21-4 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra

The Ocean of Compassion Śrī Rāma, saw the people agitated, on the one hand, by the affection they bore towards Himself and on the other, by the mighty trick played by Indra, the lord of celestials. The assembly, King Janaka, the preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha), the other Brāhmaṇas and the ministers, all had their wits hampered by Bharata’s devotion (to Śrī Rāma). Like figures drawn in a painting they regarded Śrī Rāma and uttered with diffidence words which they had been taught to repeat as it were. Bharata’s affection, courtesy, modesty and nobility were delightful to hear but difficult to describe. Seeing a minute particle of his devotion the host of sages and the King of Mithilā were absorbed in love; how, then, can I, Tulasīdāsa, speak of his glory? It is his devotion and noble sentiments that have inspired sublime thoughts in the poet’s mind. When it came to know of its own poverty and the magnitude of Bharata’s glory, it shrank into itself out of respect for the barriers imposed by the race of bards. Though greatly enamoured of his virtues it is unable to describe them; the poet’s wit finds itself as helpless as an infant’s speech. (1 - 4)

Bharata’s untarnished glory is like the moon without its spot while the poet’s brilliant wit is like the young of a Chakora bird that remains gazing with unwinking eyes when it sees the moon rising in the heavens of a guileless devotee’s heart. (303)

Bharata’s noble sentiment cannot be easily grasped even by the Vedas; pardon, therefore, O poets! the frivolity of my poor wits. By discussing Bharata’s genuine love who will not get devoted to the feet of Sītā and Śrī Rāma? Is there anyone so vile as the man who is not easily inspired with love for Śrī Rāma by the very thought of Bharata? Seeing the plight of all and knowing what was in the mind of His devotee (Bharata) and after fully considering the place, time, occasion and gathering, the all-merciful and all- knowing Śrī Rāma, the Lord of Raghus, who was a champion of virtue, self-possessed and prudent, and an ocean of truth, love, amiability and joy, nay, who respected the laws of propriety and was faithful in His love, spoke words which formed the very essence as it were of eloquence and which were salutary in consequence and sweet as nectar to hear: “Dear Bharata, you are an upholder of righteousness, well-versed in secular lore as well as in the Vedas and adept in love.” (1 - 4)

“Pure in thought, word and deed, you are your only compeer, dear brother. In this assembly of elders and in such adverse circumstances how can I recount the virtues of a younger brother?” (304)

“You are conversant, dear brother, with the traditions of the solar race, and know how truthful and how fond of fame our father was. You are also alive to the gravity of the occasion, the circumstances in which we are placed and the consideration we should have for the feelings of our elders and further know the mind of your friends, foes and neutrals. You are also aware of everyone’s duty as well as of what is best for you and me and of what we should do. I have entire confidence in you; yet I say something appropriate to the occasion. In the absence of our father, dear brother, all our interests have been conserved by the goodwill of our preceptor’s family; otherwise our subjects, our kinsmen, our own people and ourselves, all would have been undone. If the sun (the lord of the day) sets before time, tell me, who in this world will not be subjected to hardship? A similar calamity was visited upon us by Providence, but the sage Vasiṣṭha and the lord of Mithilā saved everything.” (1 - 4)

“Not only the affairs of the state, but our honour and fair name, our virtue, land, riches and houses, everything will be protected by our Guru’s glory and all will be well in the end.” (305)

“At home as well as in the woods our preceptor’s goodwill alone will protect both you and me as well as those about us. Obedience to one’s father and mother, preceptor and master is the prop of all virtues, even as Śeṣa (the lord of serpents) supports the globe on his head. Therefore, obey their commands yourself and help me do the same, and be the saviour of the solar race, dear brother. This is the one discipline that bestows all success upon the striver and like the triple stream of the Gaṅgā, Yamunā and Sarasvatī at Prayāga combines fame, salvation and prosperity. Considering this and even though enduring great hardship make your subjects and your own people happy. My woe has been shared by all; but your lot will be the hardest for the whole term of my exile. I know you to be tender-hearted, yet am speaking repugnant words to you; but the time are so out of joint that this will not be unjustifiable on my part. In hard times good brothers alone stand one in good stead; it is by one’s arms alone that one parries the strokes even of a thunderbolt.” (1 - 4)

“Servants should be like hands, feet and eyes; while a master should be like a mouth. Hearing of this (ideal) way of love (between a master and his servants) good poets offer their tribute to the same.” (306)

