Rama did exactly as he was told; with Lakshmana he offered prostration to Dasharata seated in the Vimaana.
“Raghava!” said Dasharata warmly embracing Rama, “Let me tell you the truth. Neither the heavenly happiness nor the honor conferred by the devatas can make up the distressing gap of separation from you. You have conquered the enemies and fulfilled your mental aspirations. The period of forest life you had to undergo has also just ended. In the light of these, I have been overtaken by an infinite amount of affection towards you. Whatever Kaikeyi said to me to send you to the forest was piercing my heart sharply. Now that have seen you and Lakshmana safe and in fine form, I am delighted. The hug I gave you has depression. Presently I feel like the sun that has come out of the haziness of the mist. Just as the great Ashtaavakra was responsible for the redemption of his father Kahala, as the truthful son, you have equally been responsible for my rise without breaking the vow. I have just come to know from devatas that the great among the purushas, Maha Vishnu has incarnated himself in your form in order to kill Ravana. Isn’t Kausalya who is going to meet you on your successful return, a really fortunate one? Equally fortunate are the people who will have the fulfillment of seeing you coronated as the king and installed on the throne of Ayodhya.”
“I am keen” continued Dasharata, “on seeing your reunion with Bharata who is attached to you, righteous and pure-hearted. Only to please me and win my heart, you spent fourteen years in the forest with Sita and Lakshmana. The avowed period of forest life has also expired. In the same vain, you have fulfilled my vow too. In the process, you have brought great delight to the devatas by killing Ravana in the battle. Raghava! All those deeds expected of you, you have performed. You have achieved the adventitious advantage of realizing reputation worthy of the highest commendation. Go ahead with your brothers with the plan of the coronation ceremony, with the blessings for a long life.”
Sri Rama’s prayers to Dasharata:
Rama sought benevolent and peaceful reaction from Dasharata from what happened fourteen years ago at the hand of Kaikeyi:
“Knower of dharma! Maharaja” prayed Rama, “Be happy in relation to Kaikeyi and Bharata too. At that time, you had taken a very hard line in telling Kaikeyi that you would be giving up Kaikeyi along with your noble son (myself)
Suputraam twaam thyajaami
Please bless them with the assurance that your curse will not touch Kaikeyi”
Dasharata’s response was positive in pardoning her.
Dasharata blesses Lakshmana
Dasharata then proceeded to give a warm hug to Lakshmana who was standing there with folded hands.
“Lakshmana!” said he, “Vaidehi and you have served Rama with great devotion. I am supremely happy with your service. You are incidentally the recipient of that righteous service too. Dharmajna! You will continue to reap the benefits of such good service in future. World fame will fall on you. By Sri Rama’s grace you will be blessed with higher worlds at the end. One who brings happiness to Sumitra! Lakshmana! Blessings to you! Let Rama be ever served by you. For, he is always absorbed in doing good to all the worlds headed by Indra accompanied by Siddhas, Maharshis and Mahatmas have already been offering prostration and puja to Sri Rama.”
“Lakshmana! Sri Rama who has a soft corner ever for his enemies constitutes the heart of the devatas. He is their spiritually most secretive transcendental principle also. Sri Rama is none other than the unmanifest and immortal Brahman given pride of place for attainment, by the Vedas. As one who has been rendering service, with concentration of mind, to Sri Rama with Videhanandini Sita, you are doubly blessed with fruits of pursuit of righteousness and everlasting fame.”
“Sita, purity supreme”
Dasharata then turned towards Sita who was standing with hands folded in respect for the father-in-law.
“Putri! he said to her in a soft tone:
Kartavya na tu Vydehi
Kritam vai twaddhitaishinaa. (Sar: 199; Sl.35)
It would not be proper for you to get angry with Rama for rejecting you at this time. As one who is wedded to your welfare, he did so only to reveal to the outside world his firm intellectual conviction of your supreme purity.
But the way you went about to enter and embrace fire in order to prove your blemishless behavior was a fierce act of illimitable difficulty. The deed of yours, unimaginable by all standards, makes the attainment and fame of other women pale into lesser significance. I do not have to tell you anything about the wisdom that should prevail in matters pertaining to service to husband in general. But only one of these is inescapable from my mind. I have to tell you about it. For you, Sri Rama is par excellence the supreme deity.”
One of the greatest among men, Dasarata, was an image of enormous effulgence. His physical frame looked ecstatic with bliss. After the comforting words and messages he gave to Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, he took their leave, got into the Pushpaka Vimaana and flew towards Indra loka.
Valmiki describes what Dasharata felt was a heart-rendering, bold and fierce-looking act of Sita’s bid towards self-immolation to prove that everything with her was far above an iota of suspicion.
yasho hyabhibhavishyati.” (Sar. 118; Sl: 36)
The suggestion that is obvious is that as confirmed by Dasharata, Sita’s deliberate fall into the fire to drive home the point she was above any semblance of suspicion was absolutely sui genesis – unclassifiable with others – and an almost impossible task, overshadowing feminine attainments and records of glory and fame in the world of women!
It is no small wonder therefore that the devatas and the chronicles of Puranas namely the Rishis and Mahatmas have put the name of Sita along with the illustrious legendary dames -Ahalya, Draupadi, Tara and Mandodari to constitute a packet of five gems or constellation of five super stars and a remembrance of the five names will wash away all sins, big and small!
“Ahalyaa Draupadi Sita
Thaaraa Mandodari tathaa,