After meeting his
mother, Rama went to his wife Sita. She was then bubbling with joy at the impending
coronation of her husband and was performing worship for his good; she was giving away
doles and offerings.
Looking at Sita's joy and celebration, Rama felt it painful to inform her that he would
not be crowned and that he would be leaving for the jungle. He knows she would be shocked.
Looking at his worried face, Sita asked: "You appear to be worried at such a joyous
moment. What is the matter? Did anything untoward happen?" She gently wiped the sweat
on his face with the edge of her saree.
Rama said: "Dear Janaki, do not feel grieved at what I am going to tell you. I
have to leave the capital for a distant place. You should see me off without tears."
He told her about the king's dilemma and said: I will go to the forest for fourteen years
and return. You should remain without anger or sorrow. Be calm. The parents are old. Look
after them. Be good and courteous towards Bharata also. Permit me to leave."
Sita was saddened. She was not sorry either at the canceling of her husband's
coronation or at the demanded crowning of Bharata. But she felt angry that Rama should
leave her behind and go to the forest alone. She declared: "My Lord, I can't stay for
a moment in a place without you. In your absence, this Ayodhya will be a jungle to me. The
forest wherein you stay will be my kingdom. My life runs under your shadow. It is not
becoming of you to leave me behind."
Rama explained to her the rigours of life in the woods. "Sita, you do not know
about jungle-life. It is not a cosy, royal garden; cruel wild animals and evil demons
(rakshasas) infest it. You hear ferocious voices. You have to live on roots and wild
fruits. A tender lady like you cannot withstand these hazards.You have to pass every day
in fear of some impending danger. After all, fourteen years is not a long period."
Sita would not listen to his pleadings. She insisted: "Whether it is jungle or
town, it is my. duty to be with you. I do not care for comforts here. I am not afraid of
the difficulties we may encounter in the forest. You are such a lion of a man. Can't you
protect me there?" Tears rolled down her eyes.
Rama eventually had to agree with her: "Sita, if you are with me, any jungle is
heaven. Let it be, as you desire. Prepare to leave." Sita happily made preparations
for the sojourn.
Rama's younger brother Lakshmana also insisted that he would accompany them. Rama had
Deciding to stay at Chitrakoota Mountain, the three-some left and reached their