/static. They are always changing. That is to say... the neurons are always changing their connections with one another based on exposure to environmental stimuli. So based on what stimuli you expose yourself to, you can actually change the wiring of neurons in your brain.

    10. Rohit and capt vadkayil is a cunt,

      I am usually quite active on facebook and am one of the moderators of a facebook group "The Mahakavyas, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, Discourse Group":

      We have pretty good discussions on Ramayana and Mahabharatha there. I usually comment and/or make mini-posts quite often in that group, so if you want to discuss on topics more often, you can join the group and we can discuss there as well as over here. I will of course be continuing to be making posts in this blog, but that is another place for discussion as well, if you are interested...

    11. milin i would love to visit ur Facebook group and probaly i might use dffrent id as this id is only to mock captian vadakayil lol..

      iam surprised to see ysv rao supporters defending him/her considering he advised his followers not to visit your blog isnt it suspicious this means some of them find your blog interesting .

    12. capt vadkayil is a cunt,

      I am sure Ysv Rao himself finds my blog interesting. I could see that from the way he was behaving from our discussion in his blog. He partially agreed with some of my points on Hanumana's sexuality, but wanted an actual scholar to corroborate what I said as he does not probing beyond mainstream views... But it is funny how his blind supporters like JAM defend him. I think JAM once praised Ysv Rao by saying he likes the sheer qualities of his essays... Funny thing is that none of Ysv Rao's articles are long enough or have enough depth to be called an essay. His comments section have more depth than his actual essays...

    13. I mean probe instead of probing in the above comment and "His comments section have more depth than his actual articles" in the last sentences...

  10. Hi Milin - as you know, I have kinda been on the fence regarding Sita's motivation in the kidnapping act. I was of the opinion that she did not want to be kidnapped, but was simply looking for a sexual rendezvous with Ravan. You have given strong arguments in the favor of Sita planning her own kidnapping (intended to be kidnapped).

    I have started to lean against my point of view. Lets say that Sita succeeds in having sex in the hermitage with Ravan while Ram and Lakshman are absent. Then what? I am sure that she would not be satisfied with a "quickie" in 48 minutes and would want to have a long term relationship with a handsome and sexually skillful person like Ravan. But, how is that going to happen? Ram may allow sex hospitality for a Brahmin like Ravan, but long term relationship with his wife, in his vicinity? Milin has pointed out that Ram is a very jealous and insecure person, for Sita.

    My thinking is - Ram wanted to destroy all demons, Sita as a faithful wife of Ram wanted to help in this mission, or was asked by Ram to make it happen. So, via Surpankha, she must have communicated with Ravan, developed sexual attraction for Ravan (and, vice versa), planned the kidnapping, possibly with Ravan. I don't think that Ram was in on the game.

    I always had a strong sense that Sita was not comfortable being kidnapped. She cried and cursed Ravan on route to Lanka. She is said to be fasting and not at ease in Lanka, in Sundar kand. At one point, I think, she says to Hanuman in Sundar kand that when will this game end, when will Ram come rescue me ... the rescuing part, she says many times to Hanuman.

    Milin has given strong arguments in the favor of Sita planning her own kidnapping. I agree now.

    Sita would then have submitted to Ravan, after 1 year passes since her kidnapping and Ram does not show-up. It is the duty of a citizen to provide pleasure to the king. She must have fallen in love with Ravan, may have lost hopes of Ram coming to rescue her. There are some indications that she was pregnant, in Yuddha kand. Once she heard that Ram is at the outskirts of Lanka and preparing for her, she must have moved out of Ravan's palace and started living in Ashok garden again a short while before the war commenced.

    Milin has mentioned that Sita is his favorite character in Ramayan. I was thinking about mine. My favorite character is Valmiki. He divinely envisioned the entire Ramayan, not just sections of any one character attracted to Sita. There are plenty of evidence that he too was attracted to Sita. If Uttar kand holds any truth, he then enjoyed long and intimate time with her heroine as well. That is who I'd want to be !

    1. rohit even i have written a comment abt sita kidnap was ploy to invade lanka ,i aslo feel seeta was used as decoy to lure ravana into kidnapping her.

      milin stand overall is little confusing since earlier he mentioned that ravana didnt rape seeta

      so if ravanas intention was not have sex with her then why did he kidnap her .if he wanted to a quickie with seeta then should done it in ashram

      that is what seeta wanted according to this article, it was shurpanaka description of seeta which lured in to sending maricha and then kidnapping her , i hope milin adreeses this confusion

    2. I will tell you what I think, Milin can correct me if I am wrong. I will mention my understanding of the intentions of Sita and Ravan -

      1) Sita wanted to be kidnapped by Ravan. Milin has already mentioned several points that strongly suggest this. Although, she did not know for sure that Ravan would certainly kidnap her, she was excited at this prospect the morning of the kidnapping.

      2) Sita also was sexually fascinated about Ravan, she was sexually excited when she first saw Ravan. She had heard about Ravan prior to the kidnapping and was fascinated by him. She does not appear to be too interested in sexual relationship with Ram and Lakshman (not in the forest). She is looking for a new man (see Viradh episode at the beginning of Aranya kand). I think, by the end of her stay in Lanka, she had fallen in love with Ravan.

      3) She does NOT want to marry Ravan. She is a faithful wife of Ram. This is a key point and should be understood very clearly, especially in conjunction with point 2 above. Sita is Ram's dharma patni (wife), she is his partner (and she only partners with Ram) in religiosity. Destroying Ravan is part of her religious duty, as the celestial gods are interested in Ravan's destruction. As Ram's wife, she has a sexual relationship with Ram, it is part of her duty as a wife. It is also part of her duty as a wife to produce legitimate children (not necessarily via Ram) for Ram.

      4) Ravan was not firmly decided to kidnap Sita when he came to the hermitage. It is said that he made up his mind to kidnap her after seeing her. That is why he came in the guise of a Brahmin, to provide cover for himself. If he had firmly made up his mind to kidnap her prior to seeing her, he may not have come disguised as a Brahmin. He was sexually attracted to Sita, he wanted to marry her and make her his chief wife/queen. What was his intention before he came to the hermitage? He did plan to kidnap her, but was not firmly decided on it. He was sexually curious about Sita before meeting her, and may have been interested in a sexual rendezvous in the hermitage itself. But, seeing Sita's extraordinary beauty, he decided to instead possess her and take her to Lanka.

      Hope this clarifies. Everything depends upon our understanding what marriage meant in Vedic times.

    3. capt vadkayil is a cunt,

      Rohit is right to a large extent in what I mean...

      A rape can only be considered a rape if the victim feels she is being forced into sex and the perpetrator feels that he is forcing the victim into sex. But here, Seetha is clearly allowing Ravana to have sex with her. Likewise, Ravana is having sex with Seetha only after her challenge to him to try to sexually violate her and survive after that from Rama's hands. He is not having sex with her without her invitation to do so. Hence, it can scarcely be called a rape. If Ravana's intention was to rape Seetha, he did not need to waste time trying to convince her to marry him. He would have forced himself on her right away. But he was not that type of person.

      Having sex with Seetha in the ashram like a thief would be a big blow to Ravana's ahamkara (ego), and he would therefore never agree to that. Instead, his desire was to woo Seetha and take her to Lanka as his queen.

  11. There are many questions that come to my mind when thinking about the events of the golden deer, I have developed some theories about them, but not sure how right I am. I suspect lots of editing/changes made to the original version of the golden deer story.

    1) If Ram knew that such a deer is not possible to exist, even in Indra lok, plus Lakshman clearly mentioned that the deer is Marich, then why did Ram go after the deer? Especially, when he was also worried about Sita's safety and he knew that the demons were upset at him due to the killing of other demons by Ram. Can't Ram simply say 'no' to Sita and not go after the deer? Even if he chased the deer, did he have to take so long to kill it? The deer was said to be appearing and disappearing during the chase, doesn't seem like a normal deer to me, so shouldn't Ram have finished it off soon and rush back to Sita?

    Why did Ram go after the deer, knowing all the issues with such a chase? Why did he take so long to kill it, even if he went on the chase?

