Srimad Ramayan / Ayodhya Kanda !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Maharishi Valmiki narrates the incomparable virtuous of Lord Rama as exceptionally righteous, compassionate, kind and humble, loving and caring, an ideal son to his father, a perfect husband to his wife, an affectionate brother, high intellectual,  has  tremendous control over  anger, matchless temperament  and a charming young prince.  Rama led 12 years of blissful married life in the devoted company of Sita and assisting his father King Dasaratha for the smooth functioning of duties and responsibilities.    In the mean time, Bharatha’s maternal uncle paid a visit to Ayodhya and took Bharatha and Shatrunga to his hometown.




King Dasaratha was highly pleased at the dutiful and the responsible nature of Rama, it was the time King felt the need for a successful heir to the throne, who could rationally carry out the responsibilities towards his Kingdom and its people.  Rama’s unique nature of handling affairs of Kingdom and resolving issues of its people gained lots of admirers.  Shortly, King Dasaratha discussed the coronation ceremony of Rama as legal heir to the throne with the ministers and Sage Vashishta.  There was not enough time left to make arrangements, all the preparations were made at the instructions of seniors in the assembly, eventually messengers were sent to the prominent rulers, Rishis and Sages.  Everyone praised the wisest choice of King Dasaratha.  Sage Vashishta prescribed the propitious hours for the coronation ceremony of Rama.  Sumantra, the chief of ministers was assigned with the task to escort Rama to the grand coronation hall so as to inform the principal decision.  Rama gracefully entered the hall and prostrated his father.  King Dasaratha enthusiastically informed the news of coronation ceremony, but Rama was neither jubilant nor discontented at the announcement.  The entire people of the Kingdom were overjoyed at the wisest decision of King Dasaratha.


King Dasaratha retired to his chamber; he was too excited with many blissful thoughts crossed over his mind.  He was particularly concerned about Rama’s coronation ceremony and desired for the function should be grand success.  The news of Rama’s coronation ceremony spread like a wild fire across the cities.  The peoples and dignitaries’ were flown to the city of Ayodhya.    Rama and Sita were instructed to undergo austerities before the performance of coronation ceremony.  The City of Ayodha was decorated in a splendid manner for the much awaited glorious moment.




Manthara, maid of Queen Kaikeyi who had a visible hunch on her back peeped through the windows and surprised to see the grand decoration all over the palace and its surroundings.  One of the servants informed her about the Rama’s coronation ceremony.  Manthara was so disturbed after receiving the auspicious news; she had already hatred towards Rama for his childhood pranks on her.  Manthara has vicious plans in her mind to put an end to everyone’s happiness.   She rushed to the chamber of Queen Kaikeyi,   filled her ears with callous information about her husband’s injustice and treacherous act towards Kaikeyi and Baratha.  At last with all her melodrama, she lucratively created all evil thoughts in the mind of Queen Kaikeyi.   Initially, Manthara was surprised to see Queen Kaikeyi’s benevolence towards Rama and her innocence.   Moreover, the Queen offered invaluable gifts to Manthara for brining the most propitious news and profusely appreciated King Dasaratha for his wise decision.  Manthara horrendously   refused the precious gifts and haughtily proclaimed that Queen Kaikeyi and her son Bharatha’s life will be doomed to darkness immediately after the coronation of Rama, Kaikeyi will be ill-treated and remain inferior to Kousalya, and ultimately Bharatha will be treated as servant to Rama.  Manthara placed her predictions before Kaikeyi and provoked her to create impediments to the grand occasion.  At the end, Manthara succeeded in her evil work, gradually Queen Kaikeyi succumbed to the malicious thought of her.  Kaikeyi inquired Manthara to suggest an appropriate way to overthrow the coronation function of Rama.  Manthara who had devil’s mind reminded Kaikeyi about the two boons offered by King Dasaratha several years before on the war field as a gesture of gratitude for saving his life; those promises were remained unclaimed by Kaikeyi.  Manthara motivated Kaikeyi to claim those boons to favor this circumstance.  She advised Kaikeyi to request for Bharatha’s coronation ceremony, declare him as heir to the throne of Kingdom of Ayodhya and banish Rama to the woodlands for fourteen years, also suggested her to perform this evil act in a chamber specially provided for the Queen.  Kaikeyi unquestioningly followed the instructions of Manthara, she entered in the gloomy chamber with grief-stricken face, disheveled hair and no ornaments on her body.


