Valmiki Ramayana

Story of Bharat

What was the reaction of Kaikeyi and others when Bharat returned to Ayodhya? What happened to king Dasharath after Ram left for the forest?

As we know the minister Sumant accompanied Ram and company for some time. The idea was to persuade Ram to return back to Ayodhya; the argument was that Kaikeyi would repent her hastiness and accept her mistake. She would not mind Ram coming back and stay at Ayodhya, even if Bharat be the king!

But , no, Ram flatly refused to return back. He said to his minister, "O honorable one, I can understand your concern and love for me, but do not expect me to follow the course of action that has even minimum indication of cleverness, ambiguity, or suspicion. I have given my word to my father and people of Ayodhya to lead forest life of simplicity and renunciation for fourteen years, and I cannot think or act otherwise."

"It is not a question of comfort or privilege, it a matter of principle, truth, which one must even die to uphold. Don't I know that Sita who is so tender and inexperienced is suffering? But once decided, let us do our duty."
Bharat returns to Ayodhya.

Thus Sumant, without success, had returned to Ayodhya. Meanwhile, news of these dramatic happenings was sent to Bharat who was far away from Ayodhya. He was told that king Dasharath sought his urgent meeting. He was not told about the banishment of Ram, role of his mother, and the critical condition of his father.

But when he entered the boundaries of the kingdom, he was aware that something was amiss. "Why the birds are not at their usual happy chirping? Why these cattle is dried up and thinned out? Why all people are so silent, instead of their usual fun and play; their eyes swollen as if with constant crying? Why the usual sweet music and singing at the palace not audible to his ears?"
He could guess of impending tragedy, but was not sure as to what exactly might have happened. He straight way went to the chamber of his mother and was pained to see his father lying semiconscious on the floor. He was angry as well as confused. With a firm voice he inquired of her mother,
"O mother, what is all this? Can anyone tell me what has happened to my father, who has brought this disgrace to him, and why is Ram not to be seen?" A series of rapidfire question, but no immediate answer! Who would describe this sudden catastrophe where the fault was of his mother Kaikeyi only!

Ultimately through the intervention of the ministers gradually Bharat came to know all the details of the happenings. He was flabbergasted that her mother would be so mean to take life of her own husband! How can she not feel the pain of separation from her son Ram! Then with language that was sharper than the razor's edge, Bharat takes her mother to the task.

Says he, "O mother, to call you mother is an insult to motherhood. Indian tradition does not allow to kill one's mother and hence I am desisted from doing so, otherwise any one other than you would have not remained alive for more than a minute after doing this to my father and brother Ram. Let the world know that from today you cease to remain my mother, I will not speak to you for fourteen years. From today onwards, my mother's place is taken by Kausalya and Sumitra."

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