How did Lakshmana react when he came to know that Rama is leaving for forest?

When Lakshmana has come to know that Rama has been asked to go to the forest, he got very disappointed and came to meet Rama. Kausalya has been persuading Rama to change his decision and not go to the forest. Furious Lakshmana intervened and said, “Mother, I also do not want Rama to go to the forest. The King Dasaratha has become old and out his love for pleasures; Keikeyi influences him. I have never heard anybody talking ill of Rama, even our adversaries. Can any ethical and honest person ask his son to go to the forest without reason?”

 

Lakshmana said to his brother Rama, “Brother, I will stand by you and with my help, take over the kingdom. I will kill anybody who comes in support of Bharata, and if the people of Ayodhya are opposite to you, I will kill all of them. If our father, Dasaratha, behaves like an enemy, I will imprison him and kill him if necessary. If one becomes arrogant and loses the judgment between good and evil, he needs to be punished. On what basis, our father Dasaratha, has given the kingdom to Bharata?”

 

Kausalya got some relief with Lakshman’s words and said, “Rama! You have been a great follower of Dharma. Just like you respect your father you have respected me. If you go to a forest, I will not be able to live. As your mother, I am asking you to oppose your father and take claim to the kingdom.” Kausalya grieved miserably and cried uncontrollably.

 

Rama spoke in a soft voice, “Mother, I am not able to violate my father’s words, and I bow down in front of you to allow me to follow my father’s words. This is not a new practice that I have invented. Even in the past, Parasurama killed his mother and a sage called Kandu killed a cow to abide by father’s words. I will adhere to the age old practices that are mentioned in scriptures.”

 

Rama turned to Lakshmana and said, “My mother is grieving because she does not realize the value of truth. You are aware that Dharma is the ultimate and Satya (Truth) is established within Dharma. Our father’s words are established in Dharma. One who follows Dharma always abides by the promise given to the father, mother or sages. Do not think like a warrior who is in the war but think of the dharma that you have to follow”. Rama turned towards Kausalya and said, “Mother, I seek your blessings to go to the forest. I will come back after my exile, and I request all of you to follow father’s directions.”

 

Kausalya did not agree and replied, “Rama! I am also as respectable as your father for you, and I do not give you permission to go away. What is the purpose of living if you are not with me?” Lakshmana also agreed with her and nodded his head. Rama said, “Lakshmana! I know your love and affection towards me. But you are joining with mother, and you are making things difficult for me without understanding my opinion. One who establishes himself in Dharma will achieve Artha (wealth) and kama (desires). One who focuses only on artha or kama without any concern for Dharma will be hated in this world. I do not wish to sacrifice Dharma for the sake of the inferior kingdom, glory, and pleasures.”

Rama turned to his mother Kausalya and said, “Only a cruel person will not live up to the promises given to his father. King Dasaratha is alive and even for you; it is your dharma to follow his words. Please give me permission to leave for the forest.”

 

Kausalya gave her permission very reluctantly, and Rama proceeded to meet Sita to inform about his journey to a forest.

 

Source: Valmiki Ramayana

 

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