Bharata’s arrival at Prayāga and dialogue between Bharata and the sage Bharadvāja
bharata tīsarē pahara kahaom kīnha prabēsu prayāga.
kahata rāma siya rāma siya umagi umagi anurāga..203.. [2-203]
Bharata entered the limits of Prayāga (the area surrounding the confluence of the Gaṅgā and Yamunā near Allahabad) in the afternoon; overflowing with love he cried “Rāma, Sītā!” “Rāma, Sītā!” even as he went.
jhalakā jhalakata pāyanha kaiṃsēṃ. paṃkaja kōsa ōsa kana jaisēṃ..
bharata payādēhiṃ āē ājū. bhayau dukhita suni sakala samājū.. [2-203-1]
khabari līnha saba lōga nahāē. kīnha pranāmu tribēnihiṃ āē..
sabidhi sitāsita nīra nahānē. diē dāna mahisura sanamānē.. [2-203-2]
dēkhata syāmala dhavala halōrē. pulaki sarīra bharata kara jōrē..
sakala kāma prada tīratharāū. bēda bidita jaga pragaṭa prabhāū.. [2-203-3]
māgau bhīkha tyāgi nija dharamū. ārata kāha na karai kukaramū..
asa jiyaom jāni sujāna sudānī. saphala karahiṃ jaga jācaka bānī.. [2-203-4]
The blisters on the soles of his feet glistened like dew-drops on a lotus bud. The whole company was grieved to hear that Bharata had made the day’s march on foot. After ascertaining that all had finished their ablutions, he repaired to the confluence of the Gaṅgā, Yamunā and Sarasvatī and did homage to it. He bathed in the particoloured waters with due ceremony and honoured the Brāhmaṇas bestowing gifts on them. As he watched the coming of the dark and white waves Bharata felt a thrill of joy over his body and he joined his palms in prayer: “You are the bestower of all desired objects, O king of sacred places; your glory is known to the Vedas and manifest throughout the world. Abandoning the course of conduct prescribed for a Kṣatriya I beg alms of you. But what vile act is there that an afflicted soul would not stoop to? Realizing this in their heart of hearts the wise and generous donors accomplish in this world the prayer of the suppliant.
aratha na dharama na kāma ruci gati na cahau nirabāna.
janama janama rati rāma pada yaha baradānu na āna..204.. [2-204]
I have no liking for wealth nor for religious merit nor for sensuous enjoyment nor again do I seek the state of perfect and perpetual calm. Birth after birth l
jānahu rāmu kuṭila kari mōhī. lōga kahau gura sāhiba drōhī..
sītā rāma carana rati mōrēṃ. anudina baḍhau anugraha tōrēṃ.. [2-204-1]
jaladu janama bhari surati bisārau. jācata jalu pabi pāhana ḍārau..
cātaku raṭani ghaṭēṃ ghaṭi jāī. baḍhaē prēmu saba bhāomti bhalāī.. [2-204-2]
kanakahiṃ bāna caḍhai jimi dāhēṃ. timi priyatama pada nēma nibāhēṃ..
bharata bacana suni mājha tribēnī. bhai mṛdu bāni sumaṃgala dēnī.. [2-204-3]
tāta bharata tumha saba bidhi sādhū. rāma carana anurāga agādhū..
bāda galāni karahu mana māhīṃ. tumha sama rāmahi kōu priya nāhīṃ.. [2-204-4]
“Let Śrī Rāma take me for a wicked fellow, and let the people call me an enemy of my preceptor and master. All the same by your grace may my devotion to the feet of Sītā and Śrī Rāma grow day by day. The cloud may neglect the Cātaka bird all its life and on its asking water may discharge thunderbolt and hail. But the bird will fall in the estimation of others if it ceases to call out to the cloud. It will gain in everyway only by intensifying its love for the latter. Just as gold gets brighter by being put into the fire, even so the lover shines by sticking to his vow of devotion to the feet of his most beloved lord.” In response to Bharata’s prayer there came a sweet and benedictory utterance from the midst of the Triveṇī: “Dear Bharata, you are pious in everyway and your love for Śrī Rāma’s feet is unbounded. In vain do you harbour depressing thoughts in your mind; there is no one so dear to Rāma as you are.”
tanu pulakēu hiyaom haraṣu suni bēni bacana anukūla.
