Ayodhya-kanda - Doha 221 to 230

Sri Ramcharitmanas is a great Hindu scripture and poetic classic written by Goswami Tulsidas.

Doha - 221
Hearing the news the men and women who lived by the roadside left their household work and ran after the royal travellers, and having seen their comely form and affection they all rejoiced on attaining the reward of their life.

One woman lovingly said to another, "Friend, can they be Rama and Laksmana or not? Their age, constitution, complexion and comeliness of form are the same, dear companion; their amiablitiy and affection are also similar and their gait too resembles that of Rama and Laksmana. Only their dress is not the same and they are not accompanied by sita my friend; and an army complete in its four limbs (viz., horse and foot, elephants and chariots) is marching before them. Moreover, they do not wear a cheerful countenace and their heart is heavy with sorrow. This difference makes me doubt their identity with Rama and Laksmana, O friend." Her argument appealed to the rest of the women; they said, "There is none so clever as she." Applauding the latter and admiring the truth of her remarks another woman spoke in sweet accents. She lovingly narrated the whole episode as to how the festivities in connection with Sri Rama's installation had been obstructed. She then began to praise Bharata's amiability, affection, genial dispostion and goodluck.

Doha - 222
"Journeying on foot, living on fruits and relinquishing the soverignty bestowed by his father, Bharata is proceeding to persuade the chief of Raghu's line to return. Who can equal Bharata today?

"Bharata's brotherly affection, devotion and conduct dispel the woes and evil of those who talk or hear of them. Whatever may be said with regard to them, dear friend, will be quite inadequate; it is no wonder that a brother of Rama should be like that. All of us who have seen Bharata and his younger brother have become praiseworthy among women." Hearing of his virtues and seeing his forlorn state they lamented, "Surely he is not fit son for such a vile mother as Kaikeyi." Some one said, "The queen-mother (Kaikeyi) is not to blame at all; all this has been accomplished by God, who is so favourably disposed to us. Of what account are we, vile vomen, excluded both from secular and Vedic rites and impure by birth as well as by doings, who dwell in an accursed region (woodland) and in a wretched village and are the worst of our class, that we should have such a sight, which is a reward of great religious merit?" There was similar rejoicing and wonder in every village: it seemed as if a celestial tree had sprung up in a desert.

Doha - 223
At the sight of Bharata the good fortune of the people by the roadside manifested itself as though by the of Providence Prayaga had been brought within easy reach of the people of Simhala (Ceylon).

Hearing his own praises as well as of Sri Rama's virtues Bharata went on his way, thinking of Sri Rama. Whenever he happend to see holy watrs he bathed in them and whenever he caught sight of a hermitage or a temple he made obeisance to it, asking in his heart only one boon, viz., devotion to the lotus feet of Sita and Rama, Whomsoever he met, be he a Kola or any other forester or even if he were an anchorite, a religious student, a recluse or a hermit, he would salute him and enquire in which part of the forest were Laksmana, Rama and Videha's daughter (Sita). They told him all the news of the Lord and at the sight of Bharata obtained the reward of their life. Those persons who said they had seen the Lord doing well were counted as dear as Sri Rama and Laksmana themselves. Thus in polite phrases he would make enquiries from all and hear the story of Rama's forest life.

Doha - 224
Halting that day in suitable place he resumed his journey early next morning invoking the Lord of Raghus. Just like Bharata everyone who accompanied him longed for a sight of Rri Rama.

Auspicious omens occurred to everyone; they had happy throbbings in their eyes and arma. Bharata and his whole host rejoiced at the thought that they would be able to see Sri Rama and the sting of their sorrows would come to an end. Each indulged in his own fancy and all went intoxicated with the wine of love; their limbs were getting out of control, their legs tottere and they spoke words in an incoherent way due to emotion. Sri Rama's friend (Guha) presently pointed to Bharata the crest-jewel of mountains (Kamadagiri) which was naturally charming and in the vicinity of which on the reiver Payavini dwell the two brothers (Sri Rama and Laksmana) along with Sita. Catching sight of the mountain all fell prostrate on the ground with the cries of "Glory to Sri Rama, the life of Janaka's daughter!" The royal host was so overwhelmed with emotion as though the Chief of Raghu's line had turned back towards Ayodhya.

Doha - 225
Bharata's love at that time was more than Sesa(the thousand-headed serpent-king) could descibe. It is as unapproachable to the poet as the bliss of absorption into Brahma to those who are tainted by egotiism and mineness.

Being all overpowered by love for the Chief of Raghu's line they had covered a distance of only four miles by the time the sun set. Perceiving a suitable site and water close by the halted and at the close of night the beloved of Sri Rama resumed his journey. There Sri Rama awoke while it was yet dark. Sita saw in a dream that very night as if Bharata had come with his retinue and that his body was tormented by the agony of separation from his lord. All who had accompanied him were sad at heart, miserable and afflicted; while Her mother-in-law She found changed in appearance. On hearing of Sita's dream Sri Rama's eyes filled with tears and He who rids others of their sorrow became sorrowful. "This dream, Laksmana, bodes no good; somebody will break terribly bad news." Saying so He took His bath with His brother and worshipping the Enemy of Tripura, Lord Siva, paid His respects to holy men.