At night, King Dasaratha arrived in the chamber of Kaikeyi with lots of enthusiasm to share the most promising decision he had made and the progress of the same.  He was surprised to see the chamber was empty, unlike the good olden days.  There was none to receive with soothing words and loving gestures.  King Dasaratha was informed about Kaikeyi’s state of mind.  He rushed to the chamber where he could see Kaikeyi in a miserable state with all messy hair and ornaments stretched all over the ground.  King Dasaratha was shocked to see his dearest wife in a wretched state.  He worriedly approached his wife and enquired the reason for her unhappiness.  After a series of melodrama, Kaikeyi requested for the boon and reminded him that was offered at the battlefield as a gratitude for saving his life,  if he doesn’t provide the boon he has already promised it will be a greatest sin and treacherous act towards her.  She revealed her opinion favoring Bharatha’s Cornation ceremoney and Rama’s exile from the Kingdom of Ayodhya.    King Dasratha was horrified at the evil attitude of his dearest wife, it was unbelievable for him.  He was totally hurt and resentful, moved away from her and painfully answered to her demands; he copiously praised the virtues of Rama and his potential to rule the Kingdom after him.  It was strange for the King to listen such harsh and spiteful words from Kaikeyi.   He informed her about the seriousness of the situation, his helplessness to live without Rama and begged her to ask for some other boons that would make her happy.   Kaikeyi haughtily blamed him shameful for being in Ikshvaku dynasty, also threatened him that if Rama was declared as the heir to throne, she would take away her life.  King Dasaratha grimly retorted, how the changes in the coronation ceremony will be announced? How the people of his Kingdom are going to take it? How Rama, Sita and Kousalya going to receive this news? How Rama going to survive in the woodlands? How his chaste wife Sita going to bear the separation from her husband? There were several questions raised in his mind were remained unanswered.   King Darasaratha wounded with words, he pathetically enquired his wife that she really wanted to take away her husband’s life and enjoy the Kingdom with her son Bharatha.   Before long King Dasaratha withered with unbearable pain and collapsed. 


In the early dawn, Sage Vashishta arrived in the palace and informed Sumantra to advise King Dasaratha about his arrival.  Sumantra entered the private chamber of King and found King Dasaratha was in a terrible state lying on the bed with his wife Kaikeyi seated beside him.  Kaikeyi ordered Sumantra to bring Rama immediately to their chamber.  Sumantra sensed the seriousness of the situation and rushed back to Rama and Lakshman and informed them about the appalling scene.  Rama rushed like a wind to his father’s chamber, prostrated before him and worriedly enquired the reason for his ill health.  Kaikeyi prompted Rama not to compel his father to break his promises to her, she insisted him to follow his father’s order and leave to woodlands for fourteen years and Bharatha will be declared as the heir to the throne shortly.  Rama was neither shocked nor disappointed at the command of Kaikeyi, instead he calmly requested for an opportunity to inform the news to his mother and his dearest wife before leaving the palace and the Kingdom of Ayodhya for fourteen years.  He calmly circumambulated his father, King Dasaratha without uttering a word painfully watched his son leaving, he was struggling to breathe without enough air, chocking with extreme grief.   Rama calmly entered into the chamber of his mother Kousalya, it was Lakshman with mounted rage following Rama, waiting to follow his brother’s order.  Kaikeyi rushed to her feet and embraced Rama with lots of affection.  Rama paid obeisance to his mother, stood straight like a Yogi and informed her about his father’s order to leave the palace.   Kousalya was devastated, she lamented at her fate and she was inconsolable, the plain thought of leaving Rama to woodlands caused her heart throbbing pain.  Lakshman was lashing out words in anger, he was ready to kill his father for the hasty decision he had made at the unscrupulous act of Kaikeyi.   Lakshman insisted Rama to carry out the coronation ceremony as decided earlier.  Rama pacified his mother Kousalya and Lakshman that whatever happens he was not ready to go back from the promises he has given to his father and mother Kaikeyi.    Rama eulogized the   righteousness of Ikshvaku dynasty and beautifully explained the virtues of an ideal son.  At last, he earnestly prayed to his mother and brother to assist him to follow the orders of his father and save him from the sin of breaking promise to Kaikeyi.  Rama sermonize  the ultimate goals of human life that is Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha which provides eternal bliss, liberation from the cycles of birth and death.  Rama convinced Lakshman that it was destiny has taken its role, he has no hatred towards anyone and vice versa, he advised Lakshman to curtail his anger and take care of his aged father and mothers.  Rama added that the exile from Ayodhya provided him an opportunity to pay off his father’s legal responsibility to Kaikeyi, he asked Lakshman to feel proud to be a part of serving his father at this moment.  Kousalya who was already known about Rama’s firmness, she was more remorseful wished her son a safe return and assured him that her constant prayers will protect him from all the dangers.  For the last time Rama prostrated before his mother and took leave to his chamber.  Kousalya returned to her chamber with heavy heartedly, tears overflowing with an uncontrollable grief.