Hearing the speech of Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus), which was imbued as it were, with the nectar churned out of the ocean of love, the whole assembly was lost in a trance of affection. Even goddess Śāradā was struck dumb at their sight. Bharata derived supreme consolation; now that his master was propitious to him, woe and evil turned away from him. He now wore a cheerful countenance and the heaviness of his heart was gone; it seemed as if a dumb man had been favoured by the goddess of speech. He then made loving obeisance and spoke with his lotus palms joined together: “My lord, I have derived the joy of having accompanied you and have also obtained the reward of being born into this world. Now, my gracious lord, whatever be Your command, I will bow to it and carry it out with reverence. Pray vouchsafe to me, good sir, some tangible support by serving which I may be enabled to reach the end of the term of your exile. (1 - 4)

“In obedience to our preceptor’s command, my lord, I have brought for your coronation water from all holy places; what are your orders respecting the same?” (307)

“I have one great longing at heart; but due to fear and diffidence I am unable to mention it.” “Tell me, dear brother, what it is.” Thus receiving the Lord’s permission Bharata replied in words sweetened by love: “With your permission I would go and see Citrakūṭa with its sacred spots, holy places and woods, birds and beasts, lakes and streams, springs and hills and particularly the land adorned with my lord’s footprints.” “Certainly, do as the sage Atri bids you do, dear brother, and wander without fear through the woods. It is the sage’s blessing, brother, which makes the forest so auspicious, holy and exquisitely beautiful. Deposit the water from holy places wherever the chief of sages, Atri, directs you.” On hearing the reply of his lord Bharata rejoiced and cheerfully went and bowed his head at the lotus-feet of the sage (Atri). (1 - 4)

The selfish gods, when they heard this conversation between Bharata and Śrī Rāma, which was a source of all felicities, applauded the race of Raghu and rained down flowers from the tree of paradise. (308)

“Praised be Bharata and glory to our lord, Śrī Rāma!” exclaimed the gods with great exultation. The sage Vasiṣṭha, the lord of Mithilā and everyone else in the assembly rejoiced to hear Bharata’s words. Thrilling all over with joy King Videha extolled the host of virtues and affection both of Bharata and Śrī Rāma. The ministers and all others present in the assembly were overwhelmed with love even as they began to praise, each according to the best of his ability, the charming disposition both of the master and the servant, their fidelity and love, the purest of the pure. In both camps a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow throbbed in the heart of all as they continued to hear the conversation between Śrī Rāma and Bharata. Realizing joy and sorrow alike, Śrī Rāma’s mother comforted the other queen-mothers (her co-wives) by recounting Śrī Rāma’s virtues. Some would glorify the Hero of Raghu’s race, while others praised Bharata’s goodness. (1 - 4)

Then said Atri to Bharata, “There is a beautiful well adjoining the hill; the water from the sacred places, which is so holy, sweet as nectar and incomparable, may be deposited in it.” (309)

On receiving Atri’s command, Bharata despatched (ahead of himself) all the vessels containing the holy water and himself repaired with his younger brother (Śatrughna) and the sage Atri and other hermits and holy men to the well, which was fathomless in its depth, and deposited the holy water in that sacred place. Transported with joy the sage Atri lovingly spoke thus: “This place has brought success to the striver from time without beginning; having been obscured by time it was known to none. My servants marked this soil as rich in subterranean springs of water and dug a big well in it with a view to securing good water. By a decree of Providence the whole world has been benefited (by dropping in this well the water from holy places) and the idea of religious merit (accruing from a bath in this well), which was most incomprehensible (to the ordinary intellect) has become easily intelligible to all. People will now call it by the name of Bharatakūpa (a well sacred to the memory of Bharata). Its sanctity has been enhanced because water from all holy places has been mixed into it. People who take a plunge into it with devotion and with due ceremony will become pure in thought, word and deed. (1 - 4)

Telling one another the glory of the well all returned to the hermitage of Śrī Rāma, the Lord of Raghus; and the sage Atri pointed out to the Chief of Raghus the purifying power of that holy place. (310)

