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Ramayana Reflections – 7

Ramayana Reflections – 7

It’s interesting to note that Dasaratha was a powerful warrior and
yet, the love of his wife blinded him to act unwisely. The very name
Dasaratha indicates one who can expertly and simultaneously face
enemies attacking from ‘dasa’ or ten directions. He could expertly
move his chariot in all ten directions. The modern science may reveal
to us four directions- north, south, east and west. However, Vedic
science explains that there are ten directions- the four commonly
known and the corners of the north, south etc. Then the heavenly abode
and lower planetary systems constitute two more, thus making it a
total of ten directions. Dasaratha could face enemies from all
quarters, effortlessly, but his own blind love for his wife weakened
him and he couldn’t prevent Rama’s exile.

“Oh darling, you are sick!” said the concerned king, “but we have the
best physicians in our palace. Tell me your sickness.” Kaikeyi
continued her sullen stance and Dasaratha became pensive.

“Has someone offended you?” His voice now rose in anger, “Tell me the
name of the person who deserves death at my hands? I shall immediately
send an innocent man to gallows or release a guilty from the prison,
if that’s your desire, oh lotus eyed one.” As Kaikeyi remained firm in
her strategy, Dasarath put her head on his lap and affectionately
caressed her hair, and spoke in a loving tone. She looked the other
way even as Dasarath tried appeasing her in different ways. “I and my
entire kingdom is submissive to you and to every desire of yours. My
jurisdiction over earth is wide and unmatchable. And each of these
lands is rich with so many resources. Which of these goods do you
desire oh queen? Or are you overcome by fear? Just like sun dispels
fog, I shall remove all your insecurities.”

Finally, her unrelenting, melancholic silence pained his heart beyond
the tolerance threshold. At that moment, Dasaratha attempted a
bravado, “Oh most dear of my wives, my life and soul, whatever you
desire, know that it’s fulfilled right away by me.”

At last Kaikeyi spoke. “No one has offended me oh king but I desire
something. If only you promise to fulfil my demands, I shall tell you
what I want.”

Like an innocent animal that enters the hunter’s trap, Dasaratha,
struck by cupid and succumbing to hasty lust, declared, “In the name
of Rama, without whom I can’t live for a second, I vow to carry your
bidding. In the name of that very Rama, who is most dear to my heart,
I promise you that whatever you desire I shall fulfil it without
delay.”

To be continued…

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