    2) Ram seemed so worried about Sita's security from the demons, but strangely, Sita is not worried about her own safety. She happily allows Ram to chase the deer, she angrily sends away Lakshman to Ram leaving her alone in the hermitage. Can't she walk with Lakshman to find Ram? Not like she is a stranger to walking in the jungles. She isn't worried about her safety when Ravan enters the hermitage and she is all alone.

    3) How come Sita just starts blurting out abuses at Lakshman about him lusting for her? This seemed to be coming out of the blue. Did Lakshman do anything of that sort prior to Sita lashing out at him? Even if there was something between them in the past, did she have to lash out about the past now? Does she not know that Ram had ordered Lakshman to stay with Sita and guard her?

    I suspect that a lot of changes have been made to the original text over the last few centuries and it is difficult for me to believe all that is in the text. I have read many chapters related to the golden deer, in Valmiki Ramayan.

    We only have major events to go by and form our own conclusions by filling-in the gap. Some facts are -

    1) Sita was dressed seductively that morning, she encouraged Ram to go after the deer, Ram went after the deer knowing that it could not be a deer and that there is danger from the demons for Sita. Ram took his time to hunt the deer instead of finishing the job quickly.

    2) Sita lashed out at Lakshman for lusting after her, seemed to be coming out of the blue. She doesn't seem to understand, or was putting up an act, that Ram has asked Lakshman to guard her, her safety could be compromised if Lakshman left, did Lakshman do anything to make her doubt his intentions?

    I have developed my own theories to fill in the gap, but like I mentioned, not sure how right I am.

    Would appreciate feedback.


    1. Rohit,

      Its good you noticed some of these points. I was planning on making a second post explaining Rama's perspective behind the events. There is much contradiction, and it seems to suggest that Rama wanted to see Seetha's reaction in his absence - would she remain a chaste wife, or would she show unloyal behavior. Deep within he wanted her to remain loyal to him, but he still wanted to test her. This is likely the reason why Rama delays the killing of the deer despite telling Lakshmana that he will slay it with a single arrow. He also does not return right away after the deer is killed. Instead, he kills a second deer, skins it and then takes the skin back. Such a process would require a lot of time, during which Seetha would act and Rama could check her loyalty from her actions.

      Valmiki alludes that the elopement of Seetha was pre-planned by Rama. In verse 3.57.16b-17a, Rama's speech to Lakshmana, rebuking him of abandoning Seetha were said to be "madhura udarkam" (meaning "sweet, with good consequences"), suggesting that Rama was not actually shocked by Seetha's kidnap, but instead was reaping the consequences of what he had planned (from Rama's perspective, the consequences were good - things went as planned). If you look at the way he rebuked Lakshmana, it does not seem that he was really angry. He placed Lakshmana's hand in his own and was speaking. One in anger would not behave in such a mild, gentle manner. In verse 3.68.6, when Rama meets Jatayu (who was almost dead at the time), he asks him ""How was that moon similar heart-stealing face of hers at that time of abduction, oh, best bird, and even what are the words she uttered when being abducted..." If he really thought she was abducted why would he speak in such a manner (i.e. why did he ask for the look of her face at the time)? Was he expecting her to smile during her kidnap? Or did he want to check from her facial expressions if she went with Ravana willingly or not? Also his speech to Jatayu has a tinge of kama in it. Was he thinking that Seetha went willingly with Ravana for kama-based purposes?

      This is a possibility...

      He himself laments about his impotency as the cause of Seetha's departure in verse 3.62.10b-11a.

      When Hanumana returns from Lanka, Rama asks about Seetha's disposition towards him... Again another attempt to test her loyalty... I will go into more detail in another of my posts...

      As for Seetha's speech, it suggests one of the two (or possibly both):

      1. She herself was attracted to Lakshmana (i.e. had an internal sexual desire for him).

      2. She saw from his body language that he was sexually attracted to her.

      Interestingly, in Kishkindha Kanda, when Sugriva gives Seetha's ornaments that she dropped when being kidnapped to Rama, Rama asks Lakshmana if some chest jewelry is hers. However, like a typical guilty person, Lakshmana says that he did not see her upper body as he only looked upon her feet (and therefore only recognizes her feet jewelry). Now of course, it is obvious he looked at her upper body at least a few times in his life. From this speech of Lakshmana, it is evident he is trying to hide his visual gaze towards Seetha from Rama. His attraction towards Seetha's body is all very evident.

      Another point to take note of... Lakshmana only agrees to go to exile once Seetha decides to come. It seems like he was not following Rama, but instead he was following Seetha to exile.

    2. Thanks for your reply Milin. I would be very interested in reading your part 2 on this story (Ram's perspective on kidnapping, etc.)

      I read the verses that you suggested in your comment above, they do seem to hint at Ram's impotency. It also hints that Janak is still caring of her daughter's well-being and would like to re-establish contact with her after exile is over.

      I completely agree with you regarding Lakshman going into the forest only after he finds that Sita is going as well, as well as agree with you on the ornaments comment that you made.

      Regarding your comment on Jatayu - to me, it seemed that Ram was curious to know if Sita was abducted against her will or was she happily going with Ravan. Ram was just hoping against all odds and evidence that Sita was actually kidnapped against her will, when somebody is inept at keeping the wife happy, then he will wish for such impossible things. That is how I took it.

      Agree with you on the strange sweet rebuke of Lakshman by Ram, you have a point there.

      On thing that my intellect is not able to (yet) agree with you on, is - Ram testing Sita while he goes after the deer. In the Viradh episode and also knowing her in Ayodhya, Ram should have been convinced that Sita is a very passionate woman, so I don't see the point in Ram testing her, he should know the result of such a test. During this specific test, although she "passed" in regards to Lakshman, she ultimately "failed" in regards to Ravan. I have a different theory on why Ram did what he did, maybe I will explain in a future comment.

      As I have mentioned in the past, I do feel strongly that Sita has sexual relationship with Janak prior to her marriage and she visited him frequently even after marriage. She does not hold Ram in high regards although she is a righteous woman and may have thought of Ram as divinity as her husband. But, Ram's ineffectiveness in sexual matters is what keeps Sita dissatisfied and not thinking of Ram in high regards.

      The way Sita talks about Bharat - not much material out there, but she seems to hold him in high regards. Bharat may have been quite a ladies man, he presented Hanuman with 16 beautiful women at the end of Yuddha kand. Sita includes him with Ram and her mothers-in-law when hoping to play with the golden deer in Ayodhya. She also mentions to Hanuman in Sundar kand that hopefully Bharat will help from a military standpoint to gain her back, she is not completely confident that Ram can do it alone and she has high regards for Bharat in terms of providing the military aid. She does mention negatively about him as well (abuses Lakshman that he is an agent of Bharat trying to destroy Ram, not willing to stay back in Ayodhya when Ram goes to the forest), but I think it is more from her desire to be the chief queen of Ayodhya. But, she does accept and hold Bharat as an equivalent of Ram.

      Lakshman does not seem to be impotent, but his sexuality is quite a bit restrained because of his devotion to Ram. But, the way Sita talks about Lakshman in Sundar kand to Hanuman, she is definitely attracted to him and vice versa. But, since Lakshman is subservient to Ram, Sita only thinks of him in a sexual manner, while with Bharat, she thinks of him as both sexually and as Bharat being an equal of Ram.

      Hope to get your feedback.


    3. Rohit,

      You have made some good points. But I disagree with you in the case of Bharatha. If Seetha wanted to be chief queen, then when Rama asked Seetha to marry Bharatha (when he decided to go to exile), why did she refuse? She showed a great dislike for Bharatha in that speech of hers:

      स्वयम् तु भार्याम् कौमारीम् चिरम् अध्युषिताम् सतीम् |
      शैलूषैव माम् राम परेभ्यो दातुम् इच्चसि || २-३०-८

      " Oh, Rama! I am a young girl, lived for a long time with you, a chaste woman and your wife. How would you like an actor intend to deliver me to others by your own will?"

      यस्य पथ्यम् च रामात्थ यस्य चार्थेऽवरुध्यसे |
      त्वम् तस्य भव वश्यश्च विधेयश्छ सदानघ|| २-३०-९

      "Oh, Rama the sinless one! Be you always dutiful and obedient to him, whom you speak of welfare, for whose sake I am being kept back. (But it is improper to ask me to stay obedient to him)."

