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Book II: Ayodhya Kanda or The Book of Ayodhya

After some time, Dasaratha, feeling his advancing years, decides to abdicate and retire to the forest. He designates his first-born son Rama to succeed him as King of Ayodhya. Astrologers are consulted and a date is set for the coronation. Just before the fateful day, Kaikeyi, one of Dasaratha's three wives, falls under the influence of a malicious servant, Manthra, who awakens Kaikeyi's jealousy toward her co-wife, the mother of Rama. Kaikeyi goes before the king and demands to redeem the two boons he had granted her long ago after she saved his life in war by her expert charioteering. Exploiting this promise, which the helpless Dasaratha is honor-bound to fulfill, she asks for the two boons as follow:

  1. Her own son, Bharata, should be crowned instead of Rama;
  2. Rama should be exiled from the Kingdom for 14 years.
  • All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

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