In the previous episode we had witnessed the commencement of the “Raama-Raajya”. This is an ideal representation of a flawless kingdom ruled by a flawless leader. People are following only the path of Dharma (Righteousness) whatever may be the situation. Nobody harms anybody else for anything, as truth and righteous path is the order of the day. All the people are happy in their own lives as everybody are executing their duties flawlessly. King Rama from his side, performs innumerable “Ashwamedha Yaagas” and other important “Yagnas” more frequently and through all these divine offerings, protects his people immensely. Everywhere the people are singing in praise of their great ruler Rama. The whole world starts to praise King Rama for his magnanimous rule. This is turning out to be a real golden era for Ayodhya.
All said and done, however did it sustain? Until a certain period of time, yes! But after that point, problems started to creep in. One fine day as King Rama convenes his court as a normal routine, there is somebody (said to be a dhobi) who raises a very important but a harsh question to Rama – “Since Ayodhya is said to be the land of purity, what is the point in having Sita in the Ayodhya palace, considering the fact that she was residing in Ravana’s Lanka for ten months? Is this what purity means? What evidence does King Rama have, to prove that his wife Sita is pure and chaste?”
Upon hearing this from one of his subjects, King Rama is stunned! His trial period has commenced! People of Ayodhya have started to question his credibility as a ruler! More than anything else, his beloved Sita’s credibility and chastity is being questioned! Now, Rama is seen as a person with a fault! Of course, Rama knows very well about Mother Sita’s purity, but how does he convince his people? Rama plunges into silence and is not sure how to tackle the situation! He asks his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shathrugna for solutions but none have any! Lakshmana, upon getting to realize the situation, gets furious and wants to finish off the dhobi who raised such a moral and an ethical issue against their beloved king and beloved Mother!
Upon seeing Lakshmana furious, Rama consoles him and sends him to invite Sage Vasishta to his chamber. As Sage Vasishta arrives, he is stunned to see Rama in a pitiable condition. As Rama explains the situation to him, even the great Sage Vasishta is clueless as to what is to be done! He finally gives Lord Rama two choices to make: One is to abandon Sita by sending her to the forest, thus proving to his people that he is a righteous king. The other option is to let Sita live in the palace, but at the cost of losing the tag of being a righteous king!
Now what does poor King Rama do? Which way does he go? Which choice does he make? As we know that Lord Rama is an epitome of “Dharma”, he chooses the first choice – To abandon Mother Sita! He has his “Dharma” in his mind and makes up his mind and heart to execute perhaps the toughest decision of his life! King Rama is weeping bitterly! He is totally devastated!! How could he continue to live in this world without his beloved Sita?
Without any other option, Rama comes to the decision! He calls Lakshmana to execute the task. He orders Lakshmana to take Mother Sita with him to the forest and abandon her mid-way! Upon hearing this from his brother, Lakshmana is shell-shocked! How can Rama speak like this about Mother Sita? What wrong did she do? Was it Sita’s fault of accompanying Rama to the forest for fourteen years? Was it Sita’s fault that Ravana abducted her from Panchavati? Or was it Sita’s fault that she had to wait in Lanka for ten months for Rama to come and take her back? Why is this happening? Lakshmana breaks down into tears! However, Rama has made up his mind. He instructs Lakshmana to do what he says! How can Lakshmana now deny Rama’s words?
With a heavy heart, Lakshmana gets ready for the mission. He goes into Mother Sita’s chamber and asks her to accompany him in his chariot. It should be noted here that, Mother Sita is a pregnant woman at this time! How cruel was this dhobi to inflict such a pain to Lord Rama and Mother Sita? This one dhobi is solely responsible for their bitter separation yet again!
According to Lakshmana’s wish, Sita follows him and she gets out of the palace. On her way out, she wants to meet Rama, but Rama is not in a position to meet her! He locks himself into his chamber and weeps bitterly! On what basis would Rama be able to face Sita again? Poor Rama is extremely saddened by this tricky situation! As Sita leaves, she has already left a scar in Rama’s heart! Although she leaves Rama physically, mentally Rama is still with her all the time!
For today, let us come to terms that Rama and Sita have separated from each other physically yet again. It’s another sad moment in Lord Rama’s life, on the pretext of protecting and safeguarding the “Raaja-Dharma”! Poor Mother Sita doesn’t know that her beloved husband has abandoned her for life! We shall wait till the next episode to find out what happened next!