On Ravana's instructions, Maricha disguised as a golden deer started roaming near the vicinity of the Ashrama where Rama was stationed in Dandakaranya. Eventually, Rama went in search of the "golden deer". The deer screamed in the voice of Rama when it got shot by Raghava's shaft. Sita told Lakshmana to go to the forest as Raghava might be in danger.

When Lakshmana refused to go, Sita said harsh words to Lakshmana. That is understandable. However, she suddenly, out of nowhere accused Lakshmana of being lustful of her! Not just once, but repeatedly.

Valmiki Ramayana, Aranyakanda, Chapter 45

Truely being under the influence of lust for me thou dost not follow Rāghava! For this thou dost welcome Rāma's disaster; thou hast no affection for him. - Verse 7

Verily art thou a monster of wickedness, that Rāma repairing unto woods, thou hast, being lustful for me, followed him alone. Or hast thou been engaged by Bharata to act thus? - Verse 24

This is beyond comprehension! This is not a sleep of the tongue as this insult was hurled at him twice. It was in her mind.

The question is why. Is there anything mentioned in the Ramayana that might remotely suggest that Lakshmana did have such tendencies? Or was it a false accusation?

Reference -

Valmiki Ramayana translated by M N Dutt

  • She was merely saying all this to irritate and/or force Lakṣmaṇa, so that he goes in search of Rāma, because Lakṣmaṇa was denying that Rāma needed no help and he would be safe, but Sītā was still feeling worried about Rāma and wanted Lakṣmaṇa to go and look for him. She never thought of Lakṣmaṇa in such a way as what she said then, no sister-in-law might think in this manner about Lakṣmaṇa, who was so devoted. And surely not Sītā, who is Devīrūpa herself. At the end of saying all this, Lakṣmaṇa surely got irritated and left Sītā, to go into the forest.
    – Bingming
    Commented May 18 at 4:23
  • I hope it's understandable now, this accusation is not meant in actual, but is just a clever tactic by Sītā utilized under the emotions of anxiety, etc. regarding her husband's safety, to get her own objective accomplished by Lakṣmaṇa, i.e. to go and look for Rāma, and find if he's safe or not.
    – Bingming
    Commented May 18 at 4:23
  • 1
    Rāmāyaṇa is not set in modern day, and this accusation is clearly not a doubt which Sītā has about Lakṣmaṇa though. She doesn't think that Lakṣmaṇa is like how she says here. You are free to disagree and propose a different interpretation though. Furthermore, this accusation is just uttered to Lakṣmaṇa, she didn't say it to anyone else. If Lakṣmaṇa really wronged and she felt so, what's the point of just telling Lakṣmaṇa about it? That's no use, she'd tell Rāma, or those whom she can trust. Sītā is not foolish. By thinking that she is doing an actual accusation, you are doubting her wisdom.
    – Bingming
    Commented May 18 at 6:19
  • 1
    You asked about a reason, and i have already clearly stated a reason pretty clearly, the reason is just to irritate and force Lakṣmaṇa to go away and look for Rāma and check his safety, it would irritate any gentleman when he is told such kind of words from someone, to whom he is really devoted and never wronged in both thought and deed. Lakṣmaṇa was devoted to Sītā and never saw or approached her with kāma, that you, me, Sītā, Rāma, and Vālmīki knew well. Please don't doubt the wisdom of Sītā and the character of Lakṣmaṇa.
    – Bingming
    Commented May 18 at 6:33
  • 1
    Not related .. btw, how to place dot under s,n for Sanskrit letters from English text characters?
    – Narasimham
    Commented May 18 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


Fear of her dear husband's loss of life, danger of death, loss of all security in a forest when helplessly driven to a corner.. in such a worst circumstance any woman ( much so a Pathivrata) will lose sense and logic, heap insults, hurl worst insinuations, even if known to be false.

She did it also intentionally to motivate Lakshmana causing deep hurt to him to drive him out urgently towards Rama's most needed rescue when Lakshmana was hesitant to go finding Rama, leaving Sita alone.

In such a grave situation ( turning point in Ramayana) her accusation is natural and understandable. If the situation was more hopeless Lakshmana certainly would not have escaped her curse.

To bring a deer home for Sita's play or amusement is no big task for Rama, so Lakshmana would at the start ignore minor dangers and delayed attending to calls for help but he did not yet know a powerful super Maya is at work.

Valmiki Ramayana mentions lack of lusful attitude. Lakshamana could not identify Sita's ornaments that fell off to ground and later picked up in Kishkinda during Ravana's abduction and the big search that followed.. that he never looked above her torso so was unable to identify her necklace and other ornaments found.


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