      As for military aid... She mentioned Bharatha as he would be leading the military forces of Ayodhya, right? Since Rama had a pretty rough childhood, deprived of father's love because of Kayekai's influence on Dasharatha, it is normal for Rama (and by extension his wife Seetha) to not like Bharatha too much. But it is praiseworthy that despite the dislike and doubt towards Bharatha in Rama's mind, he (Rama) never behaved disgracefully towards him (Bharatha).

  12. The Viradh episode at the beginning of Aranya kand is key to understanding the behavior of Ram and Sita during the golden deer episode.

  13. milin can u confirm this story ramayana from captains blog


















    1. That is from Uttara Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana. There is convincing evidence that Uttara Kanda was a later addition to the epic. But, it was definitely not added into Valmiki Ramayana by the Britishers... Also, Ravana/Kumbhakarna being Jaya/Vijaya is a Puranic story. Not present in Valmiki Ramayana.

    2. milin thanks for clearing doubt i visited your Facebook group quite happy to see indrajeet to be present in the group since read many of his articles. iam fan of his work on Mahabharata and Ramayana also you have mentioned that ram had many wives this is surprising to me since there is no mention of names of his wives could you elaborate on this topic

    3. Milin Patel read this article and give your thoughts on it -

    4. capt vadakayil is a cunt,

      Yes, I also admire Indrajit's work. That is one of the reasons I joined the group in the first place... The names of Rama's wives are not given. But there is enough evidence for us that Rama was not monogamist.

    5. Jaideep, I read that article. The research is nice, but I do not agree with the author. There is no reason for us to believe that robots in ancient India had the level of consciousness displayed by Kumbhakarna. As for "nirmita" it does mean constructed... But it need not mean that Kumbhakarna was "created" instead of being born. Rather it may mean that Ravana's father wanted a son to defeat the devas and hence worked to design a son with the qualities needed to conquer the devas. The construction therefore refers to the attempt of having a son with certain pre-determined qualities... Think along the lines of how Drupada designed his son Drishtadyumna with the help of Yaja/Upayaja so that Dhrstadyumna could subdue Drona.

    6. By the way my facebook account has been suspended for about a month (19 days are left) so i'm going ot need a new account when i come back. It will be used to have discussions and (if the need arises) utter abuses towards people. Cause it will be to risky to use such language with my main account.

  14. I went over this website and I believe you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to my bookmarks.
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  15. Hi Milin - thanks for your 2 replies few days ago. I appreciate the information on genetics, I liked reading it.

    I agree with you about Sita-Bharat relationship, you interpreted Sita's behavior towards Bharat better than me. It seems that even though Sita is a passionate woman, she is not promiscuous, she did have sex with others besides Ram, but not in a promiscuous way.

    I briefly scrolled through the posts on the Fb page, thanks for the link, I will read your posts on that page.

  16. True bhakti is in trusting him to do the best for you and having unflinching faith in him, because he knows best.

  17. Waiting for more interesting VB articles on sita agnipariksha.

    1. Thanks for your interest. I am planning on finishing up the Seetha Agnipariksha post in the future...

  18. Hi Milin - I have been reading some of your posts and comments on the Fb group. I have the following requests for this blog -

    1) Can you please write about Ram's viewpoint/mentality on enabling Sita's kidnapping?

    2) Draupadi's disrobing episode.

    3) Truth about Krishna Rukmini relationship, involving Shishupal.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rohit,

      1) Yeah I will eventually make a post on that, but I promised Jaideep that my next post would be Part 2 of "Who Killed Karna?". So after I make that post, I will move back to Ramayana and make the post on Rama's perspective of Seetha's kidnapping.

      2) I believe that Draupadi was never really disrobed. You might want to read this article for more info on my perspective:

      3) Later, less authentic sources like Harivamsa to Bhagavata Purana say that Rukmini asked Krishna to kidnap her, thereby saving her from marrying Shishupala, whom she didn't want to marry. But in Mahabharatha, which is a more ancient and authentic source than the aforementioned ones, such a story is not mentioned. In fact, it is possible that Rukmini was not even the princess of Vidharba. We have one reference that Rukmini was a princess of Gandhara:

      The rule of Indraprastha was given to Vajra. The widows of Akrura then desired to retire into the woods. Vajra asked them repeatedly to desist, but they did not listen to him. Rukmini, the princess of Gandhara, Saivya, Haimavati, and queen Jamvabati ascended the funeral pyre.

      In the alternative narrative a kidnapping of a Gandhara princess is described. Perhaps this princess may have been the Rukmini of the Mahabharatha:

      Of eyes like the lotus petals, and endued with great bravery, Krishna, vanquishing all the kings at a self-choice, bore away the daughter of the king of the Gandharas. Those angry kings, as if they were horses by birth, were yoked unto his nuptial car and were lacerated with the whip.

      This also explains to us why in the Mahabharatha, Rukmi (prince of Vibharbas) bore no ill will towards Krishna (unlike the Puranic stories that say that Rukmi who wanted to marry his sister Rukmini to Shishupala hated Krishna as Krishna prevented the marriage from happening). The fact that Rukmi did not hate the Pandavas can be seen by the fact that when Sahadeva proceeds Southwards for his Digvijaya, Rukmi cheerfully accepts to be a vassal of Yuddhistira, because of the good relationship he (Rukmi) shared with Krishna (also keep in mind that Yuddhistira asked his four brothers to embark on the Digvijaya mission, due to the advice of Krishna):

      The virtuous prince, while staying in the kingdom of Saurashtra sent an ambassador unto king Rukmin of Bhishmaka within the territories of Bhojakata, who, rich in possessions and intelligence, was the friend of Indra himself. And the monarch along with his son, remembering their relationship with Krishna, cheerfully accepted, O king, the sway of the son of Pandu. And the master of battle then, having exacted jewels and wealth from king Rukmin, marched further to the south.

      Hence, Rukmini was likely the princess of the Gandharas, whom Krishna had kidnapped. The Kingdom Vibharba and King Rukmi were not related to this lady, Rukmini. Shishupala therefore could not have been promised by the ruler of Vibharba and Rukmi that he would be able to marry Rukmini.

    2. Krishna says, in Sabha Parva, to Shishupala that the latter failed to obtain Rukmini. Shishupala replies by saying that Rukmini was his first:

      [Krishna says:]

      He deserves to be killed only because of his insolence in front of this assembly of kings. Desiring a speedy death, this fool once offered himself to Rukmini. But the fool did not obtain her, the way a shudra cannot hear the Vedas.”

      Having heard these words of Vasudeva, all the assembled kings began to censure the king of Chedi. Having heard these words, the powerful Shishupala burst into laughter and uttered these scornful words. “O Krishna! Are you not ashamed to recount this, especially before all these kings? Rukmini was mine first. O Madhusudana! No self-respecting man but you will admit before respectable ones that his wife had been someone else’s first.

      The fact that Krishna said that Shishupala offered himself to Rukmini first and that Shishupala says that "she was mine first" suggests that Rukmini had accepted Shishupala had her husband first, but Krishna had kidnapped her and forcibly made her his before the marriage between Rukmini and Shishupala could take place. It logically follows that since Rukmini had accepted Shishupala as her husband first (before her kidnap by Krishna), she ought to have feelings for him. This could have led to initial tensions in Krishna's married life. We see the possibility of this to some extent. After Shishupala mocked Krishna by saying that Rukmini was first his, before Krishna abducted and married her, Krishna's response was uncontrollable rage, which led him to kill Shishupala before Shishupala could utter another word:

      When he was talking in this way, the illustrious Madhusudana, the destroyer of his enemies, angrily sliced off his head with the chakra. The mighty-armed one fell down like a mountain struck by the vajra.

      Such behavior by Krishna would naturally raise some questions. If your wife's ex-boyfriend says that your wife first belonged to him, you ought to not get angry at him if your married life is going well. If you and your wife are happy despite whatever happened in your wife's pre-marriage life, you would not care for the wife's ex-boyfriend's words. Maybe possessive husbands may be disturbed by such words, but Krishna was described as a very liberal husband and was not conservative, possessive, or insecure. Hence, anger at hearing the words of Shishupala is not expected of him. We can instead expect anger from Krishna, or any husband for that matter, if their relationship with their wife is far from ideal and filled with tensions because of still lasting feelings on the part of the wife, for her ex-boyfriend. In such a case, Shishupala's words that "she was mine first" would simply anger Krishna as it would re-open some old wounds... It would be a reminder to Krishna that despite acquiring Rukmini by hook or crook, she was not really his (i.e. she did not love him), and despite Shishupala failing to acquire Rukmini, Rukmini truly belonged to him. Hence, the argument between Krishna and Shishupala sheds some light on tensions in Rukmini and Krishna's marital relationship, due to love for Shishupala that still existed in Rukmini's heart.

