What is destined to happen will happen. God’s plans will be successful, and there is nothing we can do to change that, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse. Bharata is away when Dasaratha is forced to grant two boons to Kaikeyi, one of which is the banishment of Rama to the forest. Bharata returns in all innocence to Ayodhya. We might think that if Bharata had been in Ayodhya, he might have tried to prevent Kaikeyi from asking for her wicked wishes to be fulfilled. But if that had happened, how would Ravana have been slain?

Dasaratha was a king without an equal. All his four sons were worthy sons of the King. And yet, when Dasaratha was on his death bed, not one of them was beside him. The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, and as certain as this is the certainty of things happening according to destiny. Night and day repeatedly eat away at a man’s life, and with each passing day he is one step closer to his departure from this world. A flower turns into a fruit, which then ripens. If it is left unplucked, it will, in course of time, wither and fall from the tree.

There is no point in thinking about what our future will be like, because anyway it is not in our hands. As we age, we must learn to retire gracefully. Kalidasa in his Raghuvamsa says that the moment Dasaratha saw a grey hair on his temple, he decided to step down from power and make Rama king. If we keep in mind the impermanence of everything in life, and our own helplessness before the power of destiny, we will do our duty, and not seek the fruits thereof. This is what the Supreme One advocates in the Bhagavad Gita, and shows us in His Rama avatara.

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