A gist of epic Ramayana-Part V

Baratha's plight.

The minister Sumanta left Rama, Lakshmana and Sita at the river bed Sarayu and he was not willing to go back to Ayodhya after the sad event. But Rama persuaded Sumanta to go back and help his father to recollect himself and undertake the responsibilities. With heavy heart the minister left for Ayodhya. On the banks of river Sarayu,there lived a nice hearted person named Guhan who was the chieftain of the people living there. He spent his life by plying the boat across river Sarayu, taking people across to the other bank where from the forest track started. From a distance he saw the chariot carrying the princes and their accomplish as they alighted. He rushed towards Rama, prostrated before him as the custom and made all. arrangement for the stay of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita for the night since it was already dark. He brought the best fruits and tubers for eating. Rama was quite pleased with the hospitality exhibited by the boatman Guha.He embraced Guha to his bosom and said, "Today we have become five brothers! Such was the love of Rama to his citizens.

Reverting back to Ayodhya, the city plunged in double grief due to the sudden demise of their King Dasaratha. Unfortunately, for performing the funeral, none of his sons were available at hand. Even before all these mishaps took place, both Baratha and Satruguna had left for their grand father's house at Kekeya . It was a journey of 15 days. Hence emissaries were sent to Kekaya for the return of Baratha and Satruguna urgently. But they were not informed of the death of their father. Till such time, the body was kept embalmed and preserved. After few days, the brothers returned with great haste unable to surmise the developments in Ayodhya. As they were nearing the city, they could not see any glad tidings. Most of the houses were remain shut. Baratha could not contain himself. He first went to the palace. There he found that the flags were half mast. All the guards were hanging down their heads. None greeted them. He was immediately summoned by the preceptor who explained him the sad developments and asked him to perform the funeral of his father Dasaratha and get ready for coronation as King.

But both the brothers were shedding uncontrollable tears. They were bewildered at the sudden turn of events due to fate.He could not come to terms with the choices before him. He was pleading, "Where are my elder brothers, Rama and Lakshmana. Why they are not present here? None could give satisfactory replies. When he came to know that his mother Kaikeyi is behind the treacherous plans, he was seething with anger. He went there and scolded her in the most offending terms. Now Kaikeyi realized her grave mistake in demanding coronation for his son. He said, I will go to the forest and bring my brother back to assume the Kingdom. I will never submit to your evil designs. Rama is the one who has to assume the Kingdom. With these words, he left to the palace to perform his father's funeral. After completing all rituals and after the days of mourning, he sought the permission of Kausalya and Sumithra for going to the forest to bring back Rama! Now the entire residents of Ayodhya, all the queens and others started pleading him to accompany him to the forest. Thus started a great journey to the forest.As usual they met Guha on the banks who has explained how he took Rama, Lakshmana and Sita across the river in boat and left them near the forest track. Baratha was in no mood to take rest. Immediately, he requested the chieftain to provide boats for them to get across the river. However he requested the people of Ayodhya to return since he would bring back their Rama to them. Rest in Part VI.

Bharata crosses the river to the forest!

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