  19. Hi Milin - my previous comment from today, for this article, may have gone into your spam folder, please check.

  20. Thanks Milin for your detailed explanation of Krishna-Rukmini-Shishupal relationship, in your comments. I also read the Quora link on Draupadi disrobing, I agree with you that she was not likely to have been disrobed.

    I think, many years ago, I read an article from Indrajit B that explained that Draupadi was not disrobed, she simply argued to have the Pandavas get released from slavery. Maybe, I can be wrong here.

    Looking forward to your future articles on -

    1) Secret of Sita agneepariksha.

    2) Ram's perspective on Sita kidnapping.

    Thanks again for your replies.

    1. Rohit,

      Yes, Draupadi was not disrobed. She did argue how she could be declared a slave by the Kurus, and was one of the major reasons why Dhrtarashtra was forced to free her and the Pandavas (due to public pressure). Indrajit had written an article last year, arguing that Draupadi was not even dragged to the Sabha, but I don't agree with him. I think that Draupadi was indeed dragged to the Sabha, but by the Pratikamin (not by Dushasana)... we have no less than 5 separate mentions outside of the direct narrative that the Pratikamin had dragged Draupadi to the Sabha. It seems like there was one version of the Mahabharatha where the Pratikamin dragged Draupadi (but this version was tampered with, giving rise to the present version where Dushasana dragged Draupadi to the Sabha). It seems that the identity of this Pratikamin is Karna, but I will have to dedicate a separate article to address this. Pratikamin means one who acts according to kama (desire). This kama can be that of the master, in which case the Pratikamin would be a servant. But the kama can refer to the individual's own kama... Hence Pratikamin can also mean one who acts according to their own kama, and that was exactly how Karna behaved in Sabha Parva... Anyways, I will need a separate article to properly explain this.

    2. Thanks for your reply Milin. Your comments and articles are indeed eye opener. My entire perspective on Ramayana and Mahabharata has changed.

      I am saddened and angry at how much interpolations have been done to these texts; a major, but not the only contributor being the impotent Catholics who cannot stand the idea of sexual pleasure.

    3. Rohit,

      Thanks. By the way, I have made a mini-post on the facebook group about Lakshmana and Seetha. You might want to check it out:

    4. Thanks for the Facebook reference, I read the post. It is incredibly written, good proofs and good analysis. I completely agree with everything that you wrote in the post. Lakshman's response regarding Sita's ornaments have been very mis-interpreted by people. People are so sexually suppressed that they can't see any twists and turns in the story, they take everything at face value and don't see any hidden psychology or symbolism.

      As you have written in your blog articles, there is quite a bit of symbolism too in Valmiki Ramayan.

      I don't think that I have explained explicitly my view on the golden deer episode, it is somewhat different than yours, but again this is just my view -

      Sita did a terrific job in getting Ram and Lakshman out of the hut to allow Ravan to come and meet her alone. She also did a terrific job in making sure Ravan gets attracted to her and kidnaps her, I agree with the Ravan-Sita dynamic and Sita's reason in being kidnapped and going to Lanka, with you.

      Sita undresses seductively upon seeing the golden deer. She calls Ram and Lakshman to where she is standing. Lakshman must have gotten visibly excited to see her. Ram and Sita must have noticed, and this was Sita's plan (to get Lakshman excited). All the talk between Ram and Sita about the golden deer was simply a playful talk or playful cover for Sita and Lakshman to spend some intimate time alone. Ram took it at face value that Sita is attracted to the deer (Lakshman) and instructed Lakshman to "guard" her and went after the deer and took his sweet time to hunt. Sita, however, was not lusting after Lakshman, but wanted to meet Ravan alone in the hut, she must have realized that the presence of the golden deer means Ravan is close by. She must have heard about Ravan's prowess and beauty previously.

      Lakshman, just like Ram, took Sita's attraction for the deer as her attraction for Lakshman. That is what Sita wanted both of them to think. It is like - if a girl is with 2 guys and is talking so sweetly about a little puppy with some seductive language and dress and gestures, then it means that she is attracted to one of the two guys (not the puppy). Then, if she asks one of the two guys to go chase the puppy or take it for a walk, it means she wants to spend time alone with the other guy and needs privacy.

      Lakshman must have tried to get intimate with Sita after Ram left. Sita then shockingly must have rejected Lakshman, per her plan. So, poor Lakshman must have felt very guilty and like a fool thinking that Sita wanted to spend time alone with him.

      Then, the cry for help from Marich occurs, tongue lashing from Sita occurs.

      The tongue lashing from Sita would have made better effect (or, any effect at all) if the lusting from Lakshman was more recent/current and the lusting on his part was genuine. I don't think what they both did in Ayodhya or in the beginning of the exile would have made Lakshman feel guilty or abandon Ram's instructions and leave Sita alone in the hut.

      The strike by Sita to Lakshman had to be based on an episode more recent/current and a genuine one too.

    5. Rohit, that is an interesting perspective. Do you think later poets edited out the attempt of Lakshmana trying to get intimate with Seetha, just prior to her tongue lashing?

  21. Also, as part of the Sita agneepariksha conclusion article, please mention about Sita-Lakshman relationship in detail, as they are related topics, I'd love to read your perspective.

  22. You people need mental help and certainly do not know the ramyana well, to say such digusting tripe. God forgive me for what ive read written by the foul minded

    1. Yeah, keep drinking the kool aid buddy !

    2. Dizzy - personally, I am really enjoying my "mental problems" and do not intend on going back on this.

      But, seriously, Milin Patel has been very gracious to create this blog and respond to comments. He has presented his writings with abundant proofs from the texts (I have focused on his writings based on Valmiki Ramayan).

      I have personally verified his writings and proofs with the Valmiki Ramayan text. Why don't you read the Valmiki Ramayan and translate the verses in Sanskrit CORRECTLY? Then, see for yourself what the truth is.

      I feel that Milin has been on the mark and this blog is indeed an eye opener.

      In your defense, I will say this - over the last several centuries or more, there has been Bhakti movement in India that has presented the events in the life of Ram and Krishna in "this kind of" innocent and sanitized manner. Saints have visualized the divinity in this manner, so it is authentic as well.

      There has also been vicious interpolations to these texts by Hindus and Catholics.

      For example - Tulsidas Ramayan is quite a bit sanitized in this regards and I believe that it is authentic and divine, but that is his vision of Ram. Valmiki's vision of Ram, as correctly presented by Milin, is also equally authentic.

      When Ram was on this planet, the social and moral fabric of the society was different, this does not mean that what actually happened during his lifetime is wrong, simply because today the morality based on Christian values or Bhakti movement, is wrong.

      Hope this helps.

    3. Dizzy,

      Rohit has given you a nice explanation. But I just want to say that before I post a verse that forms the crux of my argument I personally take a look at the sanskrit and make sure that the translation is proper. This takes a long time and lots of effort. For example, my "Did Hanumana Really Burn Down Lanka - Part 2" post took nearly 2 months to construct. So I don't post verses in my posts, without confirming that the translations are correct. And I definitely don't have enough free time on my hands to waste writing such lengthy posts of deliberate lies...

      My point is not for you to blindly believe what I say, but instead to go through the Valmiki Ramayana yourself, and draw your own conclusions from the text after consulting the sanskrit instead of only the translations given by the translators. This post is just a start to analyzing the Seetha-Ravana kidnap event in a critical manner.

      As far as your calling of this disgusting is concerned, I would beg to differ. Where in this post is Seetha abused? Bringing to light some verses that shed another perspective is not disgusting. Otherwise, by your logic, I should call every instance of sex in the epics as disgusting (i.e. Vayu-Anjana, Brhaspati-Mamata, Indra-Ahalya, etc...).

