Illustrated Ramayana – Part 6

Dasaratha sank in his couch stricken with sorrow. Kaikeyi sent for Rama and, on behalf of the Emperor, conveyed the news of the change in the plans for the coronation. 

Bharata was to be crowned Emperor and Rama must immediately betake him- self to the forest and spend fourteen years there.

Humble and obedient as ever, Rama received his orders without regret. If those were the Emperor’s wishes, they must be obeyed in letter and spirit. So true and faithful was Rama that not for a moment was he sorry for himself or angry with Kaikeyi.

Rama took leave of Kaikeyi and went to his mother’s apartments.

Kausalya was shocked to hear that her son must part from her for full fourteen years. Rama comforted her in noble words and at last she agreed that the Emperor’s commands must be carried out.

Lakshmana was angry at the injustice done to Rama, but Rama pacified him. Sita received the news like a true Kshatriya wife. She insisted that she would go with Rama wherever he went, even to the darkest forest full of dangers. Lakshmana too pleaded that he be allowed to accompany Rama in his exile.

All three then took leave of their elders. Sumitra asked her son, Lakshmana, to do his best to serve Rama and Sita because they were to him like father and mother.