Shatashloki 46: Rama gives his sandals to Bharata and asks him to rule as a representative

Pādukechāsya rājyāya nyāsaṃ datvā punaḥ puna

Nivartayāmāsa tato bharatam bharatāgraja

Meaning: “Please take my sandals and rule the kingdom as my representative”-. Saying this Rama gave his sandals to Bharata. Rama consoled Bharata in various ways and after having convinced him, Rama sent him back to Ayodhya.

Rama was deeply touched by Bharata’s humility. Lovingly he said, “Bharata, please return back to Ayodhya and govern the place. I will return to Ayodhya as soon as the stipulated period of 14 years is complete. It is very important that we should obey the commands of our father”.

Many Devarishis and siddhas, who were present there invisibly now made themselves visible. Addressing the 4 brothers they said, “We have heard the entire conversation between you brothers. All of you excel in the knowledge of dharma (righteousness). Solely with the purpose of seeing you, we have appeared here.

Bharata, it is imperative that you should abide by your father’s dictates. This is also very important to ensure that Rama does not remain indebted to his father. It was Kaikeyi who demanded that Rama should live in the forests. Therefore, by completing this term in the forest, Rama will also be relieving himself of his debt (runa) towards her. Dasharatha has reached the heavens”.

In that short time, Rama duly received them and offered to them the reverential worship. The Siddhas and Devarishis accepted his worship and became invisible once again.

By now, it was very clear to Bharata that Rama will not return back. He was disconsolate. Unwilling to give up, for the last time he pleaded with his brother, “Dear brother. Please reconsider your decision. You have the capability to rule this entire world. I do not have your prowess or your capability. Please return to Ayodhya and rule it”. Saying so, Bharata fell at Rama’s feet and held on to them tightly.

Gently lifting him up, Rama said, “You are indeed very wise. Bharata, there has been a significant ripening in your wisdom. Indeed, you too possess the capacity to rule this entire world. With the guidance of these able ministers, priests and sages, you can easily decipher what is right and what is wrong. Under their able guidance, you can easily accomplish even the toughest assignments. Do you know that Emperor Dasharatha had streamlined many major areas?


Bharata, remember this always. under no circumstances should you bear any grudge, grievance or hatred against your mother Kaikeyi. You should remember that she has done all this out of pure love towards you. You should respect her.”

Then under the advice of Maharishi Vashistha, Bharata said to Rama, “Dear brother, please wear these golden paadukas (sandals) for sometime”. Rama wore those padukas for a short time. With great reverence, Bharata prostrated to those paadukas and said, “It is these paadukas that will protect me. I offer the entire responsibility of the kingship to these paadukas (sandals). Rama, until the time you return, I will live like a hermit. If you do not appear before me exactly at the end of the stipulated period of 14 years, I will jump into the fire and end my life”.

Rama agreed to this. He further said, “Look after Kaikeyi respectfully. Do not get angry with her. Please take an oath that you will do so” saying thus, Rama wept and bid goodbye to his brothers.

Bharata picked the sandals and with all the royal customary procedures, reverentially kept them on the head of the elephant Shatrunjaya. He offered prostrations to everyone and wept profusely. Unable to resist his anguish, Rama dashed into his hut. Bharata accompanied by all the mothers, and the entire retinue, left that place.

In this manner, Rama explicitly made known the dharma that both he and Bharata had to adhere to at this point of time and managed to successfully send back Bharata to Ayodhya. What an extraordinary and wonderful scene this was!


Om Seeta Ramabhyaam Namaha

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