Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bharata or Rama!

After returning from Chitrakoot with his brother Rama's sandals, Bharata handed over the administration of the kingdom to his able brother Shatrughan and himself retired to nandigram in a small hut to live the rest of the 14 years like an ascetic, like Sri Rama, Sita and Laxmana were doing.

Bharata had no mind for anything. He no longer cared for his mothers, wife, the citizens of Ayodhya, the Kingdom.. He did not even care about himself, his food, even His breath. His only thought was of Rama. Day and night, every moment of His were spend in contemplation of His dear Brother.

As time passed Bharat was soon reduced to a skeleton state, his ribs showing, his eyes sunk. Time seem to pass ever so slow. 

Yet for every dark night, there must be a dawn. Hours, days, weeks, months and years past by..

Shatrughan with his ministers rushed to his brother to tell him the good news that Sri Rama along with Sita and Laxmana had returned and had alighted close to the ganges on the outskirts of the kingdom in the pushpa vimana.

Valmiki mentions that as soon as he heard the news of Sri Rama's arrival, Bharata in sheer inner joy,  instantly bloomed like a flower. His body gained strength and luster. He face shown like a sun and sweet fragnance began emitting from him.

Bharata asked for the finest chariot and all regal clothing to be brought immediately. He asked the charioteer to hand over the reins to him as he wanted to be the charioteer to bring Rama home.

It was a sight to behold when all brothers met. The earth was filled with joy and there was not a dry eye.

The citizens of Ayodhya were filled with joyous expectations at their beloved kings return. Flags and festoons pleasing to the eyes were hung every where. The roads of the city were washed with rose water; artistically pleasing floral and colorful decorations and patterns were made all along. The people in their finest clothing stood  crowded at every street from where the chariot would pass. Not an inch of space left.

And then the blessed moment came as Bharata led the chariot carrying Rama, Sita and Laxmana, entered the city. Shatrughana, Hanuman, Sugriva, Anga and the other Vananra heros followed along beholding the facinating scenes. Ayodhya looked like heaven, that even the Gods envied.

Joyous cries echoed in the air as the citizens expressed their joy. Flowers and scented waters were thrown and sprinkled from all around. Auspicious vedic hyms were chanted. Thousand's of arti's were waved at the procession to bring auspiciousness to the procession. Boundless joy filled the air.

But Bharata noticed something very strange. 

To his amazement he noticed that the citizens instead of showering flowers on Sri Rama, Sita and Laxman were showering them at him. All eyes were on him.. Aarti's were being waved at him. Bharata was greatly embrassed and gently pleaded with the citizens asking them to do the honors to Sri Rama, but his voice was lost in the din of the atmosphere. Sri Rama, Sita and Laxman were greatly enjoying this and Bharata's obvious discomfort. Bharata was at a loss, he didn't understand what was happening and why the citizens were behaving this way. But Sri Rama knew it all..

Having spent the last 14 years one pointedly on the thought of Rama, what Bharata did not know was that he had completely taken on the form and look of Rama. Moreover Sri Rama was in royal clothing now and Bharata still donned his bark clothing of a renunciant leading the citizens to believe that He was indeed Rama.

There is nothing surprising about this. If a piece of iron is kept long enough next to a magnet, the iron piece will too become magnetic. Human thoughts are a thousand times more powerful then magnetic energy. Having one-pointedly thought of Rama, Bharata too took on His form.

Isnt this why we do Namasmaranam / Japa? By constantly chanting a divine name, not just in sound, but with heart and mind we take on qualities of that divine aspect. Meditation is the same. A person tries to know God by one pointedly thinking of Him, and once he knows Him, then as the vedic saying goes : He who knows Brahma becomes Brahma. The point where God and bhakta become One that is known as Samadhi. 

May we all become Rama like.

1 comment:

  1. Have heard about Bharta n Rama luking same.. But, the story of coming on chariot, Bharta's confusion, read it for the first time :-) .. Enjoyed it :-)


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