When Râma, Sîtâ and Lakshmana were riding off to the forest in the chariot, in obedience to the plighted word of Dasaratha, Dasaratha came in another chariot, behind them and shouted, in great agony at their departure: "Stop! Stop! Turn back!".  But Râma told the charioteer, Sumanthra, the Minister attached to the Court of Dasaratha: "Do not stop. Go faster". Sumanthra pleaded that he was an officer who must obey the Emperor and that he may be punished for disobedience.

 

Râma told him: "Tell him that you did not hear his orders". "But that would be a lie", said Sumanthra. "No. As an Emperor he has asked you to take us out of Ayodhyâ in this chariot. Now, he is asking you to stop, not as Emperor, but as a grief-stricken father. You must listen to the command of the Emperor of course. You have no right or duty to listen to agony-stricken fathers wishing to have a look at their sons."


Râma taught Sumanthra the true dharma in this manner. A grief-stricken man cannot have a proper appraisal of what is right and wrong.

Stop! Stop! Turn Back!

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