In the previous episode, we witnessed the last significant event of the “Baala Kaanda” wherein Sage Parasurama confronted with Rama as the entire family along with King Dasharata were en-route Ayodhya. We witnessed that Rama, with his invincible abilities lifted the “Vaishnava Dhanush” from Parasurama and thus his anger was reduced. After this encounter, the entire caravan reached Ayodhya and once the people of Ayodhya saw all of them approaching, they were so eager to see their little Rama along with his newly married little Sita! They were thronging the streets to have a glimpse of their beloved prince! Thus, Rama and others reach the palace and all of them commence their married lives happily! Their happiness continued for the next twelve years and thus marks the end of the “Baala Kaanda”!
In today’s episode we shall commence with the “Ayodhya Kaanda”. This second “Kaanda” (or Part) of the Ramayana talks about all those events and happenings in the city of Ayodhya after Rama’s marriage. We shall discuss all the important events one by one in the subsequent episodes. The “Ayodhya Kaanda” commences by saying that, after 12 years of happy marriage, Bharata and Shathrughna, the other two sons of King Dasharata leave for the “Kekeya Desha” to spend some time with Kaikeyi’s father and brother. Thus, Bharata leaves to his uncle’s place and as we know, Shathrughna follows Bharata wherever he goes (We discussed about “Bhaagawatha Paarathanthriyam” in one of our early episodes, and here we can see the example of it).
“Gacchathaamaathula kulam bharathena tathaa anakaha!
Shathrugnaha nitya shathrughnaha neethaha preethi pulaskruthaha!!”
Thus, Valmiki Maharishi begins the Ayodhya Kaanda with the above sloka, wherein he says that Bharata leaves for his uncle’s (Mother’s brother) place by name Kekeya. Kaikeyi’s brother is Yuthaajith. Bharata thus goes to the kingdom of Kekeya to spend some time with his uncle Yuthaajith. Shathrughna follows Bharata and goes wherever he goes!
“Sahi devair udheernasya raavanasya vadhaarthibhihi!
Architho maanushe lokhe jagnye Vishnu sanaathanaha!!”
As Rama and Sita were living happily with each other at Ayodhya, in the meanwhile, the Devas (Celestial beings) are talking with each other – “Oh! Vishnu and Mahalakshmi are living happily in the “Manushya lokha”! Is this what we asked for? We had requested Lord Vishnu to incarnate in the world so as to destroy Ravana and that hasn’t taken place even after 24 years! When will this ultimate event take place?” Thus, it is to be noted here that the Devas are those people who only care for their own comfort and luxury. They never care for Bhagawan and His comfort! Whereas, if we take the case of our Aachaaryas and Aalwars, they always care about Bhagawan’s comfort, rather than their own comforts! This is why Periyaalwar, in his famous “paasuram” in Tamil says after worshipping Bhagawan,
“Pallaandu pallandu pallaayirathaandu! Pala kodi nooraayiram pallaandu!
Un sevadi sevvya thirukkaapu…”
Here, the phrase “Un sevadi sevvya thirukkaapu” means, “Oh Bhagawan! You should be fine without any problems! You are coming to this “Dushta Desha” full of corrupt people like us all around! Hence, you should be fine without any problem!” This is an example of how our Aalwaars and Aachaaryas care for Bhagawan, more than for themselves! Whereas for Devas, they are more interested in getting the “Amrut” (Divine Nectar) along with loads of comforts for themselves!
Even if we take our own examples every day, whenever we go to a temple, do we pray to Bhagawan that he should be comfortable and fine? We never do that! 🙂 All we pray for is our comfort and our things to be executed well! Lord Krishna himself says, “Only those people who care for my comfort and my well-being, more than theirs’ are my true devotees!”
Thus while the Devas were talking like this, Lord Rama also realized that it is time to move on! He made his “Sankalpa” and it is only at this moment, things start moving forward! King Dasharata once again calls for the assembly of his court. Once the court assembled, King Dasharata expresses his desire to coronate Rama as his successor to the throne. He says, “I should have made this decision twelve years back! However, that didn’t happen as Sage Vishwaamithra had come and taken Rama along with him, and subsequently he got married. For the next twelve years I didn’t want to disturb Rama as he was newly married! Now since I’m aged and since I’m not very confident in defending and protecting our kingdom as efficiently as I was doing before, I think it’s time now to hand over the reigns to my eldest son Rama, as per the norms of our Ikshvaaku Dynasty! Oh rishis, and manthris, I seek your suggestions on this subject!”
Once King Dasharata expressed his decision, Sage Vashishtaachaarya looks at him gets up from his seat. As we all know that Sage Vasishtaachaarya is a “Brahmarishi” and he has the ability to foresee things that are about to happen in future, something was holding him back! However, ignoring that “something”, he slowly gets up from his seat to reply to King Dasharata’s decision. What did Sage Vasishtaachaarya reply? What was his idea? What was going through his mind? Let’s wait to find out in the next episode!