Rama returned to his chamber, there he found Sita impatiently waiting for her husband’s arrival.  She was surprised to see him pale and unhappy.  She compassionately enquired the reason for his miserable state.  Rama narrated the whole incident to Sita, also advised her to take good care of her mothers-in-law and aged father-in-law in his absence, spend her precious time in penance and prayers.  Sita was always timid in nature; it was unbearable for her to hear the separation from her husband.  Sita overwhelmingly answered that she would wish for the presence of her husband at all times no matter whether it is a palace of forest and she revealed her willingness to follow him anywhere in this universe, also pronounced that husband is responsible to take care of his wife at any circumstances.   Sita promised Rama that she would remain at his service always; she exposed her desire to live in the woodlands with him and spend pleasing time in his company.  In return, Rama gave a long lecture explaining the dangers in the forest and lack of comforts or luxuries.  But nothing has worked; Sita was mentally prepared to leave with her husband.  At one point, Rama realized that it was not necessary at all to discourage her from the desire to follow him to forest because she too was yearning for the presence of him.  In fact, Rama was also longing to be with her, he was also had no heart to leave her.  It was the responsibility of an ideal husband to explain the difficulties involved in the life in woodlands.  Shortly Lakshman also ready to accompany them, he was all prepared to leave the palace and follow his brother and sister-in-law.  Rama discouraged Lakshman in his decision to follow them.  But Lakshman was firm in his decision; he wanted to be a devoted attendant to his brother during his hard times in woodlands.  Lakshman earnestly prayed to Rama that he would be protecting them from all the difficulties, he will clear off the shrubs and thorns from his path ways; he would construct shelter to Rama and Sita and guard them from all the evils.   Finally, Rama, Sita along with Lakshman left the Palace and all the comforts and luxuries behind, gave away all the precious jewels and attired in a saffron robe.  Rama pacified his parents and paid obeisance to his parents and Sages for the last time.  King Dasaratha was miserable with hurt; he was inconsolable with the pain of separation from his dearest son.  Instantaneously, King remembered the tragic death of a young boy while he was on a hunting expedition to woodlands and the curse from the blind pious parents lamenting over their son’s death.  The young devoted son of the blind couple was fetching water from Sarayu river for his parents; King Dasaratha mistook him as animal and shot an arrow that killed the boy instantly.   King Dasaratha was dejectedly brought water for the blind couple and informed the devastating incident, the blind couple were heartbroken and infuriatingly cursed the  King that he will have the same fate of separation from his son at the time of death and took their last breath, those agonizing memories were haunted the King terribly at this moment.   Sumantra, the charioteer earnestly requested Rama to give an opportunity to serve them and took them in his chariot with a promise to drop them on the river banks of Ganga, state line of Ayodhya.  As everyone witnessing Rama, Sita and Lakshman walked out of the palace, the entire Ayodhya was lamented at the separation of their beloved King, the people were disconsolate and they forgot their hunger and thirst followed Rama.   They cursed the harsh decision of Kaikeyi and solemnly decided to follow Rama to woodlands.  The people in the Palace were sorrowfully watching the chariot disappearing from the sight.


