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Rama Spurns Suparnakha


Text Appearing Before Image: uthority. Meanwhile Rama with Sita and Lakshmana wentsouthward towards deeper jungles, visiting various holysages, and having crossed the Vindhya mountains, theywandered together in the Deccan and Southern India.At Panchavati^ nigh to the sources of the river Goda-vari, the royal exiles built a hut with four rooms, andlived peaceful and pious lives. Thirteen years and a halfwent over their heads. It came to pass that one day there came to the quiethermitage a Rakshasa woman, named Surpa-nakha, thesister of Ravana, the demon King of Lanka, Ceylon.She was misshapen and ugly and her voice was harshand unpleasant. When she beheld Rama, who wascomely as a lotus, and of lofty and loyal bearing, herheart was filled with love for him. Made bold with thislove, she resolved to assume another form so as to in-duce him to leave the faithful Sita. ... In time shestood before the prince in the guise of a young andbeautiful woman, and said: Who art thou who hast 1 Nasik. About lOO miles from Bombay.

Text Appearing After Image: RAMA SPURNS THE DEMON LOVER From the painting by Marivick Gohle THE ABDUCTION OF SITA 401 come hither with thy bride to dwell in this lone junglewhich is haunted by Rakshasas? Said Rama: I am Rama, the elder son of a Maha-rajah named Dasaratha. I dwell here in exile in fulfilmentof my sires vow, with Sita, my spouse, and Lakshmana,my brother. Why dost thou, O fair one, who art asbeautiful as the bride of Vishnu, wander about here allalone? Surpa-nakha said: I am a Rakshasa woman, thesister of Ravana, and have come hither because I lovethee. 1 have chosen thee for my husband, and thoushalt rule over my great empire. Thy Sita is pale anddeformed and unworthy of thee, but I am of surpassingbeauty and have power to assume any form at will. Imust devour Sita and thy brother, so that we may rangethe jungle together and visit the lofty hills. Said Rama: Sita is my beloved bride, nor wouldI leave her. But Lakshmana hath no consort and is a fithusband for thee. Surpa-nakha at once departed fro

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