by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597
This page is entitled “prince bharata is reconciled to becoming shri rama’s deputy” and represents Chapter 112 of the Ayodhya-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Ayodhya-kanda].
The great sages who were present at the meeting of the two illustrious brothers, were astonished. The royal sages, those perfect ones also celestial beings, who were invisible, praised the two princes and said: “Blessed is the king, whose sons are highly virtuous and veracious, we are immeasurably gratified to hear their converse.”
Desirous that the life and reign of Ravana should end soon, certain sages approached Bharata and unitedly addressed him, saying: “O Bharata, O Highly Resolute Prince, O Pious and Renowned One, recollect that you are born in a royal line, let not the word of Rama be disregarded by you, if you are wishful to bring felicity to the spirit of your parent. It is our desire that your father who has entered heaven may be absolved from every debt, having discharged his obligations to Queen Kaikeyi.”
Having spoken thus, these celestial sages returned to their abode.
Rama, gratified by their words, said: “By you, have I been assisted in upholding virtue.”
Prince Bharata with trembling accents again entreated Rama, saying: “O Rama, he who is skilled in righteous governance and who is the eldest, ascends the throne. Do you, observing the tradition, fulfil the desire of your mother Kaushalya. I alone have neither the courage to administer so vast a dominion, nor should I be able to satisfy the people of the capital and kingdom.
“Our relatives, friends, and warriors await your conversion to sovereignty as the husbandman eagerly anticipates the rain clouds. Therefore, O Wise One, accept the crown for you alone art able to establish this kingdom.”
Having spoken thus, Bharata fell at the feet of his brother and fervently entreated him, crying: “O Rama, O Rama.”
Shri Rama, raising up the young prince who, eloquent and lotus-eyed, resembled a wild swan embraced him, and said: “That genuine humility which you have demonstrated will furnish you with sufficient courage to govern the kingdom. Do you consult your ministers, counsellors and friends in the great work of your rule. The moon may cease from shining, and the Himalaya abandon the snows, Mount Meru its splendour or the ocean exceed its boundary, but I shall not relinquish the vow made in the presence of my sire. O Beloved One, it is not for you to determine whether that which was brought about by your mother was done through love of you, or through ambition to see you made king, it is for you to treat her as your parent.”
Then Prince Bharata answered Rama who resembled the sun in glory and the new moon in splendour, saying: “O Noble One, place your feet in these sandals adorned with gold, since soon they will furnish our only means of support and protection.” The illustrious Rama having put on the sandals, took them off and returned them to Bharata. He, bowing reverently to the sandals addressed Rama thus: “From to-day I shall for fourteen years, assuming matted locks and a robe of bark, live on fruits and roots, awaiting your return. Offering up the management of the kingdom to these sandals for fourteen years, if I do not see you returning on the final day of that period, I will enter the fire and be consumed!”
Shri Rama embracing Bharata with great reverence answered “Be it so.” Then he spoke further saying: “Cherish your mother Kaikeyi, and be not angry with her. In my name and in the name of Shri Sita, I adjure you to reverence and protect Queen Kaikeyi!” His eyes suffused with tears, Shri Rama then bade farewell to Shri Bharata and Shatrughna.
Bharata offering due reverence to the ornate and glittering sandals, circumambulated Shri Rama and placed them on the head of the mighty elephant belonging to King Dasaratha. Then Shri Rama, immoveable like the Himalayas, in the practice of virtue and the promoter of the honour of the House of Raghu, made obeisance to his holy Guru, the ministers, citizens and his brothers, and dismissed them.
His mothers, overcome with grief, were unable to utter a single word. To them also Shri Rama offered reverent salutations and sorrowfully entered his own dwelling.