This question discusses the different versions of Ramayana available. Although, it does not discuss how the story of Lakshmana Rekha is different in these various texts. I just read a comment on a separate question that Lakshmana Rekha is not mentioned in Valmiki's Ramayana. If so, I have these questions:

  1. If Lakshmana Rekha is not mentioned by Rishi Valmiki, what is the story of Sita's abduction mentioned by him?

  2. Also, from which text is the story of Lakshmana Rekha taken and what is that story?

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    Lakshmana Rekha was already covered in that question. Please do search your query with keywords "hinduism" " stack exchange" at end of your question before posting them. Some users may feel that you are asking questions just for the sake of asking, as today you are asking many questions (which is actually a good thing).
    – The Destroyer
    May 3, 2016 at 6:51
  • @TheDestroyer: Hahaa, oh well. Also, the link you mention talks about Lakshmana Rekha only in the question. There is no such reference in the answers. May 3, 2016 at 6:56
  • @TheDestroyer: It is just one of those days when so many questions come to your head. May 3, 2016 at 6:59
  • So? Question was asked already. You should edit that question to make appear it news feed or should make emphasis on your question in that question.
    – The Destroyer
    May 3, 2016 at 7:00
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    @TheDestroyer: No, no, that question is totally different, it asks a for a generic difference in various Ramayanas. The one asked here is highly specific. :) May 3, 2016 at 7:06

2 Answers 2


From this article by Devdutt Pattanaik:

This story of Lakshman Rekha, the line drawn by Lakshmana around Sita's hut, comes to us from regional Ramayanas like the Bengali Krittivasa Ramayana and the Telugu Ranganatha Ramayana, written about seven centuries years ago.

It is not found in the old Sanskrit Ramayana of Valmiki, written two thousand years ago, or even the oldest regional Ramayana, written in Tamil by Kamban, a thousand years ago.

From the Wikipedia article Krittivasi Ramayana:

Timeline of Krittivasi Ramayan

The original Krittivasi Ramayan is dated to the first half of the 15th century. In the next four centuries, it underwent various changes at the hands of various puthi scribes. The current version of the epic was revised by Jaygopal Tarkalankar and was published in 1834. Later in the 20th century, various editions were published based on the Jaygopal Tarkalankar version.

From the Wikipedia article Sri Ranganatha Ramayanam (శ్రీ రంగనాథ రామాయణం):

Ranganatha Ramayana was written by the poet Ranganatha—also known as Gona Budda Reddy—between 1300 and 1310 A.D. This Ramayana was composed in 17,290 couplets (in Dwipada metre). This meter is lyrical and can either be recited like the Valmiki Ramayana (written in Anustupa metre) or sung like the Ramcharitmanas (written in Doha-Chaupai). It is quite popular with both scholars and illiterates.

As you can see, these are merely 'adaptations' of the Valmiki Ramayana, but still very popular.

From the Ranganatha Ramayana (Telugu) available at this link, I was able to locate the exact verse wherein the incident of Lakshmana drawing the line (Lakshmana-rekha) along the perimeter of the hut or the parnashala they were staying in, is mentioned. Here Lakshmana is telling Sita that whoever dares to cross this line, his head will break into a thousand pieces:

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Luckily, there's also a Hindi translation of the same:

enter image description here

So it looks like Sita without giving a second thought to the Lakshmana-rekha just crossed the line to greet Ravana who's disguised as a sanyasi:

enter image description here

Thereafter, a long argument ensued, Ravana revealed his ten-headed form, Sita fell unconscious and Ravana abducted her:

enter image description here

While the much of the discussion between Sita and Ravana is taking place outside Sita's dwelling (for obvious reasons) in Ranganatha Ramayana, in Valmiki Ramayana however, it appears to be happening inside the house because clearly Sita invites and seats Ravana as she would a normal Brahmin guest:

"Oh, auspicious lady, who are you? Whose are you? Also from where are you? And being lonely, what for you are moving in dreadful Dandaka forest that is adored by demons?" Thus Ravana spoke to Seetha.

When the wicked minded Ravana praised her in this way, Vaidehi the princess from Mithila has seen him who has arrived in the getup of Brahman and started to revere him with all the respects affordable to a casual guest.

She firstly fetched a seat him, then invited him with water for feet-wash, and then said to him who looked gracious in his bearing, 'alms are ready.'

Maithili explored him who arrived with the features of a Brahman, with a saffron-robe and alms-bowl, and finding no reason to refute him flatly, as he has come like a Brahman, she invited him as a Brahman.

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    I am yet to read the rest of the answer but why include references from Devdutt Pattnaik? Maybe, because you are not aware that he considers that Ramayana did not happen at all. :) May 4, 2016 at 1:28
  • @AmitSaxena Well, don't know much about his beliefs, but his article is how ended up discovering the sources I cited in my answer, so I wanted to credit him in my answer. So even if someone doesn't like him, he's going to stay in my answer :) Also, going by that logic ('did not happen'), 'Lakshmana Rekha' also did not happen and yet we are discussing it here, aren't we :P May 4, 2016 at 1:37
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    That is okay, you can keep him, I just wanted to let you know, what is going on behind the scenes :P May 4, 2016 at 1:38
  • I will wait for another answer without his reference before deciding which one to accept. Meanwhile, you might want to go through creative.sulekha.com/…, quora.com/… and youtube.com/watch?v=RaNpNJVvWDI May 4, 2016 at 1:42
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    Okay, how is this related to that. My issue is with not the fact that people 'believe that Ramayana didn't happen'. In fact, I welcome these opposing views. My issue is that he hides this fact and then tries to appear pro-Hinduism on the surface. Why hide it? May 4, 2016 at 2:16

Before leaving, Lakshmana draws a Lakshmana-rekha (fiery line) on the ground in front of their forest home [Ref: Tulsidas Rama-charitra-manas book 6 chaupai 36]. He says that only the 3 of them can cross the line. He adds that for her safety, she should not cross the line till they return. Mareecha goes deeper into the forest with God Rama in pursuit, followed by Lakshmana.

Before Ravana, the evil coward could kidnap Sita, Agnideva had exchanged her with Vedavati (Maya Sita, illusory Sita), the daughter of Rishi Kushadhwaja, in her previous incarnation [Ref: Skanda Purana 2.1.5...].

This exchange could have happened when Sita went to the kitchen fire to get food, or when she passed through Lakshmana-rekha, the fiery line drawn on the ground by Lakshmana for her protection.

Source: 'Essence of the Fifth Veda' by Gaurang Damani pages 22-23

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