II Shree Guruvey Namah II
Jai Shri Ram,
II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II
II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II
II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II
सचिव सुसेवक भरत प्रबोधे। निज निज काज पाइ पाइ सिख ओधे।।
पुनि सिख दीन्ह बोलि लघु भाई। सौंपी सकल मातु सेवकाई।।
भूसुर बोलि भरत कर जोरे। करि प्रनाम बय बिनय निहोरे।।
ऊँच नीच कारजु भल पोचू। आयसु देब न करब सँकोचू।।
परिजन पुरजन प्रजा बोलाए। समाधानु करि सुबस बसाए।।
सानुज गे गुर गेहँ बहोरी। करि दंडवत कहत कर जोरी।।
आयसु होइ त रहौं सनेमा। बोले मुनि तन पुलकि सपेमा।।
समुझव कहब करब तुम्ह जोई। धरम सारु जग होइहि सोई।।
दो0-सुनि सिख पाइ असीस बड़ि गनक बोलि दिनु साधि।
सिंघासन प्रभु पादुका बैठारे निरुपाधि।।323।।
We covered up to Doha 323 of Ayodhya Kand in Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas in the last post and learned that after returning to Ayodhya, Bharat took charge of administration and gave suitable instructions to his ministers and other staff to discharge duties as explained. Bharat also entrusted the duty of serving the mothers to the younger brother Shatrughan. Later he called the Brahmins of the city, who remain engaged in learning and imparting knowledge to others, and humbly asked them to let him know whatever they expect him to do without any reservations. He also resolved problems of his citizens. He then went to the Guru to take his permission to live like an ascetic which Guru happily agreed to and also praised Bharat as being most righteous who understood the core of Dharma and said that therefore whatever he would think, say or do would be taken as final in that regard. Choosing the right time and day with help of the astrologers Bharat placed the Lord’s wooden sandals on throne of Ayodhya.
राम मातु गुर पद सिरु नाई। प्रभु पद पीठ रजायसु पाई।।
नंदिगावँ करि परन कुटीरा। कीन्ह निवासु धरम धुर धीरा।।
जटाजूट सिर मुनिपट धारी। महि खनि कुस साँथरी सँवारी।।
असन बसन बासन ब्रत नेमा। करत कठिन रिषिधरम सप्रेमा।।
भूषन बसन भोग सुख भूरी। मन तन बचन तजे तिन तूरी।।
अवध राजु सुर राजु सिहाई। दसरथ धनु सुनि धनदु लजाई।।
तेहिं पुर बसत भरत बिनु रागा। चंचरीक जिमि चंपक बागा।।
रमा बिलासु राम अनुरागी। तजत बमन जिमि जन बड़भागी।।
दो0-राम पेम भाजन भरतु बड़े न एहिं करतूति।
चातक हंस सराहिअत टेंक बिबेक बिभूति।।324।।
Bharat paid respects at the feet of mother of Shri Ram i e Kaushalya and at the feet of Guru Vashishttha and symbolically obtained the permission from the throne where the sandals of Lord were placed and went to Nandigram; there Bharat, the patient champion of the cause of Dharma, prepared a cottage of leaves for his own living. Tying his matted hair over his head and clad like Munis he dug a pit and spread a layer of Kush as his bedding in its depth (he wanted to sleep at a level lower than Shri Ram who was now sleeping on ground it self). His food, his clothes and his utensils were like those Rishis who live in forest and and adopted the same strict rules, routine and observances as them with total acceptance and willingness.
Bharat refused to do anything with ornaments, costly clothes and other luxuries and comforts, discarding them totally in practice and even in thought. In terms of quality of administration even the kingdom of gods could not match Ayodhya, the wealth of King Dashrath could make even Kuber, the god of riches, look small; living in such a grand capital city Bharat lived without any attraction or interest in the same way as the bees do not gather honey from beautiful and fragrant Champak flowers in the garden of same. The fortunate people who develop an attitude of love towards Shri Ram refuse to do any thing with what Rama (Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and consort of Lord Vishnu) has to offer, for them the pleasures obtained of wealth are nothing compared to pleasure of devotion for Lord Shri Ram.