    4. Rohit,

      It is usually the Rama devotee-types that have a problem with any sex involving Seetha. I have come across some who even oppose the instances where Rama is described as having sex with Seetha. Even sex with her husband is a NO-NO for these folks. Unsurprisingly, they have no problem when sex is described with people other than the main characters, such as Anjana, Ahalya, etc...

      I have even come across some folks who say that Ravana was suffering from erectile dysfunction and acromegaly, in their attempt to mock Ravana. What is funny is that Ravana is described as having sex in his harem, and being surrounded by many women whom he had sexually satisfied, in Sundara Kanda. There are actual verses saying that women surrendered to him because they were sexually attracted to him. So someone saying that Ravana had erectile dysfunction is simply hilarious. One other person reasoned that Ravana had acromegaly. Acromegaly gives out a bad odor and causes more sweating (according to that person), hence since Ravana applied sandalwood (a kind of perfume in those days) and had servants fanning him, he must have had acromegaly.

      By that logic, I must have acromegaly as well as I wear perfume sometimes, and use the fan when it is hot. :P

      It gets even funnier. He reasons that since (in Sundara Kanda) Ravana had some women in his harem filled with lust and hugging women, children, veena, etc in place of Ravana, Ravana was impotent and could not satisfy them. Perhaps, he forgot to take into account that one man can only sexually satisfy a certain number of females in one night. One cannot have sex with the entire harem of females in a single night. The women sleeping in the dirct vicinity of Ravana (by his feet), in his harem, were described as being lovers of Ravana and satisfied by him, hence saying that Ravana was impotent and therefore unable to sexually satisfy his women is simply ridiculous.

      Here is the post (from quora) in case you are interested. I actually had a good laugh when I first read it and the author's reasoning:

  23. Milin - one other point that I would like to make regarding Sita-Lakshman relationship ... to my knowledge, there is no reference in Valmiki Ramayan about Lakshman lamenting the kidnapping of Sita. He must have been really hurt by Sita's tongue lashing.

    It is just my opinion that the reason Lakshman said that he only recognizes Sita's feet ornaments is, because he is very hurt, not because of guilt. But, that is just what I think.

    1. Rohit, yes that is also a possibility. Such a reaction from Lakshmana would be natural...

  24. Hi Milin, thanks for your 4 comments from today and thanks again for creating this blog and putting-in the time for it.

    Yes, I do feel that latter day writers have interpolated the golden deer episode, and hidden the dynamics between Sita, Ram, and Lakshman during the morning of the kidnapping. My intuition is pretty strong about what I had commented earlier, in this regards.

    I think, it went down pretty much like my puppy example. Sita fooled both Ram and Lakshman into thinking she wants to be intimate with Lakshman, but that was not her real plan, her plans were directed towards Ravan. But, how was she to meet Ravan alone, so she brilliantly managed to get both Ram and Lakshman out of the hut.

    Ram was concerned about Sita's safety from the rakshasas, but strangely Sita was never concerned, even when alone in the hut and with a stranger (Ravan). So, this seems like interpolation.

    Also, the consensual sex between Sita and Viradh, and Ram's comments about it (early Aranya kand) is the key to understanding why Ram left the hut, leaving Sita and Lakshman alone. After the Viradh episode, Ram wanted to make sure that Sita is sexually satisfied, else she would run away with a Rakshas. If there is any truth to Ram's fear from a Rakshas during the golden deer episode, it is this fear (Sita willingly running away with a demon).

    But above is just my intuition. Regarding reasons for interpolations over the last few centuries -

    1) Benevolent intentions - to protect Hindu women from Muslim rulers and to create a secured environment for infants and children to grow-up in the love and care of their mothers.

    2) Bad intentions - mostly from Catholics, who were sexually suppressed and lovers of death; sex being a symbol of life, they did not like it.

    1. Rohit, that is an interesting perspective. I think more digging needs to be done for that perspective to see all possible evidence to support it.

      I actually used to write articles on Quora, but one thing I don't like about Quora is that answers written can be downvoted by Quorans and then they would be automatically collapsed if enough Quorans downvote it. And since there are many Hindus that already are not ready to accept another perspective (especially if it involves sex), the answer gets downvoted without them putting much thought about the perspective the author had raised... So, I stopped writing serious articles on Quora, as they would be downvoted, and eventually the profile banned... I created this blog to discuss these other perspectives without being censored. One can have little meaningful discussion if, before a perspective can be posted, it must pass through the "morality test" of people...

    2. Hi Milin - thanks for your reply. Yes, please do research on my perspective of the kidnapping episode. I am going by my intuition based on the verses, would be interested to know if there is direct evidence to support.

      I am very glad that you created this blog, instead of just posting on Quora. This way there is independence and freedom to express ideas. It is very helpful to me, it clarifies and strengthens my devotion. Believe it or not, I practice devotion to God. Your blog articles and comments give me the strength to imagine intimacy with God. Your blog gives me the courage to let my mind and imagination run free in devotion to God. I very much suspect that Tulsidas did devotion to God in much this same way, at least initially. I, being a man, have imagined myself in all kinds of roles in my intimate devotion to God (Sita) ... Dashrath, Janak, Ravan, Lakshman, Valmiki.

      I simply don't understand - how can one call him/herself a devotee when all they do is visit temples and think non-sexually about God. Sexuality is the most intimate expression of love. Why can't devotees think sexually of God? If they can't, they shouldn't call themselves devotees of God.

  25. I agree with you on your comments about how people put Gods on a pedestal and about your comment about Ravan's harem.

    There is indeed a big difference about how people look at Sita/Parvati/Lakshmi vs say, Menaka. This comes from the old societies where rich people had legit wife and many illegit mistresses. Men did not enjoy or have much sex with the legit wife.

    Even in Vedic times, marriage was only entered into, in order to perform religious duties, which included producing legitimate heirs. But, men and women were free to engage in sex outside of marriage.

    I agree with you that it is very strange that many people think that a divinity like Sita did not engage in any sex, including with Ram. Very true, but very strange.

    I think, the reason behind such thinking is, in the divine world, such as heavens, there is no sex, because of 2 reasons - there is no other person (soul and God are one), there is no physical body.

    But, that is a very high elevated state, but peeps don't understand that you gotta start from the bottom and go up. You can't go around ignoring basic instincts of life and expect to reach the heavens. Enjoy the pleasures of life, see its futility, then climb higher. But, instead, people just develop disgust about sex without understanding anything.

    Also, like we have discussed endlessly, when Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, Lord Krishna, Goddess Rukmini, etc., appeared on the earth planet, they lived like human beings and engaged in sex and recognized the importance of basic instincts of life (food, sex, etc.), even if they had to get it from illegitimate source. Is it really better to die hungry than to beg from a stranger?

    These so called devotees of Bhagwan Ram - they follow Tulsidas Ramayan, which is quite a bit sanitized. All the people who orate Ram Katha, and even TV serial makers ... they all adhere to Tulsidas Ramayan. But, what does Tulsidas say about Lord Ram? Kiye charit pavan param, prakrit nar anuroop. Lord Ram lived like a human being. So, if human beings feel the urge to have sex, so did Ram and Sita. If human beings have natural incestual feelings, so did Ram, Sita, Dashrath, Janak, etc. Prakrit nar anuroop.

    Anyway, I feel very satisfied that I am no longer in the dark and following idiotic and suppressive religions, but the true meaning of Dharma, which is param bhog (extreme pleasure).

    1. I agree that you cannot rise higher without first experiencing the base, sexual instincts. About your point on Rama devotees, I have come across some that translate every mention of kama when it comes to Ravana as lust and every mention of kama when it comes to Rama/Dasharatha, etc as non-erotic love. That is the level of hypocrisy of some. But then again, we have clear verses that even they cannot deny, such as this lamentation of Rama, for Seetha:

      कदा तु खलु सुस्शोणीम् शत पत्र आयत ईक्षणाम् |
      विजित्य शत्रून् द्रक्ष्यामि सीताम् स्फीताम् इव श्रियम् || ६-५-१२

      "When shall I behold Seetha with charming hips, buttocks, and loin, having long lotus-like eyes flourishing as prosperity, by conquering the enemies?"

      कदा नु चारु बिम्ब ओष्ठम् तस्याः पद्मम् इव आननम् |
      ईषद् उन्नम्य पास्यामि रसायनम् इव आतुरः || ६-५-१३

      "When, gently raising her face looking like louts, with its beautiful teeth and lips, shall I drink as a sick man the sovereign drink of remedy?"

