Dasaratha’s long-time desire was fulfilled when he had four sons. The four babies were put in cradles. Three of them gurgled happily, but one cried. The one that cried was Lakshmana. No one could see the reason for the baby’s tears. Vasistha was consulted, and he said the child would stop crying if Lakshmana’s cradle was moved closer to Rama’s. Accordingly, Lakshmana’s cradle was moved closer to Rama’s. The child cried a little less, but did not stop crying. Vasistha laughed and said Lakshmana would stop crying only if he and Rama were in the same cradle. So Lakshmana was moved into Rama’s cradle, and the baby worshipped Rama. Thus, since he was a baby, Lakshmana could not bear to be separated from Rama, Akkarakkani Srinidhi said in a discourse.

Lakshmana’s devotion was again evident in the fact that even before Rama wore garments made of the bark of a tree and prepared to leave for the forest, Lakshmana dressed himself in tree bark and was ready to leave for the forest. Lakshmana going to the forest was like all people of Ayodhya doing so. Everyone in Ayodhya wanted to follow Rama, but that was not possible. They perhaps saw Lakshmana as their representative, for who could be more devoted to the Lord than Lakshmana? So his going with Rama was akin to the whole of Ayodhya following Rama.

When Rama was ordered to leave for the forest, Lakshmana insisted that he accompany his brother. But Rama refused him permission. Rama told Lakshmana to stay back to console Kausalya and Sumitra. But he would not relent. So he requested that he be permitted to accompany Rama and Sita to the forest, and permission was given. When Guha offered to guard Rama and Sita so that Lakshmana could sleep, he replied that he could not sleep when Rama was sleeping on a bed of grass. When asked to build a hut for Rama and Sita to stay in while in exile, Lakshmana made provision for a separate room for the Divine Couple, though a request for such a room had not been made by Rama. Lakshmana told Rama that he would not leave Him. He was not interested in seeing anyone, or even heaven. All he wanted was to be by Rama’s side.

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