After adoring the gods and reverencing the hermits He sat down gazing to the north. There wad dust in the air and a host of birds and beasts had taken to flight in panic and were making their way to the Lord's hermitage. Says Tulasidasa: He stood up when He saw this and wondered in his heart what could be the reason. Presently the Kolas and Kiratas came and told Him all the news.

Doha - 226
When He heard the delightful words He felt overjoyed at heart. A thrill ran through His body and His eyes; that resembled the autumnal lotus, says Tulasidasa, filled with the tears of affection.

Sita's lord became anxious the very next moment. "What can be the reason of Bharata's arrival?" Then somebody came and spoke to Him thus: "He has with him no small army complete in its four limbs (viz.,horse, elephants and chariots)." Hearing this Sri Rama felt much distrubed. On the one hand there was His father's command, on the other His regard for His younger brother (Bharata). Realizing Bharata's disposition in His heart, the Lord found no proposition to fix His mind upon. Then He consoled Himself with the thought that Bharata's was submissive, good and reasonable. Laksmana saw that the Lord was troubled at heart, and spoke what prudence demanded on the occasion : "I make bold, my lord, to say something unasked; but a servant ceases to be imperitnent if his impertinence is not inopportune. Ypu, my master, asre crest-jewel of the all-wise; yet I, your servant, tell you my own mind.

Doha - 227
"You, my master,are loving by nature and guileless of heart and a strorehouse of amiability and affection. You love and trust everyone and know all to be just like yourself."

"Foods given to the pleasures of sense are seized with infatuation on attaining power and reveal their true nature Bharata was righteous, good and wise and his devotion to the Lord's feet is known to the whole world. But now that he has attained Sri Rama's (your) position (as the ruler of Ayodhya) even he has trangressed the bounds of righteousness. Finding an adverse situation and knowing that you are alone in the forest, this wily and wicked brother has plotted an evil design and after making due preparations has come to make his soverignty secure. Planning all sort of wicked schemes the two brothers have collected an army and marched here. If they had no wily intention and roguery at heart, who should like to bring chariots, horses and elephants? But way should one blame Bharata for nothing when we know that anyone in the world would be driven mad on attaining sovereignty?

Doha - 228
"The moon-god committed adultery with the wife of his Guru (the sage Brhaspati) while Nahusa mounted a palanquin borne by Brahmanas; and there was none so vile as King Vena, an enemy of established usage as well as of the Vedic injunctions.

"King Sahasrabahu, Indra (the lord of celestials) and King Trisanku (father of Hariscandra)--which of these was not brought into disrepute by the intoxication of kingly power? Bharata has resorted to a right expedient; for one should leave no trace of one's enemy or debt in any case. But he has made one mistake in that he has despised Sri Rama (yourself) as forlorn. And he will realize his mistake with vengenance today when he beholds Sri Rama's (your) indignant face on the battle-field." Even as he said so he forgot his love of propriety and the tree of his belklicose spirit burst into flowers in the shape of horripilation. Adoring the Lord's feet and placing their dust on his head he spoke, revealing his own real and natural might:" Pray do not take offence, my lord, if I tell you that Bhrata has provoked me not a little. After all how long shall I endure this and restrain my passion when my lord (yourself) is with me and the bow in my hand?

Doha - 229
"A Ksatriya (warrior) by caste and born in the race of Raghu I am known throughout the world as a servant of Sri Rama (yourself). (How, then, can I put up with such insult?) What is so low as the dust (on a road)? But if you were to kick it up it would rise to your head."

As he rose and with joined palms asked leave (to meet Bharata in an enconter), it seemed as if the heroc sentiment itself had awoke from sleep. Binding up the matted locks on his head and fastening the quiver to his waist he strung his bow and took an arrow in his hand."Let me distinguish myself as a servant of Sri Rama today and teach Bharata a lesson in the battle. Reaping the fruit of their contempt for Sri Rama let the two brothers sleep on the couch of the battle-field. It is well that the whole host has collected at one place. I shall therefore, give vent to my past anger. Even as a lion (the king of beasts) tears to pieces a herd of elephants or just as a hawk clutches and carries off a lark, so shall I lightly overthrow on the field Bharata as well as his younger. brother (Satrughna) and all their host. Even if Lord Sankara comes to his said, I swear by Sri Rama that I will kill him in battle."

Doha - 230
Seeing Laksmana speak with such vehemence and fury anf hearing his solemn oath all the spheres trembled with fear, while their rulers were anxious to flee away in panic.

The world was seized with terror and a voice was heard in the air extolling the enormour strengh of Laksmana's arm: "Who can tell, dear child, nay, who even knows your might and glory? But before doing anything one must judge whether it is right or wrong; then everyone would approve of it. They who act impulsively and repent afterwards are anything but wise " so declare the Vedas and the sages. " On hearing this voice from heaven Laksmana felt abashed; but bothe Sri Rama and Sita addressed him kindly and politely: " What you have said, dear Laksmana, is sound wisdom; the entoxicaton of kingly power is the worst of all, But of those relers who have tasted it they alone lose their head who have rever waited on an assembly of saints. As for Bharata, I tell you, Laksmana, in the whole of God's creation I have never seen or heard of anyone so good as he."


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Last Updated : February 22, 2011

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