As described in Srimad Ramayana, and is known to all, Maharaja Dasaratha, the father of Sri Rama, was emotionally attached to his son - so much that he wasn't able to bear separation from his son for a few days with Brahmarshi Vishvamitra, and later (eventual) 14 years.

But earlier in the Ramayana, Dasaratha tells Vishvamitra:

Sixty thousand years have passed from my birth, oh! Vishvamitra, and this Rama is engendered at this age, that too with tribulations, hence taking Rama with you will be inappropriate of you. [Balakanda, 20th Sarga, 10b-11a]

So to a person who has lived for 60,000 years, surely 14 years, and a few days in Vishvamitra's case cannot be of much significance? One can justify the latter in stating that Rama had just returned from Gurukula, and that Vishvamitra was taking him to fight demons.

Furthermore, Dasaratha is perfectly okay when Yudhajit, Kaikeyi's brother takes away Bharata and Shatrughna for 12 years after their marriage, to Kekaya. So when he is not disturbed by their long time away from home, why is he so distraught at Rama's exile that it forces him to give up even his own life?

  • First of all, the pleasure of a single day does not diminish just because you've experienced more of them. Second of all, Rama is Dasharatha's eldest son, and I don't think I need to inform you of the infinitely endearing qualities of Sriman Narayana. Jan 11, 2016 at 18:36
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    Very interesting question, I don't think I've seen anyone ask something like this before! I think the circumstances and situation leading to exile of Shri Rama would have caused much of the suffering for Dasharatha. It was not the time period itself, but the fact that His son, scheduled to be crowned as King in a few days, is suddenly now to be sent into a vicious forest, that too having been asked for this 'boon' by one of his own wives (although in reality it was all God's play)!
    – Sai
    Jan 12, 2016 at 1:34
  • @Keshav Might not be the most appropriate analogy but both Devaki and Vasudeva experienced that for almost an equivalent period.
    – Surya
    Jan 12, 2016 at 3:31
  • @Sai that too is a valid point. But even so, leaving one's life on account of that seems like a very high level of attachment.
    – Surya
    Jan 12, 2016 at 3:36
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    Dasaratha is a very exulted devotee of Lord. He is experiencing the transcendental love for Lord Rama(even Gopis of vrindavan felt the separation from Lord due to their pure devotional Love for God). We; Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe that this stage of Love for Godhead is the ultimate perfectional stage for any Jeeva and Dasaratha has reached this stage. He cannot be separated from lord even for a moment. Secondly ; Dasaratha was cursed by old parents of Shraavan that He would experience separation from his son and die of this separation. So this attachment was already ordained by Supreme. Apr 18, 2016 at 7:09

3 Answers 3


Lord Rama in Ramcharitmanas Uttar kanda answers this question giving an analogy to that as:

एक पिता के बिपुल कुमारा ।
होहिं पृथक गुन सील अचारा ।।
कोउ पंडित कोउ तापस ग्याता ।
कोउ धनवंत सूर कोउ दाता।।
कोउ सर्वग्य धर्मरत कोइ।
सब पर पितहि प्रीति सम होई।।
कोउ पितु भगत बचन मन कर्मा ।
सपनेहुँ जान न दूसर धर्मा ।।
सो सुत प्रिय पितु प्रान समाना ।
जद्यपि सो सब भाॅति अयाना।।
एही बिधि जीव चराचर जेते ।
त्रिजग देव नर असुर समेते।।
अखिल बिस्व यह मोर उपाया ।
सब पर मोहि बराबरि दाया।।
तिन्ह मह जो परिहरि मद माया ।
भजै मोहि मन बच अरु काया।।

पुरुष नपुंसक नारि वा जीव चराचर कोइ ।
सर्व भाव भज कपट तजि मोहिपरम प्रिय सोइ ।! ८७
सत्य कहउँ खग तोहि सुचि सेवक मम प्रान प्रिय ।
अस बिचारी भजु मोहि परिहरिआस भरोस सब । ।

This translates as

A father has a number of sons, each differing from the others in character, temper and conduct. One is learned, another given to austerities, a third spiritually enlightened, a fourth rich, a fifth possessed of valour, a sixth charitably disposed, a seventh all-wise and an eighth intent on piety; but the father equally loves all. A ninth son is devoted to his father in thought, > word and deed and never dreams of any other duty. This is the son whom the father loves as his own life, though he be a perfect ignoramus. In a like manner all animate and inanimate beings, including the > subhuman species, gods, men and demons in short, the whole of this universe is My creation and I am equally compassionate to all. Of these, however, he > who adores Me in thought, word and deed, forswearing arrogance and wiles.

Be it man, woman or one lacking the characteristics of both, or, for the matter of that, any living being whatsoever of the animate or inanimate world, he who adores Me with all his being, giving up all guile, is supremely dear to Me. O bird, I tell you in all sincerity that a guileless servant is dear to Me as life. Realizing this worship Me,
abandoning all other hope and reliance.

Hence, although all the four brothers were devoted to father but devotion of was Rama was incomparable to other brothers. Hence Rama was Prana-Priya to Dasharatha.

Listen it here from 1:41:30

  • That is a nice explanation. So it is Rama's devotion to his father that brought about this excessive attachment in Dasaratha.
    – Surya
    Oct 17, 2017 at 2:49

This article might help. It gives details about Rama's charming and amusing nature. He is loved by everyone in the kingdom because he is soft-spoken, brave and kind-hearted. That might be the reason King Dasaratha loved him so much.


I agree with the other member's views.

But, it is pertinent to note that Brahmarishi Vishwamitra specifically asked for King Dasharatha's eldest son by name i.e. 'the heroic Rama of genuine prowess'. Vishwamitra added that by the virtue of Rama's divine energy and protected by him, Rama is capable of destroying the Rakshasa disturbing his religious yagnya. He had earlier clarified that he cannot bring himself to vent his anger [Valmiki Ramayana 1.19 translation of MN Dutt].

Dasharatha hesitatingly says that his son is not even 16 years old. Dasharatha adds that the task is difficult for him too, but offers to accompany the learned sage. Vishwamitra starts to get angry. Rishi Vasishtha steps in and says that the Suryavanshi tradition demands that the king keep his word and that he should comply with Vishwamitra’s request [Valmiki Ramayana 1.20 as quoted in 'Essence of the Fifth Veda' pgs 3, 4].

So, even if Dasharatha was emotionally attached to all his sons equally, technically he had no choice as the sage was very specific in his demand and he had already given his word to Vishwamitra to serve the learned sage as per his wishes.

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