bharata dhanya kahi dhanya sura haraṣita baraṣahiṃ phūla..205.. [2-205]
A thrill ran through Bharata’s body and his soul rejoiced to hear the agreeable words of the (deity presiding over) Triveṇī. Exclaiming “Bharata is praiseworthy, all praise to him!” the gods joyfully rained flowers.
pramudita tīratharāja nivāsī. baikhānasa baṭu gṛhī udāsī..
kahahiṃ parasapara mili dasa pāomcā. bharata sanēha sīlu suci sāomcā.. [2-205-1]
sunata rāma guna grāma suhāē. bharadvāja munibara pahiṃ āē..
daṃḍa pranāmu karata muni dēkhē. mūratimaṃta bhāgya nija lēkhē.. [2-205-2]
dhāi uṭhāi lāi ura līnhē. dīnhi asīsa kṛtāratha kīnhē..
āsanu dīnha nāi siru baiṭhē. cahata sakuca gṛhaom janu bhaji paiṭhē.. [2-205-3]
muni pūomchaba kachu yaha baḍa sōcū. bōlē riṣi lakhi sīlu saomkōcū..
sunahu bharata hama saba sudhi pāī. bidhi karataba para kichu na basāī.. [2-205-4]
The inhabitants of Prayāga (the king of sacred places), including anchorites, religious students, householders and recluses, were transported with joy. Meeting in batches of five to ten they said to one another, “Bharata’s affection and amiability are artless and genuine.” Hearing of Śrī Rāma’s charming virtues he came to the great sage Bharadvāja. The sage saw him falling prostrate before him and looked upon him as his own good-luck personified. Running up and lifting him the sage clasped him to his bosom and gratified him by bestowing his blessing on him. Offered a seat by the sage he sat down with his head bent low, as if he would run away and hide his face in a den of bashfulness. He felt much perturbed at the thought that the sage might ask him any question. Seeing his amiability and confusion of mind the sage said to him, “Listen, Bharata! I have already heard everything; but we have no control over the doings of Fate.”
tumha galāni jiyaom jani karahu samujhī mātu karatūti.
tāta kaikaihi dōsu nahiṃ gaī girā mati dhūti..206.. [2-206]
Be not distressed at heart by the thought of what your mother has done. It is no fault of Kaikeyī, dear child; it was the goddess of speech who deluded her mind.”
yahau kahata bhala kahihi na kōū. lōku bēda budha saṃmata dōū..
tāta tumhāra bimala jasu gāī. pāihi lōkau bēdu baḍaāī.. [2-206-1]
lōka bēda saṃmata sabu kahaī. jēhi pitu dēi rāju sō lahaī..
rāu satyabrata tumhahi bōlāī. dēta rāju sukhu dharamu baḍaāī.. [2-206-2]
rāma gavanu bana anaratha mūlā. jō suni sakala bisva bhai sūlā..
sō bhāvī basa rāni ayānī. kari kucāli aṃtahu pachitānī.. [2-206-3]
tahaomu tumhāra alapa aparādhū. kahai sō adhama ayāna asādhū..
karatēhu rāju ta tumhahi na dōṣū. rāmahi hōta sunata saṃtōṣū.. [2-206-4]
“Nobody would approve of it even if I said so; for the wise recognize worldly opinion as well as the judgment of the Vedas. By singing your unsullied glory, however, the world and the Vedas both will be exalted. The world as well as the Vedas admit it and everyone says that of king’s sons he alone gets the throne on whom his father bestows it. The king, who was above all true to his vow, would have called you and bestowed the kingdom on you; and this would have brought him joy, religious merit and glory. But the root of all trouble was Rāma’s exile to the forest and the whole universe was pained to hear of it. It was, however, as fate would have it; much as the foolish queen (Kaikeyī) did wrong, she now repents for it. But he who lays the least blame for it on you is vile, ignorant and wicked. Even if you accepted the sovereignty no blame would attach to you and even Rāma would have been gratified to hear of it.
aba ati kīnhēhu bharata bhala tumhahi ucita mata ēhu.
sakala sumaṃgala mūla jaga raghubara carana sanēhu..207.. [2-207]
“But what you have done now is excellent; your standpoint is quite justified. For devotion to Śrī Rāma’s feet is the root of all choice blessings in the world.”
