In the previous episode we had witnessed that Bharata unconditionally hands over the reins of the Ayodhya kingdom and surrenders it at Lord Rama’s lotus feet. Eventually, Bharata’s tearful conversation with Lord Rama showed us the extent of love and devotion Bharata had for Lord Rama. These emotional words coming from Bharata’s pure and innocent heart moves Rama to tears. He hugs Bharata and acknowledges his unconditional surrender. How can Bhagwan resist himself when his devotee is in tears? He reaches out to Bharata and consoles him and explains to him that by going to the forest, he had achieved one of the most important missions of his life – To kill Ravana. This might not have happened had he not gone to the forest. Hence, Lord Rama comforts Bharata that he is not the reason for the exile and requests him not to feel guilty about it.
As Bharata listens to the loving and soothing words from his brother, the smiles are back in everybody’s faces! It is now time for celebration! All the hurdles have been crossed successfully! It’s now time for Ayodhya to re-enter the festive mode! As Lord Rama gives the consent, the arrangements for the coronation function commences. Hanuman leads the way along with Rama’s three brothers, Vibhishana and Sugriva to make all the preparations.
Now Lord Rama is all set to end his “Vana-Vaasa” (Forest life). He first removes his beard and all the robes of that of a saint. He takes a holy bath in the waters of the River Sarayu and changes into a fresh suit of that of a king! Now it is time for all of them to proceed from Nandigraama to Ayodhya. The entire caravan commences its journey. There are innumerable royal elephants, chariots, soldiers who lead the way. Lakshmana and Hanuman fan Lord Rama and Sita, who are sitting in a beautiful golden chariot. All along the journey, Lord Rama narrates the entire fourteen-year experience in the forest to all his people who are gathered around him. Every house in Ayodhya is in festival mode – Every house is beautifully decorated and garlanded with the most aromatic flowers. Flowers are sprewn all over the road through which Lord Rama’s chariot is passing through. As Rama passes by the city roads, each and every person in Ayodhya wishes him and seeks His blessings. Lord Rama acknowledges each and every person in his kingdom and gradually moves into the city of Ayodhya. Once he sets foot into Ayodhya city, he bows down to the great land ruled by all his forefathers until King Dasharata.
As Lord Rama steps into Ayodhya, all the people including saints bless Rama for a long life and a successful tenure as an invincible king. Till now they’ve seen Rama as a child and now they’re going to see them as a matured individual who can take all of them forward.
Now the entire caravan reaches the Ayodhya palace. Rama slowly enters the palace after fourteen long years. His three mothers, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumithra are eagerly awaiting Rama’s return and as Rama steps in, they are with tears of joy! Kaikeyi is especially happy because her son Rama had executed her orders without any regret. She praises Rama for his obedience and respect towards his parents.
As the caravan enters the palace, there is happiness all around! People exchange greetings and smiles. For today, let us also join this caravan and the people of Ayodhya to enjoy the joyous occasion of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya! We shall wait till the next episode for the coronation function to commence! 🙂