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Chapter 111: Bharata Offers to Take Rama’s Place

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Bharata Offers to Take Rama’s Place

Summary

Vasishta urges Rama to grant the prayer of Bharata. Rama replies that the command given by his father cannot be disregarded. Bharata then decides to undertake a fest unto death as a last resort to exert pressure on Rama. On Rama's dubbing such a step as repugnant to the code of conduct prescribed for a kshatriya, Bharata requests Rama to allow him to remain in the forest as the latter's proxy. Rama, however, rules out this proposition also, saying that it is a matter of reproach. He reaffirms his resolve to enter Ayodhya only after implementing the pledge given to his father.

Chapter [Sarga] 111 in Detail

vasishthah tu tadaa raamam uktvaa raaja purohitah |

abraviid dharma samyuktam punar eva aparam vacah || 2-111-1

Having spoken thus to Rama, Vasishta the royal priest added the following righteous words:

purushasya iha jaatasya bhavanti guravah trayah |

aacaaryah caiva kaakutstha pitaa maataa ca raaghava || 2-111-2

"O, Kakutstha, O offspring the Raghu dynasty! From birth, the three spiritual instructors of a man are his teacher, his father and his mother."

pitaa hy enam janayati purusham purusha rishabha |

prajnaam dadaati ca aacaaryah tasmaat sa gurur ucyate || 2-111-3

"O, excellent among men! The father of man his life. The teacher instructs him in wisdom and therefore instructs the teacher is said to be the superior!"

se te aham pitur aacaaryah tava caiva param tapa |

mama tvam vacanam kurvan na ativarteh sataam gatim || 2-111-4

"O, Rama the terminator of the enemies! I am the spiritual Preceptor to your father and to you too. In obeying my words, you will not transgress the path of the virtuous."

imaa hi te parishadah shrenayah ca samaagataah |

eshu taata caran dharmam na ativarteh sataam gatim || 2-111-5

"O, dear prince! These subjects, the traders, the other categories of people and Brahmana are your people only. In fulfilling your duty to them, you will not be transgressing your righteous path."

vriddhaayaa dharma shiilaayaa maatur na arhasy avartitum |

asyaah tu vacanam kurvan na ativarteh sataam gatim || 2-111-6

"You ought not to be lacking in reverence to your mother who is aged and possessing a noble conduct. By carrying out her words, you will not deviate from the path of the virtuous."

bharatasya vacah kurvan yaacamaanasya raaghava |

aatmaanam na ativarteh tvam satya dharma paraakrama || 2-111-7

"O, Rama excelling in truth and virtue. By fulfilling the words of the beseeching Bharata, you will not be false to yourself."

evam madhuram uktah tu gurunaa raaghavah svayam |

pratyuvaaca samaasiinam vasishtham purusha rishabhah || 2-111-8

Having heard the sweet words spoken by his spiritual preceptor himself, Rama the excellent among men replied (as follows) to Vasishta who was seated there.

yan maataapitarau vrittam tanaye kurutah sadaa |

na supratikaram tat tu maatraa pitraa ca yat kritam || 2-111-9

yathaa shakti pradaanena snaapanaac chaadanena ca |

nityam ca priya vaadena tathaa samvardhanena ca || 2-111-10

"The good, which a father and mother do, by giving whatever they can, to their son constantly, by putting him to sleep, rubbing his body with oil etc, nay, by speaking kindly to him every moment, and even by nourishing him, can never be wholly requited."

sa hi raajaa janayitaa pitaa dasharatho mama |

aajnaatam yan mayaa tasya na tan mithyaa bhavishyati || 2-111-11

"The command laid upon me by king Dasaratha, my father, who begot me, cannot therefore be disregarded."

evam uktah tu raamena bharatah pratyanantaram |

uvaaca parama udaarah suutam parama durmanaah || 2-111-12

Hearing Rama's words, the most generous Bharata felt very much anguished and addressed the following words to Sumantra the charioteer who was standing nearby:

iha me sthandile shiighram kushaan aastara saarathe |

aaryam pratyupavekshyaami yaavan me na prasiidati || 2-111-13

"O, charioteer! Spread speedily the Kusha grass on the ground here for me. I shall remain facing my illustrious brother till he gets propitiated (and grant my request)."

anaahaaro niraaloko dhana hiino yathaa dvijah |

sheshye purastaat shaalaayaa yaavan na pratiyaasyati || 2-111-14

"I shall remain lying down in front of Rama's hut without food or drink and depriving myself of light until he returns to Ayodhya, like a Brahman who is a destitute (lies down at the door of his creditor)."

sa tu raamam avekshantam sumantram prekshya durmanaah |

kusha uttaram upasthaapya bhuumaau eva aastarat svayam || 2-111-15

Seeing Sumantra who was gazing at Rama waiting for his command, the low-spirited Bharata, on his own, brought a heap of Kusha grass and spread it on the floor.