sō tumhāra dhanu jīvanu prānā. bhūribhāga kō tumhahi samānā..
yaha tamhāra ācaraju na tātā. dasaratha suana rāma priya bhrātā.. [2-207-1]
sunahu bharata raghubara mana māhīṃ. pēma pātru tumha sama kōu nāhīṃ..
lakhana rāma sītahi ati prītī. nisi saba tumhahi sarāhata bītī.. [2-207-2]
jānā maramu nahāta prayāgā. magana hōhiṃ tumharēṃ anurāgā..
tumha para asa sanēhu raghubara kēṃ. sukha jīvana jaga jasa jaḍa nara kēṃ.. [2-207-3]
yaha na adhika raghubīra baḍaāī. pranata kuṭuṃba pāla raghurāī..
tumha tau bharata mōra mata ēhū. dharēṃ dēha janu rāma sanēhū.. [2-207-4]
And that is your wealth and life, nay, your vital breath. Who is, then, so highly blessed as you? This is, however, not to be wondered at in your case, who are a son of King Daśaratha and a beloved brother of Rāma. I tell you, Bharata, there is no one held so dear in his heart by the Chief of Raghu’s line as you. Lakṣmaṇa, Rāma and Sītā most fondly praised you the whole night. I came to know the secret only when they were bathing at Prayāga; they would feel overwhelmed with love for you. The Chief of Raghu’s line cherishes the same love for you as a fool does for a life of ease in this world. This is, however, no great tribute to the Hero of Raghu’s race, who cherishes the whole family of the suppliant. As for yourself, Bharata, my opinion is that you are the very incarnation of love for Rāma.”
tumha kahaom bharata kalaṃka yaha hama saba kahaom upadēsu.
rāma bhagati rasa siddhi hita bhā yaha samau ganēsu..208.. [2-208]
What, to your mind, constitutes a slur on you is a lesson to us all. The present occasion has proved very propitious for preparing elixir in the form of devotion of Rāma.”
nava bidhu bimala tāta jasu tōrā. raghubara kiṃkara kumuda cakōrā..
udita sadā aomthaihi kabahūom nā. ghaṭihi na jaga nabha dina dina dūnā.. [2-208-1]
kōka tilōka prīti ati karihī. prabhu pratāpa rabi chabihi na harihī..
nisi dina sukhada sadā saba kāhū. grasihi na kaikai karatabu rāhū.. [2-208-2]
pūrana rāma supēma piyūṣā. gura avamāna dōṣa nahiṃ dūṣā..
rāma bhagata aba amiaom aghāhūom. kīnhēhu sulabha sudhā basudhāhūom.. [2-208-3]
bhūpa bhagīratha surasari ānī. sumirata sakala suṃmagala khānī..
dasaratha guna gana barani na jāhīṃ. adhiku kahā jēhi sama jaga nāhīṃ.. [2-208-4]
Your glory, dear child, is a new type of spotless moon as it were; while Rāma’s devotees are like so many water-lilies (that open only in moonlight) and Cakora birds (that are equally fond of the moon). It shall always remain above the horizon and shall never set; nay, it shall never wane and shall ever wax in the heavens of this world. The Cakravāka bird in the shape of the three worlds shall cherish great love for it, while the sun in the shape of the Lord’s glory shall never rob it of its splendour. It shall ever delight everyone by day as well as by night and the demon Rāhu in the form of Kaikeyī’s doings shall never eclipse it. It is full of nectar in the form of ideal love for Rāma and is untarnished by any stain resulting from a wrong done to the Guru.* Let Rāma’s devotees now enjoy nectar to their heart’s content since you have made it so easy of access even on earth. Of your forbears King Bhagīratha† brought down the celestial river, the very thought of which is a fountain of all choice blessings. As for Daśaratha’s virtues they are more than one can describe. What more shall I say about him? He had no equal in the world.”
- * It is mentioned in the Purāṇas that Bṛhaspati, the preceptor of the gods, on one occasion, when he was returning from a bath in the Gaṅgā, found his wife, Tārā, with the moon-god and threw his dripping robe at him and hit him in the face, thus causing the spots that are still to be seen there.
