Sri Rama - Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

(ii) Dialogue of  Śrī Rāma and Bharata in the Forest

Canto XCVI

Having shown on that occasion the hilly stream (Mandakinī) to Sītā (the Princess of Mithila), Śrī Rāma  sat down on a single flat rock humouring Sītā with a description of the pulp of fruits fit for the consumption of austere sages (as follows): — (1) "This (fruit) is fit for being offered as an oblation into the sacred fire, this is luscious and this (bulb) has been roasted well in fire." In this way the celebrated Śrī Rāma  (a scion of Raghu), whose mind was devoted to righteousness, spent his time with Sītā. (2) While he remained sitting there, the dust raised by the army of Bharata — who was approaching Śrī Rāma  — as well as the sound of the tramp of the army rose to the skies. (3) In the meantime alarmed and agitated by that great noise the lordly elephants in rut ran away from their herd in various directions. (4) Śrī Rāma  heard that noise caused by the army and (also) perceived all those leaders of herds of elephants that had taken flight (from their herd). (5) Seeing them run away and also hearing that great noise, Śrī Rāma  spoke (as follows) to Laksmana, son of Sumitrā, of radiant effulgence: — (6) "0 Laksmana, Sumitrā in this world is blessed with a worthy son in you. See how this confused noise is being heard, deep as a terrible crash of thunder. (7) How is it that herds of elephants in the forest and (wild) buffaloes in the great forest and the deer are all of a sudden taking flight

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

helter-skelter in various directions as though scared by lions? (8) Is any king or prince going about hunting in the forest? Or has any other beast of prey appeared (here)? You ought to find this out, 0 son of Sumitrā! (9) Moreover this mountain, 0 Laksmana, is most difficult of access even to birds (of other parts). You ought (therefore) to ascertain all this accurately."

(10)  

   Enjoined thus the celebrated Laksmana climbed up with great speed a sal tree in blossom and, surveying all the quarters, fixed his gaze on the eastern quarter. (11) Looking intently with his face (now) turned northward he espied a large army thick with elephants, horses and chariots and conjoined with vigilant foot soldiers. (12) He announced to Śrī Rāma  the approach of that army abounding in horses and chariots and adorned with ensigns borne on chariots, and made the following submission: — (13) "Let your worthy self fully extinguish the fire and let Sītā seek a cave and keep ready your bow, as well as arrows and armour." (14) To Laksmana, they say, Śrī Rāma , a (veritable) tiger among men, replied (as follows):— "Dear Laksmana (son of Sumitrā), please look carefully (at the device of the ensign) and tell me whose army you consider it to be." (15) Commanded thus by Śrī Rāma , Laksmana said as follows, (gazing at the army) as though keen to consume it like an angry fire: — (16) "Evidently having secured consecration on the throne of Ayodhyā and keen to attain undisputed sovereignty, Bharata, son of Kaikeyī, comes fully prepared to kill us (both). (17) An ensign bearing the device of a Kovidāra tree with a white trunk really shines prominently over there on a chariot standing where that gigantic tree rich in flowers and fruits etc., is clearly visible. (18) Mounting swift horses as they would, these horsemen are heading towards this spot. Mounting elephants these riders on elephants (too) appear highly rejoiced (while marching towards this place). (19) Taking up our bows let us both station ourselves on the summit of the mountain, 0 hero! Or clothed with mail let us continue on this very spot with uplifted weapons.20)

 

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

"The ensign bearing the device of a Kovidāra tree will surely be brought under our control, and I am glad I shall (be able to) see (face to face) Bharata, on whose account great suffering has been undergone by you, 0 scion of Raghu, as well as by Sītā and myself, and for whose sake, 0 Rama, you have been deprived of a kingdom which was ever yours. (21-22) Bharata, who has arrived .in state as an adversary, surely deserves to be killed outright, 0 heroic prince! I see no wrong in killing Bharata, 0 scion of Raghu! (23) Killing a man who has wronged one before, one surely does not get contaminated with sin. Bharata has wronged you; hence there is sin (only) in leaving him alone, 0 scion of Raghu! (24) When Bharata has been killed, rule over the entire world. Sore stricken with sorrow, Kaikeyī, who is covetous of sovereignty, will find her son killed in battle by me like a tree uprooted by an elephant. I shall kill Kaikeyī too with her dependants and relations. (25-26) Let the earth be purged of this sin (in the shape of Kaikeyī). Today I shall release my repressed fury and scorn (in the shape of arrows) against the enemy's forces even as one would spit fire on dried bushes, 0 bestower of honour! Tearing to pieces the bodies of the enemies with sharp-pointed arrow's I shall this very day drench the forest of Citrakuta with blood. Let beasts of prey drag hither and thither the elephants and horses, whose heart is pierced through with arrows, as well as the men (that will be) slain by me. Having killed Bharata with his army in this great forest I shall fulfill my arrows and bow (by supplying them with abundant food): there is no doubt about it." (27-30)

Canto XCVII

Śrī Rāma , for his part, pacified in every way Laksmana, who actually bore an utterly bellicose attitude towards Bharata and was beside himself with rage, and then spoke to him as follows:

— (1) "When the very mighty Bharata, full of great longing (to see me), has turned up in person, what purpose will be served

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

at this moment with a blow or with a sword accompanied by a shield? (2) Having given (in the first instance) my word of honour to implement the pledge of my father and then killing Bharata in an encounter, 0 Laksmana, what shall I do with a kingdom stained with infamy? (3) I am not going to accept a fortune that will descend on the destruction of my kinsfolk or friends any more than one would partake of dishes mixed with poison. (4) I seek virtue, fortune, and gratification of senses and even (sovereignty of) the earth, 0 Laksmana, (only) for you (my brothers, and not for any personal gain); I give this word of honour to you. (5) I seek sovereignty too (only) for the protection and gratification of my brothers, 0 Laksmana; I swear by my weapon (bow). (6)

"(The sovereignity of) this earth, hemmed in by the sea, 0 gentle brother, is not difficult for me to acquire; but I do not covet even the position of Indra through unrighteousness, 0 Laksmana! (7) If any joy comes to me without Bharata and you or even without Śatrughna 0 respecter of others, let fire reduce it to ashes. (8) I believe, 0 gallant brother, that hearing, when back in Ayodhyā, of myself having been exiled with Sītā (daughter of Janaka) and yourself, (and having proceeded to the forest) wearing matted locks and clad in the bark of trees, 0 jewel among men, Bharata, who is (so) fond of his brothers, and is dearer to me than life (itself), must have found his heart overwhelmed with affection and his mind distracted through grief and has surely come all the way to see me, bearing in mind the custom of his race (in the shape of installing the eldest son on the throne on the death of a king) and that the said Bharata has not come with any other motive. (9-11) Getting angry with mother Kaikeyī and speaking unkind words to her and having obtained the consent of our father, the glorious Bharata has (evidently) come to offer the throne to me. (12)

