The Golden Deer

The Golden Deer
Highlights

The Golden Deer. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana lived in the Dandaka forest. One day a beautiful deer with golden skin came that way and started grazing near their ashrama.

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana lived in the Dandaka forest. One day a beautiful deer with golden skin came that way and started grazing near their ashrama.

Diamonds and other gems appeared to shine from its body. Sita, who saw it, was charmed by it. She wanted to have it as a pet in the ashrama. So she called out to Rama, "My Lord, here is a beautiful deer; come and have a look at it."
Rama and Lakshmana saw it. Rama too was charmed by it. Lakshmana, however, felt that it was not a real deer. He said, "This appears to be the magic of some Rakshasa."
Sita said, "No. it is not." Then she turned to Rama. “Please catch it!" she pleaded. “I want to keep it as a pet. If you cannot catch it alive, at least get me its beautiful skin."
Rama wanted to please Sita. He took his bow and arrow. He assured her, "Sita, I shall. catch it alive, or l shall kill it, and give you its beautiful skin."
Before leaving, he called Lakshmana and told him, "Lakshmana, don’t leave Sita alone. It may take some time before I return with the deer."
Rama started chasing the deer. It ran here and there. Sometimes it just disappeared. Thus, it drew Rama a long way from the ashrama.
At last Rama aimed an arrow at the deer and shot it. Unable to bear the pain, the deer called out in Rama’s voice. "Ah, Lakshmana! Ah, Sita!” and died.
This deer was really a Rakshasa whose name was Mareecha. He was the uncle of the Rakshasa King, Ravana.
On hearing the appeal for help from Rama, Sita thought that Rama was in danger. So she asked Lakshmana to run to Rama’s rescue.
But Lakshmana tried to set her fears at rest. "Rama can never be in danger. The cry may be a trick to lure me from here. So please do not worry," said Lakshmana.
But Sita would not accept this. She cried. She even scolded Lakshmana. She also accused him of disloyalty. So Lakshmana unwillingly went in the direction of the voice, leaving Sita alone.
Ravana, who was hiding near, entered the ashrama at once, and carried Sita away to Lanka.
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