The night was pleasantly spent in narrating sacred legends with love till it was dawn. Having finished their daily morning routine and receiving the permission of Śrī Rāma, Atri and the preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha), the two brothers, Bharata and Śatrughna, proceeded on foot to roam about in the forest associated with the name of Śrī Rāma, accompanied by their followers, all in simple attire. Feeling inwardly uncomfortable at the thought that the two brothers walked without shoes on their tender feet, Earth smoothened her surface and hid into her body all disagreeable, hard and unsightly things such as the spiky blades of Kuśa grass, thorns, stones and crevices. In this way Earth made the path delightful and smooth, while a refreshing breeze breathed cool, soft and fragrant. The gods rained down flowers; the clouds afforded shade; the trees blossomed and bore fruit; the grass made the earth’s surface soft; the deer cast their charming glances; while the birds whispered their sweet notes: in this way all offered their services to the two princes, whom they knew to be Śrī Rāma’s beloved brothers. (1 - 4)

When all supernatural powers become easily attainable to an ordinary individual who utters the name of “Rāma” even while yawning, this is no great honour to Bharata, who was dear to Rāma as His own life. (311)

In this way Bharata roamed about in the forest; even hermits felt abashed to see his devotion and austerity. The sacred ponds and tracts of land, the birds and beasts, the trees and grasses, the hills, woods and orchards were charming, wonderful and pre-eminently holy. Seeing them all so divine, Bharata asked questions about them; and in reply to them the great sage Atri told him with a glad heart the origin, name, attributes and purifying virtues of each. Taking a dip at one place they made obeisance at another; here they beheld sights that were ravishing to the soul, while there they sat down with the permission of the sage and thought of Sītā and the two brothers (Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa). Seeing Bharata’s good disposition, affection, and loyal services the sylvan gods gladly gave him their blessing. The third watch of the day would be half spent when the two brothers returned to their camp and gazed upon the lotus-feet of their lord. (1 - 4)

Bharata visited all the sacred spots in five days. The (last) day was spent in discussing the shining glory of Hari (Bhagavān Viṣṇu) and Hara (Lord Śiva) till it was dusk. (312)

On the morrow, after bathing, the whole assembly met again - Bharata, the Brāhmaṇas and the King of Tirahuta (Mithilā). Though knowing at heart that the day was auspicious (for undertaking a return journey to Ayodhyā) the tender-hearted Śrī Rāma hesitated to say so. Śrī Rāma looked at His preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha), King Janaka and the assembly; but the very next moment He felt nervous and turned His eyes to the ground. Praising His regard for others” feelings the whole assembly thought that nowhere could one find a master so considerate as Śrī Rāma. Bharata, who was clever enough to perceive Śrī Rāma’s wish, lovingly rose and imposing great restraint upon himself fell prostrate on the ground. Then, joining his palms, he lovingly said, ”My lord, you have granted me all my desires. For my sake everybody has suffered a good deal of trouble and you too have been put to much inconvenience. Now, my lord, give me your permission to leave, so that I may go back to Ayodhyā and remain there till your return.” (1 - 4)

“Admonish me, O gracious Lord of Kosala, and tell me some means by practising which for the remaining period of your exile your servant (myself) may be enabled to behold the feet of his merciful master again.” (313)

“Your citizens, your kinsmen and your other subjects too, my lord, are all hallowed and steeped in joy because of the love they bear for you and the relationship they have with you. It is better to be tormented by the agonies of birth and death for your sake; while without you, my lord, it is no use attaining the supreme state (of blessedness). Knowing the hearts of all and even so the liking and longings of your servant’s heart as well as his way of life, my all-wise lord, who is a protector of the suppliant, will protect all, and will take care of them, both in this world and in the next, till the last. I am fully confident of this in everyway; and when I ponder this, I am not in the least disturbed about it. My own distress and my lord’s Kindness have both combined to make me impudent. Correcting this great fault of mine, my master, instruct this servant of yours without reserve.” Everyone who heard Bharata’s prayer applauded it and said, “This supplication of Bharata is like a cygnet, that sifts milk from water.” (1 - 4)

The all-wise Śrī Rāma, the befriender of the afflicted, when He heard the meek and guileless speech of His brother (Bharata), replied in terms appropriate to the place, time and occasion: - (314)

“Brother, - it is our preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha) and King Janaka who take thought for you and me as well as for our people, whether we be at home or in the forest. So long as our preceptor, the sage (Viśvāmitra) and the lord of Mithilā are our guardians, neither you nor I can even dream of trouble. For us two brothers, you as well as myself, the highest achievement of our human life, nay, our material gain, our glory, our virtue and our highest spiritual gain consist in this that both of us should obey our father’s command. It is in vindicating the king’s (our father’s) reputation (by implementing his word) that our good lies both in the eyes of the world and in the estimation of the Vedas. Those who follow the advice of their preceptor, father, mother and master, never stumble even if they tread a wrong path. Pondering thus and putting away all anxiety go and rule over Ayodhyā till the appointed period. The responsibility for the protection of our land, treasury, kinsmen and our own people rests on the dust of our preceptor’s feet. As for yourself you should protect the earth, your subjects and your capital in accordance with the advice of your preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha), mothers and the minister (Sumantra). (1 - 4)