"It is (but) opportune that Bharata sees us — (in fact) he deserves to see us. He would not do any harm to us even with his mind. (13) I wonder when and what offence did Bharata give to you in the past and when he said any such alarming thing

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Bharat with Sri Rama ( detail of page 120 )

Mewar

Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest
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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Chitra kuta

Datia-Jaipur style

tom: Rama bowing at the feet of Kaushalya bottom: Vasishtha and  Sri Rama

circa AD 1740

NationMuseum, Delhi

 

 

       

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

that you mistrust Bharata today. (14) Bharata should under no circumstances be spoken to harshly nor should unkind words be addressed to him. If any offence were given to Bharata, indeed it would mean that I am told unpleasant things. (15) How on earth can sons take the life of their father in any trying situation or how can a brother kill his (own) brother, his (very) life, 0 son of Sumitrā? (16) If you utter these words (signifying your intention to kill Bharata) for the sake of sovereignty, I shall speak to Bharata as follows on seeing him: 'Let the kingdom be given away for good to Laksmana' (17) Being ad- dressed by me in the words 'Bestow the kingdom on Laksmana,' Bharata, 0 Laksmana, will surely accept my command saying 'So be it!' "(18)

Admonished thus by his brother ( Śrī Rāma) of virtuous disposition, Laksmana, who was devoted to the interests of the latter, hid himself in his own limbs as it were out of shame. (19) Put out of countenance to hear this admonition, Laksmana, they say, submitted as follows: — "I believe our father. Emperor Daśaratha himself, has come to see you." (20) Finding Laksmana abashed, Śrī Rāma  (a scion of Raghu), they say, replied (as follows): — "I (too) believe that the mighty-armed emperor has (personally) come to see us here. (21) Considering us to be deserving of comfort and bearing in mind the privations attendant on residence in a forest, father will, I believe, surely take us back home. (22) Again, my father, the glorious Daśaratha (a scion of Raghu), will return (to the capital) taking (with him) from the forest this Sītā (a princess of the Videha kingdom) too, who has (always) enjoyed the utmost amenities (of life). (23) Here are to be clearly seen the two spirited and excellent fleet horses of noble breed, pleasing to the mind and vying with the wind in swiftness. (24) Here is the well-known gigantic and aged elephant, Satruñjaya by name, of our wise father, rocking about at the head of the army. (25) I, however, do not behold that white heavenly umbrella of my father, well known in the world, 0 highly blessed one! Doubt on this point fills my mind. (26) Do my bidding, 0 Laksmana, and climb

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

you down from the tree-top." In these precise words did  Śrī Rāma, whose mind was given to piety, address the celebrated Laksmana (son of Sumitrā): so the tradition goes. (27)

Getting down from that top of the sal tree, Laksmana, the conqueror of hostile forces, for his part, stood by the side of Śrī Rāma  with joined palms. (28) Admonished by Bharata in the words "Let there be no molestation (to the hermitage of Śrī Rāma )", his army encamped round about that mountain. (29) Occupying an area of one Yojana and a half, they say the army of Bharata (of Ikswāku's line), full of elephants, horses and men, encamped by the side of the mountain. (30) Brought with the purpose of propitiating Śrī Rāma  (the delight of the Raghus) by Bharata, who was rich in the sense of propriety, placing righteousness in the forefront and shaking off vanity, the aforesaid army shone brightly in the vicinity of Citrakuta. (31)

   Canto XCIX

The army having encamped, Bharata, keen as he was to see his (elder) brother, then proceeded to look for him, pointing out (on the way) to Śatrughna the marks indicating the presence of a hermitage near by. (1) Requesting Sage Vasistha in the following words "(Pray) fetch my mothers promptly," Bharata, who was fond of his elder brother, hastily pressed forward. (2) Sumantra too for his part closely followed Śatrughna; (for) an ardent longing for the sight of Śrī Rāma  possessed his heart too as Bharata's. (3) Even while proceeding, Bharata, who was (now) radiant (with joy at the prospect of meeting Śrī Rāma ), beheld the hut made of leafy twigs belonging to his (elder) brother and built after the style of hermits' dwellings, as well as another cottage (enclosed with a wooden wall and provided with doors, intended for Sītā): so the tradition goes. (4) In front of that hut Bharata saw at that time hewn pieces of wood as well as flowers gathered for worship. (5) He (also) perceived

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

tokens for indicating the way made on trees here and there with blades of Kuśa grass and strips of cloth by Laksmana and  Śrī Rāma while returning to the hermitage (from the riverside after a bath or with water fetched from the river). (6) He further beheld in the vicinity of that cottage large heaps made of the dried dung of deer and (wild) buffaloes for protection against cold. (7)

While going the mighty-armed Bharata, who was full of glory, spoke with delight (as follows) on that occasion to Śatrughna as well as to all those ministers (that had accompanied him): — (8) "I believe we have reached that region of which Bharadwaja spoke (to us). I conclude the river Mandakinī to be not very far from this place. (9) Since strips of cloth are seen fastened (to the trees) high up, this may be the path provided with tokens by Laksmana wishing to go out (for a bath or in order to bring water from the river) at an odd hour. (10) On this side do swift- footed elephants distinguished by huge tusks roam about trumpeting at one another in the flanks of the mountain. (11) There can be seen the thick smoke of the (sacred) fire, which ascetics in a forest seek to preserve incessantly (for pouring oblations into it both morning and evening). (12)'Here I shall (be able to) see  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), my elder brother, a (veritable) tiger among men, who shows respect to his elders, highly delighted like an eminent sage." (13)

Then, going awhile, the celebrated Bharata (a scion of Raghu) reached Citrakuta on the bank of the Mandakinī and spoke as follows to those men (that had accompanied him): — (14) "Having reached a lonely place  Śrī Rāma (a tiger among men), a ruler of the people, sits delighted on the (bare) ground in the posture of a hero (with his left foot placed on his right knee). Woe to my birth along with my life! (15) 'Fallen in adversity (in the shape of being deprived of his inheritance and exiled) on my account,  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), the protector of the world, who is possessed of great splendour, is dwelling in a forest having completely given up all enjoyments.' (16) Reviled thus by the world I shall fall at the feet of  Śrī Rāma, Sītā and

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Laksmana today with a view to propitiating them." (17)

