Ayodhya-kanda - Doha 311 to 326

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

Doha- 311
When all superatural powers become easily attainable to an ordinary individual who utter the name of Rama even while yawning this is no great honour to Bharata, who was dear to Rama as His own life.

In this way Bharata roamed about in the forest. even hermits felt abashed to see his devotion and austerity. The sacred ponds and tracts of land, the birds and beasts, the trees and grasses. the hills, woods and orchrds were charming, wonderful and pre-eminetly holy. Seeing them all so divine, Bharata asked questions about them; and in reply to them the great sage Atri told him with a glad heart the origni name, attributes and purifying virtues of each. Taking a dip at one place they made obeisance at another; here they beheld sights that were ravishing to the soul, while there they sat down with the permission of the sage and thought of Sita and the two brothers (Sri Rama and Laksmana). Seeing Bharata's good despositon, affection,and loyal services the sylvan gods gladly gave him their blessing. The third watch of the day would be half spent when the two brothers returned to their camp and gazed upon the lotus feet of their lord.

Doha - 312
Bharata visited all the sacred spots in five days. The (last) day was spent in discussing the shining glory of Hari (Bhagavan visnu) and Hara (Lord Siva) till it was duck.

On the morrow, after bathing, the whole assmbly met again-Bharata, the Brahmanas and the King of Tirahuta (Mithila). Though knowing at heart that the day was auspicious (for undertaking a return journey to Ayodhya) the tender-hearted Sri Rama hesitated to say so. Sri Rama looked at His preceptor (the sage Vasistha) ,King Janaka and the assembly; but the very next moment He felt nervous and turned His eyes to the ground. Prasing His regard for others' feelings the whole assembly thought that nowhere could one find a master so considerate as Sri Rama. Bharata, who was clever enough to perceive Sri Rama's Rama's wish, lovingly rose and imposing great restraint upon himself fell prostrate on the ground. Then joining his palms, he lovingly said, "My lord, you have granted me all my desires. For my sake everybody has suffere a good deal of toruble and you too have been put to much inconvenience. Now, my lord, give me your permission to leave, so that I may go back to Ayodhya and remain there till your return.

Doha - 313
"Admonish me, O gracious Lord of Kosala, and tell me some means by practising which for the remaining period of your exile your servant (myself) may be enabled to behold the feet of his merciful master again."

"Your citizens your kinsmen and your other subjects too, my lord, are all hallowed and steeped in joy because of the love they bear for you and the relationship they have with you. It is better to be tormented by the agonies of birth and death for your sake; while without you, my lord, it is no use attaining the supreme state (of blessedness) Knowing the hearts of all and even so the liking and longings of your servant's heart as well as his way of life, my all-wise lord, who is a protector of the suppliant, will protect all, and will take care of them, both in this world and in the next, till the last. I am fully confident of this in every way; and when I ponder this, I am not in the least disturbed about it. My own distress and when I ponder this, I am not in the least distrubed about it. My own distress and my lord's Kindness have both combined to make me impudent. Correcting this great fault of mine, my master, instruct this seervant of yours wihtou reserve." Everyone who heard Bharata's prayer applauded it and said, "This supplication of Bharata is like a cygnet, that sifts milk from water."

Doha - 314
The all-wise Sri Rama, the befriender of the afflicted, when He heard the meek and quileless speech of His brother(Bharata), replied in terms appropriate to the place, time and occasion;

"Brother,--it is our preceptor (the sage Vasistha) and King Janaka who take thought for you and me as well as for our people, whether we be at home or in the forest, So long as our preceptor, the sage (Visvamitra) and the lord of Mithila are our guardians, neither you nor I can even dream of toruble. For us two brothers, you as well as myself, the highest achievement of our human life, nay, our material gain, our glory, our virtue and our highest spiritual gain consist in this that both of us should obey our father's command. It is in vindicating king's (our father's) reputation (by implementing his word) that our good lies both in the eyes of the world and in the estimation of the Vedas. Those who follow the advice of their preceptor, Father, mother and master,never stumble even if they tread a wrong path. Pondering thus and putting away all anxiety go and rule over Ayodhya till the appointed period. The responsibility for the protection of our land land, treasury, kinsmen and our own people rests on the dust of our preceptor's feet. As for yourself you should protect the earth, your subjects and your capital in accordance with the adivive of your preceptor (the sage Vasistha) mothers and the minister (Sumantra).

