Thursday, 10 October 2013

86. Bharata relents, takes gold adorned sandals mounted by Rama.

           All including the sage Vasishta and other great sages hearing the dialog between Rama and Bharata were thrilled, amazed and astonished. The assemblies of ascetics and great saints present there and the distinguished sages who stood invisible in space, applauded both Rama and Bharata, the magnanimous brothers, murmuring to themselves "That Dasharatha, who begot these two sons, who know righteousness and whose strength is justice, was fortunate. The debate between these two princes was quite delightful."
Thereafter, that assembly of sages, who wished to see an early destruction of Ravana, came together and told Bharata 
"O Bharata born in a noble race, highly intelligent, having a superior conduct and a great repute! If you have regard for your father, Rama's words are to be accepted. We wish to see Rama absolved of all obligations forever to his father Dasharatha, who honoured his pledge to Kaikeyi, before leaving for heaven."
              Rama looked radiant and worshiped those sages with a joyful countenance. Bharata however, did not have the heart to leave without Rama. Though it seemed absolutely futile to make Rama to return to Ayodhya, Bharata made another attempt by appealing to Rama, with trembling limbs and brimming tears in his eyes in a strangled voice "O, Rama! Keeping in view the continuance of our royal custom and the custom and procedure followed by our race, you ought to yield to the entreaties of mine and those of your mother. I am not able to rule this vast empire alone to the satisfaction of the beloved inhabitants of town and country!
              "Our kith and king, soldiers, companions and allies are waiting for you indeed, as farmers wait for the rainy clouds. Return to the kingdom and keep it in order. You alone have the competence to save the world."
             Rama embraced his weeping brother Bharata and told him "O, my dear brother! You are very much competent to rule the earth, by the intellect you obtained both inherently and by training. Take counsel with your ministers, companions and intelligent counsellors and get all activities done, even if they are gigantic. Light may go off from the moon; Himalayan mountain may shake off its snows; the sea may transgress its shores, but I will never be false to my father's vow! My dear brother! Your mother acted thus for your sake, out of her affection or ambition. It should not be carried out in your mind. You ought to obey her as your mother."
           Then Bharata told Rama "O, noble brother! Pray mount with your feet on these wooden sandals adorned with gold! Surely, these will bestow, gain and security to all the people!" Rama readily agreed and placing his feet on the sandals and leaving them, gave them to Bharata.
          Bowing before the sandals, Bharata told Rama: "O, Rama! For fourteen years, I shall wear matted locks and robes of bark, live on fruits and roots, and live outside the city, offering the ruling of the kingdom to your sandals. O, Rama! If I do not see you on the day following the conclusion of fourteenth years, I shall enter into fire once and for all."
          "So be it" agreed Rama, embracing Bharata with affection, took Shatrughna also in his arms and  said
"O Bharata! Protect your mother, Kaikeyi. Do not get angry with her. You are taken vow thus by me and by Seetha." Then, Rama with his eyes filled with tears, bade farewell to his brothers. Bharata, who knew righteousness worshipped those sandals which were well-decorated made a circumambulation to Rama and kept the sandals on the head of an excellent elephant.
             Rama, being firm as a Himalayan rock in abiding in his own righteousness, greeted those men, in accord with their rank, the host of his preceptors, ministers, subjects and his brothers and bade farewell to all of them. His mothers, their voices choked with tears due to sorrow, were unable to bid farewell verbally to Rama. However, Rama himself offered his salutations to all his mothers and entered his hermitage, weeping.

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