Rāmāyana | Ayodhyā Kaṇḍa | Chapter 97

97. Bhārata's Intention

[Rāma tells Lakṣmaṇa that Bhārata has come there to take them back to Ayodhyā. Since the white flag of their father is not seen they conclude that their father has not come.]

After that Rāma pacified the son of Sumitrā who was outrageously angry and greatly agitated and told him the following. 97.1

"When the very intelligent Bhārata holding a great bow has come here, where is the need for a bow, shield or sword?" 97.2

"After giving a promise to my father, if I kill Bhārata who has come here, what will I do with the kingdom along with imputations of bad conduct?" 97.3

"I shall not accept the declining wealth got by destroying my friends and relatives, since it is like eating the food mixed with poison." 97.4

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, I seek Dharma, legitimate wealth and pleasure and this kingdom only for your sake and I am swearing this by my sword." 97.5

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa I am seeking this kingdom for drawing together my brothers as well as for their pleasure. I swear this by the weapons that I am holding." 97.6

"Of soft natured one, this earth dressed by oceans is not at all difficult for me to get, but I do not want even the position of Indra by means which is against Dharma." 97.7

"Oh one with respect, Without Bhārata, yourself and Śatrughna, if there is even a little happiness for me, let it be reduced to ash by fire." 97.8

"Oh valorous one, Oh best among men, Bhārata who loves his brothers and is dearer than life to me, after returning to Ayodhyā must have learnt that me, you and Sītā wearing antelope skin and matted locks have been banished, remembering the duties of his race, with love and mind filled with distress and agitated senses has arrived here to see me and I do not think he has come for any other reason." 97.9-97.11

"After getting angry and talking harsh unpalatable words to his mother Kaikeyi and after pleasing our father, has come here to give the kingdom to me." 97.12

"That Bhārata has come here to see us thinking that it is an appropriate time and never ever thought of bringing harm to us." 97.13

"Why are you not liking Bhārata? Has he done any harm to you? Has he threatened you any time in the past?" 97.14

"You should not talk harsh words or words of hatred against Bhārata. If you talk any unpalatable words against him, I would think that they are directed against me." 97.15

"Oh son of Sumitrā, whatever may be the calamity would a son kill his father and how can a brother kill his own brother, whom he loves like life?" 97.16

"Suppose you are speaking these words for the sake of the kingdom, on seeing Bhārata, I would ask him to give the kingdom to you." 97.17

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, if I tell Bhārata, "Give this kingdom to Lakṣmaṇa", he would on hearing it would see "So be it." 97.18

Hearing the words of his brother steeped in Dharma, for the sake of welfare of his brother, entered in to his own body with sense of shame. 97.19

Having heard the words of Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa felt ashamed and said, "I think that it is our father who has come to see us." 97.20

Seeing that Lakṣmaṇa was ashamed, Rāma said to him, "I also think that the mighty armed Daśaratha has come here to see us." 97.21

"Or else thinking that we are accustomed to life which is pleasant, he must have come to take us back to our home." 97.22

"Our good father of the Raghu clan, this lady Vaidehī who has been brought up in luxurious surroundings from the forest." 97.23

"Oh valorous one, those are the great horses which are thoroughbred, pretty and having the speed of wind, which are shining." 97.24

"There is that aged elephant Śatrunjaya which is moving in front of the army, which belongs to our sagacious father." 97.25

"Oh mighty one, But I do not see the white flag of our father, which is respected by the people of the world, which makes doubt arise in my mind." 97.26

"Oh Lakṣmaṇa, please do as I say and climb down from the tree." Thus told, the soul of Dharma, Rāma to the son of Sumitrā. 97.27

The conqueror of the enemy got down from the Sāla tree and having got down stood with folded hands near Rāma. 97.28

When Bhārata instructed the army not to crowd the hermitage, the army encamped around the mountain. 97.29

The army of Ikshvāku clan thronged with horses, elephants and chariots moved away half a yojana [one mile] and encamped by the side of the mountain. 97.30

That army which was brought by Bhārata, following Dharma and leaving aside pride, with a view to please Rāma, the descendent of Raghu clan, shined. 97.31

This is the end of Ninety Seventh Sarga of Ayodhyā Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.