Did Sita and Rama argue over going to forest?

On the day of the Rama’s coronation ceremony, Dasaratha has informed Rama that he has agreed to grant two wishes of his wife, Keikeyi. Dasaratha asked his son Rama to live in the forest for 14 years, and Bharata will be coronated as the King. Rama happily agreed to follow the orders of his father. Rama took the blessings of his father Dasaratha and his mothers.

 

Unaware of the happenings, Sita was very excited to get ready for the ceremony and offered prayers. Looking at her excitement, sudden grief overcame Rama, and he informed Sita that he is going to live in the forest. Rama said, “When I am gone, please take interested in religious practices and fasting. Pay respect to my three mothers and father. Treat Bharata and Satrughna as your brothers and sons. Bharata is our King and the head of our family. Do not displease him.”

 

After hearing Rama’s words, Sita became angry out of love and said, “What are you saying? For any woman, father, son, mother or self are not the real companion and only husband the true companion. Even in heaven, I would like to stay when you are not with me. When you are on a difficult journey that is full of obstacles and thorns, I will accompany you and support you. I will live in the forest with you eating roots and fruits only and doing all religious practices regularly. I am aware that you can protect me from animals in the forest.“

 

Rama tried to persuade Sita by saying, “Living in the forest is not easy. I am thinking about your well-being, and I am advising you not to come to the forest. Wild animals wander around the forest and attack, humans. Rivers and streams are filled with dangerous crocodiles. Pathways are covered with thorns and creepers and can cause harm. There will not be proper sleep as we will have to gather some leafs and sleep on it. There will not be proper food, and you have to sustain by eating fruits and roots. One need to show restraint in thought, food and practice daily prayers three times a day. Living in the forest is going to be tough for you. I advise you to listen to me and stay in Ayodhya.”

 

Sita was distressed to hear these words and she spoke very slowly with tears, “I understand the challenges of living in a forest. Where is the cause for fear of wild animals like tigers, jackals when you are near me? Besides, when I was young one of our astrologers predicted and told my father, Janaka that I would live in forests. From that moment onwards, I have always been excited and waiting for an opportunity to live in the forest. Why are you not willing to take me to forest? You are my Lord, and I am your devotee. We feel alive in pleasure and pain, and we share joy and sorrows. Even scriptures say that a woman, given away by parents over water in a marriage, belongs to the husband event after death”.

 

Sita continued, “If you do not want to take me to the forest, I am willing to die by taking poison. Why has fear overtaken you? Did my father marry me to a great warrior with courage or a woman in the form of a man? It is improper for you to go to the forest without taking me. Please take me along with you. When I walk with you, even the thorns will feel like cotton and the dust raised by the wind feels like sandal dust. I will not demand anything and fruits and roots that you give me will feel like nectar. I will not remember my father’s house and annoy you. Your companionship is heaven for me, and when you are not with me, it is a hell. I cannot bear your separation even for a moment. I will kill myself if you do not take me” and Sita wept uncontrollably and cried loudly.

 

Rama embraced her in his arms and said, “Sita, I do not wish to live even in heaven when you are not with me, and there is no fear in me. I am going to forest to honor my father’s vow to my mother, Keikeyi. Father, mother, and teacher, are equal to God and servicing them is more important than performing prayers to Gods.

But without knowing your opinion, I did not want to take you to Forest. Accompany me to the forest help me in my journey. Let us start the preparations for our journey and donate our wealth to the deserved ones.”

 

Sita became delighted with Rama’s words and started their preparations for their journey.

 

Source: Valmiki Ramayana

 

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