Devi Sita’s abduction and Lakshman Rekha –The real story, later versions and the Marxist twist There seems to be some confusion regarding this crucial episode of Ramayan, It’s always a good strategy to fallback to the original source in case of confusions
Sitaji’s abduction (Did Ravan carry her as in lifted and carried her away or lifted the soil around her feet as he couldn’t touch her?) This is how Valmikiji describes the scene:
वामेन सीताम् पद्माक्षीम् मूर्धजेषु करेण सः | ऊर्वोः तु दक्षिणेन एव परिजग्राह पाणिना || ३-४९-१७
Meaning: He that Ravana grabbed the lotus-eyed Sita on lifting her up with his left hand at her plait of hair at nape, and with his right hand at her thighs So, it means as per Valmiki Ravan did touch Devi Sita.
So what’s this legend about Ravan not touching Sita at all. This comes partly from the later adaptations of Ramayan and partly from TV serials. We’ll come to the Marxist twist later.
Lakshman Rekha – That Lakshman created a line around their hut and instructed Sitaji to stay inside which would ensure her safety. How Shri Valmiki describes Lakshman leaving the hut to go out and look for Shri Ram.
After a heated argument with Sitaji, an enraged Lakshman storms out of the hut after saying these things:
गमिष्ये यत्र काकुत्स्थः स्वस्ति ते अस्तु वरानने || ३-४५-३३ रक्षन्तु त्वाम् विशालाक्षि समग्रा वन देवताः |
Meaning : I am going there where Ram is, oh, lady with best visage, you be blest, and oh, broad-eyed one, let all of the forest deities protect you. and then he says…
निमित्तानि हि घोराणि यानि प्रादुर्भवन्ति मे | अपि त्वाम् सह रामेण पश्येयम् पुनरागतः || ३-४५-३४
Meaning “Gauging by those dangerous forebodings that are now bidding fair, can I to see you again along with Ram on my return, or not? That I do not know.” Thus he spoke to Sita.
That’s it, No Lakshman Rekha. This again was mentioned in later adaptations of Ramayan and the TV serials.So what is this big bad Marxist twist? There are two characters from our ancient history that our Marxists historians and mythologists have been very kind to. One is Ravan and the other Karn. Ravan is presented as an haughty man but a man of honor. So, he can abduct women, keep them confined but wouldn’t touch them (which is a lie). What honor really! The same bunch have waxed eloquent about his knowledge, valor and devotion too.
But the truth is that Ravan was a conceited man, a womanizer, and a fool who got defeated by too many beings and ended up sacrificing his entire clan just because he wanted to possess Devi Sita. Karn, another big crook from our ancient history is presented as a man who was cheated and denied his rightful share. He is also presented as the best archer ever. While the truth is that he was a decent archer but nowhere in the league of Arjun who beat him every single time they dueled. Additionally Bhimsen beat him 4 times in straight combats and even snatched his kingdom from him. Abhimanyu made him run like a schoolgirl to Drona. Additionally Karn was a obsessed with defeating Arjun at any cost, he slandered Draupadi the most while the latter was being molested by Dusshashan. To kill Abhimanyu, he let go of all ethics.
The Marxist twist serves two purposes.
1.) Makes the villain look equal to the hero (Shri Ram and Arjun in this case) and confuses the ones who haven’t read the original text.
2.) Makes our ancient history sound racist in orientation – The Sutputra credentials of Karna and Asur origin of Ravan somehow drive a narrative that our history was biased towards the marginalized classes, something Marxists are driving till date.