BHARATA, THE EXEMPLARY BROTHER OF SRI RAMA.
Seldom have we seen or read about a brother from a Royal family who was so sincere and devoted to his brother or sister like Bharata was to Sri Rama. Bharata was in fact, a half brother, being son of Kaikeyi, one of King Dasaratha’s three wives.
As we all probably know, Bharata was, against his will, forced to become the King of Ayodhya instead of the eldest son of King Dasaratha. The latter was sadly tricked into this by the cunning manipulations of Kaikeyi, with the help of her wicked lady attendant, Manthara.
Bharata, unlike most other such Royal brothers in history, didn’t jump and grab the opportunity. He was thoroughly unhappy about this deceit of his mother and even threatened to assault her, though she was doing it for his ascension to the throne!
That’s why Bharata should be considered as the noblest and most exemplary brother ever.
In fact, Bharata ,in consultation with the wise sages like Vasishta, decided to go to the forest where Rama, Sita and Lakshman had gone for their fourteen year exile. He went and pleaded with Sri Rama and Sita to return to the Kingdom and take their rightful place on the throne, but Sri Rama politely declined, stating that it was his bounden duty to respect his father’s word.
Seeing Bharata weeping inconsolably, Sage Vasishta advised him to rule in the name of Sri Rama. Accepting this advice, Bharata prostated before his elder brother and taking his sandals, returned to Ayodhya.
Thereafter, Bharata ruled Ayodhya by placing Sri Rama’s padukas(sandals) symbolically on the throne. He never sat on the throne himself and lived a life of austerity and penance for the full fourteen years till Sri Rama, Sitadevi and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya after exile and after winning the great Ramayana war.
No one was probably happier than the noble Bharata when Sri Rama and Sita Devi ascended the throne!
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