“A chief should be like the mouth, which alone does all the eating and drinking but supports and nourishes all the other limbs with discretion, says Tulasīdāsa.” (315)

“The essence of a king’s duty is only this much, which lies hidden in the Śāstras, even as a desire is cherished in the heart (before it is expressed).” The Lord comforted His brother (Bharata) in many ways; but without some prop his mind found no consolation or rest. His regard for Bharata, on the one hand, and the presence of elders and ministers, on the other, overwhelmed the Lord of Raghus with a mixed feeling of embarrassment and affection. The Lord at last took compassion on him and gave him His wooden sandals, which Bharata reverently placed on his head. The sandals of the all-merciful Lord were like two watchmen entrusted with, the duty of guarding the people’s life or they might be compared to a pair of caskets to enshrine the jewel of Bharata’s love or to the two syllables (constituting the word “Rāma”) intended for the (spiritual) practice of the human soul. Or they might be likened to a pair of doors to guard the race (of Raghu) or a pair of hands to assist in the performance of good deeds or again to a pair of eyes to show the noble path of service. Bharata was highly pleased to get this prop; he felt as happy as if Sītā and Śrī Rāma had agreed to stay (in Ayodhyā). (1 - 4)

He made obeisance and begged leave to depart and Śrī Rāma clasped him to his bosom; while the malevolent lord of celestials, taking advantage of this adverse situation made the people weary. (316)

That mischief, however, proved a boon to all; it helped to sustain their life like the hope of Śrī Rāma’s returning to Ayodhyā on the expiry of His term of exile. Otherwise people would have succumbed to the fell disease of separation from Lakṣmaṇa, Sītā and Rāma in great agony. By Śrī Rāma’s grace the imbroglio was resolved and the gods, who were hostilely disposed (towards the people of Ayodhyā), now turned out helpful as allies. Śrī Rāma locked His brother, Bharata, in a close embrace; the ecstasy of His love cannot be described in words. His body, mind and speech overflowed with love and the firmest of the firm lost all firmness. His lotus eyes streamed with tears; even the assembly of gods was grieved to see His condition. The host of sages (assembled there), the preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha) and a champion of firmness like Janaka, the gold of whose mind had been tested in the fire of wisdom, nay, who were created by Brahmā as free from all attachment and were born in this world even as the lotus springs up from water (and yet remains ever above it) - (1 - 4)

 - Even they were overwhelmed in mind, body and speech and lost all reason and dispassion when they saw incomparable and boundless affection of Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus) and Bharata. (317)

The affection (of Śrī Rāma and Bharata) which baffled the wits of King Janaka and the preceptor (Vasiṣṭha), - it would be a great blunder to call it mundane. People would account the poet hard-hearted if they heard him describe the parting of Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus) and Bharata. The rapture of that delicacy was past all telling; thinking of the love that manifested itself on the occasion even eloquence shrunk into itself. Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus) first embraced Bharata and consoled him; and then He gladly clasped Śatrughna to His bosom. Reading Bharata’s mind his servants and ministers all left and set about their respective duties. The people in both the camps were sore distressed to learn this and began to prepare for the return journey. The two brothers (Bharata and Śatrughna) adored the lotus-feet of their lord and bowing to the orders of Śrī Rāma they set out on their journey. They supplicated the sages, ascetics and sylvan gods and honoured them again and again. (1 - 4)

Bharata then embraced Lakṣmaṇa, while Śatrughna bowed to him and both placed the dust of Sītā’s feet on their head; and receiving Her loving benediction, which was the root of all fair blessings, they departed. (318)

Śrī Rāma with His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) bowed His head to King Janaka and supplicated and extolled him in many ways: “Moved by compassion for us, my lord, you suffered much and came all the way to this forest with your retinue. Now kindly bestow your blessings on us and return to your capital.” At this the king took courage and departed. The Lord also treated with honour the sages and other Brāhmaṇas and holy men and bade good-bye to them with the same respect as is due to Hari (Bhagavān Viṣṇu) and Hara (Lord Śiva). The two brothers (Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa) then called on their mother-in-law and having adored her feet and received her blessings they came back. Śrī Rāma and His younger brother Lakṣmaṇa) took leave of the sages Kauśika (Viśvāmitra), Vāmadeva and Jābāli, the citizens, His own kinsmen and faithful ministers with due courtesy and obeisance. The gracious Lord sent back men and women of all ranks - high, low and middling - with due honour. (1 - 4)

