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Story Of King Dasharatha Accidently Killing Young Sindhu In Bengali Ramayana

The story of King Dasharatha accidentally killing a young ascetic, Sindhu, in the Krittibasi Ramayana, the Bengali version of Valmiki's Ramayana, offers a poignant and tragic episode that highlights themes of fate, repentance, and the consequences of actions. In the original Valmiki Ramayana, this story is based on Shravankumar. Here is a more detailed account of the story:

King Dasharatha's Fateful Hunt

One evening, King Dasharatha went on a hunting expedition. As the sun set, darkness enveloped the forest, and visibility became poor. The king, renowned for his skill in archery and particularly for his ability to hit targets by sound alone, prepared for a hunt.

Nearby, a young ascetic named Sindhu, the son of Rishi Andhaka, was at a stream, filling a pitcher with water. Each time he dipped the pitcher into the water, it made a distinct gurgling sound. Dasharatha, mistaking the sound for that of a deer drinking, readied his bow and invoked a sound-seeking missile. The arrow, true to its mark, struck Sindhu, who fell to the ground in pain.

The Realization of the Tragic Mistake

After releasing the arrow, King Dasharatha expected to find his game, but instead, he was shocked and horrified to discover a young boy, gravely injured and bleeding. Overcome with guilt and sorrow, Dasharatha rushed to the boy's side. Sindhu, though in great pain, did not curse the king. Instead, he asked for water, which Dasharatha quickly provided. As the king offered him water, Sindhu spoke to him, explaining his situation.

Sindhu's Story and Forgiveness

Sindhu recounted his life: he was the devoted son of blind parents, Rishi Andhaka and his wife. He was their sole caretaker, their eyes and support. With great sorrow, Sindhu expressed his concern for his helpless parents, who were unaware of his plight and waiting for him to return with water.

Despite his suffering, Sindhu chose not to curse Dasharatha. He reflected on his past life, where he was a prince who derived pleasure from killing birds. He had been cursed by one of the birds to die a similar fate, hit by a hunter's arrow. Understanding this as the fulfillment of that curse, Sindhu accepted his fate with calm resignation.

The Tragic Return to the Hermitage

Sindhu then requested the king to carry him back to his parents. Chanting the name of Narayana, Sindhu succumbed to his injuries, blood flowing from his mouth. Dasharatha, devastated and remorseful, carefully lifted the boy and carried him to the hermitage where Rishi Andhaka and his wife lived.

The Heartbreaking Encounter with Sindhu's Parents

Upon reaching the hermitage, Dasharatha gently placed Sindhu's lifeless body before his blind parents and narrated the tragic incident. The parents, though heartbroken, showed immense grace. The sage acknowledged the inevitability of fate and the cycle of karma, though the pain of their loss was profound.

Dasharatha's Eternal Guilt

King Dasharatha's guilt did not abate with the parents' forgiveness. The incident left a permanent scar on his conscience, a haunting memory that he carried for the rest of his life. This episode foreshadowed the intense sorrow he would experience later in life, particularly the separation from his own son, Rama.

The story of King Dasharatha and Sindhu in the Krittibasi Ramayana thus serves as a powerful narrative about the repercussions of one's actions, the concept of karma, and the profound impact of unintended consequences. It also highlights the themes of forgiveness, repentance, and the inescapable nature of destiny.