Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 12

12. Daśaratha Requests Kaikeyi

[Daśaratha is shattered and he reasons out, chides, shouts, begs and requests Kaikeyi to change her decision. She seems to be unyielding.]

Hearing those horrible words, the great king, became very sad and extremely pained. 12.1

He thought, "Am I dreaming? Has my mind paralyzed? Is it one of those bad omens which I have been experiencing recently? Or is it a disease of the mind?" 12.2

Having thought over like this, the king did not get comfort. Being beaten by the words of Kaikeyi, that king could not regain his senses for a long time and after that he felt startled and distressed like a deer seeing a ferocious tigress. Then he sat down in a great stupor and he heaved sighs like a highly venomous snake controlled in a circle by powerful chants. After saying "What a pity?' being benumbed by great sorrow, he again lost his consciousness. 12.3-12.5

After a long time he regained his consciousness, affected by great sorrow, with burning eyes saw Kaikeyi and said. 12.6

"Oh cruel woman, Oh lady of bad character, oh destroyer of the clan, what sin has Rāma done and for that matter what sin I have done?" 12.7

"That son of Raghu clan was treating you equal to his mother, and for what purpose are you trying to bring misfortune to him?" 12.8

"Out of ignorance, thinking that you are a daughter of a king, I brought you home not knowing that you are a very poisonous snake and invited my own destruction." 12.9

"When all the living world is praising Rāma, for what crime should I abandon my son." 12.10

"I can give up Kauśalya, Sumitrā or all my wealth but If I am alive I will not give up Rāma, who is my darling son." 12.11

"I feel supreme bliss on seeing my first born son and if I do not seem him, my soul will be lost." 12.12

"The world can exist without sun and crops can exist without water but I and my body cannot exist without Rāma." 12.13

"Oh lady who has decided to do sin, this is enough. Give up your evil intention. I am touching your feet with my head. Please take mercy on me." 12.14

Oh sinful one, why did you get this horrible thought. Are you interested in knowing my opinion of Bhārata? Let it be like that. Earlier you used to say "Rāma is like my eldest son. He is an expert in Dharma and one who fulfils his duty of my eldest son perfectly." Such sweet words uttered by you

"Could not have been spoken only to please me." 12.15-12.17

"You are one who listens to the words of others and you have caused me great pain by entering this empty room of anger." 12.18

"Oh lady, till now you have been possessing great virtues but now a great immorality has fallen on the clan of Ikshvāku." 12.19

"Oh broad eyed one, you have never even done a minute improper or wrong act towards me in the past and for that reason I am unable to believe your words." 12.20

"Oh childish girl, several times you have told me that the great Rāma is equal to Bhārata to you." 12.21

"Oh lady who is a coward, how is it that you are desiring that famous votary of Dharma should stay in the forest for fourteen years.?" 12.22

"Why do you desire the very tender Rāma who follows Dharma should stay in a dreadful forest?" 12.23

"Oh lady with auspicious eyes, why do you desire Rāma should go away to a far off place when he is interested in serving you?" 12.24

"Rāma is always doing much more service to you than Bhārata and because of that I feel that you should not have more affection towards Bhārata." 12.25

"Though there are thousands of lady attendants to you in your apartment, I feel, Rāma, the best among men, will honour you, do you great service and carries out all your orders truthfully." 12.26

"The word of blame or word of finding fault never applies to Rāma. Rāma with a clean mind appeases all beings. He attracts everyone in the country by performing acts dear to them." 12.27-12.28

"He wins people by truth and he wins the downtrodden by charity and wins over elders by doing service to them and he wins over his enemies by his bow." 12.29

"Truth, charity, penance, sacrifice, friendliness, purity, uprightness, knowledge, service to the elders are fixed firmly in the mind of that son of Raghu clan." 12.30

"Oh lady, he is the one endowed with honesty, he resembles devas and has lustre greater than sages and how can you desire harm to such a one." 12.31

"I never recollect having heard Rāma who speaks sweet words, speaking unpleasant words to any one and for your sake, how can I speak such unpleasant words to him." 12.32

"What can I ever do without Rāma blessed with forgiveness, self -command, sacrifice, truth, Dharma, gratefulness, and also non-violence towards all human beings." 12.33

Oh Kaikeyi, you need to give consideration to my old age, being on the verge of death, and also being wretched and wailing and show mercy on me." 12.34

"I would give you anything that one can find in this earth surrounded by the ocean and so please leave out your anger." 12.35

"Oh Kaikeyi, I bow to you with folded palms and I will also touch your feet. I surrender to you and not sin done to Rāma touch me." 12.36

Then Kaikeyi who was extremely angry replied using harsher words to the king who was drowned in sorrow, crying, deprived of his senses, tottering with distress, overwhelmed with great pain of sorrow, who was again and again requesting her not to take him to the other bank of the ocean of sorrow. 12.37-12.38

"Oh king if you are repenting like this after giving the boon, how can you talk of Dharma in this earth?" 12.39

