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Ram meets Nishadraj and Kevat – Chapter 4

Ram meets Nishadraj and Kevat –Chapter 4

When King Dashratha learnt that Kaikeyi was in the sulking chamber, he went there and asked her the cause of her distress and anger. “Tell me who has wronged you and I will punish him,” he said lovingly.

 

Kaikeyi said “No one has wronged me, but you gave me two boons that you have not yet fulfilled.”

King Dashratha said, “Today is such a happy auspicious day that I can grant you four, not just two, wishes. I promise to fulfill them.”

Kaikeyi replied, “I want just the two boons you owe me.”

“Very well. What are they?”

“One, I want my son Bharata crowned as the King, and two, that Rama should spend the next fourteen years as an ascetic, living in exile in the forest.”

Kaikeyi replied, “I want just the two boons you owe me.”

“Very well. What are they?”

“One, I want my son Bharata crowned as the King, and two, that Rama should spend the next fourteen years as an ascetic, living in exile in the forest.”

King Dashratha was completely devastated when he heard her demands. The news rapidly spread throughout the city and everyone harshly criticized Kaikeyi.

 

 

 

 

But Shri Rama felt obliged to fulfill the terms of the boons his father was forced to accede to. He tried to comfort Dashrath by stoutly reminding him of how the men of Raghu clan have always been true to their word. “We, Raghuvanshis have always been led by truth and commitment. Let’s now follow that motto with a smile,” said Rama. Dashratha, however, fainted away in the extremity of his grief at losing his son in this way.

 

 

Rama went to Kaushalya and told her of his decision to go to live in the forest. Kaushalya was sad to be parted from Rama, yet proud of his decision. She said, “Whether it is my wish or Kaikeyi’s, fulfilling a mother’s wish is the duty of a son.”

 

 

When Rama told Sita and Lakshmana about his decision, they were both eager to follow him. Kaushalya tried to warn Sita about the troubles and dangers of the forest, but Sita was adamant. Lakshmana too could not bear to live in Ayodhya without Rama. Lakshmana’s mother, Sumitra, gave him permission to leave with Rama, and told him that his duty lay in serving Rama and Sita.

But Shri Rama felt obliged to fulfill the terms of the boons his father was forced to accede to. He tried to comfort Dashrath by stoutly reminding him of how the men of Raghu clan have always been true to their word. “We, Raghuvanshis have always been led by truth and commitment. Let’s now follow that motto with a smile,” said Rama. Dashratha, however, fainted away in the extremity of his grief at losing his son in this way.

King Dashratha reviled Kaikeyi. He told Sumantra to take the threesome in a chariot towards the forest. But he also told him to try and persuade Rama to return after spending a day or two there.

 

 

 

Sumantra carried Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in a chariot to the outskirts of the city. But he was not alone. Saddened by the news of Rama’s departure, many of the citizens of Ayodhya, men and women, young and old, followed him on foot, determined to go wherever Rama went.

 

 

At night Rama rested by the bank of the Tamsa river (refer to map). The weary citizens also fell asleep wherever they could find a place. When all of them were in deep sleep, Rama signaled to Sumantra and the three of them rode away quietly in the chariot. When at dawn the citizens woke up to find Rama gone, they were sad and disappointed, and finally went back to Ayodhya.

Sumantra carried Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in a chariot to the outskirts of the city. But he was not alone. Saddened by the news of Rama’s departure, many of the citizens of Ayodhya, men and women, young and old, followed him on foot, determined to go wherever Rama went.

Shri Rama, meanwhile, reached Shrngaverapura by the banks of the Ganga. The King, Nishadraj Guha welcomed them and offered them the best of the wild berries, fruits and roots. As he had undertaken to live an ascetic life, Rama did not enter any city or village. He made a rough grass bed under a Sheesham tree to lie on, and he and Sita slept under the tree.

 

 

Nishadraj was sad to see them thus, instead of enjoying the royal luxuries they were accustomed to in the palace. Then, he joined Lakshmana, who sat at a distance, watchful and alert. Both of them sat awake all night on guard.

 

 

In the morning Rama and Lakshmana both tied their hair into a jata (in a bun) in the manner of ascetics. Rama then wanted to cross the Ganga. So Nishadraj called Kevat, a boatman. He said to them, “I will take you across. But I have heard that the touch of the dust of your feet turned a rock into a woman. I will wash the dust off your feet before I let you set foot on my boat. What if my boat turns into a woman? How will I earn a living and look after my family?” This, of course, was merely a ruse invented by him in order to allow the opportunity to wash Rama’s feet and pay his respects to him.

“I will take you across. But I have heard that the touch of the dust of your feet turned a rock into a woman. I will wash the dust off your feet before I let you set foot on my boat. What if my boat turns into a woman? How will I earn a living and look after my family?” This, of course, was merely a ruse invented by him in order to allow the opportunity to wash Rama’s feet and pay his respects to him.

So Rama allowed Kevat, the boatman, to wash his feet, and then Kevat happily took them across the river Ganga. Sita made a wish that they return safely and worshiped the river. When they reached the other side, Rama had no money to pay for the boat ride, so Sita gave her ring to Kevat.

 

Shri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Nishadraj went to the ashram of Sage Bhardwaj who gave them a warm welcome. They spent the night in the ashram, and in the morning Rama asked Nishadraj to return to his kingdom while he proceeded with Sita and Lakshmana towards the Ashram of Valmiki.

So Rama allowed Kevat, the boatman, to wash his feet, and then Kevat happily took them across the river Ganga. Sita made a wish that they return safely and worshiped the river. When they reached the other side, Rama had no money to pay for the boat ride, so Sita gave her ring to Kevat.

 

 

 

Raja dashrath comes to know about kaikeyi’s stay in kop-bhawan (the sulking chambers of the palace) and visits her. Kaikeyi asks him to grant her 2 boons as promised by him, when she had saved his life in a battle. She asks for the crowning of Bharat, her son as the King of Ayodhya and 14 years of hermit-life (Vanvaas) to Rama. Sita and Lakshman also wanted to accompany Rama to the forest. A heart-broken Raja Dashrath sends Sumantra his minister to drop off Rama, Lakshman and Sita to the forest. He tells Sumantra to somehow bring rama back to Ayodhya. Many citizens of Ayodhya walk to the forest with Rama. Rama meets Nisadharaj who is tribal King of the forest. Nishadraj accompanies them on their travels. They have to then cross the river, Ganga, and the boat man who takes them across is called Kevat. Kevat recognizes Rama and very clevery uses the opportunity to wash Rama’s feet before making him cross the river, on the pretext that a touch of his feet turned a stone into a woman, and wonder what they could do to his boat. Rama smiles and obliges. Rama asks Nishadraj to go back to his palace and then Rama, Lakshman and Sita make their way to Rishi Valmiki’s ashram. Website : https://www.sagarworld.com Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/sagarworldmu… Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/sagar.world
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