Meanwhile, Ravana had carried
Sita across the ocean to his kingdom of Lanka, and had placed Sita under
guard, surrounded by demonesses in a grove of trees. Due to a curse,
Ravana did not dare to force himself upon a woman, fearing death, but
he hoped to win her by his considerable masculine charm. In the event
of the failure of his masculine charm, he told her that if she did not
accept him, at the end of a year he would eat her for breakfast.
Sita, feeling hopeless, decided
to fast unto death. Learning of this, the demigods became anxious that
Sita’s death would cause Rama to lose heart and not kill Ravana.
The demigods feared Ravana greatly, and were counting on Rama to rid
the universe of this threat. Therefore the demigod Indra went to Sita
with a bowl of sweet rice which was spiritual food, having been offered
to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The sweet rice carried the benediction
that one who ate it would never suffer from hunger. Sita, respecting
the spiritual food, accepted it, thus surrendering her idea of fasting
unto death. Accompanying Indra was the demigoddess Nidra, who put the
demonesses asleep for the duration of the meeting.