      तौ तस्याः सम्हतौ पीनौ स्तनौ ताल फल उपमौ |
      कदा नु खलु स उत्कम्पौ हसन्त्या माम् भजिष्यतः || ६-५-१४

      "When will those breasts which are delightful close, bulging and quivering, looking like palmary fruits, indeed press me?"

      And yes, incest was not looked down upon back then. Even in the Rig Veda, we have the Yama-Yami dialogue, where a sister proposes to her brother for sex and the brother eventually agrees. I have talked about that in this article:

    2. I agree with you. I too know of devotees of God who cannot possibly imagine that Ram could think sexually of Sita. As I mentioned in my previous comment, they are really not devotees, just suppressed and miserable human beings, who don't have any gratitude in their heart for what God has given them and for the freedom to imagine, which God has given them, to be used for God.

      I agree with about Yam-Yami dialogue, I have read it too. As you had mentioned in the past, incest strengthens the love and bond between two human beings. It is very helpful in nurturing of the human being, making him/her a good person, a fulfilled and a satisfied person. This plays a big role in creating a society that is full of love and gratitude in their heart.

      Even relations that are not exactly incest, such as father-in-law and daughter-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, etc., such relationships should also be practiced, they too play a helpful role in building a good society that does not waste its existence in hate, violence, and all kinds of destructive behavior. But, a society that enjoys life and loves life.

      I had commented in the past - it is well-known that Kali (kaliyuga) asked for a place to stay, to king Parikshit. One of the choices that the king gave was the house of a prostitute. Kali laughed and said there are no prostitutes in his kingdom.

      Think about it - no prostitutes in Parikshit's kingdom.

      Not because people did not like having sex, but because there was abundant opportunity within the house itself, no need to steal and no need to pay. Such relations were not simply based on sex, they were based on love and gratitude between the man and the woman.

  26. In my above comment, very true, but very strange should read - not true, but very strange. It is late in the night !

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. U conveniently take references as u please and donot stick to one bcos u have a prelaid story in ur mind. The use of words like Sroni means WAIST. And in ur filthy language u took all the other meanings that ur rapist attitude can convert and u say Valmiki meant what u r saying. U FOOL!!!! VALMIKI TALKS IN LENGTH ABT RAVANA'S CHEST AND THIGHS, he also talks abt the strong vanaras and their physical power. Does this mean he is sexually adoring everyone???? He is a narrator and there ends d matter. He just narrates.
    U r twisting the meaning of words which have many meanings according to ur will by ASSUMING some meaning of ur own understanding. And assuming the rarer meanings for the same word than the widely used meaning. Your post is HIGHLY IDIOTIC, RACIST, ASSUMING AND BIASED. IT IS PUNCHED WITH THE FILTHY ATTITUDE U HAVE TOWARDS WOMEN AND AGAINST HINDUISM. ALL U WANT IS TO DEGRADE GODS. AND MAKE A FOOL OF YOURSELF (I don't understand why u try, as u already are one) WHILE DOING IT

    1. Since you are vehemently opposing the post, I know for sure that you will eventually turn around and agree with this post.

      When something is presented to you that is completely opposite of what you have been fed for centuries, it is difficult to accept, I completely understand.

      But, you will think about this post for the rest of your life, I assure you. At some point, very quietly in your heart, you will accept this post.

      Good day to you.

    2. BharathNarendra,

      Take a deep breath. In and out. And in. And out. Once more... And in and out… I hope you are feeling relaxed now. If so, let me proceed to address your allegations.

      This post is neither against women or racist. Where did I make a subjective opinion showing contempt for India or Seetha, or against women in general? I chose my words very carefully when writing this post as I knew most Hindus would not like the theory I am putting forth. It seems that the real problem you have is me showing that Seetha had sex outside of her marriage, in which case I think it is imperative to change your mentality about sex, at least when reading the Ramayana. Keep in mind that the society in those times was never against extramarital sex. Megasthenes finds extramarital sex so rampant in India, that he finds it necessary to mention that married women would prostitute their bodies for material gains (even after marriage). Our culture was never originally one of sexual purity/chastity, and it is important to keep this in mind when reading the text.

      Not every word can be translated into its non-sexual meaning. We have to look at the context first. We are told that Ravana grabbed Seetha and placed her on his lap. Then, a couple verses later, Valmiki uses the word ga/gama/gata to describe what Seetha is doing in Ravana’s lap. In this context, ga/gama/gata cannot be translated as simply Seetha entering Ravana lap, because that would be redundant. Valmiki already describes Seetha entering Ravana’s lap in an earlier verse. So what does ga/gama/gata mean in this context? Well, Valmiki provides the reader with very vivid sexual imagery. He describes Seetha on Ravana’s lap and says that she was filled with sexual excitement (matta). Hence, the appropriate translation of ga/gama/gata would be that Seetha (after Ravana placed her in his lap), entered Ravana’s lap in sexual intercourse. Ga does have a sexual meaning as well, if you are willing to consult a Sanskrit dictionary.
      If you are still not convinced, then I will redirect you to Aranya Kanda Section 56, where Seetha uses the word “dharsita” to describe what Ravana did to her. Dharshita very clearly means copulation. Furthermore, after Ravana’s death, Mandodari laments on his dead body and uses the word dharshayata to describe what Ravana did to Seetha. That word also very clearly means copulation/rape. So, Valmiki’s Ramayana is very clear that Ravana and Seetha did have sex.

      As far as degrading gods goes, I don’t remember ever insulting Seetha in this post. It is true that I criticize Rama/Krishna, but I also do praise them for their virtues as well… Such an evaluation of the gods can scarcely be termed an insult. If you still want to stick around and comment/criticize any of my posts, you are more than welcome to do so. I definitely can handle criticism and will not call it an “insult”. :D

    3. Rohit,

      I think that the major issue people have with this post are the claims that Ravana and Seetha had sex. If such folks can rise beyond this and realize that extramarital relationships were never really an issue in our culture from ancient times, then these type of knee jerk reactions would not exist. I think stripping Seetha's sexuality and looking at her as a very docile creature does severe injustice to her great character. Without her influence, Rama would not have been able to prevail over Ravana...

    4. Milin - I agree with everything that you wrote in the above 2 comments. Ram would not have prevailed against Ravan, if not for Sita. There is plenty of evidence in Valmiki Ramayan about Sita's sexuality and her sexual relationships with Ram and Ravan. There are also strong hints about her sexual relationships with Lakshman and Hanuman. There are also very subtle hints about her sexual relationships with Janak and Dashrath. During the Vedic times, the emphasis was on love between 2 people, not sexual chastity. If love blossoms as sex, so be it, even if it is between relations that we don't think of as sexual in this day and age (eg., father-in-law and daughter-in-law). Removing sexuality from Sita's character is indeed doing injustice to her. I agree.

      This false idea of upholding Hindu goddesses as bereft of sexuality stems from 3 things over the last 7 centuries or so, in my opinion.

      1) Protecting Hindu women from Muslim invaders.

      2) Discomfort of medieval Europe (especially, the catholic church) with sex.

      3) Over emphasis of Hindu saints on rising beyond the human body. But, you can't rise above the needs of the human body without first experiencing them to the fullest.

  29. Hi Milin

    Very interesting article.

    I do have a few questionsfor you, and would be gratified by a detailed reply to the inquiry below (or a mini post)

    a) You have clearly explained Ravana had sex with Sita en route to Lanka. What passeges, after their safe arrival in Lanka, confirm or expand on their continued physical or sexual relationship ?

    b) Assuming he placed her in his harem initially, is there any evidence of him continuing to have sex with her ? Are there any sections wherein this physical relationship details are described. Was Sita a wiling participant ? If valmiki is graphic about their initial encounter I am sure there will be some mention of this.

    c) How did Mandodari and other wives react ? Was there jealousy, rivalry , acceptance ? I am curios how sita saw mandodari and vice versa in the contextof Ravana ?

    d) Why and when did he place her in Ashoka Vana rather than his harem even though he initially brought here there.

    e) On Rama's arrival and the comencement of battle what does sita feel or say in worry if she is indeed in love with Ravana ? Does their relationship change ?

    f) Should we assume that she retruned pregnant from Ravana ? seems very likely in that she was there under 12 months and had not borne any children in multiple years with Rama earlier. Is that why rama eventually abandons her ? Are lav and Kusha thus progeny of Ravana ?

