Ayodhya Kanda / Passing away of King Dasharatha
Sept 24th, 2017
by Chinmaya Mission Fairfield, CT
The very first time sorrow made an appearance in this katha even sorrow became sad!. Dasharatha is unable to cope with Rama being sent away to the forest. He is in despair. He utters Rama’s name 6 times and dies. Unlike Mother Kaushalya & Mother Sumitra, Raja Dasharatha did not have the courage to accept Rama’s separation. He procrastinated and gave up, rather than follow his dharma.
Vedanta:Procrastination is equal to tamas and takes one away from joy, just as Raja Dasharatha was taken away forever from Rama, who is joy incarnate. One who procrastinates, gambles with joy.
Bharata comes back to Ayodhya, and finds that people are behaving strangely. He finds his father has passed away and that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana have been sent away to the forest. He first meets with his Mother Kaikeyi. She tells him that with Raja Dasharathas passing he will be King and that he shouldn’t grieve him. Bharatha is totally shocked with his mothers attitude and behavior. Bharata is upset at his mother as she mentions his fathers death in just one sentence without spending any time on the subject. He becomes angry and says why didn’t you kill me when I was born?
Vedanta: Bharatha here represents Ahimsa which is actually equivalent to sensitivity, not just non-violence. There cannot be himsa or violence, where there is sensitivity and awareness of other people and their lives; where one thinks of others rather than oneself.
Mother Kaushalya & Mother Sumitra tell Bharata to accept the situation and be responsible, unlike Mother Kaikeyi, who couldn’t bring peace to anyone. They both, unlike King Dasharatha, were able to survive the 14 years of Rama’s exile, and were able to reunite with Ananda, when Rama returned to Ayodhya.
Reflection Do we live like Mother Kaikeyi or like Mother Kaushalya?
Discussion topic: Why do people die?
According to Acharya Vivekji, we die to keep our journey going. Death brings about change, sensitivity, self-reflection.