Doha - 315
"A chief should be like the mouth, which alone does all the eathing and drinking but supports and nourishes all the other limbs with discretion, says Tulasidasa."

"The essence of a king's duty is only this much, which lies hidden in the Sastras, even as a desire is cherished in the heart (before it is expressed)." The Lord comforted His brother (Bharata) in many ways; but without some prop his mind found no consolation or rest. His regard for Bharata, on the one hand, and the presence of elders and ministers, on the other, overwhelmed the Lord of Raghus wiht a mixed feeling of embarrassment and affection. The Lord at last look compassion on him and gave him His wooden sandals, which Bharata reverently placed on his head. The sandals of the all-merciful Lord were like two watchmen entrusted with, the duty of guarding the people's life or they might be compared to a pair of caskets to ensrine the jewel of Bharata's love or they might be compared to a pair of caskets to enshrine the jewel of Bharata's love or to the two syllables (constituting the word Rama') indnded for the (spiritual) practice of the human soul. Or they might be likened to a pair of doors to guard the race (of Raghu) or a pair hands to assist in the performance of good deeds or again to a pair of eyes to show the noble path of service. Bharata was highly pleased to get this prop; he felt as happy as if Sita and Sri Rama had agreed to stay (in ayodhya)

Doha - 316
He made obeisance and begged Leave to depart and Sri Rama clasped him to his bosom. while the malevolent lord of celestials taking advantage of this adverse situation made the people weary.

That mischief, however, proved a boom to all; it helped to sustain their life like the hope of Sri Rama's returning to Ayodhya on the expiry of His terms of exile. Otherwise people would have succumbed to the fell disease of separation from Laksmana. Sita and Rama in great agony. By Sri Rama's grace the imbroglio was resolved and the gods, who were hostilely disposed (toward the people of Ayodhya) now turned out helpful as allies. Sri Rama locked His brother, Bharata, in a close embrace; the ectasy of His love cannot be described in words. His body, mind and speech overflowed wiht love and the firmest of the firm lost all firmness. His lotus eyes streeamed with tears; even the assembly of gods was grieved to see His condition . The host of sages (assembled there), the preceptor (the sage Vasistha) and a champion of firmness like Janaka, the gold of whose mind had been tested in the fire wisdom, nay who were created by Brahma as free all attachment and were born in this world even as the lotus springs up from water (and yet remaints ever above it)

Doha - 317
Even they were overwhelmed in mind, body and speech and lost all reason and dispassion when they saw the incomparable and boundless affection of Sri Rama (the Chief of Raghus) and Bharata.

The affection (of Sri Rama and Bharata) which baffled the wits of King Janaka and the preceptor (Vasistha),--it would be a great to call it mundane. People would account the poet hard-hearted if they heard him describe the parting of Sri Rama (the chief of Raghus) and Bharata. The rapture of that delicacy was past all telling, thinking of the love that manifested itself on the occasion even eloquence shrunk into itself Sri Rama (the Chief of Raghus) first embraced Bharata and consoled him; and then He gladly clasped Satrughna to His bosom. Reading Bharata's mind his servants and ministers all left and set about their respective duties. The people in both the camp were sore distressed to learn this and began to prepare for the return journey. the two brothers (Bharata and Satrughna) adored the lotus feet of their lord and bowing to the orders of Sri Rama they set out on their journey. They supplicated the sages. ascetics and sylvan gods honoured them again and again.

Doha - 318
Bharata then embraced Laksmana, while Satrughna bowed to him and both placed the dust of Sita's feet on their head; and receiving Her loving benediction, which was the root of all fair blessin, they departed.

Sri Rama with His younger brother (Laksmana) bowed His head to King Janaka and supplicated and extolled him in many ways: "Moved by compassion for us, my lord, you suffered much and came all the way to this forest with your retinue. Now kindly bestow your blessings on us and return to your capital,: At this the king took courage and departed. The Lord also treated with honour the sages and other Brahmanas and holy men and bode good-bye to them with the same respect as is due to Hari (Bhagavan Visnu) and Hara (Lord Siva). The two brothers (Sri Rama and Laksmana) then called on their mother-in-law and having adored her feet and received her blessings they came back. Sri Rama and His younger brother (Laksmana) ) took leave of the sages Kausika (Visvamitra), Vamadeva and Jabali, the citizens, His own kinsmen and faithful ministers with due courtesy and obeisance. The gracious Lord sent back and women of all ranks--high, and middling--with due honour.