    What I'd like to know is your views on the consummation of their relationship, both sexual and emotional that you assert transpired after her abduction and how that plays out in Lanka and post rescue.

    1. Patient Observer,

      Welcome to this blog and thanks for your interest. You have asked some very nice questions, and I will likely post a couple of comments in the next few days to answer these questions in sufficient detail, as time permits. However, for the present moment, you might be interested in reading my Seetha Agnipariksha post from March 2017, as I have talked about Ravana's relationship with Seetha in Lanka in quite some detail:

    2. Patient Observer,

      a) I have not found any direct evidence of this continued sexual relationship in Lanka. The reason for this is that we are only shown three glimpses of Seetha's life in Lanka. So, we have to rely on indirect evidence of their relationship... The first glimpse is when Seetha actually gets kidnapped and brought to Lanka by Ravana. She is placed in the Asoka Grove which is a boundary wall away from Ravana's harem, and is essentially an extension of the harem. It is described to be the sporting ground of Ravana in another verse:

      प्रविश्य सीता बहु वृक्ष षण्डाम् |
      ताम् राक्षस इन्द्रस्य विहार भूमिम् |सम्प्रेक्ष्य संचिन्त्य च राज पुत्रौ |
      परम् विषादम् समुपाजगाम || ६-४८-३७

      Entering that Ashoka grove, planted with a multitude of trees, sporting ground of Ravana and recalling the two princes who she had just seen, Seetha gave way to extreme grief.

      What could the purpose of placing Seetha in this "sporting ground" be? Does it suggest anything about the relationship between Ravana and Seetha? This could be a point of discussion... The second time we hear of Seetha is when Hanumana comes to Lanka to find Seetha. At that point of time, we find that Seetha is compared to the wife of a serpent king, with the serpent king being Ravana. This exact kind of symbolism is used when Seetha was kidnapped by Ravana and copulated him (as shown in this post). Furthermore, Valmiki describes that (around the time Hanumana came to search for Seetha), Ravana's influence on Seetha had managed to bring about such a drastic change in her mindset. She began abandoning many Vedic practices, and replaced them with some of the Rakshasa practices present in Lanka. I have talked about this in a Quora post I wrote last year, from my banned account. You can read it here, if you wish:

      It is surprising that some of these verses have escaped the "sanitization process", that much of Valmiki Ramayana went through over the past many centuries. Passages like this allow us to reconstruct the relationship between Ravana and Seetha. The last time we hear of Seetha in Lanka is during the final war, when Rama invaded Lanka. We have some evidence that Seetha still was emotionally connected with Rama to some extent, in addition to her already present emotional attachment to Ravana (which I described in my Agnipariksha post from March 2017). The incident where Ravana presents a fake severed head of Rama to Seetha to convince her that Rama had died manages to generate an emotional outburst in Seetha. How genuine this outburst was is a matter of debate, considering Seetha's subsequent indifference to Rama. After Seetha realizes that the head was a fake one, Sarama offers to go to Rama and see if he is actually safe. But Seetha is not interested in that, and instead sends Sarama to spy on Ravana and see if he is planning on giving her up to Rama or if he is willing to fight war with Rama. I would think that a lady that truly cares for her husband would want to check on her husband's state and make sure that he is 100% safe. So, Seetha's behavior manages to raise some questions. I didn't find any more actual evidence of Seetha's sexual relationship with Ravana. However, you might be interested to know that after Ravana is killed, Rama tells Seetha:

      न हि त्वां रावणो दृष्ट्वो दिव्यरूपां मनोरमाम् |
      मर्षयेत चिरं सीते स्वगृहे पर्यवस्थिताम् || ६-११५-२४

      "Seeing you, who are endowed with a beautiful form and attractive to the sense, detained for long in his abode, Ravana could not have endured your separation."

      Rama does not seem like a person to come to half-hearted conclusions. When he had a suspicion, he would analyze it thoroughly. So, did Rama have any actual, solid evidence that Ravana enjoyed Seetha in Lanka? Perhaps through Vibhishana? We can only speculate on that matter...

    3. b) I think I answered this to some extent in part a). There is indirect evidence of the sexual relationship, but not the kind of direct, graphic evidence we see during Seetha's kidnap. This may perhaps be because Valmiki had little actual information of what went on in Ravana's harem. It is not like he was able to spy on what happened in Ravana's harem to describe everything in graphic detail. His main source for what happened in Lanka were Vibhishana (who wouldn't have access to Ravana's harem fully) and Hanumana (who visited Ravana's harem when scouting for Seetha in Lanka). That is perhaps why he remains silent on what happened in Lanka ever since Seetha's kidnap to Hanumana's arrival in Lanka and from Hanumana's departure to Rama's invasion of the kingdom. Also, Valmiki's main purpose with regards to Seetha is to show how she uses her sexuality to manipulate Ravana, and indirectly help Rama to successfully invade Lanka. It is not to show in detail, Seetha's relationship with Ravana, and hence he perhaps does not focus on that theme.

    4. c) I am not sure of what Seetha thought of Mandodari. But Mandodari was damn jealous of the influence Seetha wielded on Ravana and how Seetha manipulated him. This is made very clear when she engages in the following vain boasts when lamenting upon Ravana's death:

      सन्त्यन्याः प्रमदास्तुभ्यं रूपेणाभ्यधिकास्ततः |
      अनङ्गवशमापन्नस्त्वं तु मोहान्न बुध्यसे || ६-१११-२९

      "There are other women, more excellent in form than Seetha for you in your gynaecium. Having fallen a prey to the power of passion, you did not know it through ignorance."

      न कुलेन न रूपेण न दाक्षिण्येन मैथिली |
      मयाधिका वा तुल्या वा त्वन् तु मोहान्न बुध्यसे || ६-१११-३०

      "Seetha is no match for me either in birth or in beauty or in amiability. You did not perceive this through infatuation."

      सीतानिमित्तजो मृत्युस्त्वया दूरादुपाहृतः |
      मैथिली सह रामेण विशोका विहरिष्यति || ६-१११-३२

      "Death which was brought about on account of Seetha was invited by you from a far-off distance. Free from sorrow, Seetha will now be enjoying herself with Rama."

      It is quite evident that Mandodari did not have a friendly equation with Seetha. She was upset of Seetha's influence on Ravana's psyche. She sees Seetha as somewhat shallow and selfish, just like Shurpanakha and Vibhishana did. Not much is known about Ravana's other wives, but he had a total of 1000 wives according to Maricha.

    5. d) He initially placed her in his core harem, but after she was unwilling to marry him, she was transferred to the Asoka Vana. It was a pleasant place, and perhaps he chose that pleasant spot so that its pleasant environment could influence Seetha, and hasten/urge her to submit to Ravana willingly and marry him. Another reason is so that he can have easy access to Seetha (remember, it was his sporting ground), in a place where his core wives won't be able to see her and the associated tantrums and manner in which she verbally abused him at times (i.e. perhaps a way for Ravana to prevent himself from being embarrassed in front of the rest of his wives). Seetha did give Ravana long strings of abuse at times, however that reduced through her stay in Lanka. She somewhat softened up on her abuse over time, despite having to employ such abuse at times, for political purposes.

    6. e) Not directly. She does not directly say that she loves Ravana when Rama comes to invade. But as I said above, when Ravana places the fake severed head (of Rama), and Seetha is informed of the bluff by Sarama, she does not want Sarama to go to Rama and see if he is 100% well. Rather, she sends Sarama to spy on Ravana and see if he is willing to return her to Rama, or fight the war. If she didn't have any emotional attachment to Ravana, why would she value Ravana's next step over ensuring that her husband Rama is fully safe? After all, whatever step Ravana took, she would eventually be returned to Rama. Ravana's army was too small to defeat the vast Vanara army in war. It seems that she was somewhat nostalgic and filled with anxiety upon thinking of the prospect of having to return to Rama. Seetha's behavior upon hearing of Ravana's death further confirms this suspicion. She is emotionally devastated upon hearing of his death, and was inconsolable. I have talked about this in my March 2017 Agnipariksha post.

