BHARATHA MEETS RAMA
At last, they reached Chitrakuta. Bharatha fell at the feet of Rama. The Queens and all others broke down in grief when they saw Rama. Vasishta asked Rama to perform the obsequies for the departed father. After two days, Rama requested Vasishta to ask everyone to return to Ayodhya as they were undergoing a lot of hardships in the forest. Kaikeyi sought an opportunity to beg apology from Rama. Rama told her that everything happened as He had willed it. No one wanted to leave Rama and Sita as they found happiness in His Darshan. On the sixth day, Bharatha again expressed before Rama his unhappiness at the idea of leaving for Ayodhya without Rama. Rama explained to him that the path of righteousness could only be followed if they followed their father’s command.
Gurus to tell children that God is merciful and always forgives us and accepts us with love when we are sorry for our mistakes and when we promise not to repeat them. We too should be loving and forgiving with our friends
Values to be imbibed: Love is giving and forgiving; Self is getting and forgetting.
Gurus to explain to children about how Rama insisted upon keeping the promise made by his father even after his death in order to protect his father’s much respected honour, thereby immortalising his love and affection for his father. He chose to sacrifice his right over the kingdom thereby demonstrating the necessity of upholding righteousness
Value to imbibed: Obedience to parents / Value of honouring your word / Righteousness is important than any other materialistic glory.
He offered his Sandals to Bharatha and asked him to rule the kingdom for fourteen years with proper attention. Bharatha told Rama that Sandals would represent Rama and he would carry out the duties of ruling the kingdom only as Rama’s representative. Bharatha fell at Rama’s feet and took permission to leave.
Gurus to tell the children : Bharatha could have accepted the honour of ruling Ayodhya and enjoyed all the luxuries associated with it; yet he rose above the petty feelings of greed, disregarded the power of position and status, and only chose to do what is right in that situation which was to bring back Rama to Ayodhya and hand over his rightful position to him.
Value to be imbibed: Discrimination before decision / Choose the path of righteousness always
As they returned to Ayodhya, arrangements were made to install Rama’s Sandals on the throne and worship it till Rama returned from exile. On that day, Bharatha carried the Sandals on his head and went to the throne and placed them on the throne with full reverence. Then Bharatha dressed up as an ascetic and lived a life of austerity in a thatched hut in a village called Nandigrama. He lived on frugal meals, led a life of austerity.
Gurus to explain to children about Bharatha’s devotion to his brother and about his strong sense of justice, that when Rama refused to return to Ayodhya before completing his 14 years in exile, he only accepted to govern Ayodhya in his capacity as Rama’s emissary until he returned.
Gurus to also highlight Bharatha’s sense of fairplay demonstrated through his decision to live the life of an ascetic, simulating the forest-life of Rama. In today’s materialistic world where disputes between family members are very common, the extraordinary relationship between the royal brothers of Ayodhya deserves to be extolled.
Values to be imbibed: Love and sacrifice should be the bed-rock of relationships between brothers and sisters in a family
Do not covet what is not yours rightfully and even if it is yours, there is no harm in sacrificing for your loved ones
Develop a sense of fair-play in all your activities be it sports, academics, competitions etc no achievement is worthy if it is attained through unfair means or if it destroys harmonious relationship with the people around you
Watch – your word, action, thought, character and heart
Be heros, not zeroes [ One who is just and righteous in his life is a true hero].