"Oh follower of Dharma, when innumerable royal sages join together and ask you about it, what answer will you give?" 12.40

Will you tell them, "By Kaikeyī’s grace, I am living and she looked after me and I am breaking the oath given to her." 12.41

"Oh great king you are bringing great disgrace to all kings, by giving the two boons and by talking differently as of now." 12.42

"When the pigeon and hawk had a disagreement, King Saibya gave his pound of flesh and king Alarka, gave away his eyes and went to heaven." 12.43

"Having the oath to the Gods, water of oceans never cross over to the shore. Please recollect the stories of earlier kings and do not make yourself false." 12.44

"Oh bad one you want to go against Dharma, install Rāma as a king and enjoy the remaining life with Kausalya." 12.45

"Whatever I have demanded may be according to Dharma or against Dharma, it may be true or false but you cannot go away from the promise that you have given." 12.46

"If Rāma is installed as Yuvarāja today, In your presence I will drink strong poison and will die when you are watching me." 12.47

"Even if for one day I see the mother of Rāma being honoured and receives salutations, I would prefer to die." 12.48

"Oh lord of men, I am taking a vow on Bhārata and on my life that I would not get satisfied by anything except banishing of Rāma to the forest." 12.49

After seeing all this Kaikeyi became silent and did not give any reply to the king who was wailing. 12.50

That king hearing the inauspicious boons asked by Kaikeyi about Rāma's banishment to the forest and the very wealthy life of Bhārata, due to great sorrow did not talk to Kaikeyi for a long time. 12.51

He stared at his dear queen who was telling words which were not liked by him, who shot words as strong as Vajra at him, and was filled by dreadful distress and anguish and felt great amount of discomfort. 12.52-12.53

He thought over the great determination of Kaikeyi as well as the vow taken by her, the king crying "Oh Rāma" fell down like a severed tree. 12.54

Having lost his mind and behaving like a mad man and behaving in a contrary manner, he was a sick person bereft of his lustre. He was lying like a serpent. 12.55

The king addressed Kaikeyi in great sorrow, "Who has given you this meaningless idea which appears to be in your interest? You are talking to me without any shame, with your faculties being directed by a devil." 12.56

"Earlier, when you were young, I never noticed this, sorrow due to absence of character in you and now I am seeing the just opposite of it." 12.57

"You were requesting that Bhārata should occupy the throne and Rāma should go to the forest. Who put this fear of Rāma in you?" 12.58

"If you want to do good service to your husband as well as Bhārata, leave the thought permanently that Bhārata should become the king and Rāma should go to the forest." 12.59

"Oh cruel lady, Oh sinful lady, Oh troublesome one, oh lady who does evil deeds, what sin [drawback] are you seeing in me and Rāma." 12.60

"Removing Rāma from the throne, Bhārata will never occupy it because he is much more stronger in Dharma than Rāma." 12.61

"How can I see the pale face of Rāma who has a moon like face, when I tell him to go to the forest". 12.62

"I have taken the decision to make Rāma as Yuvarāja in consultations with my friends and going back from the decision would be like retreating before an army after being defeated by enemy armies. How can I see the face of kings from different states for they will ask, how did this childlike Daśaratha rule the country for so long?" 12.63-12.64

"When various elders possessing various virtues and who are also well known, ask me about the Kākutstha clan, what shall I reply them?" 12.65

If I tell them the truth that, "I took the decision to banish Rāma, due to torture of Kaikeyi" they will think that I am telling a lie." 12.66

"Suppose I banish Rāma to the forest, what will Kausalya tell about it? After doing such an unpleasant act, what reply can I give her?" 12.67

"Oh lady, Kausalya with sweet words, who is desirous of my welfare and who gave me, my very dear son, looked after me like a servant, like a friend, like a wife, like a sister and like a mother and merited my great attention but never got it." 12.68-12.69

"I have done lot of good to you and now like a sick person eating rice with tasteless add on, those actions are burning me." 12.70

"If Sumitrā sees the punishment meted out to Rāma by sending him to forest, what confidence will she have on me?" 12.71

"In a greatly pitiable state that Vaidehī [Daughter of Videha] will hear about the two bad news of Rāma going to the forest and also my death." 12.72

"Vaidehī would become sad for my death like a she kinnara being thrown on slopes of Himalaya by a Kinnara." 12.73

"After I see Rāma travel to the great forest and after seeing Sītā crying, I will not be alive for a long time." 12.74

"Oh lady, as a widow along with your son, you will look after this kingdom for a long time as I do not wish to live after Rāma goes to the forest." 12.75

"Like people drinking wine mixed with poison as wine, I was considering you as a very pretty chaste woman you are really unchaste." 12.76

"You used to comfort me with sweet but untrue words, like a hunter attracting a deer by music and later killing it." 12.77

"Respectable gentleman would certainly call me ungentle for having sold my son and consider me like a mean Brahmin who has consumed liquor." 12.78

"What a sorrow, what a pain that I have to tolerate your words. This sorrow must have come because of the sins committed by me earlier." 12.79

