The mysterious acts of Fate in the life of a great King.
How fate acted in the life of Dasaratha?
In the Bagawat Gita, the famous song of Lord Krishna, the lord has promised to manifest himself whenever righteousness is on the decline on earth. During the era of Rama Avatar, several demonic forces were causing unrest to the peace loving recluses who choose the forest for their quest of God. They were praying sincerely to god to save them from the tortures of those demons. It is at this juncture, Lord Mahavishnu has chosen to descend on earth in human garb to protect the good and punish the evil. Accordingly he came as Rama and took birth in Ayodhya to King Dasaratha and mother Kausalya. Dasaratha was issueless in spite of marrying three queens. His condition was the result of killing of one boy without knowing about the target.
King Dasaratha was capable of aiming arrows in the direction of sound and he was always successful in hitting the target. His aim was targeting wild animals and not human beings. Unfortunately, on that fateful day he heard the sound of some animal drinking water. He aimed his arrow in the direction of sound. It was a poor boy came to fetch water for his blind parents. Hearing the sound of a human, the King was bewildered. He was supposed to protect the citizens whereas he has killed an innocent boy.
Dasaratha rushed to the place where the poor boy was lying down hit by the arrow. He came near the boy and heard him saying, “Give water to my parents who are living near first. Then tell them what happened. Dasaratha was crestfallen at the sudden turn of events. He dragged himself to the hut where the parents were calling “Shravana ! Why you are late? We are thirsty. Give water to us. The King went near them to hand over the vessel containing water. But the parents smelt something wrong. They asked “who are you? Where is my boy? Unable to contain the grief, Dasaratha narrated the events. The parents cried inconsolably since they were blind, they could not lead their life without their son. They cursed the king, “As we are dying on the separation of our boy, you too will meet death at the separation of your beloved son! Saying this, they left their mortal coil. Dasaratha performed the funeral rites for all the three and lamented over the cruel fate that led to the sad misadventure.
But, he had one solace. So long he had no issues. At least due to the curse, one day he will get a son. This was the only consolation he got. He prayed to Gods, performed one sacrificial ritual for begetting issues. As the ritual was performed as prescribed in the scriptures, a heavenly being rose from the fire, handed over a vessel containing sweet pudding for giving his wives. Accordingly, the King distributed the Divine pudding among the three queens. The eldest queen Kausalya gave birth to Rama, the second queen Sumitra gave birth to twins, Lakshmana and Chatrukuna and the last queen got Barata as her child.
Fate is very cruel and the curse of the blind parents pronounced long ago fructified in this manner. The last queen’s father had extracted a promise from Dasaratha, “The child born to his daughter would be the future king”. Somehow Dasaratha has almost forgotten his promise to his father in law. One day the King found that his hands were shaking and some of his hair turned white. This is the precursor to getting old. The king was wise. He thought that it would be better to coronate Rama as the future King since he was the eldest and born to the eldest queen. None has objected over the proposal. But there are some who want to foment troubles and get some benefits. The maid of Kaikeyi, the youngest queen never relished the idea of Rama becoming King. She poisoned the mind of Kaikeyi and told her “Extract the promise the king gave you many years ago to anoint your son Baratha as the King. Let Rama go to forest for fourteen years so that he cannot claim the kingdom back. Kaikeyi was not that much bad to listen to the evil advice of her maid. But fate made her to ponder over the advice and she pressurized the King to yield to her requests. The king had already promised Kaikeyi that she can ask two boons from the king at any time and he will fulfill it. This has happened when the King was fighting a war and it was Kaikeyi who prevented the wheels of the chariot from getting dislodged by putting her own hand and keeping the wheel intact. Dasaratha won the war but found that Kaikeyi was bleeding profusely. He understood that she saved him from certain defeat. Hence he gave her two boons. But she said, she will retrieve them when the need arise. Thus she remembered those boons and made Dasaratha to comply with her demand. Unable to pronounce such order on his dear son, King Dasaratha swooned. Hearing the plight of the king and the wishes from Kaikeyi, Rama was ready to leave for the forest. This separation has caused agony in the heart of Dasaratha and he died unable to bear the separation.
This is how fate deals with all. The pronouncement of the curse by the father of the slain boy materialized in the death of the King.