Rama requested the people of Ayodhya to return to Kingdom after leaving them on the river bank of Tamasa but none had the heart to the leave Rama, their dearest prince.  Rama strictly instructed Sumantra to turn the chariot facing Ayodhya in the hours of darkness, so that the people following in a mass would think that Rama returned to the Kingdom of Ayodhya and they will also follow the same.  It was at the midpoint of night, Rama crossed the river Tamasa with Sumantra, leaving behind the mass number of people following him.     It was early dawn slowly the people gathered were realized that Rama has already left; eventually they parted their ways to Ayodhya with a heavy heart and tears overflowing.  As soon as they reached the city, they understood that Rama has already proceeded to forest to keep his father’s promise alive and they lamented over their ill fate.

Rama, Sita along with Lakshman preceded their journey with Sumantra and crossed river Vedasruti, Gomati, Syandika and arrived at the river bank of Ganga where Nishadas received them with utmost reverence.   Guha, passionate devotee of Rama requests Lakshman to relax for a while, but Lakshman was widely awake not willing to close his eyes for a fraction of a second leaving his brother and sister-in-law.  Lakshman had a conversation with Guha about the unpleasant act of mother Kaikeyi and his father.  Guha kept his boat ready for their further journey at the instruction of Rama.   Rama instructed Sumantra to return to Ayodhya.    Before leaving, Sumantra had a heartrending conversation with Rama praising his virtues and returned to Ayodhya with utter despair.  


Rama tries to convince Lakshman about the difficulties in the forest life, worries about his beloved parents, step mothers and heartily wishing him to go back to Ayodhya.  But Lakshman was concerned about the discomforts and difficulties caused to his brother and sister-in-law due to the 14 years of exile from their Kingdom.  Lakshman sincerely revealed his inability to survive without Rama.  Rama agrees Lakshman to reside with them in the forest seeing the devotion of Lakshman.  On the next day, Rama along with Sita and Lakshman arrived at the hermitage of Sage Bharadhwaja located at the confluence of river Ganga and Yamuna/Prayag.  The welcoming atmosphere in the hermitage, Sages were assembled in chanting Vedic hymns around the sacrificial fire, Sage Bharadhwaja received them with utmost generosity.   He offered them Madhuparka (mixture of honey, curd, butter, milk) and fruits to them.   Rama spends that night with Sage Bharadhwaja discussing on various topics, Sage advice Rama that Chitrakooda has close resemblance to Gandhamana Parvatha as most promising place for their sojourn and also narrates the significance and serenity of this place.


Rama, Sita along with Lakshman left the hermitage of Sage Bharadhwaja.  They crossed the river Yamuna in a raft constructed by them; they walked several miles along the river side.  They reached Chitrakooda, a tranquil place with rich natural beauty.  Sita mesmerized at the exquisiteness of Chitrakooda forest and its animals, timidly walked in the middle of Rama and Lakshman.  Finally, they arrived at the hermitage of Sage Valmiki.   Lakshman built a striking hermitage in the Chitrakooda in the middle of fascinating surroundings for his dearest brother and sister-in-law.  Rama along with Sita performed rituals to Vaishvadeva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra as a mark of gratitude for the propitious place to reside.   They were extremely enjoyed the enthralling beauty of the Chitrakooda mountain and its surroundings.


King Dasaratha who was impatiently waiting for Sumantra’s return to receive news about his beloved son, but Sumantra had no news about Rama to cheer the King.  The next morning the whole Ayodhya woke up with the distressing news of King Dasaratha’s demise. The entire City of Ayodhya sunk in the grief at the loss of their righteous ruler. 



The sad demise of King Dasaratha was spread through the entire Kingdom of Ayodhya like wild fire.  Elderly and the prominent people with scholastic skills in the assembly of King Dasaratha prompted Sage Vashishta to perform the crowing ceremony to the next heir to the throne in the absence of Rama, who was the right heir to the throne. They described the uncertainties and dangerous involved in the absence of a ruler to the magnificent city of Ayodhya.   The messengers were hurried to the city of Kaikeya to bring back the princes Bharatha and Shatrungna at the stern instruction of Sage Vashishta.    Bharatha was terribly upset with  the unknown fear haunted him through out the night.    The messengers were brought Bharatha and Shatrungna to the City of Ayodhya, they were shocked to see the gloomy atmosphere all over the palace.   Bharatha dutifully met his mother Kaikeyi and greeted her.  She was rejoiced at the return of Bharatha, eventually she narrated the awful incidents has taken place in the palace and sad demise of his father.  Bharatha was traumatized at the whole treacherous happenings in his absence.  He was miserable at the separation of his dearest elder brothers; he blamed his mother for being spiteful and responsible for the dreadful incidents.  Sage Vashishta advised Bharatha to take up the regime in the absence of his father and elder brother, but Bharatha was inconsolable.


