Within a few days of Rama leaving, King Dasrutha has confined himself to his bed and will see no one. He is heart-broken. Bharat hears rumors of what has happened on his way back home, but not a bloody thing makes any sense. "Rama Banished" "The King Dying" "Civil War"
He has no idea what could possibly be happening, but it has him worried. He was only gone a few weeks. Could things have changed so completely in that short of a time?
And the next thing he knows he is about to strangle his mother to death. And somewhere a voice says, "Hey, don't kill your mother. That's wrong." And his mother is crying. And he is yelling. His brother, Shatrughna, is ready to kill the old nurse maid, Madame Mim, but Bharat stops him, saying that Rama wouldn't want anyone killed.
King Dasrutha is dying of heart failure. Bharat, frustrated with the situation at home, goes south to find his brother.
After a long road following the group, he meets Rama at the ferry that crosses the river into the wilderness. Rama now has long dread locks and is wearing the traditional clothing of a homeless wanderer.
Seeing him, he calls out, "Rama!"
"Bharat!" Rama cheers back, walking to greet his brother, in his royal walking sandals.
"Come back Rama. This," He searches for a word. "It doesn't work. It just doesn't work. You are supposed to be the next king. Not me. The people will never accept me. I will never accept me!"
Rama comes and hugs his brother, "You're the heir now. You should be helping father retire." He steps back a moment and looks down while Sita and Lakshman come back with food they've begged. "I have been banished, Bharat. Our father banished me. I am not fit to rule."
"He won't even come out of his room!" Bharat begins to lose his temper and the crowd for the ferry has given the royal family space. "Come back Rama. You don't have to do this. There has been no official announcement. You're just starting rumors." He notices that he is making a scene. "Rama."
"Father should be running his kingdom, not coddling his... But it is not my place to criticize my father. So be it. The ferry will leave soon." Rama turns toward the ferry.
Lakshman pulls them to a nearby patch of clean ground where Sita has set up for lunch. "Eat with us, Bharat," He says. "It is hard to be rational when you are hungry."
After the meal, Bharat argues more with Rama that he has a duty to come back and rule Ayodhya as the first son. Rama shrugs this off, "I have been banished. These are my father's orders. That is enough."
"But his will is that you come back."
"That is enough." He glares through his brother.
"Fine. Fine! If you will be an ascetic, if you are now Sannyasa, if you so fully renunciate the world then why are you wearing sandals?"
Rama takes off his sandals and kneels to place them at his brother's feet. He says cheerfully, "You are right. Please, hold on to these for me until I come back. Rule well, your highness."
He quickly takes up the sandals, with a laugh of victory. "I will not rule, brother. These sandals will rule. I shall set them on the throne and consult them every time I make a decision!"
Rama stands. "They cannot speak, but do as you must." He looks his brother in the eyes. "I am glad you came."
"I would be glad if you came back." And Bharat hugs his brothers and bows to his sister-in-law, then returns to the capitol, where his father is already dead. He sets the sandals on a dais, proclaims Rama to be ruler and begins setting the kingdom up in line with the orders of that set of well-loved footwear.
And thus begins Rama's fourteen years in the jungle and the end of the demon king.
In Part Four - Through the Wilds: Rama kills a lot of demons, cuts off the nose of Ravana's sister, chases after a supernatural deer and very nearly decides to end existence itself.