With sincere affection the Lord adored the feet of Bharata’s mother (Kaikeyī) and embraced her, and having removed all her embarrassment and grief saw her off in a palanquin duly equipped for the purpose. (319)

Sītā, who cherished unalloyed love for Her most beloved lord returned after meeting Her kinsmen, father (King Janaka) and mother (Queen Sunayanā). Making obeisance to Her mothers-in-law She embraced them all; the poet has no enthusiasm left in his heart to describe Her affection. Listening to their advice and receiving benedictions of Her liking Sītā was lost in the love both of Her parents and mothers- in-law. The Lord of Raghus sent for the beautiful palanquins and with words of consolation He helped all His mothers mount them. The two brothers (Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa) embraced them again and again with equal affection and sent them off. Equipping the horses, elephants and vehicles of every description the hosts of Bharata and King Janaka set out on their journey. With their hearts full of Rāma, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa, all the people went on their journey as if in a trance. Even the bullocks, horses, elephants and other animals trudged on against their will, sad at heart and depressed in spirits. (1 - 4)

Adoring the feet of the Guru (the sage Vasiṣṭha) and the Guru’s wife (Arundhatī) the Lord as well as Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa returned with a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow to their hut of leaves. (320)

The Niṣāda chief was courteously sent away and departed; leaving the Lord was a great wrench to him. Pressed to return, the Kolas, Kirātas, Bhīlas and other foresters returned after bowing again and again. The lord with Sītā and Lakṣmana sat down in the shade of a banyan tree and grieved over their separation from their near and dear ones. He described to His beloved spouse (Sītā) and younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) the affection, noble disposition and polite speech of Bharata. Overpowered by love Śrī Rāma extolled with His own blessed lips Bharata’s faith and affection in thought, word and deed. At that time the birds, beasts and the fish in water, - nay, all the animate and inanimate creatures of Chitrakūṭa felt disconsolate. The gods, when they saw the condition of Śrī Rāma (the Chief of Raghus), rained down flowers and told Him what had been going on in their homes. The Lord made obeisance and reassured them and they returned, glad of heart, without the least fear in their mind. (1 - 4)

With Sītā and His younger brother (Lakṣmaṇa) the Lord shone forth in His hut of leaves. It seemed as if Bhakti (Devotion), Vairāgya (Dispassion) and Jñāna (Wisdom) had appeared in shining forms. (321)

The sages and other Brāhmaṇas, the Guru (the sage Vasiṣṭha), Bharata and King Janaka, - the whole host was mentally disturbed on account of their parting with Śrī Rāma. Revolving in their mind the numerous virtues of the lord all wended their way in silence. Crossing the Yamunā everyone reached the other bank; the day passed without any food. The next halt was made on the other bank of the Gaṅgā (at Śriṅgaverapura) where Śrī Rāma’s friend (Guha) made all arrangements for their comfort. Ferrying over the Saī they bathed in the Gomatī and reached Ayodhyā on the fourth day. King Janaka stayed in the capital for four days, looked after the state administration as well as all the state property and, entrusting the reins of government to the ministers, the Guru (the sage Vasiṣṭha) and Bharata, he left for Tirahuta (his capital) after making all necessary preparations. Following the preceptor’s advice the men and women of the city ensconced themselves in Śrī Rāma’s capital (Ayodhyā). (1 - 4)

All the people practised religious austerities and fasted in order to be able to see Rāma again. Discarding all personal adornments and sensuous pleasures they kept their lives in the hope of the expiry of exile. (322)

Bharata instructed the ministers and trusted servants, who set about their respective duties as directed. Then, calling his younger brother (Śatrughna), he admonished him and entrusted him with the service of all their mothers. Summoning the Brāhmaṇas he made obeisance and, joining his palms, prayed to them with due courtesy befitting their age: “Pray charge me with any duty - high or low, good or indifferent - and hesitate not.” He also sent for his kinsmen, citizens and other people and setting their mind at rest established them peacefully. Accompanied by his younger brother (Śatrughna) he then called on his preceptor and, prostrating himself before him, submitted with joined palms, “With your permission I will now live a life of penance.” Thrilling over with love the sage replied,”Whatever you think, speak or do will be the essence of piety in this world.” (1 - 4)


