Why didnā€™t Ravana Ever Touch Sita?

The reasons why Ravana didn’t touch Sita, despite abducting her, are debated within Ramayana interpretations. Here are the popular explanations:

1. Curse

A popular explanation within the Ramayana itself involves a curse upon Ravana. According to various versions, he either:

  • Angered Nalakuvara, son of Kubera (Ravana’s stepbrother), by attempting to force himself on Nalakuvara’s wife, Rambha. The offended Nalakuvara cursed Ravana that if he ever touched a woman without her consent, his heads would split open.
  • Faced a curse from another source related to his conduct with women.

2. Respectful Interpretation

Some interpretations suggest Ravana respected Sita and never intended to force himself on her. This view emphasizes his royal upbringing, chivalrous code, and respect for her devotion to Rama. However, this perspective contradicts specific details in the Ramayana, where Ravana threatened and pressured Sita.

3. Religious Significance

Considering Ramayana’s symbolic representation of good versus evil, some interpret Ravana’s restraint as a symbolic contrast to Rama’s righteousness and respect for women.

4. Literary Device

Some scholars analyze it as a literary device to heighten the drama and emphasize the purity and resilience of Sita’s character.

It’s important to note that there is no single definitive answer. The explanation might vary depending on the specific Ramayana version and interpretation. Each viewpoint contributes to the complex understanding of the epic and its characters.

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