tam uvaaca mahaa tejaa raamo raaja rishi sattamaah |

kim maam bharata kurvaanam taata pratyupavekshyasi || 2-111-16

Rama of great splendor and the best among royal sages spoke to Bharata as follows: "O Bharata my dear brother! What wrong have I done that you lie down before me?"

braahmano hy eka paarshvena naraan roddhum iha arhati |

na tu muurdhaa avasiktaanaam vidhih pratyupaveshane || 2-111-17

"A Brahmana may lie down on one side in order to obstruct a willful debtor in this world. But, it is not befitting for a warrior-class.

uttishtha nara shaarduula hitvaa etad daarunam vratam |

pura varyaam itah kshipram ayodhyaam yaahi raaghava || 2-111-18

"O Bharata, Tiger among men! Giving up this formidable resolve, rise up proceed speedily to Ayodhya the best of cities, from here."

aasiinah tu eva bharatah paura jaanapadam janam |

uvaaca sarvatah prekshya kim aaryam na anushaasatha || 2-111-19

Still sitting in the same posture, Bharata looked at the citizens and rural folk around on all sides and asked them why they were not entreating his venerable brother to return.

te tam uucur mahaatmaanam paura jaanapadaa janaah |

kaakutstham abhijaaniimah samyag vadati raaghavah || 2-111-20

Those people, the inhabitants of town and country replied to the magnanimous Bharata as follows: "We know Rama very well. He is speaking rightly."

esho api hi mahaa bhaagah pitur vacasi tishthati |

ata eva na shaktaah smo vyaavartayitum anjasaa || 2-111-21

"This Rama of exalted merit is indeed standing on his father's words. Hence, we are not able to convince him to return to Ayodhya."

teshaam aajnaaya vacanam raamo vacanam abraviit |

evam nibodha vacanam suhridaam dharma cakshushaam || 2-111-22

Hearing their words, Rama said to Bharata: "Reflect on the words of your companions, who see rightly."

etac ca eva ubhayam shrutvaa samyak sampashya raaghava |

uttishtha tvam mahaa baaho maam ca sprisha tathaa udakam || 2-111-23

"O the mighty armed Bharata! Having listened to their testimony and mine, reflect on the matter carefully. Rise and touch me and drink water."

atha utthaaya jalam sprishtvaa bharato vaakyam abraviit |

shrinvantu me parishado mantrinah shrenayah tathaa || 2-111-24

Thereafter, Bharata rose, touched water and spoke as follows: "Let the audience, including ministers and the guild of traders hear me also."

na yaace pitaram raajyam na anushaasaami maataram |

aaryam parama dharmajnam abhijaanaami raaghavam || 2-111-25

"I never asked my father for the kingdom, nor did I counsel my mother to enthrone me. I never gave my approval for the exile of Rama, the venerable hero, who knows his duty very well."

yadi tu avashyam vastavyam kartavyam ca pitur vacah |

aham eva nivatsyaami caturdasha vane samaah || 2-111-26

"If it is absolutely essential that one of us should remain here and the command of our father be executed, then it is I who will reside in the forest for fourteen years."

dharma aatmaa tasya tathyena bhraatur vaakyena vismitah |

uvaaca raamah samprekshya paura jaanapadam janam || 2-111-27

The high-souled Rama was surprised by the sincere words of his brother and by looking at the inhabitants of town and country, spoke (as follows):

vikriitam aahitam kriitam yat pitraa jiivataa mama |

na tal lopayitum shakyam mayaa vaa bharatena vaa || 2-111-28

"The disposal, the pledge and the come-by which he was alive, cannot be broken either by me or by Bharata."

upadhir na mayaa kaaryo vana vaase jugupsitah |

yuktam uktam ca kaikeyyaa pitraa me sukritam kritam || 2-111-29

"I cannot accede to the substitute in respect of the sojourn in the forest and it is distasteful thing. What was advised by Kaikeyi was proper and what was done by my father was a righteous deed."

jaanaami bharatam kshaantam guru satkaara kaarinam |

sarvam eva atra kalyaanam satya samdhe mahaatmani || 2-111-30

"I am aware that Bharata has necessary patience and due devotion for the elders. All will be propitious in the case of this magnanimous Bharata, who is true to his promise."

anena dharma shiilena vanaat pratyaagatah punah |

bhraatraa saha bhavishyaami prithivyaah patir uttamah || 2-111-31

"After returning from the forest, I shall rule the earth, assisted by my virtuous brother."

vrito raajaa hi kaikeyyaa mayaa tad vacanam kritam |

anritaan mocaya anena pitaram tam mahii patim || 2-111-32

"The king Dasaratha was indeed solicited for a boon by Kaikeyi. That word of the king has been fulfilled by me. Hence, relieve our father, the emperor from the blame."

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye ayodhyaakaande ekaadashottarashatatamah sargah

Thus completes 111th Chapter of Ayodhya Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate

 

References

 

K. M. K. Murthy. (1999). Ayodhya Kanda - Book Of Ayodhya.

 

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At http://www.m-w.com.

 

Reference.com. (2007). At http://www.reference.com.

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