Friday, December 10, 2010

PDE Ramayana: Ravana and Maricha

Reading Guide. Remember Maricha? When Rama was younger, he went with Vishvamitra to fight rakshasas. At that time, he killed Thataka, but her son Maricha escaped with his life. Now Ravana will seek Maricha's help in his plan to abduct Sita.

Image: Not all artists attempt to show all ten of Ravana's heads and all twenty of his arms, but that is what you will see in the illustration below.

SourceMyths of the Hindus and Buddhists by Sister Nivedita (1914). [200 words]

Ravana | 32. Ravana and Maricha | Golden Deer

So Ravana took his chariot and fared along by the sea to a great forest to consult again with Maricha, who dwelt there in a hermitage practicing self-restraint. Maricha counseled Ravana not to meddle with Rama. "Thou wouldst get off easily," he said, "if Rama, once angered, left a single rakshasa alive or held his hand from destroying thy city of Lanka."

But Ravana was fey and boasted that Rama would be an easy prey. He blamed Maricha for ill-will toward himself and threatened him with death. Then Maricha out of fear consented, though he looked for no less than death from Rama when they should meet again. Then Ravana was pleased, and, taking Maricha in his car, set out for Rama's hermitage, explaining how Sita should be taken by a ruse.

Maricha, obedient to Ravana, assumed the form of a golden deer and ranged about the wood near Rama's hut: its horns were like twin jewels, its face was piebald, its ears like two blue lotus-flowers, its sleek sides soft as the petals of a flower, its hoofs as black as jet, its haunches slender, its lifted tail of every color of the rainbow — a deer-form such as this he took! His back was starred with gold and silver, and he ranged about the forest lawns seeking to be seen by Sita.

Ravana | Ravana and Maricha | Golden Deer

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