Friday, 30 August 2013

73. Bharata declined the crown.

                Sage Vasishta and the other king makers approached Bharata in the early morning on the fourteenth day and pleaded "Dasharatha, who was our highly venerable master, has gone to heaven. His eldest son Rama has gone to forest and will not be back for fourteen years. On date you are the available eldest son of the late King Dasharatha. We, therefore, request you to take over the kingdom. Everything needed for the coronation is already ready. Counselors and the ministers as well as the citizens are awaiting you. Take over this great kingdom, which came in succession from your ancestors, and rule us."
         Bharata shook his head and silently performed circumambulation clockwise around all the things kept ready for the consecration as well as coronation, and replied "Is it not appropriate and also the prevailing custom to bestow the kingship always to the eldest son? You, being highly knowledgeable in this regard, ought not to ask me in this manner to assume the kingship. Our eldest brother, Rama shall become the king. I, if need be, will substitute him and reside in the forest for fourteen years. 
          "Let our great and exceptionally powerful army consisting of all the four limbs be kept on alert. I shall go with them, search, find and bring back Rama, our eldest brother from the forest. Keeping in front, all the assembled requisites needed for consecration, we shall proceed to the forest solemnize him as the king of this kingdom there itself, and bring him back, like bringing home the sacred fire from a sacrificial rite, after performing it outside the city. I shall not make her, my so called mother, fulfill her desire. I instead of Rama will reside in the forest. Rama will become the king. Let a path-way be prepared by those skilled in that profession, by leveling the uneven surfaces. Let guards who can easily move in the inaccessible forests accompany us in the path."
          This admirable proclamation was received by the entire assembly in front of him with a contagious cheer and he was hailed in a chorus "Let the gracious goddess of prosperity abide with you, who is speaking with such an exemplary probity, desirous of giving the kingdom to Rama, the eldest son of the king."
          Hearing those heartening words spoken by the prince, tears of joy flowed copiously from the eyes of those venerable men. Hearing these words, the people there along with the council of ministers felt cheerful, being relieved of their anxiety and said cheerfully "As per your command, devoted men and a group of artisans will immediately be instructed to make the path-way without any delay."
Sarga 79

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