Episode 48 – Sage Vishwaamithra asks Dasharata for Rama – Significance of “Donation”

rama-sita

In the previous episode we witnessed the beautiful explanation given by Valmiki Maharishi on the occasion of the arrival of the great Sage Vishwaamithra at Ayodhya. The moment king Dasharata comes to know that Sage Vishwaamithra as arrived, he immediately runs to the entrance of his palace with utter joy and happiness and welcomes the great sage. King Dasharata gives all the necessary welcome formalities such as “Argyam”, “Paadhyam”, “Aachamaneeyam”, etc. to Sage Vishwaamithra and takes him inside his palace.

Here it is important for us to note that however great and significant a king might be, if a great sage arrives at his palace, it is the duty of the king to receive and welcome the sage with all the respects. Of course, the great sages were also of such high orders of “Tapas” that they deserved the due respects given to them by the king. Thus, king Dasharata was extremely happy with the arrival of Sage Vishwaamithra. Valmiki Maharishi describes how happy king Dasharata was, in the following beautiful sloka:

“Yathaa amruthasya sampraapthihi yathaa varshamanoodhathe!

Yathaa shathrusha dhaareshu puthra janma aprajasyacha!!”

In the above sloka, Valmiki Maharishi begins by saying that king Dasharata felt happy as if he got a pot full of “Amrutha” (the divine nectar). However, this didn’t sound very good for Valmiki Maharishi himself – because, Dasharata has never tasted the “Amrutha” in his life at all, since he is just a normal human being and not a “Deva” (Celestial being). Next he said, Dasharata felt so happy as if there was a heavy rain in his kingdom after years of drought-like conditions. Even this comparison didn’t go well with Valmiki Maharishi – because King Dasharata’s rule was so perfect that even the rain Gods were happy to periodically pour down and ensure that there is no drought at Ayodhya. Finally he says, Dasharata felt extremely happy as if he has been blessed with a child after so many years of being childless – This was an apt comparison – Because, all of us know and seen in the previous episodes as to how much of distress king Dasharata went through while being childless for so many years. Hence, we can infer from the above sloka that upon the arrival of Sage Vishwaamithra, king Dasharata was extremely happy beyond words!

“Pranarthasya yathaa laabaha yathaa harsho mahodayaha!

Kanchathe paramam kaamam karomiki mukarshithaha!!”

Accordingly, king Dasharata gives a seat for Sage Vishwaamithra to sit and says, “Oh great Sage Vishwaamithra!! I’m prepared to offer you whatever you wish!!” – The first sentence that king Dasharata uttered!! He did not even ask Sage Vishwaamithra, the purpose of his visit to Ayodhya, but still he uttered that he would give anything that the Sage wanted! Normally, if we commit something like this to someone without even enquiring anything about their wants and needs, and if that person asks us something that we cannot give, we would start thinking, “Oh my God! We shouldn’t have given this person all this and he/she is not worth of getting this from us!” Thus we can infer here that, we can take a decision of donating something without a hurry. However, if there is something good that is happening around us, our contribution to it is very important! We should make sure that we donate something for a good cause every time! In the “Manu-Dharma Shaastra”, Manu Bhagawan says that if a person earns 100 rupees, atleast 16 rupees out of it should be spent as a donation to “Dharma” (for a good cause). Only then he and his family would be blessed! Hence, it is very important for us to take the lesson from here that we should be ready to donate (maybe money or clothes or anything for that matter) if there is a good cause. This is exactly what king Dasharata also intended to do – He wanted to offer whatever Sage Vishwaamithra wanted him to offer!

We might think that king Dasharata shouldn’t have committed blindly in the way he did, however, there is a reason behind his blind commitment. King Dasharata knew exactly what Sage Vishwaamithra would not ask him for! Now, what is a Sage going to ask for? Whatever a Sage asks for is going to be for the protection of “Dharma” (Righteousness) and it is anyway for a noble cause. Hence, king Dasharata was very confident within himself that he could offer anything pertaining to the noble cause that Sage Vishwaamithra was looking for. But however, king Dasharata didn’t expect just one thing – He didn’t expect that Sage Vishwaamithra would ask for his son to come along with himAnd that is exactly what the Sage asked for!! Sage Vishwaamithra requests king Dasharata to send Lord Rama along with him to his ashram (hamlet) for a few days!

Why did Sage Vishwaamithra request king Dasharata to send Rama along with him? How did Dasharata react to it? Did he offer his beloved son Rama to Sage Vishwaamithra? What happened next? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!

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