Did Lord Rama break His promise to his mother Kausalya and if so why?


चतुर्दश हि वर्षाणि वत्स्यामि विजने वने |

मधु मूल फलैः जीवन् हित्वा मुनिवद् आमिषम् || 2.20.29

The word Amisham is translated as meat by the translator. But Amisham also has several other meanings.

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See, it has many other meanings like fees, lust, desire, etc. Rama might have said he will live without lust.

In case of Valmiki Ramayana 5.36.41:

न मांसं राघवो भुङ्क्ते न चापि मधुसेवते |

वन्यं सुविहितं नित्यं भक्तमश्नाति पञ्चमम् || ५-३६-४१


"Rama is not eating meat, nor indulging even in spirituous liquor. Everyday, in the evening, he is eating the food existing in the forest, well arranged for him."

If you simply read this verse, this verse may seem to be saying he never ate meat. However, let's read the subsequent verses for context.

न एव दंशान् न मशकान् न कीटान् न सरी सृपान् |

राघवो अपनयेत् गत्रात् त्वत् गतेन अन्तः आत्मना || ५-३६-४२


"With his mind wholly devoted to you, Rama is not even driving away forest-flies from his body, nor mosquitoes nor insects nor reptiles from his body."

नित्यम् ध्यान परो रामो नित्यम् शोक परायणः |

न अन्यच् चिन्तयते किंचित् स तु काम वशम् गतः || ५-३६-४३


"Rama always cogitates on something or the other. He is forever engaged in sorrow. He is enamored with the god of love and thinks of nothing else."

Here, Hanuman is describing to Sita what Rama is doing after she was kidnapped. So, after Sita was kidnapped, Rama stopped eating meat, he is not drinking liquors, he is not even driving away insects from his body. So the context here is after Sita was kidnapped, Rama did all these.

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