Shatashloki 29: Dasharatha decides to appoint Rama as the crown-prince

Jyeṣṭtaṃśreṣṭha-guṇairyuktaṃ priyaṃ daśarathassutam

Prakŗtīnām hitairyuktaṃ prakŗti priyakāmyayā

Meaning- With a view that all citizens of Ayodhya should benefit, King Dasharatha sought to appoint Rama, his eldest born, who was an embodiment of all virtues, who at all times sought the welfare of his citizens and who was very dear to him, as the crown-prince.

With his abundant good traits, Rama was just like a garden replete with every variety of flower and fruit trees, each of which is completely laden with fruits ready for consumption. A person entering the garden can choose any fruit or flower based on his desire/need. Such garden has the capacity to satiate the hunger of all the beings in totality and thus is useful to the society. Likewise, Rama possessed every good trait, each in a permanent and completely ripened state, and thus was truly useful to everyone.

There is another speciality here. Similar to the Kalyana gunas (16 auspicious traits) of Paramatma, Rama has in Him every auspicious trait. As fragrance naturally exists in a flower, all the good and auspicious traits existed inherently in Rama.

A tree bears flowers or fruits purely with the intention of serving others (paropakara).  Likewise, the good traits in Rama were purely for the benefit of others. Every person who sought shelter in Him, benefited from Him.

Due to the prowess and might possessed by Rama, He became innately capable of protecting all citizens of the land. Such a person is truly deserving of being crowned the king. Such a person has in him the capacity to handle the responsibilities and the pressures of a ruler.

Amongst the 4 sons of Dasharatha, Rama was the eldest. Added to this, all the traits required for handling the responsibilities of kingship existed within him. He was a master in the Kshatriya techniques of sama, dana, bheda and danda (these were the 4 prevalent ways of dealing with opponents). In addition, he was well versed in the knowledge of Sandhi, Vigraha, Yaana, Asana, Dvaidhibhava and Samashraya. (These can be commonly understood to mean 6 techniques of foreign policy). Just as there are 8 fold steps in yoga (ashtanga yoga), there are 6 techniques that are essential for safeguarding the kingdom. Only a ruler had a complete knowledge of these techniques.

Dasharatha was aware of the depth of knowledge and expertise possessed by Rama. Therefore, he was inclined towards appointing him as the crown prince. With this idea in mind, he sought to find out the opinion of the citizens. Dasharatha was greatly pleased to know that the citizens held Rama in high esteem and that they loved him very dearly. He also understood that Rama in turn loved his people very deeply. There was not even one person in the entire kingdom who disliked Rama. In fact, they were eagerly awaiting the day when Rama would begin to rule. This news brought great happiness to Dasharatha.

To fulfill the desires of the citizens is the responsibility of the king. Nevertheless, to be appointed a ruler, just obtaining the appreciation of the citizens is in itself inadequate. One should have earned the appreciation of even the ministers. Only then can the person be truly eligible for the post.

Rama’s speciality was that the persons surrounding him appeared like Him. It means that all the persons who mingled with him absorbed his good traits. This was the speciality of Rama Rajya. It is said that any person who entered his kingdom automatically acquired good traits. Here, in this instance, the ministers themselves were praying that Rama should be appointed as the king.

Rama was ignorant of all these developments. He had never craved to be appointed as the king of the land. In his eyes, His position remained the same whether he was appointed a king or not.

Only he who entertains desires is affected by its outcome. Such a person grieves when his desire is unfulfilled. To one who is unattached and who has no desires, how can there be grief due to non-fulfillment of desires? 

One day, seated in his court, Dasharatha expressed his desire and sought the opinion of all the ministers. The ministers were overjoyed upon hearing these words from the King and unanimously and happily they gave their consent. They praised Rama profusely.


Om Seeta Ramabhyaam namaha.

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