Being thus thwarted Soorpanakha returned to Lanka, where her mightiest brother
was the ruler. She wept before Ravana and pleaded for revenge
against this supreme humiliation suffered by her. Ravana took his best confidant Maricha with him
and made plans to teach Rama the lesson for life.
Maricha lured Rama away from the hermitage on a hunting expedition by himself
posing as the prey. Lakshmana was left alone on guard with Sita. Maricha on false
pretext succeeded in sending Lakshmana too on a mission to search for Rama. When
thus left alone Ravana disguised himself as a Sadhu (Mendicant) and forcibly
kidnapped Sita from her hut in Panchvati.
|RAVANA KIDNAPPING SITA
The anger and sorrow of Rama at the disappearance of Sita
knew no bounds. He
was determined to trace his wife and to punish the culprits. He and Lakshmana
started the search in right earnest. On the way they won
the friendship of the chieftain of monkey tribe. His name was Sugreeva whose throne in the capital
named Kishkandha was usurped by his own brother Balee. Rama killed Balee and
restored the throne to Sugreeva. This paved the way for a solid alliance that
helped Rama in a great way in his battle against Ravana and his forces. As
a result of this friendship Rama not only got massive support of the huge army
of Sugreeva but also found a highly loyal and efficient general named Hanuman,
who proved to be the greatest asset to Rama.
|RAMA AND HANUMAN
To prove his gratitude to Rama, Sugreeva sent a great number of his monkeys in
search of Sita. These monkeys went southwards and on the
way found out that the demon Ravana had stolen Sita and kept her as his captive
in Lanka. Immediately
Hanuman became ready to go to her as Rama's emissary. Rama gave his ring to Hanuman
to convince Sita of the latter's genuine status. As Hanuman was the offspring
of the god of winds, he concentrated his powers and leaped across so many miles
over the sea. He saw Sita being held as a prisoner in a
garden of roses, called Ashoka-vatika. He showed the queen the ring of Rama and assured her that he would
be soon coming to rescue Sita from the clutches of Ravana.
|THE VANARA (MONKEY) ARMY OF SUGREEVA
Meanwhile Ravana' s guards managed to catch Hanuman and brought him in the court
of Ravana. As legend goes before being caught Hanuman succeeded in killing so
many guards including one of the sons of Ravana, named Akshaya. Then Ravana'
s mightiest son, Indrajit was sent and he could bring the monkey general before
Ravana. The king ordered his servants to dip the monkey's tail in oil and set
it on fire. The enraged Hanuman with his tail in flames leaped from one house
to the other thus setting so many of them aflame. Eventually he left Lanka and
reached Rama's camp to give him the news about Sita's plight.