In Ramayan Dasharath is shown as the father of Ram,the hero of the epic. To understand why name Dasharath is used understand Dasa+Ratha; Ratha is human body and Dasha indicates ten senses. That means he is a Sadhak who has conqured all Ten of his senses and that is why DasaRath. It is obvious that to such a Sadhak son like Ram,Lakshaman,Bharat and Shatrughna are shown.
Ram means Aanand.A Sadhak that has conqured all ten his senses must be in a state of Joy. To indicate that state Ram is shown as first son of DasaRath.
Dasarath Sadhak must also expireience the joy of knowledge. To indicate this affinity towards knowledge,Dasarath is blessed with a son Bha+Rat. 'Bha' means knowledge and 'Rat' means Pleased;that means a Sadhak who is enjoying the state of being Knowledgeable.
Laksham+Ann is Lakshman. 'Ann' is to pierce through and Laksham is the goal. So Sadhak who pierces his goal is Lakshaman. To do that Sadhak must have strong analytical and logical intellect. Lakshaman in Ramayan is shown as more pragmatic and logiacl as compared to Ram. Ram is joyful and hence is more sentimental. Whereas in every difficult situation Lakshaman was shown to be more practical and logical than Ram. So Lakshaman is shown as Sadkhas Laksha Bhedan Vrutti.
A Sadhak who destroys all his bad tendencies and therefore devoid of any bad desires.
So it gives the clear picture of who is Dashsrath. He is a YogSadhak who has conqured all his senses and to elaborate the state of such Sadhak Four sons have been shown to him. Sons of Dasharath are nothing but the state of a Sadhak who has become conqurer of all his senses.
Dasharath is shown to have three main wives. Kausalya,Kaikaya,and Sumitra. in the Vedik context,wife is considered as complementory personality of the Husband. Husband and Wife is consider as mutually inclusive and complementory to each other. So if Dasharath is shown as conqurer of all senses and thereby enjoying the tendencies of Joy(Ram),Knowledge(Bharat),Wisdom(Lakshaman),companionship(Shatrughna) then for such a Sadhak complementory tendencies are shown as his wives.
It is an expression that delivers the best action from the Sadhak. Dasharath Sadhak shoud have a complementory behavoiur as to perform Sadhana in most meteculous fashion then only he will get a ultimate bliss.That is why Ram is shown as son of Kaushalya & Dasharath. Valmiki has given another name to such a complementory tendency as Mahieshya. Maha+eshya. Esh means all pervading and Maha means omnipotent.So Mahishya is to indicate the meticulousness of the Sadhak.
Kaikaya is the most hetated character of Ramayan for many people. She has been shown to be responsible for the Ram Vanvas and consequntly death of the Dasharath. Naturally,sentimental analylist have projected her with all kinds of hard feelings. If we read Valmiki Ramayan carefully,we shall observ that it was Kaikaya not Dasharath who asked Ram to go to Dandakaranya. Actually,Dasharath is shown to have strong objections initially and later on strong request to Ram to changed his mind about going to Dandakaranya. Ram disobeyed his father by saying that he is actually obeying him.Ram accepts the command given by Mata Kaikaya but says that he is doing so because of his father will. It is not so. An alert reader will notice that Dasharath never eever ordered Ram to go to Dandakaranya. Kaikaya did it and Ram accepted it without any problem rather most willingly. So how far it is justifiable to say that Kaikaya was responsible for end of Dasharath.
Kaikaya word has been created from two words "Kai" + "Kaya". Kai means nonpartisan,detached and Kaya means Human Body. That is a Sadhak who has detached from his body is called as kaikaya. In the scriptures we have been repeatdly told to consider ourselves detached from body and attached with ParamAtama. Kaikaya is tha that state of tha Sadhak who truly understands the mahavakya 'Aham Brahmasmi'. That is the precises reason Dasharath is shown to have more inclinations towards KaiKaya among all his wives. A Sadhak who has conquered all his senses must love KaiKaya tendency more than anything else. KThat is the reason why BhaRat is shown as son of Kaikaya. The one who is already in Brahma state should have indulgence only in knowledge nothing else.KaiKaya has made it clear why exactly she wanted Ram to go to Dandakaranya. Although, there is story Dasharath giving two boons and KaiKaya asking Dasharatha to full-fill them by asking Ram to go to Dandakaranya and Bharat to be next king of Ayodhya, actual reason is explicitly mentioned.
Nava Pancham Cha Varshani
CheeraJinaDharo Dheero Ramo BhavaTuTapasaH || 2.11.26/27 ||
KaiKaya wanted Ram to become a good person,Best of all."Ramo Bhavatu TapasaH". Vedik culture always considered Tapasya,Dhyan,YogScience as the means of getting ultimate knowledge. She argues that if Ram becomes the king then it will not be possible for her to see her son as gratest of all. She is shown as that kind of a mother who is not affraid of sending her son to distant place away from her for the education. Kausalya is shown as sentemental mother where as Kaikaya is shown as real pragmatic mother who understands that it required for her son to undergo difficult education of YogScience(Dandakaryan) so as to become a great Yogi.That is why Kaikaya orders cancellation of throning ceremony and ask Ram to go to Dandakaranya to become Tapasvi,Yogi. That is why it is said in Hindi "Na hoti KaiKaya Na bante Ram". Without KaiKaya Ram wouldnt be Ram.
Sumitra is Su+Mitra that is the one who is good friend. The Dasharathi Sadhak should have this quality of being good friend of one and all. This tendency of Sadhak is SuMitra. The Sumitra state of the Sadhak is so sensible that it must produce Shatrughna and Lakshaman. These two tendencies are shown as twin tendencies. An alert Sadhak(Lakshaman) can only be enemy destroer(Shatrughna).
This character is again one of those character that has received all hatreded from all corner. It is usally belived that manthara a dasi of KaiKaya is responsible for Ram Vanvas. Manthara is Man+Stra. That is that state of the Sadhak that keeps Man(mind) on all stages equally well. That it can churn(Manthan) the Mind at al stages. Such state of the Sadhak must be a dasi of KaiKaya.
Now let's see the Other characters
Mithila and Raja Janak
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