Doha - 319
With sincere affection the Lord adored the feet of Bharata's mother (Kaikeyi) and embraced her, and having removed all her embarrassment and grief saw her off in a palanquin duly equipped for the purpose.

Sita, who cherished unalloyed love for Her most beloved lord returned after meeting Her kinsmen, father (King Janka) and mother (Queen Sunayana) Making obeisance to Her mothrs-in-law She embraced them all; the poet has no enthusiam left in his heart to describe Her affection. Listening to their advice and receiving benedictions. of Her likeing Sita was lost in the love bother of Her parents and mother-in-law. The Lord of Raghus sent for the beautiful palanquins and with words of consolation He helped all His mothers mount them. The two brothers (Sri Rama and Laksamana) embraced them again and again with equal affection and sent them off. Equipping the horses, elephants and vehicles of every description the hosts of Bharata and King Janaka set out on thier journey. With their hearts full of Rama, Sita and Laksmana all the people went on their journey. With their hearts full of Rama, Sita and Laksaman, all the people went on their journey as if an trance. Even the bullocks, horses, elephants and other animals on against their will, sad at heart and depressed in spirits.

Doha - 320
Adoring the feet Guru (the sage Vasistha) and the Guru's wife (Arundhati) the Lord as well as Sita and Laksmana returned with a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow to their hut of leaves.

The Nisada chief was courteously sent away and departed; leaving the Lord was a great wrench to him.Pressed to return, the Kiratas, Bhilas and other foresters returned after bowing again and again. The lord with Sita and Laksmana sat down in the shade of banyan tree and grieved spouse (Sita) and younger brother (Laksmana) the affection, nouble disposition and polite speech of Bharata. Overpowed by love Sri Rama exolled with His own blessed lips Bharata's faith and affection in thought, word and deed. At that time the birds, beasts and the fish in water, --nay, all the animate and inanimate creatures of Citrakuta felt disconsolate. The gods, when they saw the condition of Sri Rama (the Chief of Raghus), rained down flowers and told Him what had been going on in their homes. The Lord made obeisance and reassured them and they returned, glad of heart, without the least fear in their mind.

Doha - 321
With Sita and His younger brother (Laksmana) the Lord shone forth in His hut of leaves. It seemed as Bhakti (Devotion), Vairagya (Dispassion) and Jnana (Wisdom) had appeared  in shining forms.

The sages and other Brahmanas, the Guru (the sage Vasistha), Bharata and King Janaka-the whole host was mentally disturbed on account of their parting with Sri Rama. Revolving in their mind the numerous virtues of the lord wended their way in silence. Crossing the Yamuna everyone reached the other bank; the day passed without any food. The next halt was made on the other bank of the Ganga (at Sringaverapura) where Sri Rama's friend (Guha) made all arrangements for their comfort. Ferrying over the Sai they bathed in the Gomati and reached Ayodhya on the fourth day. King Janaka stayed in the capital for four days, looked after the state administration as well as all the state property and, entrusting the reins of government to the ministers, the Guru (the sage Vasistha) and Bharata, he left for Tirhut (his capital) after making all necessary preparations. Following the preceptor's advice the men and women of the city ensconced themselves in Sri Rama's capital (Ayodhya).

Doha - 322
All the people practised religious austerities and fasted in order to be able to see Rama again. Discarding all personal adornments and sensuous pleasures they survived in the hope that the term of his exile expire soon.

Bharata instructed the ministers and trusty servants, who set about their respective duties as directed. Then, calling his younger brother (Satrughna), he admonished him and entrusted him with the service of all their mothers. Summoning the Brahmanas he made obeisance and, joining his palms, prayed to them with due courtesy befitting their age: "Pray charge me with any duty-high or low, good or indifferent-and hesitate not." He also sent for kinsmen, citizens and other people and setting their mind at rest established them peacefully. Accompanied by his younger brother (Satrughna) he then called on his preceptor and, prostrating himself before him, subimitted with joined palms, "With you permission, Whatever you think, speak or do will be the essence of piety in this world,"

Doha - 323
Hearing this and receiving the great blessing (from his preceptor) Bharata called astrologers and, fixing an auspicious day (and hour), happily installed on the thorne of Ayodhya the wooden sandals of the Lord.

