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Kausalya – Mother Of Sri Rama – Gives This Advice For His Exile

Kausalya, the mother of Sri Rama, gives this important advice to her son before he embarks on his arduous 14-year exile. This was told by Kanchi Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Mahaswamigal (20 May 1894 – 8 January 1994).

Great indeed were the misfortunes suffered by Sri Rama during his exile in the forest. To a son going on a long journey the mother gives food to take with him. Kausalya does the same when her son Rama leaves for the forest, but she does so after much thought, for she wants the food to last during all the fourteen years of his exile. And what is that food? Kausalya gives Rama the eternal sustenance of dharma. Raghava, she says to him, "it is dharma alone that will protect you, and this dharma is what you yourself protect with courage and steadfastness.” It is the escort of dharma that the mother provides her son sent out from his kingdom.

यं पालयसि धर्मं त्वं धृत्या नियमेन च।
वै राघवशार्दूल धर्मस्त्वामभिरक्षतु।।
Yam palayasi dharmam tvam dhrithaya ca niyamena ca
Sa vai Raghava-sardula dharmastvamabhiraksatu

It was dharma that brought victory to Rama after all his struggle. If a man treads the path of dharma he will win universal respect. If he slips into adharma, unrighteousness, even his brother will turn a foe. The Ramayana illustrates this truth. Sri Rama was regarded with respect by the vanaras. What about Ravana? Even his brother Vibhishana forsakes him.