All his four sons Dasaratha loved,
by Rajaram Ramachandran
To Rama he was more devoted,
‘Cause of his royal qualities,
And his dharmic principles.
He wished to crown Ram,
Entrust to him the kingdom,
And to the forest retire,
For a quiet life austere.
His intentions, he revealed,
To the courtiers assembled,
Who welcomed the same,
All in favour of Ram’s name.
Orders he gave one by one,
To prepare for the coronation,
To Vasishta for the sacred rites,
And ministers o’er other formalities.
Embracing Rama, Dasaratha said
“You’re a good prince beloved
Of the people. You’ll do well,
And earn always their goodwill.”
On his pre-coronation fast,
Rama was initiated at last,
By Vasishta, the Court Sage,
With mantras at every stage.
Here, the story would have ended,
Had Rama really been crowned,
But the pre-plan of the Heaven,
Was it not of a different version?
Queen Kaikeyi had a woman,
Manthara, more of a companion,
A cunning hunchback devil,
With brain full of ideas evil.
She saw the people rejoice,
With dresses of their choice,
To join a grand festival,
Fit for an occasion royal.
When she heard the news,
It was like thousand blows
Struck on her hunchback,
That took her in a wrong track.
She brainwashed Kaikeyi’s mind,
With coercive words of every kind,
And asked why coronation was done,
Even before his son, Bharata’s return?
To her words, Kaikey gave no ears,
And wasn’t sharing her wild fears,
As she loved Ram so deeply,
And was in his favour happily.
Manthara left no stone unturned,
As her evil heart so much burned,
At the queen Kaikeyi’s innocence,
And the king Dasaratha’s pretence.
Dasaratha fell for Kaikeyi’s beauty,
And married her hoping for a progeny,
As a successor to him, he had no son
Either by the first or the second queen.
Dasaratha promised her father,
That the son born to her
Shall be on the throne
After him in succession.
To fight with a demon, Sambara,
Kaikeyi helped the king Dasaratha,
Wounded he was in the battle
Struck by the arrows body full.
Pleased with her services,
He gave her two promises.
She wished to avail the same,
On a future date and time.
These two incidents of the past,
Manthara fixed in her mind fast,
To see that she found a way out,
To achieve her desired object.
Time moved fast and played its role,
As if it was under Heaven’s control,
The Devas, from the sky, in suspense,
Kept their watch down below tense.
In the scheme of things to happen,
Under what had been pre-written,
Kaikeyi’s mind, as no exception,
Fell for Manthara’s evil intention.
The Dasaratha’s two boons once,
She decided to ask him at once,
Bharata to asscend the throne,
Rama for fourteen years in exile alone.
To Rama, the Vishnu incarnation,
He wasn’t keen on coronation,
To him life in city or forest,
One and the same, in the least.
Whatever his father decided,
That rule shall be obeyed.
This was the spirit he ever had,
As the most obedient son, indeed.
Dharmic = Virtuous
God Vishnu = Protector
Devas = Heavenly bodies
Mantras = Chanting holy words