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SITADEVI

"Your Forest is My Kingdom"

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 to acquiesce.

Deciding to stay at Chitrakoota Mountain, the three-some left and reached their destination.

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The forest wherein you stay will be my kingdom, said Sita to Rama
About Sita Devi
Introduction
A Casket In The Earth
Vaishnava Bow - A Toy!
Man Who Conquers the 'Shiva, Bow' Weds Sita
About Anointing Sri Rama
No Coronation, but for the Forest
You are Here! "Your Forest Is My Kingdom"
Bharata Asks for Sandals
"Rama, Think Over"
Came Shurpanakha
Ravana's Evil Design
The Golden Deer
Who Is This Sannyasi?
Where Is Sita?
"Ravana, your Life is Ended"
Sugriva's Friendship
"Rich or Poor, My Life is Only With Rama"
"Dawn Of Happiness"
"Go Away !"
The Fire Ordeal
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