Bharatha approaches mother Kousalya and distressed to see her in utter grief.  He pacified her with a promise that he will bring Rama, Sit and Lakshman from the forest; also convinced her about the need of Rama’s presence as a ruler of Ayodhya.  He blames Kaikeyi for her treacherous deed; cursed her shame to be born as daughter to a righteous King Ashwapathi.  Kousalya affectionately hold Bharatha and wept her heart out.  She had no hatred or retaliation towards Bharatha.  She was dearly loved all the four children as her own.  Bharatha remorsefully spoke to Kousalya that the whole incident happened were out of his knowledge.  He repeatedly revealed his innocence and his mother’s deceitful act.   Bharatha had a lengthy poignant conversation with Kousalya.  Finally, he lamented over his fate.



Sage Vashishta instructs Bharatha to perform the final rites to his father.   Later, the body was taken out for further funeral process to the cremation ground on the river bank of Sarayu accompanied by a number of priests, Vedic scholars, ministers and the people of City of Ayodhya.  The whole of Ayodhya mourned over the demise of their beloved King.  The death rite and giving away clothes, Sandal, Umbrella, Gold, Silver, Food and alms to Brahmins were continued for another 13 days at the guidance of family priest Sage Vashishta.



Shatrunga was fuming with resentment against Manthara, the hunch- back who was responsible for the treacherous deed against Rama and their father’s painful death.   He caught Manthara in hand with frenzy and the people of the palace were ran out of the scene with a scream, Manthara was shrieking  to get her released from  the clutch of Shatrugna who was ready to chop her off any moment.   Manthara was profusely weeping for her felony.  Soon, Bharatha intervened and advised his brother about the sin of killing a woman, eventually she was released by Shatrunga.



Bharatha was approached by the ministers of Assembly with a request to proceed for coronation ceremony.  But Bharatha was not at all willing to take up the regime, Bharatha preaches about the uprightness and insists that Rama, who was the eldest of Ikshvaku Dynasty has the sole right to rule the Kingdom of Ayodhya, also promises that he would bring Rama back to Ayodhya.  Further, he commands the men of assembly to make arrangements to leave to forest.  A pathway was constructed from the City of Ayodhya to the river bank of Ganga.  In an early dawn Bharatha instructed Sumantra to lead the chariot to the forest accompanied by a group of family priests, ministers, army of men and the people of Ayodhya.  After crossing several miles, they arrived on the river bank of Ganga,  Bharatha performed oblations and homage to his father.  Bharatha met the King of Nishada, Guha and accepted his hospitality.  Guha had a poignant conversation with Bharatha, he narrates the difficulties Rama, Sita & Lakshman had gone through their journey to woodlands.   Bharatha was devastated, reveals his innocence and an urge to meet his dearest elder brother.  Guha pacified Bharatha that he would provide his men to accompany Bharatha to the hermitage of Sage Bharadhwaja.  Bharatha approached the tree where Rama along with Sita spent their night on a sacred grass (Kusha grass) as bed.  Bharatha was terribly upset and taken a vow to discard all the luxuries and worn saffron robe with matted hair locks and decided to consume only fruits. On the next day, Bharatha proceeded to the hermitage of Sage Bharadhwaja accompanied by Guha’s men of army and others. Sage Bharadhwaja received his guests with great honor; enquired Bharatha had any ill feeling towards Rama.  Bharatha revealed his sincere objective to take Rama, Sita and Lakshman back to Ayodhya.  Sage Bharadhwaja was pleased at the opinion of Bharatha and provides him necessary information to locate Rama in the Chitrakooda Mountain.  After crossing several miles of complex journey they have arrived at the Chitrakooda Mountain.  Bharatha was mesmerized at the natural beauty of the place; ordered his men to explore the entire woodland to find the hermitage of Rama.  After a tedious search, the hermitage of Rama was found.  Bharatha instructed his army of men to halt and proceeded with Sumantra and Dhriti to the hermitage.  Rama was engaged in an pleasing conversation with Sita, explaining the beauty of Chitrakooda Mountain and its close resemblance to Alakapuri, the capital of Lord Kubera and Amaravati, the Capital of Lord Indra , showig her the enchanting Mandakini river,  ponds, streams, birds and animals, array of flowers and fruits etc..  Suddenly, Rama heard the gigantic clamor of army, instructs Lakshman to verify the same.  Lakshaman returned with a rage and informed Rama that it was Bharatha who was approaching the hermitage with huge army men.  He vehemently expressed his anger towards Bharatha and Kaikeyi.  Rama pacifies Lakshman that it was his wrong apprehensions about Bharatha, states that Bharatha also a devoted brother who has abundance of affection and respect for his brothers.  Bharatha anxiously approaches Rama and prostrated before him.  Rama passionately embraces his devoted brothers Bharatha & Shatrugna, enquiring about his father and mother.  Bharatha desperately informs about the sad demise of their father and earnestly requested his brother to come back to Ayodhya and take over the regime.  Rama was devastated at the news of death of his  beloved father, painfully walked away to the banks of river Mandankini and offered homage to his father.   Rama enlightens Bharatha that he wanted to strictly follow the orders of his father.  On that night the three brothers were spent in the company of each other’s expressing their grief.



