Shatashloki 60: Ravana abducts Sita; kills Jatayu

Tena māyāvinā duraṃ apavāhya nŗpātmajau

Jahāra bhāryāṃ rāmasya gŗdhram hatva jaṭāyuṣam

Meaning- Ravana, using the help of the illusory demon Marica, ensured that Rama and Lakshmana were sent far away from the cottage. Thereafter he abducted Seeta. He also killed the bird Jataayu that had come to her aid.


Seeta, who came out of her cottage, saw the illusory golden deer and was deeply fascinated by it. In her excitement, she called Rama and Lakshmana and asked them to observe it and enjoy. She watched the frolicking deer in great fascination for a little while and then she asked Rama to get her that deer. She begged him in deep earnest. Rama asked Lakshmana to keep a vigil over Seeta while he went to hunt that deer.

The illusory deer ran quickly and disappeared. It reappeared again at a great distance. The moment Rama would sight the deer, it would run quickly and disappear and appear once again in the deeper portions of the thick forest.  In this hide and seek game, Rama wandered very deep into the forest. He was vexed up with the deer that was hoodwinking him. Finally he used the weapon that had been created by Lord Brahma and aimed it at the deer. As the weapon hit him, Mareecha gave up his illusory form of a deer and appearing in his true form fell to the ground. While battling for his life, he changed his voice into that of Rama, and screamed loudly, “Oh Seeta, Oh Lakshmana” and gave up his life.

His scream reverberated through the forest and reached the ears of Seeta and Lakshmana. Seeta, recognizing the voice of her husband, immediately presumed that he was is in grave danger. Perturbed by this, she ordered Lakshmana to go and save her husband. Lakshmana tried in many ways to convince her that Rama could never be in danger. Without heeding to anything that was being said, Seeta spoke very harshly to Lakshmana. Lakshmana’s heart was broken at the words used by her. Unable to do anything else, he prostrated to her and leaving her alone in the cottage went out to help his brother.

Ravana who had disguised as a sanyasi (saint), was keenly watching all the happenings at Rama’s cottage. No sooner had Lakshmana left, than Ravana, in this garb of saint, approached Seeta and enquired about her. Seeta welcomed the mendicant and offered him the hospitality. Ravana, then introduced himself and declared that he was the monarch of Lanka and that he sought to make her his wife. Seeta angered at this statement, told him to refrain from such vile and unworthy thinking. She told him that even if were to be immortal, he could not escape Rama’s arrow. A verbal duel followed.

An infuriated Ravana transformed into his original self and abducted her. At that moment, the grieving Seeta appealed to all the trees, birds, mountains and wept piteously.

Jatayu who was nearby heard the wails of Seeta and challenged Ravana. In Ramayana, it is said that Ravana abducted Seeta along with the earth on which she was standing. Not just Jatayu, all the birds, trees, mountains etc. came in the way of Ravana when he was trying to abduct Seeta.

Jatayu, although frail and weak, fought vehemently with Ravana. He tried to preach him the morals and the dharma. He told him that another man’s wife is equal to a mother. In the combat, Jatayu overpowered Ravana and threw him to the ground. He pierced Ravana with his nails and injured him.

Jatayu’s valour came as a surprise to Ravana. He flew up in the air with his chariot and Jatayu continued to combat with him in the air. Jatayu bit off all the ten hands of Ravana. However they emerged again. In deep fury, Ravana released his grip on Seeta and cut off both the wings of Jatayu using a sword. Not satisfied with that, he injured the bird badly and smashed both its feet. Jatayu fell to the ground. Seeing the bleeding bird that was on the verge of death, Seeta cried bitterly and hugged it. Ravana took Seeta and flew up in the chariot. All the Saints, trees, birds, animals, mountains, in fact all the elements that had witnessed this gory event of abduction were deeply saddened.


Om Seeta Ramabhyaam namaha

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