In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama comes to know of King Dasharata’s death and subsequently he does the divine offerings for his late father on the banks of the river Mandaahini. The four brothers were in uncontrollable grief as they hug each other and cry aloud! The three mothers were in grief too! Sage Vasishtaachaarya was also moved to tears on seeing this situation. Once all of them calm down a bit, Bharata puts up the request to Rama, asking him to return back to Ayodhya and take over the kingdom as per the tradition of the Ikshvaaku Dynasty. Bharata falls on Rama’s feet and begs him to come back and rule Ayodhya.
Rama acknowledges Bharata’s unconditional surrender, lifts him and hugs him with all his love and affection towards his little brother! He consoles him with his ever-beautiful smile and replies, “Oh Bharata! I’ve given a promise to our father and our mother Kaikeyi that I’ll be on exile for the next fourteen years and I shall not take up the kingdom until this period ends!”
Upon hearing this from Rama, Bharata was totally upset! Seeing all this, Jaabaali, one of the revered Maharishis in King Dasharata’s court stood up and spoke, “Oh Rama! What are you blabbering? There is nothing in this world called “promise”! There is nothing in this world called “Naraka” (Hell) or “Swarga” (Heaven)! We’ve to live as we wish and as we please! We can do whatever we feel like! We can eat whatever we desire to! If you don’t have money to eat, borrow money from someone and fulfil your desires! After borrowing money, you needn’t even repay it, because there’s no Naraka and you can do all what you wish to!”
From this, we can understand one thing very clearly – If we borrow money from someone, we never need to repay it back! 🙂 If we borrow some money, there is somebody else who is repaying our money isn’t it? What a “beautiful” situation!!! 🙂 🙂
Upon hearing these stupid words from Jaabaali, Rama got frustrated and scolds him, “Oh! What kind of words are you talking? Being a revered Maharishi in King Dasharata’s court, you should be ashamed to talk such things!” Sage Vasishtaachaarya gets up and consoles Rama and says, “Oh Dear Rama! He is not of this type actually! He is a very kind hearted person by nature! He is talking all these just out of frustration that you’ve left Ayodhya! Now tell him that you’re coming back to Ayodhya and I’ll ask him to prove his good nature!” Rama was more furious in hearing this from Sage Vasishtaachaarya and replies back, “Irrespective of me coming back or not, it is not nice of him to use such words! He is not living up to the reputation of the great Ikshvaaku Dynasty!”
Thus, the gimmicks of Jaabaali too failed to convince Rama to come back to Ayodhya! Thus, after all these deliberations, Bharata finally asks Rama for his “Paadhukka” (Footwear). He tells Rama, “Oh Rama! If you are not coming back now, it’s fine! But atleast bless me with your divine “Paadhuka”! I shall coronate this footwear of yours and rule the kingdom on behalf of you! Please accept this request of mine!”
Rama accepts this request of Bharata, removes his footwear and keeps it on the head of Bharata as a blessing to him. Now Bharata says to Rama, “Oh Rama! This Paadhuka will rule Ayodhya from today! Please note that you have to come back compulsorily after fourteen years for sure! Please keep in mind that If you get late even by one day, you would not see this Bharata alive anymore from that moment!”
Rama acknowledges Bharata’s words, while Bharata carefully takes Rama’s “Paadhuka” in his head and the entire group of people returns back to Ayodhya! Bharata stays back at a place called “Nandigraam” just outside the city of Ayodhya and from there, coronates Rama’s footwear and starts to discharge the duties of the kingdom! Thus, we can see that Bharata is a person who is in service to Bhagawan, but according to Bhagawan’s wish (Bhagawath Paarathanthriyam)! Here, we can see that Rama wanted Bharata to rule the kingdom till he returns to Ayodhya after fourteen years, and Bharata accepts Rama’s instruction as his duty!
Thus, Bharata reaches Nandigraam and starts to discharge the duties of the kingdom from there. This marks the end of the “Ayodhya Kaanda” and we shall wait till the next episode to move on with the “Aaranya Kaanda”!