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Ram Navami 2020: What Happened In Ayodhya During Rama’s 14 Years Of Exile

According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Rama was sent to exile for 14 years after Kaikeyi, the stepmother of Lord Rama asked King Dashrath (Lord Rama's father) to send Rama to exile. King Dashrath, couldn't deny Queen Kaikeyi, as he had already promised that once in the lifetime, he will fulfill three wishes of Kaikeyi. Therefore, Kaikeyi asked for the coronation of her son Bharat as her first wish. With the second wish, she asked 14 years of exile for Lord Rama.

When Lord Rama heard of this, he immediately agreed to go on the exile and asked his father to appoint his younger brother Bharat as the would-be-king. On the other hand, Goddess Sita (wife of Lord Rama) too agreed to go on the exile with Lord Rama. Lakshman, the other brother of Lord Rama immediately decided to go along with his beloved brother and sister-in-law.

Once Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lakshman went to the exile, there were a series of incidents that took place in Ayodhya, the birthplace and kingdom of Lord Rama and his brothers.

Also read: Ram Navami 2020: 4 Reasons Why Lord Vishnu Took The Avatar Of Rama In Ayodhya

Let us know about these incidents in detail.

1. As soon as Lord Rama went on to exile with his wife and brother, King Dashrath became quite sad and went into a grieving state. He fell ill and showed no signs of recovery. As a result, the King eventually died while grieving for his elder son Rama.

2. Kaushalya and Sumitra, the mothers of Lord Rama and Lakshman & Shatrughan respectively, repudiated all the royal luxuries and thought of serving their bed-ridden husband.

3. When Lord Rama went to exile, Bharat and Shatrughan were with their maternal relatives. The moment they came to know about the exile, they headed to Ayodhya. Upon reaching Ayodhya, Bharat came to know about everything and was furious upon his mother Kaikeyi. He cursed and abused her mother for compelling the King to send Rama on exile.

4. Soon he came to know that it was Manthra (an attendee of Queen Kaikeyi) who persuaded Kaikeyi for sending Rama on exile. Upon knowing this, Bharat not only abused Manthra but also went on to punish her fatally. Meanwhile, he was stopped by Shatrughan from committing the crime of killing a woman.

5. Meanwhile, upon the death of King Dashrath, the family had to perform the last rites. The entire royal family including Queen Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra went to Chitrakoot, the place where Lord Rama was staying with his wife and brother during the exile. In Chitrakoot, the family performed the last rites of the deceased King.

6. Bharat, Queen Kaushalya and Sumitra pleaded Rama to return along with Sita and Lakshaman and look after the Kingdom. However, Lord Rama denied saying that if he goes back from the exile, his promise would remain incomplete.

7. Lord Rama convinced his royal family to return back to Ayodhya and look after the Kingdom. The royal family somehow agreed to this.

8. Bharat never sat on the throne. Instead, he placed the slippers of Lord Rama on the throne and called himself as the servant of his elder brother Ram and the king of Ayodhya. He ran the administration on the behalf of his brother.

9. Bharat soon discarded all the royal luxuries and started living a simple life that of a common man. His wife Mandavi after seeing her husband too discarded off all the luxuries.

10. Urmila, the wife of Lakshman and younger sister of Goddess Sita went on to long sleep of 14 years. She sought a boon from Nidra Devi, the Goddess of Sleep and Peace, that as long as her husband is serving Lord Rama and Goddess Sita in the exile, she will be sleeping on his behalf. Due to this, Lakshman never felt the need of taking rest during the exile.

11. Meanwhile, Kaushalya and Sumitra after abandoning all their luxuries started living a simple life. They also thought of taking care of Urmila till the exile ended.

12. The place where Lord Rama slept in his royal palace, Bharat dug the floor and made a bed for himself. The bed was more than a ft below Lord Rama's bed. His wife Mandavi dug a bed for herself that was 2 ft below Bharat's.

13. Later Bharat moved on to live in a village called Nandigram and from there he controlled the administration of Ayodhya and spent his day looking forward to his brothers' return.

14. Mandavi too left the palace and went on to serve her husband and the people of Nandigram.

15. Shatrughan, on the other hand, had to stay in the palace to look after the people of Ayodhya and take of his mothers. His wife Shrutkeerti too stayed with him. They were the only couple who lived like a royal couple for the entire 14 years.