Dasaratha was very happy that the coronation of the beautiful eyed Sri Rama was fixed for the very next morning of the Pushya Nakshatram and discussing the matter once more with his counsellors, he retired to his palace.
(The Vedic people used the moon as a pointer to the skies. There are 27 Nakshatrams that cover 360 degrees of the zodiac, so each nakshatram ‘covers’ 13.33 degrees. The moon (Chandra) moves through each of these nakshatrams, once every month. Moving through means moving close to. The Yuga (Union) of Chandra and any Nakshtra roughly lasts for a solar day. The Nakshatra Yuga at SunRise determines the Nakshatra of the day. So at the time the sun is rising, the moon is within the 13 degrees of the Nakshatra of the Day! Pushya means prosperity. The deity is Brhaspati. Please note the absence of elaborate consultations of the horoscope, either for the wedding, or for the pattabhishekam (coronation.) The auspicious day for the wedding was selected by Janaka and for the coronation was selected by Dasaratha. Though Vasishtha, Viswamitra and Satananda (the son of Gautama) were present, they were not consulted. Chandra is a male, the 27 nakshatras that he joins in turn are female. The 28th nakshatra who is counted as Abhijit was also called Daksha at one time and was considered the father if these other 27 Nakshatras and was dropped later.)
Having reached his inner apartments, he sent Sumantra again for Sri Rama. Sumantra hurried across to Sri Rama’s palace and was announced by the doorkeepers. One hearing the second summons, Sri Rama became pensive. He had Sumantra quickly ushered in and asked him what the matter was. Sumantra told him that Dasaratha wished to see him immediately and it was for Rama to decide whether he wanted to go or not.
Once again, we note the caution with which Dasaratha separated personal conversations from official ones. In the first instance he did not invite his relatives either Janaka (Sita’s father) or Ashvapati (Kaikeyi‘s father) to the assembly. Such caution befits a king whose decision affect a large number of people.
Having heard the words of the Suta (सूतवचः), Sri Rama hurried to meet the king.
Suta as we have seen earlier means charioteer. Sumantra is here referred to as Suta. Sumantra has also been referred to earlier as one of Dasaratha’s best ministers. The importance of a charioteer to a king is also revealed to us in the instance where Sanjaya, the charioteer of Dhritarashtra, is given the divine vision with which to narrate the Kurukshetra Yuddham and Bhagavad Gita to Dhritarashtra. We see that in the days when Kamsa was fond of Devaki, he himself drove the chariot with his sister and her new husband. And of course, that greatest hero of all times, who played charioteer to Arjuna, Sri Krishna is even fondly known as Parthasarathi (the charioteer of Partha (Son of Prutha (Kunthi) – Arjuna)). The issue on Karna’s case was that he wanted to be the archer and not the charioteer.
Dasaratha, eagerly admitted Sri Rama, who stood respectfully at a distance, bowing with his hands joined together in an Anjali. Dasaratha raised him, embraced him, gave him a nice asana (seat) and spoke. “I have performed a hundred sacrifices and given food and gifts to the deserving. I have enjoyed all pleasures. I have got an exceptional son like you, who is to my liking.
Dasaratha was satisfied with his life and accomplishments.
देवर्षिपितृविप्राणामनृणोऽस्मि तथाऽत्मन: I have no debts to the Devas, rshis, brahmins or to myself.
All of us are born with these 4 debts and the scriptures tell us how to fulfil them.
My last duty is to perform your Pattabhishekam. The people are for this.
Moreover, I have terrible nightmares. Even during the day we see thunderous meteors falling. Surya, Angaaraka (Mars) and Rahu are closing in on my (Janma) Nakshatram. नक्षत्रं दारुणैर्ग्रहै:। आवेदयन्ति दैवज्ञा: सूर्याङ्गारकराहुभि: ।When such a combination occurs the king ususally suffers a terrible calamity or even death. I wish to see you installed as the crown-prince before I lose my mind, given that the minds of the living are quite unstable.
We have read Shakespeare also echo this sentiment – ‘the heavens themselves forecast the death of great men’. We also note that Dasaratha takes it as a given that something may go wrong with him, and he wants to complete his final duty in a hurry.
अद्य चन्द्रोऽभ्युपगत: पुष्यात्पूर्वं पुनर्वसू।
श्व: पुष्ययोगं नियतं वक्ष्यन्ते दैवचिन्तका:।।2.4.21।। Chandra moves from Punravasu today to Pushya tomorrow, and as per the astrologers, this is suitable for coronation. For this reason I wish that you and Sita undertake a fast from today itself. At night, with self-restraint both of you please sleep on a mat of darbha grass.
Fasting, abstinence and other such austerities are said to purify one’s mind and prepare one for auspicious events such as coronations.
Many impediments can come up when we plan such auspicious activities. Let your friends vigilantly protect you tonight on all sides. Your coronation must be complete before Bharata gets back.
कामं खलु सतां वृत्ते भ्राता ते भरतस्स्थित:।
ज्येष्ठानुवर्ती धर्मात्मा सानुक्रोशो जितेन्द्रिय:।।2.4.26।।
Bharata is virtuous, ethical, righteous, devoted to you and has conquered all his senses.
Yet, I fear, even good people can become fickle. So, tomorrow is your coronation”
We see that Dasaratha is shrewd, with advice that might match the sort that Chanakya might give. He is aware of the nobility of Bharata as an individual, but also aware of the fraility of human nature in general. He is unwilling to take any chances and does not really give Sri Rama any choice in the matter.
Dasaratha gave Sri Rama leave to go, and Rama first went to his own mansion but left immediately to see his mother Kausalya. There he saw his mother, dressed in silk sitting in the prayer-room (देवतागारे lit. in the room of the Devatas), praying for good fortune (in this context wealth and kingdom). Sita had already been summoned and as soon as they had heard the good news, Lakshmana and his mother Sumitra also arrived there.
Why did Urmila, Lakshmana’s wife not come? We don’t know. But we shall know soon why Kaikeyi did not come.
At the time Rama arrived, Kausalya had her eyes half-closed (आमीलितेक्षणा ) meditating on the supreme. Purusha Janardana (Vishnu), प्राणायामेन, observing Pranayama (breath regulation). Rama approached her and respectfully gave her the glad tidings and said “Please perform the auspicious rites for Sita and me today).”
Kausalya blessed him with her whole heart. “May you live long! May those who come in your way be destroyed. May your proseperity bring joy to me, my relatives, to Sumitra and her relatives. My little son, you were born under an auspicious nakshatram and that is why your father is pleased with you. My devotion to the lotus-eyed lord (Vishnu) was not in vain, that is why the kingly fortune of the Ikshvakus is coming to you.”
This blessing worked out rather badly for Ravana, eventually.
As Rama heard his mother, he smiled and turned to his brother. “You are my second inner soul. We shall rule together and enjoy royal fortune together. जीवितं च हि राज्यं च त्वदर्थमभिकामये I desire my life and kingdom only for your sake.” Then Sri Rama respectfully took leave of his mothers, for himself as well as for Sita Devi, and they departed to his palace.
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula