Ramayana through illustrations: Ayodhya Kand
Updated On : 22 Sep 2017,08:32 PM
Ayodhya Kand is one of the important kands in Ramayan and narrates the arrangements for Lord Rama's coronation and his exile into the wilderness for a period of 14 years in order to fulfil his father's wish. The kand portrays the obedience and determination of Rama who refused to return to Ayodhya without fulfilling his father'orders. It involves the exchange between King Dashratha and his queen Kaikeyi, where the latter asks for her two boons. The kand throws light on the calm self-control character of Rama who with absolute submission accepted his father's decree for the sake of his honour. It also shows the sacrifice of Sita who decided to stay by her husband's side during the exile. We have weaved Ayodhya Kand in the form of a story especially for you.
One day while adjusting his crown king Dashratha noticed grey hair and this is when he decided it was time to give Rama all his stately duties. It was not because he was the eldest son but it was due to his capability, that Dashratha wanted Rama to be his successor. He sought sage Vashishtha’s opinion on the same, who agreed that Rama should be made the king of Ayodhya. Prince Rama, the son of queen Kaushalya, had won the hearts of all the people because of his loving nature. The king sent a formal statement to the people of Ayodhya who were happy to see their favourite prince as the new king.
While everyone rejoiced hearing Rama's coronation news, it was queen Kaikeyi's maid Manthara who was not so happy with it. She asked Kaikeyi to staunchly oppose the decision and instead ask for her son's Bharata coronation. The queen didn't pay heed to her words and said Bharata can rule after Ayodhya after Rama. Manthra convinced her that the throne belonged to Bharata and not Rama. She told the queen about the rights of ascension to the throne. This made Kaikeyi fell into the trap of power hunger in the name of her son's welfare.
Manthra reminded Kaikeyi of the two boons the king had granted her when she saved his life in battle. The maid told her it was the perfect time to ask for them. It was her who advised Kaikeyi to lie in her room and wear soiled clothes and no ornaments. The queen did the same and weeped in anger when King Dahsratha came. The king tried to console her but to no avail. As per the instructions of Manthra, Kaikeyi asked for her two boons. Kaikeyi demanded that Bharata should be made the king while Rama should be exiled into the wilderness for a period of fourteen years. The king was taken aback by her words and pleaded her to ask for something else. He was heartbroken but had no choice as he had to honour the promises made to her. He acceded to Kaikeyi's demands but was not able to face his son Rama. Queen Kaikeyi told Rama about his father's decree.
Prince Rama agreed to fulfil his father's promise and decided to go into banishment in the forest. The news spread like fire and instead of celebration, doom persisted everywhere. Rama's wife Sita and brother Lakshmana accompanied him to the 14-year exile in the forest. Rama tried to convince both of them to not go with him, but none of them refused to part with him. The three of them left Ayodhya in hermit’s guise with charioteer Sumant and the people followed their beloved prince. When they reached the banks of Ganga, Rama directed Sumant to go back to Ayodhya. After his son's departure, King Dashratha was unable to bear the pain and passed away. The king lost conscious while recalling the curse by Shravan's blind parents, whom he had killed mistakenly. His parents had cursed him in their misery that he would meet the same fate and die longing for his son
Bharata who was at his maternal place all this time was called for his coronation as the king of Ayodhya. He refused to benefit from any of his mother's wicked scheming and decided to convince Rama to come back and take his rightful throne. Bharata along with the queens and people of Ayodhya went to Rama and requested him to come back. It was sage Vashishtha who informed Ram about his father's death solemnly. Rama being the dutiful and obedient son refused to return to Ayodhya and decided to fulfil his father's last wish. Unable to persuade his brother to return to Ayodhya, Bharata took back Rama’s sandals and agreed to govern Ayodhya, not as its ruler, but as Ram’s representative. Installing Rama’s sandals on Ayodhya’s throne, Bharata played the role of a king but lived like an ascetic.