The plot was this: Maricha, as
a mystically beautiful golden deer, would happen by the cottage of Rama,
Sita, and Lakshman, and Sita would be entranced at the sight and ask
Rama to capture the deer for a pet. If both Rama and Lakshman could
be drawn off that way, Sita would be left unprotected for Ravana to
What actually happened was the
following: Rama did indeed agree to go and try to capture the deer,
but since Lakshman was suspicious of the whole thing, Rama ordered Lakshman
to stay behind and protect Sita.
In the forest, Rama also began
to suspect foul play, and shot an arrow to kill the mystical deer. As
Maricha lay dying, he managed to call out, “Help! Lakshman! Help!”
in Rama’s voice. Sita heard, and implored Lakshman to go to Rama’s
aid. Lakshman knew nothing could harm Rama, but when Sita, upset and
agitated with fear for Rama, accused Lakshman of wanting Rama to die
so he could have Sita for his own, Lakshman was deeply wounded and agreed
to leave. He drew a protective mystical circle around Sita and the cottage
and told Sita to stay within that circle. Then he left to find Rama.
When he was gone, Ravana came,
having disguised himself as an elderly brahmana, weakened for lack of
food. Compassionate Sita brought him food, stepping outside the circle
to do so. Ravana immediately revealed his true nature and grabbed Sita,
placing her on his nearby chariot pulled by donkeys with hobgoblin faces.