Bowing his head at the feet of Sri Rama's mother (Kausalya) and his preceptor (the sage Vasistah) and receiving the permission of the Lord's sandals, Bharata, a staunch uphoder of righteousness, erected a hut of leaves at Nandigrama and took up his abode there. Wearing a tuft of matted locks on his head and clad in hermit's robes, he dug the earth low and spread thereon a litter of Kusa grass. In food, dress, utensils, sacred observances and austerities he devoutly practised the rigid vow of hermits and professedly discarded, in thought, word and deed, all adornments of body, wearing appared and the many pleasures of the sense. The sovereignty of Ayodhya was the envy even of Indra (the lord of celestials), while the very report of the riches possessed by Dasaratha put to shame even Kubera(the God of riches); yet in that city Bharata dwelt us indifferent as a bee in a garden of Campaka flowers. The blessed souls who are devoted to Sri Rama renounce like vomit the splendour of Laksmi (the wealth and enjoyments of the world).

Doha - 324
As for Bharata, he was the beloved of Sri Rama and did not owe his greatness to this achievement. The Cataka bird is praised for its constancy and the swan for its power of discrimination (sifting milk from water).

His body grew thinner day by day. His fat was reduced, yet his strength of body and the charm of his face remained the same. The flame of his love for Sri Rama was ever bright and strong. His partiality for virtue steadily grew and his mind was not at all sad, even as with the advent of autumn the water (of lakes and rivers etc.) decreases but the rattan plants thrive and the lotus blossoms. Control of the mind and senses, self-restraint, religious observances and fasting shone like so many stars in the cloudless sky of Bharata's heart. His faith stood as the pole-star, the prospect of Sri Rama's return on the expiry of His terms of exile represented the full-moon night, while the thought of his lord glistened like the milky way. And his affection for Sri Rama was like a fixed and spotless moon that ever shone clear amidst a galaxy of stars. All great poets hesitate to portray the mode of living, the creed, the doings, the devotion, the dispassion, the stainless virtues and the splendour of Bharata; they baffle the wits of even Sesa (the thousand-headed lord of serpents), Ganesa (the god of wisdom) and Sarasvti (the goddess of speech).

Doha - 325
He daily worshipped the Lord's sandals with a heart overflowing with affection and constantly referred to them in the disposal of the many affairs of the state.

His body thrilling all over (with emotion) and heart full of Sita and Sri Rama, his tongue repeated Sri Rama's name and tears flowed from his eyes, Laksmana Sri Rama and Sita dwelt in the forest. while Bharata mortified his flesh through austere penance even though living at home. After considering both sides, everyone said that Bharata was praiseworthy in every way. Holy men felt abashed to hear of his religious vows and observance and the sitght of his condition put the greatest of sages to shame. The most sancifying story of Bharata's doing is delightful and charming and a fountain of joy and blessings. It drives away the terrible sins and affictions of the Kali age; it is a veritable sun to disperse the night of the great delusion (which has thrown us into this world) and is a lion (the king of beasts) for crushing the heard of elephants in the shape of sins and allays all kinds sufferings. It delights the devotees, relives the burden of transmigration and is the essence of the moon of devotion to Sri Rama.

If Bharata, who brimmed over with the nectar of devotion to Sita and Sri Rama, had never been born, who would have practised the difficult vow of self-abnegation and austerity and control of mind and senses, that transcended the imagination even of sages? Who would have dispelled the voew. burning agony, poverty, hypocrisy and other evils of the world through his fair renown; and who in this Kali age would have forcibly diverted the mind of villains like Tulasidasa towards Sri Rama?

Doha - 326
Whoseoever reverently hear, says Tulasidasa, the story of Bharata with strict regularity shall assuredly acquire devotion to the feet of Sita and Rama and a distaste for the pleasures of life.

Thus ends the second descent into the Manasa lake of Sri Rama exploits, that eradicates all the impuries of the Kali age.


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Last Updated : February 22, 2011

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