Bharat’s greatness however does not emanate from these actions of his, his greatness is that he is the one whom Shri Ram loves. Is it not that a swan might be praised for his discretion (in separating milk from water) but Chatak is praised for his constant craving for the drops of water that fall only rarely from sky above (Bharat is great for his constant attention for the arrival of that time when he would be able to meet his beloved Lord and not for his austerities, the austerities are good just as a means, the real objective is to have mind fixed in thought of the Lord, if this real objective is missed the austerities are just an exercise in futility).
We have now covered up to Doha 324 of Ayodhya Kand.
देह दिनहुँ दिन दूबरि होई। घटइ तेजु बलु मुखछबि सोई।।
नित नव राम प्रेम पनु पीना। बढ़त धरम दलु मनु न मलीना।।
जिमि जलु निघटत सरद प्रकासे। बिलसत बेतस बनज बिकासे।।
सम दम संजम नियम उपासा। नखत भरत हिय बिमल अकासा।।
ध्रुव बिस्वास अवधि राका सी। स्वामि सुरति सुरबीथि बिकासी।।
राम पेम बिधु अचल अदोषा। सहित समाज सोह नित चोखा।।
भरत रहनि समुझनि करतूती। भगति बिरति गुन बिमल बिभूती।।
बरनत सकल सुकचि सकुचाहीं। सेस गनेस गिरा गमु नाहीं।।
दो0-नित पूजत प्रभु पाँवरी प्रीति न हृदयँ समाति।।
मागि मागि आयसु करत राज काज बहु भाँति।।325।।
Bharat’s body got thinned down every passing day due to his having Sattvic food (fresh and minimally cooked vegetarian food), this reduced the fat in the body but his strength was maintained as well his face remained glowing as ever before. His resolve to love Shri Ram more and more grew stronger by every passing day, he also leaned towards doing more and more for Dharma but it did not carry any adverse impact on his mind (where one engages in Dharmic activity without an inner conviction but only for display or under pressure, it makes that person somewhat upset and unhappy within but that wasn’t the case with Bharat, his was a natural urge). His progress was like when after rainy season and with approach of autumn, the water in lakes and ponds gets reduced, growth of the bamboos and other vegetation in forests is seen to be more robust not diminished.
His mental discipline, suppression of unhealthy feelings, physical control, regularity in practices and routine of fasting never diminished rather they shined like Nakshtras (combination of Gruhas or stars) in the clear sky of heart i e no idea of diluting these practices ever took shape in his mind.
His faith (that Shri Ram would return one day) was as unwavering as the star known as Dhruv (pole-star) which is seen at the same place in the sky every night, that night being the period of exile of Shri Ram; the stream of Bharat’s thoughts of devotion towards Shri Ram was like the white milky way in the sky. His love for Shri Ram was like a full-moon that never waned and had no spots and which shined beautifully every day along with the stars as companions.
The way of living adopted by Bharat, his deep understanding of what was right or wrong and his actions most suited to the time, his Bhakti, his dispassion and non-interest in mundane pleasures, his virtuosity and untainted aura was such that even best of the poets would have hitch in describing with confidence; even the Sheshnaag, Lord Ganesh or Goddess Sarswati (all known to be gods of wisdom and intellect) could not claim to have full understanding of what Bharat had set out to do.
Bharat used to engage in devotional service of the sandals of the Lord with love oozing out of his heart and also used to seek approval of ‘sandals’ (i e he used to compare what he was going to do with what Shri Ram always stood for, getting reminder of the same through sandals of Shri Ram, the sandals knew very well the course Shri Ram took) before performing any act of governance.
We have now covered up to Doha 325 of Ayodhya Kand.
पुलक गात हियँ सिय रघुबीरू। जीह नामु जप लोचन नीरू।।
लखन राम सिय कानन बसहीं। भरतु भवन बसि तप तनु कसहीं।।
दोउ दिसि समुझि कहत सबु लोगू। सब बिधि भरत सराहन जोगू।।
सुनि ब्रत नेम साधु सकुचाहीं। देखि दसा मुनिराज लजाहीं।।
परम पुनीत भरत आचरनू। मधुर मंजु मुद मंगल करनू।।
हरन कठिन कलि कलुष कलेसू। महामोह निसि दलन दिनेसू।।
पाप पुंज कुंजर मृगराजू। समन सकल संताप समाजू।
जन रंजन भंजन भव भारू। राम सनेह सुधाकर सारू।।
Bharat used to be mostly bodily thrilled while having thought of Shri Ram and Sita in his mind and while muttering name of Lord Shri Ram with his tongue he used to have tears flowing from eyes. All through the period Shri Ram, Sita and Lakshman were going to stay in the wild, Bharat had resolved to observe penance and refuse to have comforts of body (it would not have been improper for Bharat to enjoy what he could have ordinarily in the palace but he knew that this could push him in an state of stupor and distract him from craving for the Lord with same intensity, all devotees, who wish for union with the Lord, too should be careful in this regard).
