Shatashloki 44: Bharata beseeches Rama to return to Ayodhya

Tvameva rājā dharmajñah iti rāmaṃ vaco bravīt

Rama, you have mastered all the dharmas. Hence you are aware of the rule that a younger brother should not rule during the lifetime of the elder brother. Hence please accept the kingdom begin to rule.

Bharata thus pleaded with Rama to accept the kingdom. After hearing him Rama said, “Neither in you nor in your mother I am able to spot even the slightest fault. My father had every right to decide whether I should be a king or whether I should live in the forest wearing clothes of bark. In this case both my parents chose to send me to the forest. To obey my father’s command is my dharma. Likewise, you have been ordered to govern the kingdom after being crowned as the king. It is your dharma to obey his order and to act in accordance to it. After having clearly defined our duties, our father has left for his heavenly abode. It is our duty to accept his decision and abide by it”.

Rama thought of his father and grieved for him. He mourned his death and cried that he could not be by his side in his last moments. He felt sorry that he could not even complete the last rites to his father. In great sadness, Rama, Seeta and Lakshmana wept. Then having decided to offer libations to their father, they collected a few plums and the pulp of the Ingudi tree and mixed them to create a few balls. They walked to the River Mandakini and overcome with grief, sobbed sorrowfully. Descending into the waters of the river, Rama and Lakshmana offered water and the food to their father Dasharatha.

By then Shatrughna, ministers, priests and mothers reached Rama’s hut. Rama offered his prostrations to all the elders and embraced his brother. Koushalya was grief stricken and saddened to see the fate of Seeta in the hut.

Thereafter all the Sages, ministers, the 4 brothers and the respected elders of the land, all assembled at a spot. Offering his prostrations to Rama, Bharata eagerly awaited Rama’s decision. There was pin-drop silence for a while. Then Bharata said, “Dear brother, instigated by my mother, our father had to send you away to the forests. Grieving for you, he gave up his life too. Without an able king, today Ayodhya is orphaned. It is the practice in our lineage that the eldest son ascends the throne after the death of the father. You are the eldest amongst us four. You are also the most capable. It is our request that you should ascend the throne and take on the responsibility of Ayodhya.

Out of respect for my mother, you gave away to me the kingdom, which was rightfully yours. Today I am returning the same back to you. Please protect the dignity of our lineage. For having been born from the womb of Kaikeyi, I am being cursed by one and all. Rama, I am merely your servant. Please hear my prayer and oblige me. Accept the kingdom.

Just as a donkey cannot imitate a horse; just as an ordinary bird cannot fly at great speeds like Garuda, I too cannot rule this great land as efficiently as you. Right since our childhood, our father dreamt of seeing you crowned the king. Now you should fulfill that desire of his. All these ministers, sages, leaders and well wishers join me in begging you to return to Ayodhya.

Rama, I am not just your younger brother, but also your disciple and servant. Look at these ministers who are senior to us in age. They were not just the ministers of our father, but were also guiding our great grandfathers. It is right to disobey their words?

Rama, if you do not listen to our request, then our father’s dreams and efforts will all be rendered futile”.

Saying this, Bharata tightly held on to Rama’s feet. Bharata’s words and his behaviour melted the hearts of everyone assembled there. All of them praised Bharata profusely.


Om Seeta Ramabhyaam namaha.

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