indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Kangra - Ramayana / Exile in the Forest
Plate 10 - Rama Chasing the Magic Deer  


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Here, at the center of the picture, we see Rama with a bow and arrow and a quiver at His back proceeding to chase the magical deer while Sita approvingly looks towards Him with a smile. Rama and the deer are again seen at the top left corner. Rama is now running fast and the deer is galloping. Thus the magical deer lured Rama away, far from the hermitage. Rama shot the deer with an arrow, wounding him fatally. On the point of death, emitting a terrible cry, Maricha abandoned his assumed form. Imitating Rama's voice, he cried out, "Oh Sita! Oh Lakshmana!" Now Maricha assumed his true shape as a Titan and Rama, beholding him, remembered the words of Lakshmana. He realized the illusion created by the Titan and a great dread seized him.

Hearing the cries of distress which seemed to come from her Lord, Sita asked Lakshmana to go quickly to see what had happened to Rama. Lakshmana assured Sita that none on earth, neither Titans, celestial beings, gods, giants, nor animals, could overcome Rama. Even the three worlds, with Indra himself at their head, meeting Rama in combat, would be overcome by Him. Rama had left Sita to Lakshmana's care and thus He could not leave her alone. He told Sita that only a rakshasa was simulating the voice of Rama.

At this, Sita was dismayed and spoke with anger using harsh and bitter words. Being extremely distraught that Rama's life was in danger, she told Lakshmana that she His intention and, in anguish, started beating her breast with her hands. Such anguish forced the unwilling Lakshmana to set out into the forest to search for Rama. Leaving Sita at the hermitage, Lakshmana kept looking back again and again. The color tones of the painting are harmonious. Jatayu is in the foreground.