All those who could appreciate the responsibility of Bharat both ways i e as an administrator and as a seeker, declared that Bharat is to be praised in every way. The Sadhus used to feel belittled by the regime of vows and practices of Bharat (for they found themselves somewhat lacking in this respect) and the great Munis also used to feel ashamed too comparing their own condition and state of their minds with Bharat’s, in pursuit of the Lord. They considered the conduct of Bharat as being most pious which was not only sweet, sober, pleasure giving and benefic. It was enough to steal the unbeatable callousness and resulting affliction borne out of it; it was like the sun to end the night of delusion. It could work to disintegrate the collection of big sins like a lion disperses the parade of elephants. It could be instrument of entirely ending all kind of sufferings of a society. The nectar dripping out of the moon of affection towards Shri Ram always amuses and thrills the people and in a way takes away the burden of living life, Bharat had that kind of love Shri Ram.
छं0-सिय राम प्रेम पियूष पूरन होत जनमु न भरत को।
मुनि मन अगम जम नियम सम दम बिषम ब्रत आचरत को।।
दुख दाह दारिद दंभ दूषन सुजस मिस अपहरत को।
कलिकाल तुलसी से सठन्हि हठि राम सनमुख करत को।।
सो0-भरत चरित करि नेमु तुलसी जो सादर सुनहिं।
सीय राम पद पेमु अवसि होइ भव रस बिरति।।326।।
मासपारायण, इक्कीसवाँ विश्राम
इति श्रीमद्रामचरितमानसे सकलकलिकलुषविध्वंसने
द्वितीयः सोपानः समाप्तः।
If Bharat, who contained to the maximum the nectar of love and devotion for Shri Ram and Sita, had not been born, who would have followed the Yamas* and Niyamas** along with equanimity, restraint and would have observed the difficult regime of other difficult vows some aspect of which even the Munis fail to understand therefore miss to practice wholly.
Who would have saved from heat of woes emanating from poverty and pretentiousness if not Bharat by spread of his glorious fame (by which all could know how Bharat got over it and follow).
Tulsi says, “most of all, who would have made dumb people like me follow the path leading to Shri Ram (as Bharat practically demonstrated for even fools to know what was the right path and right objective in life).”
Tulsi lastly declared that who ever will regularly and reverentially listen to story about character and practices of Bharat would surely develop love and deep affection for Shri Ram’s feet and be disinterested in cheap mundane pleasures which drive one to do wrongs.
We have now covered up to Doha 326 of Ayodhya Kand and this brings us to 21st rest for a month long recitation. This is also end of Ayodhya Kand (the second descent) in the holy book of Shri Ramcharit Manas which can end the malice borne out of the Kali-Yuga.
Bhavani Shankar Ki Jai!
Shri Jankivallabho Vijayatey!
Sant Samaj Ko Pranam!
Goswami Tulsidas Ki Jai!
*Yamas i e ahimsa or non violence, satya or truthfulness, asteya or non stealing, brahmacharya or self control/celibacy and kshama or patience and also dhriti or steadfastness, daya or compassion, arjava or honesty, mithahara or moderate eating and aparigraha or absence of greed.
**Niyamas i e shaucha or purity of body, mind and speech, santosha or contentment, tapas or austerity, svadhyaya or self study or self effort which leads to knowledge about God, Ishvarpranidhana or surrender to God and also hri or being modest and showing shame for misdeeds, dana or giving without seeking reward, astikya or faith in Guru and God, mati or cognition/developing a spiritual will and intellect under the guidance of Guru, vrata or fulfilment of scared vows, japa or daily chanting of mantras.