Bharatha requests Rama to return to Ayodhya, but Rama refuses to follow the same.  Instead, advised his brother to take up the regime as desired by his father and mother Kaikeyi.  In order to keep up the promise of his deceased father to mother Kaikeyi, Rama advises his brother to follow the orders of their father.  Jabali tries to persuade Rama to return to Ayodha, Rama preaches the righteousness of his deceased father.  Sage Vashishta narrates the glorious Ikshvaku dynasty created from the mansaputras of Lord Brahma, Aja and Suvrata were the sons of Nabhaga, who was the son of  Nahusha (was son of Ambareesha)  Aja got supremely righteous son Dasaratha.  Further, Sage Vashishta advised Rama to accept coronation ceremony and rule the Kingdom of Ayodhya.  As per the advice of Sage Vashishta,  Rama offered his sandals to Bharatha so as to reinstate the peace in Ayodhya.    Bharatha faithfully carried them on his head and returned with his crowd to Ayodhya, on their way he met Sage Bharadhwaja and informed about the firm decision of Rama to live in the forest for fourteen years.  Bharatha returned to Ayodhya, the distressing atmosphere in Ayodhya made him leave the palace.  He chose to reside in Nandigrama and installed the sandals of Rama on the royal throne; Bharatha ruled the city of Ayodhya as a representative of Rama.



The sages who were lived in the vicinity of Chitrakooda were traumatized by a demon Khara, the younger brother of the demon King Ravana so they solemnly left Chitrakooda with the consent of Rama.  Soon, Rama also felt the place was deserted without any austerities and followed the sages.  On their way, Rama visited the hermitage of Sage Atri and his chaste wife Anasuya who was well known for her chastity and a mother like to Rama.  They offered salutations to Sage and his wife; the pious couple received them with utmost reverence.  Anasuya praised the courage, sacrifice, devotion and willingness of Sita to follow her husband to forest for fourteen years.  Anasuya offered boons to Sita at the end of a moving conversation; she offered celestial flowers, aromatic liquid and ornaments as boon to Sita.   Sita narrates her birth as daughter ( Ayonijia) to King Janaka,  Janaka obtained Shivadanuss from Lord Varuna and  wedding to Lord Rama.  She reverentially spoke about the chaste women Atri & Anasuya, Sathyavan & Savithri, Rohini & Chandra.   On that night Sita approached Rama with all the gifted objects adorned by Anasuya.  Rama was delighted at the company of his dearest wife.  In the early dawn Rama, Sit and Lakshma left the hermitage of Sage Atri after paying obeisance to the great Sage and his chaste wife.

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

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