Wailing thus, the celebrated Bharata (son of Daśaratha) be- held in that forest a large and holy hut of leafy twigs pleasing to the mind and thatched with abundant leaves of sal, palmyra and Aswakarna trees, and (thus) appearing (from a distance) like an extensive altar softly overspread with blades of Kuśa grass in a sacrificial performance. (18-19) The hut was adorned with very strong bows plated with gold at the back and shining like rainbows, instrumental in accomplishing great deeds and capable of harassing the enemy. (20) It was (further) graced with fearful arrows encased in quivers and shining like sun- beams, in the same way as Bhogavatī (the realm of Nagas) is graced by serpents with incandescent hoods. (21) The hut was (also) adorned with a couple of swords encased in sheaths of gold and further adorned with two shields emblazoned with flowers of gold. (22) Distinguished by gloves of iguana skin embellished with excellent gold and suspended on walls, the hut was unassailable by hordes of enemies even as the lair of a lion is incapable of being assailed by deer. (23) In that habitat of  Śrī Rāma, Bharata (also) beheld a spacious holy altar inclining towards the southeast and with a lighted fire placed on it. (24)

Fixing his gaze awhile Bharata for his part descried his elder brother,  Śrī Rāma, seated in the hut wearing a rounded mass of matted hair (on his head). (25) He saw the said Śrī Rāma wearing the skin of a black buck and clad in a strip of bark and resembling a fire (in brilliance), seated close by. (26) He saw the mighty-armed  Śrī Rāma, the protector of the earth extending up to the ocean, who had shoulders resembling a lion's and eyes resembling a pair of lotuses and was given to the practice of virtue, seated like the eternal Brahmā (the creator) on a levelled and squared piece of ground strewn with blades of (the sacred) Kuśa grass, along with Sītā and Laksmana. (27-28) Overwhelmed with agony and confusion, the glorious Bharata, son of Kaikeyī, whose mind was given to piety, rushed towards him on seeing him.(29) Distressed at his very sight, he wailed

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

as follows in a voice choked with tears, unable as he was to restrain his agony and failing to utter articulate words: — (30)

"Here is that very elder brother of mine sitting in the company of wild deer, who deserves to be attended upon by ministers in a royal assembly. (31) The same exalted soul who was used to wearing clothes worth many thousands in the city (of Ayodhyā) puts on in this. forest today pieces of deerskin, discharging his sacred obligation (towards his father). (32) How does the same  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu) who ever adorned his head with beautiful flowers of every description endure now this burden of matted locks (on his head)? (33) He who deserved to acquire merit through sacrificial performances undertaken as enjoined (by the scriptures) is striving after merit earned through mortification of the flesh! (34) How is it that the person of my celebrated elder brother that used to be adorned with sandal-paste of great value is (now) covered with dirt? (35)  Śrī Rāma, who deserves (all kinds of) comforts, has met with this misfortune on my account. Woe to my life, condemned by the world, cruel as I am." (36)

Loudly wailing, Bharata, who was feeling miserable, his lotus-like countenance covered with perspiration, fell down crying, unable, as he was to place his hands on the feet of  Śrī Rāma. (37) Pitifully saying, "0 worshipful brother!" but once, the very mighty prince Bharata, tormented as he was with agony, said nothing further. (38) Crying at the top of his voice "My noble brother!" only, on perceiving the illustrious  Śrī Rāma, he could not speak further, his throat choked with tears. (39) Shedding tears Śatrughna as well bowed down at the feet of  Śrī Rāma. And closely embracing them both  Śrī Rāma too began dropping tears. (40) The two princes ( Śrī Rāma and Laksmana) then embraced Sumantra as well as Guha in the forest, (even) as the Sun and the Moon conjoin with Venus and Jupiter in the heavens. (41) Perceiving the princes, who deserved to ride on lordly elephants (lit., the leaders of herds of elephants), come together in that forest, all those dwellers in forests for their part began to shed tears losing the joy (born of his blessed sight). (42)

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Canto CII

Hearing the exhortation of  Śrī Rāma, Bharata, it is said, re- plied as follows: — "How will the code of conduct prescribed for a king avail me, who stand outside the range of that code (disqualified as I am for sovereignty, being a younger issue of the king-emperor)? (1) This has ever been the perpetual law amongst us (the Ksatriyas of the solar dynasty), 0 jewel among men, that so long as the eldest prince is alive, a younger one can never be king. (2) Therefore, return with me to the affluent (city of) Ayodhyā, 0 scion of Raghu, and get yourself consecrated (for the kingship) for the continuance of this race of ours. (3) The king, whom (the common) people speak of as a human being and (yet) whose conduct, which goes hand in hand with righteousness and worldly prosperity, they declare as superhuman, is esteemed by me as verging on divinity. (4) While I was away in the kingdom of Kekaya and you had proceeded to the forest, the sagacious king, who was given to the performance of sacrifices and was esteemed by the virtuous, ascended to heaven. (5) Accompanied by Sītā and Laksmana you had just gone out (of Ayodhyā) when overwhelmed with sorrow and grief, the king departed for heaven. (6)

"Get up, 0 tiger among men! Let water be offered to (the spirit of our deceased) father. Śatrughna standing here and I too have already offered water to him. (7) For, the knowers of Truth declare that water etc., offered by a beloved son surely becomes inexhaustible in the realm of manes, 0 scion of Raghu; and you are undoubtedly the beloved of our (deceased) father. (8) Bereft of you and stricken with grief caused by separation from you and unable to divert his mind that was solely attached to you alone, our father departed (from this world) grieving only for you, longing for your sight and fondly remembering you alone." (9)

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Canto CV

The night subsequently passed away in sorrow in the case of the (said) tigers among men, accompanied by those near and dear ones, while the former were grieving. (1) Having offered oblations, into the sacred fire and muttered their prayers on the bank of the Mandakinī, when the night had been vividly relieved by dawn, the brothers, accompanied by their near and dear ones, sought the presence of  Śrī Rāma. (2) They (all) sat down mute none spoke anything. Bharata for his part made the following submission to  Śrī Rāma in the midst of his near and dear ones: — ( 3) "My mother (Kaikeyī) has been consoled (by you) and this kingdom (of Ayodhyā) bestowed on me. I (hereby) return it to your own self. (Please) enjoy it without impediment. (4) (Just) as a dam breached by a mighty onrush of water during the rains cannot be easily repaired, this large state (of Ayodhyā) cannot be easily held in one's grip by anyone other than you. (5) The power to emulate your ruling capacity does not lie in me, 0 ruler of the world, any more than the power to emulate the gait of a horse in a donkey and the flight of Garuda (the carrier of Lord Visnu) in a (common) bird. (6) Know his life to be blessed from day to day, whoever is depended upon by others. Life is, however, dragged on with hardship by him who depends for his life upon others, 0 Rama! (7)

