So remember when Ravana wanted to steal away Sita – He had Marich assume the form of a golden deer and walked the deer to the ashram. Sita said, “Ram look at that golden deer, I’ve never seen anything like that, please get that deer for me.” And Ram said, “I think this looks like a trick.” And Sita said, “No one can trick you, you are the hero of light, you are invincible, you are the Supreme Lord made manifest, just go ahead and get the deer for me.” And Ram said, “Sita, You have been in the forest with me for all these years (it had been thirteen years already, one more year was left to complete) and I haven’t been able to give you any comfort whatsoever, so certainly I will get the golden deer for you even though I think it is an illusion. Lakshman, you stay here and guard Sita.
And so Ram went off in pursuit of the golden deer, and when the golden deer ran farther and farther away from the ashram and the hermitage, Ram knew that there was some deceit and trickery going on, still he moved in pursuit. Finally, he was well away from the ashram hermitage and he took the arrow in his bow, and he shot the arrow and it landed into the chest of the deer, and the deer immediately became a demon. And he called out in Ram’s voice, “Lakshman, I’m shot, I’m injured, I’m in the forest surrounded by demons, and I’m wounded and I’m unarmed and they are going to defeat me, please come immediately and help.” And the demon died.
When Sita heard the sound of Ram’s voice calling out, She said, “Lakshman, Go help your brother!” And Lakshman said, “Sita, Sita Maiya, no one can hurt Ram, he’s the Lord of the three worlds, this must be some trickery or deceit.” And Sita said, “How can I believe that this is trickery or deceit when my husband is calling out to me in anguish, please go and help him!” And Lakshman said, “Sita Maiya, I’ve been ordered by the Lord to stay here and guard you.” And Sita said, “I am the Queen, and I order you to go and find your brother!” And Lakshman said, “Sita, this is the first time I am disobeying an order from my brother, but because you have given me another order, I am going to follow your instructions. You go into the house, and don’t come out.”
Sita went in to the house. And Lakshman took an arrow, and he said the mantra, and he drew a line in the sand all the way around the house, which is called a Lakshman Rekha. He said, “No one can cross this line. Sita, You stay in the house, not for any reason at all will you cross this line. Don’t come out of the house. As long as Youâ€™re in the house you will be safe, and I will go find Ram.”
As soon as Lakshman departed and traveled some distance, Ravana, standing by in the woods, changed his appearance and came in the disguise of an old sadhu. And he came to the hermitage gate and he said, “Bhiksham Dehi, Bhavati Bhiksham Dehi.” Sita was stunned, “What sadhu will come to me in the middle of the day, asking bhiksha. It is my dharma as an aryan woman to give alms to any one who asks. She said to him, “Please, you stand there at the gate and I will bring you some food.”
Sita went inside the house to get some food, and Ravana came to the house and he tried to cross the line. And he couldn’t. Every time he stuck his finger over the line, blazing fire would jump up and sting him. He put his foot there, and the fire burned his foot. And in everyway Ravana tried to cross the Lakshman Rekha, he was unable. And then he understood.
Sita, came to the line, and remembered Lakshman’s word. She said, “Sadhu Baba, please, put your hands next to this line, and I will hand you the food over the line.” And Ravana said, “What do you think I am, I’m a beggar that you will feed me from afar, you won’t bring the food to me and let me sit down and have an asan and a glass of water and a clean place to enjoy my meal! What kind of woman are you? Well, I’ll tell you what kind of sadhu am I. I see that you’re traveling in the forest with your husband and his brother, with two men. I see that your husband has gone off in pursuit of a deer. I see that your husband has been wounded in battle, and that his brother has left the hermitage, and he is going to help. I see that I’m going to give you a curse that your husband will die in this battle, and Ravana took some water. And Sita said, “No, No, No, Stop! Don’t give a curse to my husband, I’ll come and give you the food!”
Ravana put down the water, Sita crossed the line, and Ravana took his actual dress, and his actual comportment and left his disguise as a sadhu. And said, “Sita, you belong with me.” And he picked her up and carried her away.