"Oh sinner, due to the sins committed by me, I was protecting you till now for a long time and it is like the rope taken care of well, turning in to a noose to hang me." 12.80

"All along when you were entertaining me and I did not realize that you are goddess of death. It was like a child in a solitary dark place touching a venomous snake that I touched you." 12.81

"Being wicked minded, I have made the great Rāma as fatherless and the people of the world can rightly condemn me." 12.82

What a great childishness, that Daśaratha, the soul of passion is sending his son to the forest for the sake of a woman." they will say. 12.83

"Rāma already emaciated due to celibacy as well as penances as prescribed by the Gurus, is going to suffer further great pain in this time meant for pleasure." 12.84

"If I see a word, "go to the forest" my son will not wait for a second word and say and he would immediately go to the forest." 12.85

"If my Rāma is urged to go to the forest, if he tells a word opposing to it, then it will be very dear to me." 12.86

Pure in thought Rāma will not know my intentions and if I say "go to forest", he will say "immediately." 12.87

"If that son of Raghu clan goes to the forest, being berated by all the world, and death will take me to the land of God of death." 12.88

"After the greatest among men Rāma goes to the forest and after I am dead, of sinful woman, what are your plans of treatment of those who are dear to me?" 12.89

"If Kausalya loses me, her son Rāma and her other sons, she will not able to bear the sorrow and follow me and die." 12.90

"Oh Kaikeyi, after throwing me, Kausalya, Sumitrā and my other three sons to hell, please lead a pleasant life." 12.91

"After me and Rāma are thrown out, the stable Ikshvāku clan which does only good and which cannot be shaken will continue with great sorrow." 12.92

"If Banishing of Rāma to the forest is liked by Bhārata, after I am dead, let Bhārata not perform my funeral rites." 12.93

"Oh my enemy, Oh one who is not a cultured lady, Oh Kaikeyi, be fulfilled in your desires, After Rāma the best among men has left to the forest and after my death, you rule this kingdom along with your son." 12.94-12.95

"Till now you were living in my abode as the daughter of a king and I am sure to get matchless bad fame and be disgraced and all living beings would look at me who is a sinner with great contempt." 12.96

"My son Rāma was used always to move around on horses or elephants of chariots but now he will walk around the forest on foot." 12.97

"During his food time cooks wearing ear globes used to compete with each other for preparing excellent food and drinks. How will my son live in the forest eating astringent, bitter and pungent roots and fruits." 12.98-12.99

""Having enjoyed a great life of pleasure wearing costly cloths, how will he live wearing ochre robes, that too sleeping on the floor." 12.100

"Who has given this inconceivable and dreadful advise of sending Rāma to the forest and crowning of Bhārata?" 12.101

"The name woman means one who are always adamant and greatly selfish but I can't say that all women are like the mother of Bhārata." 12.102

"Oh dangerous lady, oh lady with avarice, oh cruel lady, Oh lady with a firm intention of making me pitiable, what undesirable qualities are you seeing in Rāma who is devoted to welfare of others?" 12.103

"On seeing Rāma plunged in great sorrow, fathers would leave their sons and wives who love their husbands are also would abandon them." 12.104

"Me seeing my god like son fully decorated coming towards me would be drowned in joy and just seeing him would make me younger." 12.105

"The earth can continue to live without the Sun or the rains caused by Devendra holding Vajra but I am sure all those who see Rāma go to the forest would not be interested in living further." 12.106

"I made you who like an enemy who desires my destruction as well as the ruin of others to love me and all that while for a long time I was keeping a highly poisonous snake on my lap, like one keeping his death near him. Due to delusion I am now ruined." 12.107

"Let you and Bhārata, without me, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, having killed all our relations, rule the kingdom, to the delight all of our enemies." 12.108

"You are a woman of very cruel nature, hitting others when they are drenched in sorrow and I am not able understand why your teeth are not breaking in to thousands of pieces and fall on the ground, when you are talking such harsh unpalatable words?" 12.109

"Rāma never tells even slightly unpalatable, unkind and harmful words. He does not know how to talk harsh words. He always talks pleasing words and recognized and honoured for his great virtues. How are you finding faults with him?" 12.110

"The contemptible one of the Kekaya country, you grieve, get burnt and get destroyed. Even if you get broken in to thousand pieces and reach the earth, the pitiable me will not act according to your words." 12.111

"You are like a knife, talking daily sweet and deceitful words, having wicked nature, destroying your own clan, one who never pleases the mind and interested only in destroying my mind from its roots and so I cannot tolerate living with you." 12.112

"I do not have a life without my son and why to talk of happiness in my life. While I am alive a self respecting man will not seek carnal pleasures from you. Oh lady, you should not do this harmful act. I will touch your feet, please be kind to me." 12.113

"Much beyond the limit of his respectability that king, whose heart was in the grip of a woman, like an orphan wailed and tried to touch her feet but because she pulled them out, he could not touch her feet and fell down like a very sick person." 12.114

This is the end of Twelfth Sarga of Ayodhyā Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.