"For example a tree planted and nurtured by a man develops (in course of time) into a mighty tree with a stout trunk hard to scale for a dwarf. (8) But when, though laden with flowers, it does not bear fruits, the man does not experience the same delight that he expected from it due to his failure to reach the consummation for which it was planted with effort. (9) This is (only) an analogy, 0 mighty-armed brother: be pleased to make out it's meaning, since you, our supreme master, do not (care to) instruct us, your servants, on this occasion (when it behoves you to protect us). (10) Let the guilds of traders (of every class) and their leaders behold you, the subduer of enemies,

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

seated on the throne like the sun blazing on all sides, 0 great king! (11) Likewise let the elephants in rut trumpet in the course of your return journey (to Ayodhyā) and let the women living in the (royal) inner chambers, fully collected in mind, rejoice (to see you returned)". (12)

Hearing the submission of the celebrated Bharata, supplicating  Śrī Rāma, the citizens of every class (assembled at Citrakuta) acclaimed it in the words "Well said!" (13) Perceiving the said illustrious Bharata wailing as above, afflicted as he was,  Śrī Rāma, who was self-possessed and self-disciplined comforted him thus: — (14) "Freedom of action does not be- long to the embodied soul, since this soul is powerless (un- like God). Providence alone forcibly drags the soul hither and thither. (15) All accumulations end in attenuation; all elevations end in degradation; all unions end in separation; all life has its end in death. (16) As no fear from any quarter other than a fall awaits ripe fruits, so no fear from any quarter other than death awaits a man come into the world. (17) (Even) as a house (though supported by stout pillars) collapses on getting old, so men fallen into the clutches of old age and death breathe their last. (18)

"The night that passes away does not return in any case; the Yamuna (river) meets without fail the all-sufficient ocean, abounding in water. (19) Passing days and nights quickly end the life-span of all living beings in this world, (even) as sunbeams suck up water in summer. (20) Grieve for yourself (alone), why do you grieve for another? In fact, the life span of each and every creature, whether staying (at home) or departed (for another place), gets shortened (every moment). (21) Death ever walks with us and remains seated with us (while we are sitting). Having travelled a very long distance (with us) death returns with us (on our return). (22) When folds have appeared on (the skin of) the limbs and the hair have turned grey, by what expedient will a man worn out with age be able to control them? (23) Men rejoice when the sun has risen and (also) rejoice when the day has ended, but do not perceive the ebbing of their life. (24)

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

"People rejoice to see the approach of a season as though it had appeared for the first time. But (they forget that) with a change of season comes about the (gradual) waning of life of living beings. (25) (Even) as two pieces of drift-wood come together on the surface of an ocean (at a particular moment of time) and, having come together (in this way), drift apart on reaching a particular moment, so wives and sons as well as relations and riches part company after coming together; for inevitable is their separation. (26-27) No living being in this world can escape its destiny (in the shape of birth and death) when the time comes for it. Hence the power to avert his own death does not lie in a man mourning again and again for a dead person. (28) How can he who has got on the inevitable path trodden by his forbears, viz., his father, grandfather and so on, and from which there is no escape — (even) as one standing on the roadside would cry to a company of travellers passing by, 'I shall also follow at your heels' (and would forth- with follow them), mourn (for his parents and other departed relations)? (29-30)

"Foreseeing the (inevitable) end of one's ebbing life, which does not return any more than a stream, one's own self should be employed in a pursuit leading to blessedness; (for) living beings are declared as pursuing happiness. (31) Our father, the king (the lord of the earth) was a virtuous person. He performed almost all extremely auspicious sacrifices and paid plentiful sacrificial fees (to the officiating priests and Brahmins). All his sins were washed away and so he went to heaven. (32) On account of properly maintaining the servants, protecting and guarding the subjects and realising taxes in the manner prescribed by scriptures from them, our father has gone to the heaven. (33) Our father Daśaratha, the lord of the earth has reached heaven on account of his performing all auspicious acts desirable, and performing many sacrifices involving heavy sacrificial fees. (34) Having propitiated the Yajnapurusa by performing different types of sacrifices, enjoying worldly pleasures

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

in plenty and having lived a long and virtuous life the lord of the earth has gone to the heaven. (35) Having obtained a long life and worldly luxuries the father, from the Raghu dynasty, has gone to the heaven coveted and honoured by the virtuous people, 0 dear one! He is not at all to be lamented upon. (36) Having shed his worn-out human frame, our father has surely attained celestial wealth (in the form of an ethereal body etc.,) which enables him to sport (even) in the realm of Brahmā (the highest heaven). (37) No highly wise, learned and exceptionally clever man such as you and I are, ought to grieve (for the emperor). (38) These manifold griefs as well as wailing and weeping should in that case undoubtedly be given up under all circumstances by a resolute man possessed of wisdom. (39) As such be at ease, let not grief overpower you. And, returning (home), dwell in that city (of Ayodhyā). So have you been enjoined by father, a master of his will, 0 jewel among the eloquent! (40)

"I (too) shall do the bidding of our noble father (continuing) in that very place where I have been enjoined to stay by that emperor of virtuous deeds. (41) It is not justifiable on my part to flout his command, 0 subduer of foes! He ever deserved to be honoured even by you, since he was our friend; he was our (very) father. (42) Through my action in the shape of so- journing in the forest, 0 scion of Raghu, I shall obey that very command of my father, which is thought highly of by those practising virtue. (43) A pious man seeking to conquer the other world, 0 tiger among men, ought to be kind-hearted and obedient to his elders (father) and others. (44) Keeping in view the virtuous conduct of our father. King Daśaratha, 0 jewel among men, direct your thoughts only towards the welfare (in the other world) of your spirit in consonance with your (pious) nature." (45) Having tendered to his younger brother (Bharata) in about an hour, the significant advice urging him to carry out the behests of their father, the high-souled and almighty  Śrī Rāma became silent. (46)

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Canto CVI

When Śrī Rāma  became silent after making a significant speech, the pious Bharata for his part now addressed to Śrī Rāma , who was (so) fond of his people, the following agreeable and righteous submission on the bank of the Mandakinī: — "Indeed who can there be in this world such as you are, 0 tamer of foes? (1-2) Neither can sorrow torment you nor can joy exhilarate you. Though highly thought of by the elders, you nevertheless refer your doubts to them. (3) Wherefore should he grieve, he who has developed an attitude of mind by virtue of which, though living, he is as good as dead (to the world) and which makes him as indifferent to the existent as to the non-existent? (4) He who knows the Self as well as the non- self as you do, 0 ruler of men, ought not to feel dejected even on meeting with adversity. (5) Possessed of valour comparable with that of gods, and endowed with great fortitude, you are true to your promise, all-knowing, all-seeing and wise too, 0 scion of Raghu! (6) (Even) affliction which is most unbearable (for us) ought not to assail you, endowed (as you are) with such virtues and conversant with the origin and end of living beings. (7)

