Maricha the Golden Deer in Ramayana Story

MarichaIn the Hindu epic Ramayana, Maricha, or Mareecha was the son of demon Sunda (son of Jamba or Jharjha) and Tadaka also known as Taraka, Tataka or Thataka. He was the uncle of Ravana.

He performed a small but crucial role in the Indian epic Ramayana. Mareecha helped Ravana in the abduction of Sita from the jungle.

There was a mythological tale with regard to the life of Maricha. Vishvamitra was living in the area near the forest of Tataka and was doing yajna with his disciples and was tormented by Tataka and her sons. He was thrown into a remote island by the arrow of Rama when he attempted to disrupt Sage Vishwamitra’s yagna.

Maricha : Golden Deer Story in Valmiki Ramayana

Ravan desired to kidnap Sita, the wife of Rama and asked Maricha to help him in his task. However, he suggested Ravana to stay away from any conflict with Rama and Lakshmana.

Then Ravan blamed Mareecha for ill-will toward himself, and threatened him with death. He out of fear consented, though he looked for no less than death from Ram.

Maricha and Ravana flew to Panchavati. Mareecha transformed himself into a golden deer, captivated Sita’s attention. He had the motto to distract Rama and Lakshmana away from the hut so that Ravan could kidnap Sita.

The golden deer lured Sita. She pleaded with Rama to capture it. Ram aware that this was the play of the demons, was unable to dissuade Sita from her desire and chased the deer into the forest, leaving Sita under Lakshman’s guard.

While following the golden deer (Maricha), Rama came to the conclusion from its behaviour that it was indeed unnatural and evil. As a result he made a decision to kill it rather than capture it alive for Sita.

After a long chase, he shot it down with an arrow; but while dying the deer cried out to Sita and Lakshmana for help, mimicking Ram’s voice. Sita fell prey to the ruse and asked Lakshmana to go on a search for Ram.

When Lakshman insisted that no one could harm Ram, Sita, still very much worried, implored and then ordered Lakshman to go.

When Lakshman left very reluctantly to search for Ram, Lakshman draw the Lakshman Rekha, a perimeter line across the hut and asked Sita not to cross it.

Any unwanted invader who crossed it would be killed immediately and thus the Lakshman Rekha would serve for Sita’s safety.

Sita however, out of compulsion of religious duty and compassion for a poor brahmin, who was actually the disguised Ravana, crossed the line to give him alms. Unaware of the devious plan of her guest, Sita was then forcibly carried away by Ravana in his Pushpaka Viman.

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  1. Key References

    Maricha

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