- † The descent of the celestial river, Gaṅgā, to the earth is associated with the name of King Bhagīratha, who is said to have practised austere penance for 1000 years and eventually succeeded in bringing down the stream. The Purāṇas tell us how King Sagara, an ancestor of the illustrious Bhagīratha, performed a horse sacrifice. The horse released by the king prior to the sacrifice was.
King Sagara’s sons, 60,000 in number, went out in quest of the horse and dug the earth on all sides. While digging the earth in the north-east they found the horse by the side of the divine sage Kapila, who sat absorbed in meditation in the nether regions. The foolish and haughty princes took the sage for a thief and abusing him right and left ran to assault him. The sage now opened his eyes and lo! as a result of their offence the princes were instantly reduced to ashes by a fire which emanated from their body.
King Sagara had another son, Asamañjasa by name. His son, Aṁśumān, who was much devoted to his grandfather, proceeded in search of the horse under orders of the king, and found the animal near the ashes of his uncles. He also beheld the great sage Kapila and supplicated to him. The sage, who was pleased with his prayer, told him that the horse belonged to his grandfather and asked him to take it back. The sage further told him about the death of his uncles and added that the latter could attain salvation only if their remains could be washed by the Gaṅgā . Aṁśumān took the horse to his grandfather, who duly performed the horse sacrifice and then retired to the woods after installing his grandson on the throne of Ayodhyā.
King Aṁśumān and his son Dilīpa successively practised austere for a number of years with a view to bringing the Gaṅgā down to the mortal plane, but in vain Dilīpa’s son, Bhagīratha, at last succeeded in bringing the stream to the earth and took it to the place, where his uncles had lain in the form of ashes. The moment the water of the Gaṅgā touched their remains their spirits were absolved from the sin of insulting a holy sage and ascended to heaven. Such is the glory of the Gaṅgā, which is stated to have emanated from the feet of Bhagavān Viṣṇu Himself.
jāsu sanēha sakōca basa rāma pragaṭa bhaē āi..
jē hara hiya nayanani kabahu nirakhē nahīṃ aghāi..209.. [2-209]
Won by his affection and meekness Śrī Rāma Himself appeared on earth-Rāma whom even Śiva has never seen with His mental eyes to His heart’s fill.”
kīrati bidhu tumha kīnha anūpā. jahaom basa rāma pēma mṛgarūpā..
tāta galāni karahu jiyaom jāēom. ḍarahu daridrahi pārasu pāēom.... [2-209-1]
sunahu bharata hama jhūṭha na kahahīṃ. udāsīna tāpasa bana rahahīṃ..
saba sādhana kara suphala suhāvā. lakhana rāma siya darasanu pāvā.. [2-209-2]
tēhi phala kara phalu darasa tumhārā. sahita payāga subhāga hamārā..
bharata dhanya tumha jasu jagu jayaū. kahi asa pēma magana puni bhayaū.. [2-209-3]
suni muni bacana sabhāsada haraṣē. sādhu sarāhi sumana sura baraṣē..
dhanya dhanya dhuni gagana payāgā. suni suni bharatu magana anurāgā.. [2-209-4]
You have created the peerless moon of your glory, which bears on it the figure of a deer* in the shape of love for Rāma. You feel distressed at heart, dear son, for no purpose: you fear poverty even though you have found the philosopher’s stone. Listen, Bharata-I tell no falsehood, I am an ascetic dwelling in the forest and having no concern with the world-I obtained the happy and excellent reward of all spiritual practices when I saw Lakṣmaṇa, Rāma and Sītā. The reward of that reward itself is your sight, on which not only I but the whole of Prayāga deserves to be congratulated. Bharata, you deserve all praise since by your glory you have conquered the whole world.” As he concluded his speech the sage was overwhelmed with love. Those who were assembled there rejoiced to hear the sage’s words, while the gods acclaimed Bharata and rained flowers on him. Even as Bharata heard the shouts of applause in the heavens as well as in Prayāga he was overwhelmed with emotion.
- * The spot in the moon is represented by the Hindus as a deer even as it is presented in European nurseries as the form of a man.
pulaka gāta hiyaom rāmu siya sajala sarōruha naina.
kari pranāmu muni maṃḍalihi bōlē gadagada baina..210.. [2-210]
Experiencing a thrill of joy all over his body, with his heart full of Sītā and Rāma and his lotus eyes wet with tears he made obeisance to the conclave of sages and thus spoke in a voice choked with emotion:
muni samāju aru tīratharājū. sāomcihu sapatha aghāi akājū..