"The sinful deed (in the shape of bringing about your exile) which was perpetrated by my sinful mother for my sake when I was away, was not to my liking. (Therefore) be gracious to me. (8) Fetters of morality bind me (which forbids a warrior to lay his finger upon a woman); hence I do not kill on the spot with a severe punishment my mother of sinful deeds, who is deserving of punishment. (9) How can I, sprung (as I am) from (the loins of) Daśaratha of noble birth and deeds, and knowing (as I do) right and wrong, perpetrate an odious act (like killing my own mother)? (10) I do not (wish to) denounce father in an (open) assembly because he had (a number of) sacrificial performances to his credit, was aged and worthy of respect, has joined the majority and was my father and a deity to me. (11)

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Indeed what man who knows the principles of morality would perpetrate such a sinful act, unproductive of religious merit and (worldly) prosperity, with intent to please a woman, 0 knower of what is right? (12) There is an old adage saying that living beings invariably get deluded at the hour of death. That saying has been illustrated to the world by the king while acting as he has done. (13) Keeping in mind a noble purpose, nullify the transgression that has been committed by father for fear of wrath (of Kaikeyī) or through delusion and precipitance. (14)

"A son who mends the arrant transgression of his father is accounted a son (in the real acceptance of the term) in the world; he who acts otherwise than this is (quite) the reverse (of a son). (15) Therefore be you a (true) son; do not countenance the sinful act of our father (by implementing his word). The act perpetrated by him is in contravention of (all principles of) morality and is (therefore) utterly condemned in the world by the wise. (16) Be pleased to grant all this (prayer of mine) in order to save Kaikeyi, myself, father, our friends and relations as well as all the citizens and people of the countryside. (17) What congruity is there between forest life (on the one hand) and the duty of a Ksatriya (on the other), between (wearing) matted locks (on one's head) and protection of the people? You ought not to perpetrate such an incongruous act (as may stand in the way of your discharging the duty of a Ksatriya, viz., protection of the people). (18) Indeed it is the foremost duty of a Ksatriya to get him consecrated as a king, through which (act alone) it is possible to protect the people, 0 highly enlightened brother! (19) Neglecting a duty yielding visible joy, what Ksatriya esteemed by his race would practise a virtue which is of doubtful result, which does not promise happiness, which brings its reward in a future state (only) and which is undefined? (20) If you desire to pursue a virtue following from hardship alone, undergo suffering while protecting the four divisions of society by recourse to righteousness." (21)

"The knowers of what is right definitely declare the life of a householder to be the noblest and best of (all) the four stages

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

of .life (inasmuch as it is depended upon by all others); how (then) do you seek to abandon it, 0 knower of (the principles of) righteousness? (22) I am decidedly junior to you in point of learning, rank and date of birth. As such how shall I (be able to) rule over the earth when you are present? (23) A (mere) child (as I am), of poor understanding and virtues, and also placed in an inferior position (as compared with you), I cannot even live without you (much less rule over the people). (24) 0 knower of what is right, rule with your kinsmen over the whole of this foremost ancestral kingdom without opposition according to the code of conduct prescribed for you. (25) Let all the ministers as well as the priests including Vasistha, wellversed in sacred formulas, conjointly consecrate you (as the king of Ayodhyā) on this very spot, 0 knower of sacred texts! (26) Consecrated by us as Indra by Maruts (the wind-gods) and having conquered the worlds by dint of your might march you (back) to Ayodhyā in order to rule over it. (27) Discharging the three obligations (you owe to gods, Rsis and manes severally by offering oblations, studying the Vedas and procreating children), completely destroying the foes and gratifying your near and dear ones through their desired objects, instruct you me at Ayodhyā itself." (28)

"Let those who are friendly (to you) feel rejoiced today on your consecration (as the king of Ayodhyā), 0 noble brother! Let those who are inclined to cause pain to you run frightened in every direction today. (29) Wiping off the obloquy attaching to me as well as to my mother, 0 jewel among men, save our esteemed father as well from remorse today. (30) I implore you with my head bent low: (pray) take pity on me as well as on all your kinsfolk (even) as Lord Śiva (the Supreme Deity) does on (all) created beings. (31) Else if, setting aside my request, you proceed from this place to a forest alone, I too shall depart with you." (32) (Even) while being propitiated as above with bowed head by Bharata, who was sinking in spirit, the graceful  Śrī Rāma (the ruler of the earth), who had a strong will and clung fast to the word of his father giving consent to his exile, did

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

not feel inclined to proceed (to Ayodhyā). (33) Perceiving such wonderful firmness in  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), the people (of Ayodhyā) experienced joy and felt disconsolate at the same time. They were distressed to find that he was not going to Ayodhyā and felt rejoiced to note his firmness of resolve. (34) The priests, the citizens and the leaders of (different) bodies of men as well as the mothers (of  Śrī Rāma and others), who had (all) been rendered senseless (as it were) and had tears in their eyes, complimented Bharata, who was speaking in that strain, and bowing down low to  Śrī Rāma, joined Bharata in his supplication (to  Śrī Rāma). (35)

Canto CVII

Thereupon the glorious  Śrī Rāma (eldest brother of Laksmana), highly respected among his clansmen, replied to the said Bharata, who was speaking again in that strain: — (1) "The assertion that you — a son born of Daśaratha, the foremost of kings, through Kaikeyī — have made just now as above is reasonable. (2) In the past, while marrying Kaikeyī (your mother), 0 brother, our celebrated father promised to your maternal grandfather the kingdom (of Ayodhyā in favour of her issue) as the royal price (for the marriage). (3) Propitiated (by standing him in good stead) in a conflict between the, gods and the demons, and immensely delighted, the powerful king, who held sway over the (entire) earth, granted a boon to your mother. (4) Then, binding him with a solemn oath your illustrious mother, who was endowed with an excellent complexion, sought (the following) two boons of Daśaratha (the foremost of men), viz., 1) rulership for you, 0 tiger among men, and 2) exile for me; and urged thus, the king granted the aforesaid boons to her. (5-6)

"I, too, 0 jewel among men, have been enjoined by our father to dwell here in the forest for fourteen years in consequence of the boon (granted by our father to your mother).

