In the previous episode, we had witnessed that Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana have arrived at Nandigrama to meet Bharata and Shathrugna after fourteen long years. Before that, Hanuman arrives in front of Bharata and appraises the situation to him. He says to Bharata that Rama is on his way and thus prevents Bharata from jumping into the pyre of fire.
Eventually as Rama arrives, Bharata is in tears of joy upon seeing his brother after fourteen years. He immediately rushes towards Rama and hugs him with all his love and affection. This is a beautiful and an emotional moment and is captured in an elaborate manner by Vaalmiki Maharishi.
Now moving on, as the four brothers settle down after a few initial emotional moments, Bharata comes forward and surrenders the Ayodhya kingdom at Lord Rama’s feet.
This is a very important phase as we are going to witness the unique characteristics of a person who practises complete surrender to the Lord’s feet.
Bharata says to Lord Rama thus, “Oh dear brother! Here are the reins of this great Ayodhya kingdom, which has been ruled by our great forefathers for innumerable generations. Now the time has come for you to take over the reins and become the 37’th king of this great place! I’m submitting this wholeheartedly to your lotus feet!”
Saying thus, Bharata takes water in his palms, washes Rama’s divine feet and bows to him with all his respect. Rama accepts Bharata’s request. However Bharata continues his talk to Rama thus, “Oh Rama! Although I’m submitting the reins of Ayodhya to you, you might have a feeling that I should continue ruling Ayodhya and you would be assisting me. However, can a tiger and a dog be compared? A tiger is so ferocious and aggressive unlike a small dog! You are that great tiger and I’m that small dog. I shall assist you in whatever way you want me to do, rather than me ruling the kingdom. If that is the case, you might ask me ‘How did you rule this kingdom for fourteen years when I was on exile?’ Let me tell you one thing – It was because of compulsion that I had to execute the duties of the kingdom and not voluntarily. I was forced into this and I still have the guilt that I took away the right that you deserved! Hence, my dear brother, I request you to forgive all my wrongdoings and accept me as your devotee! I would be the happiest person if this could happen. I know that I do not deserve it for all the wrong things that I’ve done to you! But please have some mercy on this poor child! I would always like to see you as my king and I would always like to be your servant to execute whatever you order me to do!”
As Bharata says thus, he breaks into tears and starts sobbing uncontrollably. His mind is now full of guilt and regret that he and his mother Kaikeyi had snatched Rama’s rights, fourteen years ago! Also, Bharata is having the feeling that it was only because of him that Rama had to suffer in the forest for all these years! However, Lord Rama – As we all know, is the most compassionate person in this world – How can he tolerate Bharata’s innocent tears arising out of a pure heart? He immediately lifts his brother from his feet and hugs him with all his love! He slowly wipes Bharata’s tears and replies him thus, “Oh my dear Bharata! Although I was physically away from you all these years, there has never been a moment where I was not thinking about you! Bharata! You are everything for me! Don’t forget that. And it is not your fault that I had to go to the forest. It was the very purpose of my birth that I execute some important duties that I left for the forest. And see.. We’ve got such wonderful people like Hanuman and Sugriva as our dear friends and this friendship happened only because I had gone to Kishkinta! So rather than feeling sad about it, you should be happy that we’ve got such wonderful people with us today!”
Saying thus, Rama consoles Bharata and accepts his complete surrender! Now the kingdom of Ayodhya is under Lord Rama. The stage is all set for the grand coronation ceremony! Let’s wait till the next episode for the important coronation function to commence! 🙂