Sage Vishwamitra Enters The Palace Court

The formal phase of education of Sri Rama and his brothers was drawing to a close. Dasaratha started thinking of ssettling them as house-holders. At that time Sage Vishwamitra, known for his severe austerities, entered the royal court. The King received Vishwamitra, a king-turned-a-rajarshi and a Brahmarshi, with all due honours. Vishwamitra's life of tapasya, his great efforts, his failures and his reemergence to glorious victory are legendary. He was threatened, opposed and tempted by the Devas, his relatives and sages. But the final victory was his. He had even attempted transporting Trishanku, a forefather of Dasaratha, bodily to the heaven, a feat impossible for others.

Putting the tempestuous years of his life behind, Vishwamitra, had now become a mellowed saint, adept in vedic yagas and an expert in launching missiles and other weapons by the power of mantras.

Dasaratha asked the guest the purpose of his visit. In reply, Vishwamitra said that he had undertaken to perform vedic riturals for the welfare of the creation. Ogres were distrubing and hindering the progress of the yagas. Therefore, he Ogres were disturbing and hindering the progress of the yagas. Therefore, he wanted Dasaratha to send Sri Rama with him to protect the yagas.

This request shocked Dasaratha for whom Sri Rama was dearer than his own life. Like any doting father, he thought Sri Rama was too young to face the terrible Rakshasas. Dasaratha himself offered to go with the Sage. The King's refusal to accede to his request enraged Vishwasmitra, who threatened to walk our of the court blaming Dasaratha for going back on his word.

Sage Vasishtha realized that Vishwamitra had plans for an important stage in Rama's personal growth. He told Dasaratha that the warrior-king-turned Brahmarshi would be an ideal teacher for Sri Rama. Dasaratha gladly sent Sri Rama with Vishwamitra, instructing him to obey him strictly. Together with Lakshmana, the Trio set out.

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