Lord Sri Rama's Exile


Apr 28, 2019
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Kaikayee was getting restless. So, she said to Rama:

"Your father will not permit you to go to the forest. So you yourself have to decide quickly."

Hearing this, Sri Rama at once gave up his royal attire and garbed a hermit's clothing. Sita and Laxmana too followed him. Right then king Dashrath came around. He called Sumant and asked him to take Rama, Laxmana and Sita towards the forest on a chariot and bring them back to Ayodhya after some sightseeing. In case both Sri Rama and Laxmana showed reluctance to return, then he (Sumant) should bring Sita along with him.

So a chariot was arranged. Sri Rama, Laxmana and Sita were waiting patiently. Sumant informed them about Dashrath’s order. Sri Rama boarded the chariot. Sita followed him and Laxmana boarded the chariot at last.

In the evening, Sri Rama decided to take rest at the bank of river Tansa. People of Ayodhya who were following Sri Rama too halted there.

The atmosphere was so grim that everyone remained hungry. Sri Rama tried to persuade the assembled people to return to Ayodhya. After treading their way through the forest, the people had become tired and they rested. Sri Rama then ordered Sumant to ride the chariot as fast as he could so that the people would not follow him and be forced to return to Ayodhya.

Sumant did as he was told. Sri Rama reached the bank of river Ganges. All of them took bath in the holy Ganges.


When Nishaadraaj heard about Sri Rama’s arrival along with Sita and Laxmana, he and his relatives went to meet them. They carried baskets full of fruits and many other things.

Nishaadraaj said- "After having a glimpse of your feet everything has become well and fine. We consider ourselves lucky to have a sight of you. O Lord, please do visit our home and bless us."

Sri Rama said to him - "O brother it’s my father's command to live in the jungle for fourteen years and therefore I cannot come to your home."

Nishaadraaj was dejected and expressed his helplessness.

Nishaadraaj thinking that it would be appropriate for Sri Rama to take rest near the Shisham (rosewood)tree, requested him to make it as his resting-place.

The people who accompanied Nishaadraaj returned to their homes, wondering on the fate of Sri Rama, Laxmana and Sita.

Sri Rama performed his Sandhya (prayers performed in the evening). Nishaadraaj offered him fruits in a plate made of leaves. Sri Rama after eating the fruits went to take rest. Laxmana sat beside him. Sumant and Nishaadraaj too were seated.

Nishaadraaj posted his personal guards to look after the place, where Sri Rama was sleeping.

In the morning, Sri Rama got up and after finishing his daily chores, made a matted-lock of his hair, with Banyan milk and donned a hermitic attire as per the wish of Kaikayee.

Seeing Sri Rama in such a condition, tears rolled down from Sumant’s eyes. He told Rama about Dashrath’s instructions to bring all of them back to Ayodhya.

Sri Rama lifted him up and consoled him.

When Sumant realised that Sri Rama was firm in his resolution not to return to Ayodhya, he said "Dashrath had said, if Sri Rama and Laxmana were unwilling to return, bring back Sita.

Sri Rama then requested Sita to return to Ayodhya citing the importance of duties towards her in-laws.

Sita then replied to Sumant that, for a wife, the feet of her husband is the greatest place.

Sumant returned to Ayodhya without Sita. He was trying to drive the chariot but it did not move. The horses began to neigh stubbornly.

Sri Rama forcibly sent back reluctant Sumant and asked Nishaadraaj to call a Kewat (an oarsman) to get them across the Ganges by boat.

The kewat came and after seeing Rama, said to Him:

"I have heard the divinity of your feet and hence I will allow you to board my boat only after I have washed your feet."

Sri Rama agreed as he wanted to cross the river as soon as possible.

Kewat then washed the feet of Sri Rama. After crossing the river, they disembarked on the other side of the river.

Sri Rama was feeling awkward, as he had nothing to present the Kewat as his remuneration. Sita understood Rama's embarassment. She took out a precious ring from her finger and gave it to Sri Rama. Sri Rama tried his best to give that ring to the kewat but he politely refused, saying that he had got everything having the divine sight of Sri Rama.


Now, after coming to the other side of the river Ganges, Sri Rama made an idol of Lord Shiva and worshipped it. Sita prayed to the holy Ganges to fulfill all her desires, so that she could serve her (Ganges) when she returns after the period of exile was over.

River Ganga blessed her. Sri Rama requested Nishaadraaj to return back. Nishaadraaj then requested Sri Rama to let him stay with them for some more days so that he could construct a hut of leaves for them. Sri Rama agreed.

Sri Rama, Sita and Laxmana continued their journey towards the forest. Nishaadraaj too was accompanying them. They rested under a tree. Laxmana and Nishaadraaj constructed a rest house.

In the morning they got up and had a darshan of Prayag.

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