The Ramayana – Aranya Kand
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spent thirteen years in exile. These years were no way less eventful than other kandas in Ramayana. Since they have spent this in a forest called Dandakaranya, this chapter is also called as Aranya kand, as Arnaya means forest.
In exile, Rama, Sita and Laxman spent thirteen adventurous years in the forest.While travelling, they met Sage Atri, Sage Sarbhang and Sage Agatsya before reaching Panchavati, where they stayed for most part of exile.
Jayant, son of Indra, took the form of a crow and tested the lord. He suffered. Lord Rama used brahmastra on the crow.
Rama, Sita and Laxman built cottages and they lived along the banks of Godavari. The place where they lived was called Panchavati.
In their 14th year of exile, a demoness Surpanakha, sister of Ravana, came to Panchavati. She got infatuated by Ram and his handsome appearance. She asked him to marry her, Ram refused saying that he was bound to Sita in wedlock, and asked her to approach Laxman instead.
Lakshmana also refused her, Surpanaka flew into a rage and rushed to kill Sita. Lakshama intervened and cut her nose and ears off.
Her brothers, Khar-Dushan marched towards Panchavati and attacked Ram. They were killed in the battle.
The demon Akampan survived and told this story to Ravana in lanka.
Ravan advises Mareecha to take the form of a deer. He wanted to abduct Sita.
Sita requests Rama to bring the deer for him. Rama initially rejects her appeal but subscribes later on. He asked Laxman to take care of Sita.
Ram follows and kills Maricha. Before being killed, He asks for help from Laxman in voice of Ram. Sita perplexed, sends Laxman for help. Laxman denies but yields to constant appeals from Sita.
Laxman draws the Laxman rekha before following rama and advised Sita to do not cross in any eventuality.
Ravana, disguised as a brahmin, came for alms. He says that he cannot receive alms unless she comes out of the line drawn by Laxman. Sita crosses Laxmanrekha.
Jatayu, the friend of Dashrath, also living in Panchavati, dies while fighting with Ravana.
Ravana takes Sita to lanka. Sita throws her ornaments to leave trace of the route.
Gods are rejoiced that end of Ravana is close though they are also worried for Sita. Thus we see that despite being expected as most peaceful time in their life, this chapter or Aranya Kand proved to be most defining in the lives of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.
This is the end of the Aranya kand from the Ramayana.