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A gist of epic Ramayana-Part IV
Sri Rama leaves for forest with Sita and Lakshmana.
The sad turn of events due to Fate!
Obeying the command of his father, though communicated through Kaikeyi, Rama prostrated to his father Dasaratha who was almost unconscious unable to bear the shaft like words which inflicted mortal wound. Rama went directly to his mother Kausalya's chamber. Once again he prostrates to his own mother, conveying the developments that took place in step mother Kaikeyi's palace. Mother Kausalya could not control her tears. Only a few moments before, she was waiting anxiously for the coronation. But Fate has decided otherwise.
The narration won't be complete unless we understand the actions of providence. Long ago when King Dasaratha went to the forest on a hunting game, certain incident has happened. Dasaratha was an expert archer. By merely hearing the sounds emanating from a place, he could shoot arrows accurately. On the fateful morning when he was searching for hunts, he heard a peculiar sound. He thought it is some wild animal drinking water in a distant lake. He immediately shoot an arrow in that direction. Instantly he heard a human voice crying piteously. Dasaratha sensed some mishap. Immediately he rushed to the tank bed where from he heard the voice. On reaching there he found a boy pierced by the arrow. Dasaratha could not contain his sorrow since he was supposed to protect his citizens. The boy was crying in agony. Dasaratha placed the head of the boy on his lap and he was aghast to know that the boy's parents were utter blind. They live because of the care of their only son. He was pleading to the King. Take this water and give it to my parents who are staying in a distance. Do not reveal the news of my death. They won't survive. Only after they drink the water, you may reveal the matter. Saying this last words, he died. King Dasaratha was remorse. He carried the pot of water in search of the blind parents and he could trace them easily since they both were accosting the name of the son "Saravana". It was a most heart rending sight. The king approached them and without uttering a single word, handed over the water to them. Still the parents were longing to touch their son. Dasaratha could not contain the sad news anymore. He revealed all that happened in the jungle and his ignorance of the target as a human. At once they cried "Saravana" and uttered a bitter curse at the King. "As we suffer sorrow at the death of our dear son, you too will undergo the separation from your dear son like us. Immediately they left their bodies. King Dasaratha, crest fallen performed rituals for the death of three and left for the kingdom brooding over the sad event. At that time he had no progeny. He thought that at least due to the curse of the parents of Saravana, he would get a son in future. With this thought he reached the Kingdom.
Whether we believe in fate or not, in the case of King Dasaratha it became true. Quickly, the sad news of Rama leaving for forest astounded the citizens. They were at dark about the sudden developments. Kausalya, the mother shed copious tears but she blessed her son, "May the Righteousness you practiced so far be your protector! She was unable to face the turn of events. Sita, pleaded with Rama that she would accompany him to the forest. But Rama told her, the jungle is the place where most ferocious animals and demons dwell. She could never withstand the rigors of forest life. But she persisted. I am your better half. Both in fortune and misfortune I will share your joys and sorrows. Saying thus, she was preparing herself for the hazardous journey to forest. The younger brother Lakshmana who was an epitome of sacrifice never left Rama even for a single moment. He said, he will follow his elder brother Rama to the forest. But he left his young wife to the care of his mothers and asked her to be of support and strength to her mothers in law.
The entire citizens of Ayodhya were wailing and weeping unable to bear the sorrow of separation from their dear Prince Rama. The minister Sumantha brought a chariot to escort Rama and Sita alongwith Lakshmana to the border of the river Sarayu, the farthest point of land. Time and again Dasaratha regained his conscious and he was crying piteously, "Oh Rama, Do not leave me. He sent some aids of his to bring them back. But Rama won't relent. It was his father's promise to Kaikeyi, the step mother. It should be obeyed was his resolve. Finding that the chariot is not retreating, the aids went back to Dasaratha and revealed the facts. On hearing this Dasaratha let out a wail calling Rama and shed his mortal coil. Rest in Part V.