POOR Dasaratha was in extreme agony, pulled by natural affection on one side and
by the moral obligation to fulfil a pledge on the other. He had fondly hoped that Kaikeyi
would relent and that somehow the conflict of duties would be resolved. But now he saw
that this was not to be.
He had still one faint hope: "Raama is
in no way bound by my promises and pledges. Strong as he is in people's love and in his
peerless prowess, he may disregard my promise, and stand on his own rights-but I cannot
conceive his doing so, for my slightest wish has always been sacred to him. Yet, if by
some chance he did so, it would save the situation."
In the confusion and anguish of his heart,
the old King consoled himself with such false hopes, forgetting that Raama would never
think of disregarding his father's promise and that filial obedience was a fundamental
rule of his life.