Rāmāyana |Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa| Chapter 115

115. Rāma's Sandals as King in Nandigrama

[Bhārata leaves Ayodhyā to Nandigrama and crowns the sandals there and starts ruling the kingdom as its representative.]

After making his mothers go to their homes the very sad Bhārata, who was stable in his words told the elders. 115.1

"I am going to Nandigrama and so I am taking leave from all of you. I hope to endure the sorrow caused by the absence of Rāma there." 115.2

"The king has gone to heaven and elder brother [teacher] has gone to the forest. There I shall await the return of Rāma, for Ayodhyā can only be ruled by him." 115.3

Hearing these auspicious words of the great Bhārata, All those ministers and their teacher Vasiṣṭha told him. 115.4

"Oh Bhārata, the words that you told now out of great affection to your brother are praiseworthy and could only be told by a great one like you." 115.5

"You are greatly attached to your relations and interested in the welfare of others. Who would not approve the noble path that you intend to follow?" 115.6

Hearing the please words of his ministers which was according to his thought, Bhārata called the charioteer and told him, "Harness the Chariot." 115.7

The great Bhārata with a joyful face after paying respects to his mothers, accompanied by Śatrughna, got in to the chariot." 115.8

"Speedily getting in to the chariot, the very happy Bhārata and Śatrughna proceeded to Nandigrama surrounded by their ministers and priests." 115.9

Along with their gurus, Vasiṣṭha and Brahmins they proceeded east wards towards Nandigrama. 115.10

After Bhārata left, the army consisting of elephants, horses and chariots followed him without his calling them and so too several people living in the town followed him. 115.11

That soul of Dharma, Bhārata who loved his brothers, while riding on the chariot kept the sandals on his head and speedily travelled to Nandigrama. 115.12

Then that Bhārata entered Nandigrama quickly after alighting from the chariot and addressed his Gurus [elders] and told. 115.13

"My brother has deposited this kingdom for my upkeep and also has given his sandals decorated with gold so that the kingdom would be prosperous and secure." 115.14

Then keeping the sandals which were given as trust to him on his head, addressing his group of ministers, with great sorrow. 115.15

"At once hold an umbrella over this for they have been accepted as a symbol by my exalted brother and they will establish Dharma in this kingdom." 115.16

"My brother out of his love for me has given this kingdom as a trust to me and I would look after them waiting for the arrival of Rāma." 115.17

"As Soon as I Rāma comes back, I would unite these sandals to his feet and see his feet along with this sandals." 115.18

"I will look after this burden entrusted to me till the arrival of Rāma who is my teacher, and then I would give it back to him as an offering and would be doing his service." 115.19

"After giving back, these auspicious trust of the blessed sandals and the kingdom to Rāma I would get cleansed of my sins." 115.20

"After Rāma is crowned and people became happy and pleased, I would be four times happy than when I was ruling the kingdom." 115.21

The very famous Bhārata, thus lamenting in grief, ruled the kingdom from Nandigrama along with his ministers. 115.22

That Lord wearing matted locks and dress made of bark looking like a sage lived in Nandigrama along with his army. 115.23

That Bhārata who loved his brother lived there with anxiety to see his brother, obeyed completely Rāma's advice and fulfilled his vow, and lived in Nandigrama after consecrating the sandal. 115.24

Bhārata informed about all the orders relating to the kingdom to the sandal, fanned them himself and he himself held the royal Umbrella over them. 115.25

That great and gentle Bhārata after consecrating the sandals, subordinated himself to it and ruled the kingdom. 115.26

Bhārata brought to the notice of the sandal however small a matter to me and whenever he received costly gifts it was given to the sandal and carried out his work appropriately. 115.27

This is the end of One Hundred and Fifteenth Sarga of Ayodhyā Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.