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Bharat Milap and Sootikshana and Agastya- Chapter 6

Bharat Milap and Sages Sootikshana and Agastya –Chapter 6 

Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were seated outside their hut. They saw deer and other jungle animals scurrying away and a cloud of dust on the jungle road indicating that a group was approaching. Just then a forest dweller told them the news that Bharata was arriving there along with an army, and courtiers and would soon reach Chitrakoot.

 

Lakshmana was upset to hear this. He said, “Look at him; like mother, like son! This Bharata thinks Rama is alone and unprotected in the forest. He has evil intentions; that is why he is coming with soldiers, but as long as Lakshmana is alive, none of his plans will succeed!”

 

Rama then assured Lakshmana that even in his dreams, Bharata would never falter from his high ideals and spotless character. “You should not get so agitated without any real cause!” he told Lakshmana.

Lakshmana was upset to hear this. He said, “Look at him; like mother, like son! This Bharata thinks Rama is alone and unprotected in the forest. He has evil intentions; that is why he is coming with soldiers, but as long as Lakshmana is alive, none of his plans will succeed!”

Eager to meet with Rama, Bharata walked ahead of the others. As soon as he saw Rama, he greeted Rama with a respectful “dandavatpranam” (Full body prostration including head, flat on the ground). His eyes were streaming with tears. Rama ran to lift Bharata up in a warm embrace. After all the four brothers had greeted each other, as well as Nishadraj, Bharata told Rama about Dasharatha’s passing away. Rama and Lakshmana were saddened to hear the news. After meeting the queens and guru, Rama went to the river to pay final respects to his father with a jalanjali (offering of water).

 

The next day all the courtiers sat together and Rama asked Bharata the purpose of his visit. Bharata told him that he wanted to organize Rama’s coronation at once in the jungle and take him back to rule over Ayodhya. Rama did not accept his suggestion. The next day king Janaka arrived there with his court and countrymen.

His eyes were streaming with tears. Rama ran to lift Bharata up in a warm embrace. After all the four brothers had greeted each other, as well as Nishadraj, Bharata told Rama about Dasharatha’s passing away. Rama and Lakshmana were saddened to hear the news. After meeting the queens and guru, Rama went to the river to pay final respects to his father with a jalanjali (offering of water).

He also supported the suggestion of Bharata.

Rama said, “Neither I nor Bharata are interested in the throne but we are both bound to obey the promise given by our father.” Disappointed, Bharata prepared to leave. To follow Rama’s ideal, he asked him for his sandals. Holding the charan paduka (sandals) on his head, he returned to Ayodhya after making Rama promise he would return on the very day the fourteen-year period of exile was over.

 

On reaching Ayodhya, Bharata also dressed like an ascetic, like Rama. He placed those sandals of Rama on the throne of Ayodhya. He built himself a simple straw hut in Nandigram, near Ayodhya, and looked after the royal affairs and rule of Ayodhya as a regent of Rama.

 

In Chitrakoot, Rama was now visited by many people from Ayodhya, and this constant stream of visitors disturbed the peace of the sages who dwelt in the forest. So, Rama decided they would leave Chitrakoot and live elsewhere.

On reaching Ayodhya, Bharata also dressed like an ascetic, like Rama. He placed those sandals of Rama on the throne of Ayodhya. He built himself a simple straw hut in Nandigram, near Ayodhya, and looked after the royal affairs and rule of Ayodhya as a regent of Rama.

Rama, Lakshmana and Sita soon left Chitrakoot, and went to the hermitage of sage Atri. They were welcomed by the sage. Rama advised Sita to learn the duties of wifehood from Anusuya, Sage Atri’s wife. While they spent their time there, Anusuya gave Sita many lessons in the duties of an ideal wife. When they left, she gifted Sita with celestial garments and ornaments that always looked fresh and new. They had been given to Anusuya by Indra’s wife Shachi. Thus blessed by Atri and Anusuya, the three proceeded towards Dandaka van (the forest called Dandaka).

 

On the way, they met Viragh, a demon who blocked their way. He wanted to take Sita away, but Rama killed him. As soon as he was killed, he was released from the curse that made him a demon. He took his original form of a Gandharva (celestial being) and flew off.

 

In Dandaka forest, Rama went to the hermitage of Sharbhanga Rishi. The aging sage was awaiting the arrival of Rama and postponing the moment of release from his earthly form till he had been able to have his darshan. Meeting Rama fulfilled his desire. Then, with the energy generated by his yogic powers, he immolated his body in internally generated flame, and departed for heaven.

While they spent their time there, Anusuya gave Sita many lessons in the duties of an ideal wife. When they left, she gifted Sita with celestial garments and ornaments that always looked fresh and new. They had been given to Anusuya by Indra’s wife Shachi. Thus blessed by Atri and Anusuya, the three proceeded towards Dandaka van (the forest called Dandaka).

The sages living in Dankakaranya showed Rama around the dense forest. He saw heaps of human bones strewn in the jungle. The sages told Rama that these were the remains of rishis who had been killed by demons. Rama took a vow then and there, to rid the earth of all demons. They walked on to reach the garden and hermitage of Sootikshna. While the sage was meditating, Rama appeared in his heart in his divine form. Sootikshna was filled with devotion and adoration of Rama. He then led them to the ashram of his Guru Agastya. The venerable sage extended an emotional welcome to Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. He gifted Rama with amogh weapons that never miss their mark, so that he could more easily kill all demons.

 

Rama then asked Sage Agastya to suggest a place where they could spend the rest of their exile. The sage told them of a place in Jansthan, on the banks of the river Godavari, at Panchavati. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana set out to seek that spot suggested by Sage Agastya.

 

 

 

 

A citizen of the forest comes to Rama and informs him about the arrival of Bharat along with his army and ministers. Lakshman doubts Bharat’s Intentions. But as soon as Bharat comes to Rama he kneels down in front of him and then hugs him. Bharat tellls Rama about the death of their father. After hearing this Rama goes into a deep sorrow and performs the last rites at near river bank.. Bharat then disclosed the reason of his arrival in forest that he wants to do Rama’s coronation here in the forest and take Rama, lakshman and sita along with him back to ayodhya….But Rama Denies his request and says that He has to walk on the promise given to his Father. Bharat asks Rama to give him his Charan Paduka or sandals. Bharat Brings his Charan Paduka to Ayodhya and places them on the throne and dresses himself like a hermit. He makes ahut nearby ayodhya and starts living the life of an aesthetic..Rama thought Due to Constant arrival of his Relatives the peace of Saints living in Chitrakoot is getting disrupted so he decides to leave chitrakoot and they move to Rishi Atri’s Ashram.. There Rishi Atri’s wife, Anusuya teaches Sita the duties of a good wife. They also meet Sootikshan muni and sage Agastya, who gifts Rama and Lakshman divine weapons that never miss their mark. Rama asks him a place where they can spend their remaining years, who tells him about panchvati near Godavari river. Website : https://www.sagarworld.com Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/sagarworldmu… Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/sagar.world

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