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Story Of Surpanakha Bringing Ravana Back To Life And Second Exile Of Sita

In this alternative narrative, Surpanakha, driven by a desire for vengeance upon her brother Ravana's death, plays a pivotal role in orchestrating Sita's second exile. Disguised as a female hermit, Shurpanakha approaches Sita with a cunning request: to paint a portrait of Ravana. Sita, perhaps reluctantly, complies, painting only what she knows of Ravana - his immense toe, as that's all she ever glimpsed during her captivity in Lanka.

Surpanakha takes the incomplete portrait and completes it before invoking Brahma, the Creator, to breathe life into the depiction. With this act, Ravana is resurrected, albeit in a painted form. Shurpanakha then entrusts the living portrait to Sita, who, torn between her feelings and her duty, cannot bring herself to destroy it. Instead, she conceals it beneath her mattress, hoping to shield Rama from the truth.

However, Rama eventually discovers the living portrait, and misunderstanding Sita's intentions, interprets her actions as a sign of her love for another. Betrayed and heartbroken, Rama decides to exile Sita once again, unable to reconcile his feelings with the apparent evidence before him.

This tale weaves together elements of deception, vengeance, and misunderstanding, highlighting the complexity of relationships and the consequences of hasty judgments.

Source – A Ramayana of Their Own – an essay by Velcheru Narayana Rao (Author and Translator)