When King Dashratha learnt that Kaikeyi is in the sulking chamber, he asked her the cause of her distress and anger. “Tell me who has wronged you and I will punish him,” he said lovingly.
Kaikeyi said no one has wronged me but you gave me two boons that you have not yet fulfilled. King Dashratha said, “Today is such a happy auspicious day that I can grant you, four, not just two wishes. I promise to fulfill them.”
Kaikeyi says, “I want just the two boons you owe me. One is the crowning of my son Bharata as the King and the second that Rama should spend fourteen years as an ascetic living in exile in the forest.” King Dashratha was swept over by sadness when he heard her demands. The news spreads throughout the city and everyone criticized Kaikeyi.
Shri Rama felt obliged to fulfill the promise made by his father. He tried to comfort his father by reminding him how the men of Raghu clan have always been true to their word. “We, Raghuvanshis have always been led by truth and commitment. Let’s now follow that motto with a smile,” said Rama. Dashratha however fainted with grief. Rama went to Kaushalya and told her his decision to go to live in the forest. Kaushalya was sad to be parted from Rama yet proud of his decision. She said, “Whether it is my wish or Kaikeyi’s, fulfilling a mother’s wish is the duty of a son.”
When Rama told Sita and Lakshmana about his decision, they were both eager to follow him. Kaushalya tried to warn Sita about the troubles and dangers of the forest but Sita was adamant. Lakshmana too could not bear to live in Ayodhya without Rama. Lakshmana’s mother Sumitra gave him permission to leave for the forest and told him that his duty lies in serving Rama and Sita.
King Dashratha admonished Kaikeyi. He told Sumantra to take the threesome in a chariot towards the forest. But he also told him to persuade Rama to return after spending a day or two there.
Departure from Ayodhya, Ramayana – The Epic Story