Dasaratha's Court Shall We Make Sri Rama The Prince - Regent

Twelve years had passed Sri Rama with his consort Sita reached Ayodhya (Valmiki R/5/33/17). Dasaratha found old age catching up with him. He wanted to make Sri Rama the Prince-Regent.

Sri Rama's popularity with the masses, his competence to occupy the throne of Ayodhya, the unanimous support of the ministers, purohits and other courtiers, influenced Dasaratha's decision to go ahead with the installation of Sri Rama.

However, he called a session of his courtiers and vassal kings (Valmiki R/2/3/25), consulted them and got their approval before making an announcement about Sri Rama's coronation. The assembly and the whole city of Ayodhya brust into joyous celebrations.

The next day with Pushya star at the zenith (Valmiki R/2/2/12) was fixed for the great event. Dasaratha called Sri Rama twice; the first time it was to the royal court, and the second time to his private chamber (Valmiki R/2/4/3) to tell him that he would pass on the sceptre to the son. He also asked Sri Rama to go through the preparatory rites in earnest.

Sage Vasishtha and Dasaratha told Sri Rama and Sita to fast and sleep on a mat of grasses with a stone as a pillow, as a fitting preparation to their life as rulers.

Sri Rama went to Mother Kausalya's palace and met her in the company of mother Sumitra and brother Lakshmana to share the news of his prospective coronation. The mothers blessed him and his friends rejoiced. Public celebrations and special pujas in temples had already started. Sri Rama turned to Lakshmana and told him : "This royal fortune has come to you who are my second life (Valmiki R/2/4/43)". Sri Rama then moved on to his palace and started with Sita the fast and other observances, vows and prayers.

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