Ravana the king of demons, was the ruler of Lanka. He had heard many stories about Rama's wife, Sita's beauty. He decided to kidnap Sita and bring her to Lanka. He made a plan to abduct her and went to his uncle, Mareecha, a demon, and asked for his help. Mareecha had the power to transform himself into any form and even change his voice accordingly. He had heard about the greatness of Rama and tried to discourage Ravana. He advised him to stay away from Rama as that would only lead to the downfall of Lanka but Ravana was furious and determined. He threatend to kill Mareecha. Mareecha was left with no choice and reluctantly agreed to help Ravana. According to Ravan's plan, Mareecha transformed himself into a golden deer and went to graze near the hermitage where Rama and Sita, along with Laxmana, were staying.
When Sita saw the beautiful deer, she was fascinated by its beauty and asked Rama to bring it for her. Rama and Laxmana had never seen a deer like this before and Laxmana warned Rama that the deer might be a demon in disguise. But Sita had set her heart on the golden deer and was adamant.
At her insistence, Rama went after the deer. He asked Laxmana to stay with Sita and protect her while he went after the deer. The deer ran deeper and deeper into the forest and Rama followed it. Finally, Rama aimed an arrow at the deer's heart and shot it. When the arrow stuck the deer, it transformed itself back into Mareecha. He cried out to Laxmana for help in Rama's voice and then died. When Sita and Laxmana heard Rama's voice crying for help, they got alarmed. Sita begged Laxmana to go and see if Rama was in trouble.
Laxmana was in a dilemma. On the one hand, he had promised Rama that he would stay with Sita and protect her, and on the other hand he was worried about his brother and wanted to go and see if Rama needed his help. He tried to put Sita's fears at rest but she was inconsolable and forced Laxmana to go in search of Rama. Laxmana agreed to go but wanted to make sure that Sita would be safe during his absence. He drew a line around the hut with his arrow and told Sita not to step out of the line. He said that if she stayed within the boundary of the line, no harm would come to her.
Meanwhile, Ravana was hiding nearby and had heard Laxmana and Sita talking. He saw Laxmana drawing a line around the hut and heard him instructing Sita not to step out. Soon after Laxmana left, Ravana quickly disguised himself as an old hermit and approached the hut. He begged for some alms and food and water for the elderly hermit and offered it to him. Ravana wanted Sita to step out of the line drawn by Laxmana. He told her that he could hardly reach the water and requested her to step forward and give it to him. Sita thought that he was a harmless, weak hermit and did not want to annoy him so she stepped out of the circle.
As soon as she had done so, Ravana grabbed her and revealed his true identity. He told her that he was the king of Lanka and had come to take her with him to his land. Sita was terrified and told Ravana that Rama and Laxmana would find her and punish Ravana for abducting her. She struggled hard, but in vain. Ravana was very strong and quickly over powered her. He laughed at her and mercilessly dragged her into his flying chariot and took her away to Lanka.