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

(7) As such I, who have no rival (in this world) and stand by the veracity of my father, have come to this lonely forest accompanied by Laksmana and Sītā. (8) You too, 0 ruler of kings, ought likewise (as enjoined by our father) to vindicate the truthfulness of your father by getting yourself consecrated (on the throne of Ayodhyā) immediately. (9) For my sake, 0 Bharata, exonerate the powerful king from the debt (he owes to Kaikeyī). Save your father (by redeeming his promise) and delight your mother, 0 knower of what is right! (10) The following utterance, which is held sacred as a Śruti text, is heard to have been addressed to the manes by the wise and illustrious (king named) Gaya (who is believed to have founded the city of Gaya) while performing sacrifices in the territory of Gaya:— 'Since a son delivers his father from the hell named Put he is designated as Putra.' (According to another interpretation) a son is he who protects his father in all (possible) ways. (11-12) A number of sons, endowed with virtues and versed in many Sastras, should be desired so that at least one of them may .proceed to Gaya (and perform Sraddha there)." (13)

"So did all royal sages believe, 0 powerful scion of Raghu! Therefore, 0 jewel among men, protect your father from hell.

(14) Accompanied by Śatrughna and together with all Brahmānas return, 0 gallant Bharata, to Ayodhyā and protect the people. (15) I too, for my part, accompanied by these two, Sītā (a princess of the Videha kingdom) and Laksmana, shall enter the Dandaka forest without tarrying (here) any longer. (16) Be you, 0 Bharata, the ruler of the people themselves. I too shall be the emperor of wild beasts. Return you extremely delighted, to Ayodhyā (the foremost of cities) this (very) day and I too shall enter the Dandaka forest highly rejoiced. (17) Let the (royal) umbrella, 0 Bharata, repulsing the rays of the sun, spread a cool shade over your head. I too shall gradually seek that dense shade of these forest trees. (18) Let Śatrughna of peerless wisdom, for his part, be your assistant and the well-known Laksmana (son of Sumitrā) be my chief friend. Let us, his four worthy sons enable the king to adhere to truth. Do not feel dejected." (19)

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Canto CX

Perceiving  Śrī Rāma to be angry, Vasistha too pleaded with him (for Jābāli) as follows: — "Jābāli also recognizes the departure of the human soul (from this world) and its return (to the mortal plane). (1) He, however, spoke to you desirous as he was of persuading you to return (to Ayodhyā). (Pray) hear from me about the creation of worlds, 0 protector of the world! (2) There was water alone in the beginning of creation; the earth was evolved in water. Thereafter, then appeared, the self-born Brahmā along with gods. (3) Appearing as the Divine Boar, Brahmā (who is the same as Visnu, the Protector) then lifted the earth out of the water (into which it had disappeared) and in conjunction with his sons (Marīci and others), who had conquered their mind, evolved the whole universe. (4) The eternal, everlasting and imperishable Brahmā sprang out of ether (which is no other than Brahmā, the Absolute), from him came forth Marīci, and Kasyapa was the son of Marīci. (5) Vivaswan (the sun-god) descended from Kasyapa. Manu himself was the son of Vivaswan. Manu for his part was formerly a lord of creation, and Manu's son was Ikswāku. (6)

"Know that Ikswāku to be the (very) first ruler of Ayodhyā, to whom this prosperous earth was entrusted for the first time by (the said) Manu. (7) Ikswāku's glorious son for his part became known simply by the name of Kuksi; and from (the loins of) Kuksi, 0 prince, sprang up gallant Vikuksi. (8) Vikuksi's son, on the other hand, was the mighty Bāna, who was endowed with exceptional glory; and Bāna's son was the mighty-armed Anaranya, who practised great austerities. (9) So long as this Anaranya, who was a jewel among the virtuous, continued to be the emperor, there was neither a drought nor famine nor was a thief to be seen (in Ayodhyā). (10) From (the loins of) Anaranya, 0 great king, they say, appeared King Prthu; from the said Prthu was descended Triśanku, who was possessed of great splendour. (11) Due to the unfailing vow of Viswāmitra

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

the aforesaid hero bodily ascended to heaven. Triśahku''s son was the highly illustrious Dhundhumara. (12)

"From (the loins of) Dhundhumāra sprang up Yuvanāśwa, who was endowed with exceptional glory; the glorious Māndhātā was born as the son of Yuvanāśwa. (13) Of Māndhātā, again, was born the highly glorious Susandhi; of Susandhi too there were two sons. Dhruvasandhi and Prasenajit. (14) Bharata, for his part, a destroyer of foes, was the illustrious son of Dhruvasandhi; and of the mighty-armed Bharata was born one Asita by name, of whom the following tributary chiefs, viz., the rulers of the Haihayas and the Tālajahghas and the gallant ruler of the Śaśabindus, came to be the enemies. (15-16) In spite of his having arrayed his army against all these the king was (routed and) exiled. He therefore gladly took up his abode as an ascetic on a delightful and excellent mountain. (17) In course of time his two consorts came to be in the family way: so the tradition goes. Desiring to have an excellent son, one of them, who was highly fortunate and had eyes resembling the petals of a lotus, (sought the presence of and) bowed down to Sage Cyavana (son of Bhrgu), who possessed the splendour of gods; (while) the other administered poison to her co-wife in order to destroy her foetus. (18-19)

"The sage named Cyavana, son of Bhrgu, had betaken himself to the Himalayas. Approaching that sage, the said Kalindī for her part greeted him. (20) Gratified (to receive her respects), he said to the queen, who sought (from him) a boon ensuring the birth of a son (to her), 'A lofty minded son, widely known in the world, pious and most formidable, the founder of a dynasty and the destroyer of his foes, will be born to you, 0 queen!' Hearing this (benediction), and circumambulating the sage (as a mark of respect) and taking leave of him, and then returning home, the queen brought forth a son who had lotus- like eyes and shone like Brahmā (the lotus-born). (21-23) The boy was born along with that very poison that had actually been administered to the queen by her fellow-consort with the intention of destroying the foetus; hence he became known as

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Sagara (lit., with poison). (24) King Sagara was he who, getting consecrated for a sacrifice on a full moon day or new moon day, caused the ocean to be dug (by his sons, sixteen thousand in number) causing fear to the people here by the speed of digging." (25)

"It has been heard by us that Sagara's (eldest) son, really speaking, was Asamanja. He was a perpetrator of sinful deeds, and was abandoned by his father, even when alive. (26) Amśumān, again, who was full of valour, was the son of Asamanja. Dilīpa was the son of Amśumān and Bhagīratha, of Dilīpa. (27) Again, from (the loins of) Bhagīratha appeared Kākutsthas, after whose name his descendants came to be called Kākutsthas (the scions of Kākutsthas). And Kākutsthas's son was Raghu, after whom his descendants were known as Raghavas (the scions of Raghu). (28) Raghu's glorious son for his part came to be known on earth by the names of Pravrddha, Purusādaka (lit., a man-eater or ogre), Kalmasapada and Saudasa. (29) It has been heard by us that Kalmasapada's son was Sahkhana, who, (even) on attaining remarkable valour (on the field of battle) perished, army and all (in an encounter)." (30)

