Rama’s Departure

- January 18, 2021


By Harini Gopalswami Srinivasan  According to Valmiki’s Ramayana, Sita’s departure into the earth had filled Rama with grief and anger. He threatened to destroy the whole earth if Sita was not returned to him. Brahma pacified him, saying, “Do not grieve. Remember that you are an incarnation. You will be reunited with the pure and noble Sita in heaven.” Illustration: Arijit Dutta Chowdhury The next morning, Kusha and Lava sang the Uttara Kanda, the last book of the Ramayana, dealing with future events. After the sacrifice was over and all the guests had left, the sorrowful Rama returned to Ayodhya, treasuring Sita in his heart. He did not marry again; a golden image of Sita served as the queen in every sacrifice. Rama performed thousands of Ashwamedha, Vaajapeya, and other sacrifices, giving generous donations. He ruled over his kingdom righteously. The clouds poured forth rain in time, the harvest was good, and the cities were full of happy, well-fed and long-lived people. After a long time, Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi went to heaven and were happily reunited with Dasharatha. One day, Yuddhajeet, the king of Kekeya, asked Rama’s help in conquering the beautiful territory of the Gandharvas, along the river Sindhu. Rama sent Bharata with his two brave sons Taksha and Pushkala. After conquering the territory, Taksha was established as king of Takshasheela, and Pushkala as king of Pushkalaavati. Similarly, Rama carved out two kingdoms in the Kaarupatha region for Lakshmana’s sons, Angada and Chandraketu. Ten thousand years passed, with the four brothers always striving to serve the citizens righteously. One day, Death appeared at the palace, in the form of a rishi. He told Rama that he wanted to speak to him in private. If anyone heard or saw their conversation, Rama would have to kill him. Rama agreed, and sent Lakshmana outside. Then the rishi said, “I am your son, Kaala (time), the destroyer of all. I bring you this message from Brahma: O Vishnu, lord of the universe, you were born on earth in human form to slay Dashagreeva. Your scheduled stay of eleven thousand years in the mortal wor...

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