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MUSINGS ON RAGHU VEERA GADHYAM --PART 10: AYODHYAA KHAANDAMa

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Oct 12 1996 - 18:49:09 PDT

MALAYA AMAVASYAI DAY, 1996
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AYODHYAA KHAANDAM 
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There are 119 chapters in Ayodhyaa Khaandam 
of Sri Vaalmiki RaamayaNam . 
.
Swami Desikan uses 7 salutaions in his illustrious 
Raghu Veera Gadhyam to cover the highlights of this
Khaandam spanning 119 chapters in length..

The first Salutation of Raghu Veera Gadhyam covers the 
events described by the first 49 of the 119 chapters of 
Ayodhya Khandam of Sage Valimiki .

Sri Ramachandra has now come home to Ayodhya  with his bride .
Happy emperor Dasaratha wants to install Sri Rama as prince regent 
and transfer the power of rulership to him . 

A hunch-backed maid servant of Queen Kaikeyi(Manthara ) hears about the 
news of the crowing of Sri Rama  and is enraged  . She instigates her 
mistress Queen Kaikeyi to stop the installation of Rama as
the crown prince . Queen Kaikeyi is fond of Rama and refuses first 
to interfere . Manthara labors on and succeds in poisoning the mind of 
her mistress . She advises her mistress to ask for two boons that
her husband had promised , but not executed. Manthara eggs on Kaikeyi
to ask the emperor Dasaratha through one boon to banish 
Rama to the forest and with the other boon to install Bharatha  , her
own son , as the crown prince in place of Rama. Kaikeyi  is persuaded 
and agrees to press the king for the two boons suggested by Manthara.

Now Kaikeyi enters the sulking chamber and waits for her husband
rushing to share with her the happy news of the plans for Rama's 
installation as crown prince. She asks her husband to grant her the 
two boons that he promised earlier for her support in a difficult battle .
She explains then  the nature of those two boons .

The emperor is devastated by the request of his queen .
Kaikeyi invokes the presence of Gods as witnesses
and presses the heart broken emperor  for the twin boons 
of banishment of Rama to the forest for 14 years and  
the crowning of her son Bharatha as the prince regent in
Rama's place . The tormented emperor is shocked by the 
adamant queen's wish for these cruel  boons. He is caught in the
horns of  a dharma Sankatam . He can not go back on
his word about granting two boons  and yet he can not
envisage the granting of the specific boons requested by 
his queen .
 
He falls unconscious at the very thought of separation form
Sri Rama as a result of the boon requested by Kaikeyi .
The heartless  Kaikeyi sends for Rama and  announces to him 
that   the  boons that she just received from emperor Dasaratha 
requires him to be banished to the forest for 14 years. 
Rama  accepts the command of his mother Kaikeyi 
and states that his father's words will not
become false and that he will obey his father's wish .

The emperor begs his son Rama to take him captive and ascend 
the throne. Rama consoles his father and states that  he has no 
great desire to ascend the  throne and that obeying his father's 
command is of the  utmost importance to him . The first salutation of 
Swami Desikan in the Ayodhya Khandam section of 
Raghu Veera Gadhyam refers to that assertion by Rama that 
he will not make his father's word false by staying in Ayodhya 
and becoming a crown prince . That salutation is as follows :

GS 21 : ANRUTA BHAYA MUSHITHA HRUDHAYA PITRU 
VACHANA PAALANA PRATHIGYAAVAGYAATHA YOUVA RAAJYA !
JAYA ! JAYA !

Hail to Thee , O Raghuveera , who abandoned the position of 
crown prince of Ayodhya to fulfill  the promise implicit in the boon 
of your father, who was fear-stricken over the thought that his
word to Kaikeyi would become a lie ! 

Emperor Dasaratha had no choice. He had to grant his queen 
the boons that she demanded. With a broken heart, he had to
order Rama's banishment to the forest to prepare the way for
Bharatha's crowning . He was being tormented by the thought that 
his son might refuse to obey that command and make his words 
untrue . He was afraid of being called a liar , who made false
promises to his queen. Rama however welcomed his father's 
command and immediately promised to  honor the boon given
to Kaikeyi. As a result of that promise to his father , Rama 
abandoned willingly his legitimate title to  the throne of Ishvaakus .

GS 22 : NISHADA RAJA SOWHRUDHA SOOCHITA 
SOWSEELYA SAGARA ! jAYA ! jAYA !

Swami Desikan salutes the Sowseelyam of Sri Ramachandra here.
Sowseelyam is the attribute of a great soul , who mixes with people
lower than him in status  with ease . Here, Swami refers to the friendship 
that Rama showed to the Guha , the unlettered king of hunters 
residing on the frontier of the nation of Kosala . 

Guha was a simple chieftain , who roamed in the forest 
in search of animlas to hunt . Rama was the lord of the Univrse
and Paramaathmaa .Inspite of it , Rama displayed his  kalyana
Gunam known as Sowseelyam and became the guest of the hunter 
of a much lower status and exchanged oath of friendship . Swami 
recalls this meeting between Guha and Rama on the banks of Ganges 
and hails Rama as the ocean of Sowseelyam( Valmiki Ramayanam
Sargas 50 to 52) . 

Hail to Thee! O Raghuveera who through your expression
of friendship to the chieftain of the hunters revealed your 
vast  ocean-like sowseelya quality and easy accessibilty 
by one and all !