"The glorious Sudarsana for his part was the heroic son of Sahkhana. Agnivarna was the son of Sudarsana and Sīghraga, of Agnivarna. (31) Maru was the son of Sīghraga and Maru's son was Prasusruva. The highly intelligent Ambansa was the son of Prasusruva. (32) Nahusa of unfailing prowess was, the son of Ambansa, while Nābhāga was the supremely pious son of Nahusa. (33) Both Aja and Suvrata were the sons of Nābhāga and the pious King Daśaratha was the son of Aja. (34) You are his eldest son known all round by the name of Rama; therefore accept this kingdom of your own and look after the world, 0 protector of men! (35) Among all the Ikswākus the eldest son undoubtedly becomes the ruler. While an elder son is present a younger son is never consecrated as a king. The eldest alone is so consecrated. (36) Being one of the Rāghavas, you as such ought not to violate today the time honoured practice of your House. Like your father, highly illustrious as you are, rule the

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

earth abounding in precious stones and consisting of numerous dominions." (37)

Canto CXI

Having spoken to  Śrī Rāma (as aforesaid) on that occasion, the said Vasistha, the family-priest of the king, addressed (to him) once more the following words in consonance with righteousness: — (1) "The preceptor, 0 scion of Kākutsthas, as well as one's father and mother, 0 descendant of Raghu, ever come to be the adored of a man from the time he is born in this world. (2) The father only procreates (and the mother brings forth) a human being, 0 jewel among men; the preceptor, on the other hand, bestows wisdom on him, hence he is spoken of as Guru (superior even to the parents). (3) I for my part am the preceptor not only of your father but yours too, 0 chastiser of foes! Doing my bidding (therefore) you will not be transgressing the path of the virtuous. (4) Here indeed are your subjects, kinsmen and tributary princes too. Discharging your duty by them, you will not be transgressing the path' of the virtuous. (5) You ought not to fail in your duty towards your aged mother, who is given to piety. Doing her bidding you will certainly not be transgressing the path of the virtuous. (6) Granting the prayer of Bharata, who is supplicating you, you will not be overstepping your bounds, 0 scion of Raghu, who are (ever) united with truthfulness, piety and valour!" (7)

Instructed thus in sweet words by his preceptor himself,  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), a jewel among men, replied (as follows) to Vasistha, who was sitting at ease (there): — (8) "The service that the parents render to their son by giving him whatever they can, as well as by putting him to bed and rubbing his body with oil etc., by speaking kindly to him every moment and (even) so by nourishing him, whatever (good) is done by them cannot be easily requited. (9-10) Indeed that which the celebrated King Daśaratha, my father, who brought me into

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

being, has asked me to do shall not prove untrue." (11) When  Śrī Rāma had spoken thus, Bharata for his part, who was distinguished by a broad chest, and felt extremely sad at heart, commanded as follows Sumantra (the charioteer), who stood nearest to him: — (12) "Speedily spread blades of Kuśa grass on this piece of level ground, 0 charioteer! I shall sit at the door of my elder brother in order to exert pressure on him until he gets fully propitiated (and grants my request). (13) Like a destitute Brāhmana (who has been deprived of his fortune by a debtor failing to repay the debt as stipulated) I shall remain lying down in front of  Śrī Rāma's hut without food or drink and depriving myself of light (by covering my face) until he returns to Ayodhyā as a concession to me." (14)

Perceiving Sumantra awaiting the pleasure of  Śrī Rāma, Bharata for his part sat down disconsolate on the ground spreading a mat of Kuśa grass with his own hands. (15) To him the highly glorious  Śrī Rāma, the foremost of royal sages, said, "What (wrong) have I done (to you), 0 Bharata, that you will sit at my door to exert pressure on me, my dear one? (16) A Brahmāna alone ought to restrain people (oppressing him) by lying on one side (at their door), Ksatriyas, however, who are (or deserve to be), sprinkled with holy water on the head (when being installed as the head of a state) are not enjoined to sit at the door of anyone (in this way). (17) Get up, 0 tiger among men! Give up this terrible vow, return from this place, 0 scion of Raghu, speedily to Ayodhyā, the foremost of cities." (18) Gazing on all sides Bharata, even while sitting, said to the citizens as well as to the people of the countryside, "Wherefore do you not plead with my elder brother?" (19) The people of the city as well as of the countryside then replied as follows to Bharata (an exalted soul): — "We know full well that you (a scion of Raghu) speak aright to  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Kakutstha). (20) This highly blessed prince ( Śrī Rāma) too sincerely abides by the command of his father. For this very reason we are truly speaking not easily able to divert him (from his purpose)." (21) Hearing their submission  Śrī Rāma addressed the

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

following words (to Bharata): —"Listen to the foregoing words of our friends, who have their eyes fixed on what is right. (22) Hearing both these utterances (mine as well as that of these people) weigh them fully, 0 scion of Raghu. Get you up, 0 mighty-armed prince, and touch water (in order to sip it) as well as myself (as an indication of your resolve to break the vow that you have just taken)." (23)

Getting up immediately and touching water, Bharata spoke as follows: — "Let (all) the members of this assembly hear me. Let the (king's) counsellors too listen. (24) I never begged sovereignty of my father nor did I instruct my mother to do it (on my behalf). Nor did I approve of this step of Śrī Rāma  (a scion of Raghu), (that he should go into exile for fourteen years) he knows best what is right. (25) If the behest of our father must be carried out and if one must live in the forest at all events, I myself shall do so for (a period of) fourteen years." (26) Fixing his gaze on the citizens (of Ayodhyā) as well as on the people of the countryside, Śrī Rāma , whose mind is set on righteous- ness and who felt astonished at the sincere vow of his brother, said "The sale, deposit or purchase effected by our father while alive cannot be nullified either by me or (even) by Bharata. (27-28) I should not send a proxy into exile in the woods; for that would be a matter for reproach (since a proxy is allowed only in case the man replaced by him in unable to discharge the obligation imposed on him). The demand of Kaikeyī was (but) reasonable (inasmuch as it was based firstly on the stipulation made by the king while marrying Kaikeyī that a son born to her alone would succeed him on the throne, and secondly on the debt the former owed to her for the invaluable service rendered by her on the field of battle); and (only) a virtuous act was done by our father (in granting the boons asked by her). (29) I know Bharata to be forgiving (by nature) and fond of paying respects to his elders. Indeed all will be well with this high-souled prince, who is true to his promise. (30) When returned from the forest I shall indeed become the paramount ruler of the earth with this pious brother (of mine). (31) I have implemented the