Hearing this advice and receiving the great blessing (from his preceptor) Bharata called astrologers and, fixing an auspicious day (and hour), happily installed on the throne of Ayodhyā the wooden sandals of the Lord. (323)

Bowing his head at the feet of Śrī Rāma’s mother (Kauśalyā) and his preceptor (the sage Vasiṣṭha) and receiving the permission of the Lord’s sandals, Bharata, a staunch upholder of righteousness, erected a hut of leaves at Nandī Grāma and took up his abode there. Wearing a tuft of a matted locks on his head and clad in hermit’s robes, he dug the earth low and spread thereon a litter of Kuśa grass. In food, dress, utensils, sacred observances and austerities he devoutly practised the rigid vow of hermits and professedly discarded, in thought, word and deed, all adornments of body, wearing apparel and the many pleasures of the sense. The sovereignty of Ayodhyā was the envy even of Indra (the lord of celestials), while the very report of the riches possessed by Daśaratha put to shame even Kubera (the god of riches); yet in that city Bharata dwelt as indifferent as a bee in a garden of Champaka flowers. The blessed souls who are devoted to Śrī Rāma renounce like vomit the splendour of Lakṣmī (the wealth and enjoyments of the world). (1 - 4)

As for Bharata, he was the beloved of Śrī Rāma and did not owe his greatness to this achievement. The Chātakā bird is praised for its constancy and the swan for its power of discrimination (sifting milk from water). (324)

His body grew thinner day by day. His fat was reduced, yet his strength of body and the charm of his face remained the same. The flame of his love for Śrī Rāma was ever bright and strong. His partiality for virtue steadily grew and his mind was not at all sad, even as with the advent of autumn the water (of lakes and rivers etc.) decreases but the rattan plants thrive and the lotus blossoms. Control of the mind and senses, self-restraint, religious observances and fasting shone like so many stars in the cloudless sky of Bharata’s heart. His faith stood as the pole-star, the prospect of Śrī Rāma’s return on the expiry of His term of exile represented the full-moon night, while the thought of his lord glistened like the milky way. And his affection for Śrī Rāma was like a fixed and spotless moon that ever shone clear amidst a galaxy of stars. All great poets hesitate to portray the mode of living, the creed, the doings, the devotion, the dispassion, the stainless virtues and the splendour of Bharata; they baffle the wits of even Śeṣa (the thousand-headed lord of serpents), Gaṇeśa (the god of wisdom) and Sarasvatī (the goddess of speech). (1 - 4)

He daily worshipped the Lord’s sandals with a heart overflowing with affection and constantly referred to them in the disposal of the many affairs of the state. (325)

His body thrilling all over (with emotion) and heart full of Sītā and Śrī Rāma, his tongue repeated Śrī Rāma’s name and tears flowed from his eyes. Lakṣmaṇa, Śrī Rāma and Sītā dwelt in the forest; while Bharata mortified his flesh through austere penance even though living at home. After considering both sides, everyone said that Bharata was praiseworthy in every way. Holy men felt abashed to hear of his religious vows and observances and the sight of his condition put the greatest of sages to shame. The most sanctifying story of Bharata’s doing is delightful and charming and a fountain of joy and blessings. It drives away the terrible sins and afflictions of the Kali age; it is a veritable sun to disperse the night of the great delusion (which has thrown us into this world) and is a lion (the king of beasts) for crushing the herd of elephants in the shape of sins and allays all kinds of sufferings. It delights the devotees, relieves the burden of transmigration and is the essence of the moon of devotion to Śrī Rāma. (1 - 4)

If Bharata, who brimmed over with the nectar of devotion to Sītā and Śrī Rāma, had not been born, who would have practised the difficult vow of self-abnegation and austerity and control of the mind and senses, that transcended the imagination even of sages? Who would have dispelled the woes, burning agony, poverty, hypocrisy and other evils of the world through his fair renown; and who in this Kali age would have forcibly diverted the mind of villains like Tulasīdāsa towards Śrī Rāma?

Whosoever reverently hear, says Tulasīdāsa, the story of Bharata with strict regularity shall assuredly acquire devotion to the feet of Sītā and Rāma and a distaste for the pleasures of life. (326)


Thus ends the second descent into the Mānasa lake of Śrī Rāma’s exploits, that eradicates all the impurities of the Kali age.