    7. f) If Luva and Kusha truly existed (there is some doubt regarding the authenticity of Uttara Kanda), then I am 100% sure that they were Ravana's children. Rama was an impotent man. He had sex with Seetha for about 14 years prior to Seetha's kidnap (1 year in Ayodhya + 13 years in exile). It wasn't just occasional sex. It was regular sex, and we know that because most of Rama's lamentations after Seetha's kidnap are about not being able to enjoy having sex with her. For example, consider these verses of Rama's lamentation:

      कदा तु खलु सुस्शोणीम् शत पत्र आयत ईक्षणाम् |
      विजित्य शत्रून् द्रक्ष्यामि सीताम् स्फीताम् इव श्रियम् || ६-५-१२

      "When shall I behold Seetha with charming hips, having long lotus-like eyes flourishing as prosperity, by conquering the enemies?"

      कदा नु चारु बिम्ब ओष्ठम् तस्याः पद्मम् इव आननम् |
      ईषद् उन्नम्य पास्यामि रसायनम् इव आतुरः || ६-५-१३

      "When, gently raising her face looking like louts, with its beautiful teeth and lips, shall I drink as a sick man the sovereign drink of remedy?"

      तौ तस्याः सम्हतौ पीनौ स्तनौ ताल फल उपमौ |
      कदा नु खलु स उत्कम्पौ हसन्त्या माम् भजिष्यतः || ६-५-१४

      "When will those breasts which are delightful close, bulging and quivering, looking like palmary fruits, indeed press me?"

      I have talked more about this "addiction" to having sex with Seetha in a post from March 2018, titled "Did Rama Have Sex with Seetha?" If Rama had sex with Seetha this often, yet could not impregnate her, it is very telling of his potency... Rama also says the following right after Seetha's kidnap:

      निर्वीर्य इति लोको माम् निर्दयः च इति वक्ष्यति || ३-६२-११
      कातरत्वम् प्रकाशम् हि सीता अपनयनेन मे |

      By Sita's immorality it will be clear to the world that I am impotent and unkind. My cowardly nature will clearly manifest.

      Furthmore, Seetha herself lashed out at Rama in anger once, and called Rama a female in the body of a male, and a pimp. People tend to vent out their true feelings in moments of weakness, such as during anger or grief. So, it seems that perhaps Seetha considered Rama impotent. Under such cirumstances, it seems very likely that the father of Luva and Kusha was Ravana.

      According to Uttara Kanda, Rama was very happy upon hearing of Seetha's pregnancy, so that is probably not why he kicked her out. According to a version of Ramayana from Ceylon, Seetha drew an image of Ravana and held it to her bosom. When Rama found out that she did that, he got enraged and wanted to kill her, but later was satisfied with idea of exiling her. This overly possessive and insecure behavior of Rama is quite matching with his character in Valmiki Ramayana, and hence is worth considering...

  30. Vestanaka(aka=sin) commuting sin by holding or covering someone which is sex but word used here is vestmaan which means holding or covering,and only vestmaan is used here not vestanka
    A slight change in carne in sanskrit can create havoc..
    Ravanankagata -here the word anka used at many places,while viratha had caught her the word is used.But was it possible for viratha to to hold Sita on his lap and do long conversation with Rama or is it possible that Sita was sitting silently on Ravana's lap.I don't think so..
    The word "ankaa" also means proximity (nearness)which will well define it's meaning.
    Ravanan was holding Sita near to her, to describe it Ankaa is used.

    Now for figure of speech,it applies or describe situation of person only. Rama also described as venomous snake while fighting Viratha,the word used here shows anger with which he was fighting.
    Similarly for Sita's case word is used.

    As you are saying Ravana had thrown her clothes in sky,then she used a part of her upper cloth to wrap the ornaments to throw it near the group of monkeys.
    Now why I'm saying only part of it because after this stance Ravana met son of sampati who was very hungry and wanted to kill him and Ravana was scared and asked him to leave them.After this incident son of sampati told monkeys about Sita who at that time was wearing silk saree..

    1. Ronnie,

      The problem I see with translating "anka" as "proximity" is that it would mean that "Ravana grabbed Seetha by her nape and thighs and then took her in his proximity". This is kind of absurd, because when he held her nape and thighs, she would already have been in his proximity. Why would the poet make a point to mention again that Ravana took her in his proximity? Furthermore, after Rama rescues Seetha, he doubts Seetha's chastity by saying that Ravana may have molested her during the kidnap when she entered his "anka". Clearly Rama was having some sexually unpleasant visuals when he used the word anka, which would support its translation as "lap" instead of merely "proximity".

      Vestamana... The stem of that word, vesta, means "to surround/wrap around". This was the position in which Seetha was relative to Ravana. Often times, in sanskrit, we do find that the derivative from a root/stem can shed some light on the meaning of the stem/root. Hence, I brought up vestanaka (which means intercourse). I was not making a rigid point, but just exploring the possibilities of the meaning of the word, in the given context. I didn't find myself doing anything wrong here, because this is not my only source of information that Ravana and Seetha had sex. I have provided numerous other references that they had sex, in this post. Furthermore, there are cross references by Mandodari, Seetha, Hanumana, and Sampati that support my claim that the two had sex...

      About the snake. Rama is indeed compared to a snake in battle, but given the immediate context (i.e. sometimes the adjective "angry" would be used just prior to the word serpent, as in "angry serpent", or in other cases, the preceding verses would make it evident that the word "snake" was used to express Rama's anger) we would conclude that it refers to his state of anger, just as you said. In the case of Seetha, she was angry but her anger is seen about one section prior to her kidnap (she is angry in 3.47-48, whereas her kidnap occurs in 3.49). Hence, if Valmiki wanted to use the snake analogy to express Seetha's anger, he did a very poor job. The verse after the snake analogy tells us that Seetha was filled with sexual excitement, thus suggesting that perhaps the snake analogy deals with her sexuality. This is further corroborated by a close examination of the snake analogy. The verse does not compare Seetha to a serpent directly. It compares her instead to the "wife of a king serpent". Hence, it focuses on Seetha's (serpent queen) relationship towards her mate (serpent king), in this case Ravana. It suggests that her position was such, as if she was a wife to Ravana. To me, this indicates a great deal about her sexuality, at that moment (i.e. she was wrapped tightly around Ravana's body, like a wife would to a husband... it definitely evokes some level of intimate sexual imagery in the mind of the reader).

      Seetha probably encountered Sampati's son prior to releasing her garment to the Vanaras... If you read the entire description in 4.58, you would see that when Sampati's son saw Seetha, she still had her garment and ornaments on her body. She was still throwing her ornaments on the ground, one by one, and at that moment, her silk garment was falling on Ravana's dark body and illuminating him. This all seems like a description of the events in 3.52. Seetha drops her garment and ornaments to the Vanaras two sections later, in 3.54. So, it seems like Sampati's son was narrating about how Seetha's appearance and actions were, prior to her tossing her garment and ornaments to the Vanaras.

  31. Thank you Milin. YesI am looking forward to your detailed response on the actuals of Seetha's life in Lanka as ravana's consort.

    I am sure you will be ablse to provide some valuable insight and evidence from passages refering to her nearly 12 month conjugal union with Ravana and how her co-wives and Vibhisana or others reacted to this.

    Specifically the expulsion to ashok vana if they were and her immediate pregnancy (after 10 months in captivity) are two areas that would be great to hear more on.

    I did read your other agnipariksha post and enjoyed its analysis of the post-rescue political re-conciliation of rama and Seetha. Its clear that problems lay below the surface about her sexual history in Lanka and the resulting pregnancy leading to the second banishment close to delivery.

    thanks and waiting for your post

  32. You with your different fake accounts just want to misinterpreted Ramayana by using wrong meaning of words and creating ur own different fake accounts in comment section.....

    1. i think that you're jsut intolerant to different views and opinions
      milin patel not only has different views he also has evidence from the text to back it up
      but what do you have? tv serials? novels? fan-fiction? blind bhakti? not accepting any facts? misleading the topic?

    2. I think this is the same Roniee Shukla from Quora...

    3. I don't recall encountering a "Roniee Shukla" on quora at all.

    4. I don't think he interacted with you. But he was following and commenting on all of my Quora answers where I said that Ravana had sex with Sita.