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

pledge given by the king, who had been solicited by Kaikeyī for a boon. (Now) acquit the said king, our father, of (the charge of) falsehood by ruling over Ayodhyā (and thereby discharging your part of the obligation)." (32)

Canto CXII

The eminent sages who had assembled (there) were astonished to behold at close quarters that thrilling meeting of the two brothers (Śrī Rāma  and Bharata), who were endowed with matchless splendour. (1) Hosts of sages who stood invisible (in the air) and most eminent Rsis (bodily) present (there) applauded (in the following words') those two highly blessed brothers, Śrī Rāma  and Bharata (the scions of Kākutsthas): — (2) "Ever' noble are the two princes (Śrī Rāma  and Bharata), who not only know what is right but also tread the path of virtue. Indeed, having heard the dialogue of the two, we long to hear it (again and again)." (3) Then the hosts of Rsis for their part, who longed for the death of Ravana, hastily addressed with one voice the following exhortation to Bharata, a tiger among princes: — (4) "0 prince of high birth, endowed with exceptional intelligence, distinguished by a noble conduct and enjoying great renown, the advice of Śrī Rāma  ought to be accepted by you, if you have (the least) regard for your father. (5) We wish to see Śrī Rāma  absolved forever from (all) obligations to his father; for due to him fulfilling Kaikeyī King Daśaratha has ascended to heaven." (6)

Having uttered these few words, the Gandharvas along with the eminent sages as well as the royal sages and all (others) went each their own way. (7) Gladdened by this observation, Śrī Rāma  of blessed appearance looked brighter and thrilled with Joy, he duly extolled these Rsis. (8) The celebrated Bharata for his part, whose limbs were seized with a tremor, made the following submission to Śrī Rāma  (a scion of Raghu) with joined Palms in faltering accents: — (9) "Fully considering, 0 Rāma, this sacred obligation (of getting yourself consecrated for the

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

rulership of Ayodhyā and protecting the people), (which is also) linked with our family usage, you ought to fulfill it, 0 scion of Kakutsthas, and grant my prayer as well as that of your mother (Kausalyā). (10) I for my part cannot protect the vast dominion single-handed, nor can I please the citizens and the people of the countryside, (so) devoted to you. (11) Indeed our kinsmen, warriors, friends and relations too wait for you alone as cultivators do for the rumbling cloud. (12) Accepting the kingdom, 0 highly intelligent brother, actually place it on a sound footing. Such as you are, you are capable of protecting the people on all sides, 0 scion of Kākutsthas!" (13)

Saying so, Bharata then fell at the feet of his (elder) brother and made a fervent appeal to him (to accept the sovereignty), speaking in most endearing tones to  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu). (14) Placing on his lap his brother (Bharata), who was dark-brown (of complexion) and had eyes resembling the petals of a lotus,  Śrī Rāma, who was himself endowed with a voice resembling the swan in rut, replied (to him) as follows: — (15) "You can very well protect even the earth (to say nothing of Ayodhyā) through this innate wisdom (in the shape of under- estimation of your worth) born of humility, that has dawned on you, my dear one! (16) Calmly deliberating with your ministers, friends and wise counsellors too, get through even your major concerns. (17) Splendour would sooner depart from the moon, the Himalaya mountain would sooner shed its snow and the ocean would sooner transgress its limits than I shall violate the plighted word of my father. (18) No matter whether (all) this was wrought by your mother in your interest from affection (for you) or from greed of sovereignty (through your installation as Prince-Regent), my dear, it should not be taken to heart by you and you should behave towards her as towards a mother." (19)

To  Śrī Rāma (the son of Kausalyā) — who was speaking thus, who vied with the sun in glory, and who was pleasing to the sight as the new moon (appearing on the first day of a bright fortnight) — Bharata replied (as follows): — (20) "(Pray) stand with your feet on the (pair of) wooden sandals embellished with

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

gold (placed before you), 0 noble brother! Surely these will supply the needs and ensure the safety of men." (21) Placing his feet on the sandals and (immediately) leaving them,  Śrī Rāma, a tiger among men, who was endowed with exceptional glory, handed them to the high-souled Bharata. (22) Reverentially bowing down to the wooden sandals, he spoke as follows to  Śrī Rāma: — "Indeed, having relegated the burden of ruler ship to the wooden sandals, 0 gallant brother, I should like to live on fruits and roots alone for fourteen years, 0 delight of the Raghus, wearing matted locks (on my head) and the bark of trees (on my person) and actually dwelling outside the city, longing for your return (to the capital), 0 scorcher of enemies! If, however, when the fourteenth year (of your exile) has fully ended, 0 jewel among the Raghus, I do not see you (returned to Ayodhyā) the following day, I shall enter the fire once for all."

Giving his approval in the words "So be it!" and embracing Bharata with love, embracing Śatrughna as well,  Śrī Rāma spoke as follows: — "Take care of mother Kaikeyī; be not angry with her. (23-27) You are (hereby) adjured to do so by me as well as by Sītā, 0 delight of the Raghus!" Saying so, his eyes suffused with tears,  Śrī Rāma bade good-bye to Bharata. (28) Receiving with reverence the pair of exceedingly bright, ornate wooden sandals, the celebrated Bharata, who knew what is right, circumambulated  Śrī Rāma (a scion of Raghu), and further placed the pair of sandals on the head of an excellent elephant (29) Then, paying respects in the order of precedence to (all) those men (who had gathered there) as well as to his preceptors, counsellors, subjects and two younger brothers (Bharata and Śatrughna, who were going to Ayodhyā),  Śrī Rāma (the pro- moter of Raghu's race), who stood by his duty unshaken like the Himalaya mountain, sent them away. (30) His mothers, whose throats were choked with tears through agony, could not even speak to him. Greeting all his mothers, the celebrated  Śrī Rāma too re-entered his hut weeping. (31)  

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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Ravana adducts Sita after sending Marica in the guise of a golden deer to lure Rama Laksmana  away

Guler, 1775/80, Museum Reitberg, Zurich

Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest
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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

 

Sri Rama asking all being

the whereabouts of Sita

Asking the elephant

Asking the deer

Asking the cranes

(Benares school,

  19th century)

 

    

 
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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Rama and Sugreeva

Mewar

Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest
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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Hanuman, bronze, Madras Museum, Chola, Circa 1020

Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest
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Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest

Hanuman showing Sita,s ornaments to Rama

(Guler, Pahari, circa 1780-90, Nation Museum, Delhi)

Dialogue of Bharata and Sri Rama in the forest
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