“B” for Bharat मुद्रण ई-मेल

Do we remember the great epic Ramayan? It is full of great characters who can teach us how we should live in adversity and face the challenges of life with a smile. One such character was Bharat, the brother of Lord Ram and the second son of King Dashrath and Queen Kaikeyi. It is said that Bharat symbolises truth and idealism, just like Lord Ram.  

Kaikeyi wished her son Bharat to be crowned as the King of Ayodhya. However, King Dashrath put forth an argument stating that Ram being the eldest of the four sons should officially be crowned as a King. Kaikeyi was a clever lady and asked King Dashrath to fulfil two of her pending promises, one of which was to send Ram for a 14-year exile and the other was to crown Bharat as the King of Ayodhya.

Bharat was away when he learnt that Ram was sent on an exile. On his return to Ayodhya, Bharat was extremely upset and shocked by the developments. The shock of separation from his beloved son Ram led to the demise of King Dashrath. Bharat immediately rushed to the forest to deliver the news of his father's death and to ask his elder brother to come back and rule the empire as a King. Bharat tried to persuade Ram, but Ram made him understand that it would be an unrighteous deed to not fulfil his father's words. Bharat returned disappointed, but with a promise that Ram would have to return to Ayodhya immediately at the end of 14 years or else Bharat would give up his life by immolation.

Bharat agreed to govern Ayodhya, not as a ruler but as a representative of Lord Ram. The people of Ayodhya supported him. Bharat placed Ram's sandals on the foot of the throne and never sat upon the throne himself nor did he crown himself. He spent his life living outside the palace in austerity just the way his elder brother Ram did in the forest. Bharat's reign was righteous and the kingdom was safe and prosperous, but Bharat devotionally longed for Ram to come back.

Before returning to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, Ram thought that if Bharat has even a slightest wish of continuing as a King of Ayodhya, he would return back to the forest. To check on Bharat's wish, Ram sent Hanuman to Ayodhya. Hanuman observed that Bharat was desperate to see Lord Ram and was not willing to wait for even a day further. Hanuman was extremely pleased to see Bharat's unflinching love for Lord Ram and his eagerness to meet Ram and hand over the kingdom.

Such was the life of Bharat.

What would I like to learn from Bharat?

•a)   Brotherhood (family values)

•b)   Faith and respect for elders

•c)   Selflessness

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