ēhiṃ thala jauṃ kichu kahia banāī. ēhi sama adhika na agha adhamāī.. [2-210-1]
tumha sarbagya kahau satibhāū. ura aṃtarajāmī raghurāū..
mōhi na mātu karataba kara sōcū. nahiṃ dukhu jiyaom jagu jānihi pōcū.. [2-210-2]
nāhina ḍaru bigarihi paralōkū. pitahu marana kara mōhi na sōkū..
sukṛta sujasa bhari bhuana suhāē. lachimana rāma sarisa suta pāē.. [2-210-3]
rāma birahaom taji tanu chanabhaṃgū. bhūpa sōca kara kavana prasaṃgū..
rāma lakhana siya binu paga panahīṃ. kari muni bēṣa phirahiṃ bana banahī.. [2-210-4]
“Here is an assembly of sages and we stand at a place which is known as the king of sacred places. Great harm will come to a man if he states even a fact on oath at such a place. And if one tells a lie there will be no greater sin and depravity. I speak out the truth knowing as I do that you are all-wise, while the Lord of Raghus has access to the inmost recesses of one’s heart. I am not at all sorry for what my mother has done nor am I troubled at heart over the thought that the world will look upon me as mean. I fear not lest I should spoil my future life nor do I grieve over my father’s death, whose meritorious deeds and fair renown shine forth throughout the universe, who had sons like Lakṣmaṇa and Śrī Rāma, and who quitted his frail body as a result of his separation from Śrī Rāma. Thus there is hardly any occasion for lamentation on his account. What pains me is that dressing themselves as hermits Śrī Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā roam from forest to forest without shoes on their feet.”
ajina basana phala asana mahi sayana ḍāsi kusa pāta.
basi taru tara nita sahata hima ātapa baraṣā bāta..211.. [2-211]
“Clad in deerskin, living on bare fruits, reposing on the ground overspread with Kuśa grass and leaves and halting under trees they ever endure cold and sunshine, rain and storm!”
ēhi dukha dāhaom dahai dina chātī. bhūkha na bāsara nīda na rātī..
ēhi kurōga kara auṣadhu nāhīṃ. sōdhēu sakala bisva mana māhīṃ.. [2-211-1]
mātu kumata baḍhaī agha mūlā. tēhiṃ hamāra hita kīnha baomsūlā..
kali kukāṭha kara kīnha kujaṃtrū. gāḍai avadhi paḍhai kaṭhina kumaṃtru.. [2-211-2]
mōhi lagi yahu kuṭhāṭu tēhiṃ ṭhāṭā. ghālēsi saba jagu bārahabāṭā..
miṭai kujōgu rāma phiri āēom. basai avadha nahiṃ āna upāēom.. [2-211-3]
bharata bacana suni muni sukhu pāī. sabahiṃ kīnha bahu bhāomti baḍaāī..
tāta karahu jani sōcu bisēṣī. saba dukhu miṭahi rāma paga dēkhī.. [2-211-4]
“It is this burning agony which is ever consuming my breast, so that I feel no appetite by day and get no sleep at night. For this fell disease there is no remedy: I have mentally ransacked the whole world. My mother’s evil counsel was like a sinful carpenter, who used my interests as an adze and fashioned out of the inauspicious wood of discord a destructive magical contrivance and muttering the terrible malevolent spell of (Śrī Rāma’s) exile for a fixed term (of fourteen years) planted it (in the soil of Ayodhyā).* It is for my sake that she employed this infamous contrivance and brought ruin on the whole world. This calamity will cease only when Śrī Rāma returns; by no other means can Ayodhyā thrive again.” The sage (Bharadvāja) was gratified to hear Bharata’s words and everyone applauded him in ways more than one. “Grieve not much, dear child; all your woes will disappear the moment you behold Śrī Rāma’s feet.”
- * This evidently refers to a magical contrivance, intended to drive out an enemy from his home, in which wood is cut during a particular period from the tree known as the helleric myrobalan and after fashioning a pin out of it the same is planted in the enemy’s house with the recitation of some spells. This is believed to bring the desired result.