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LAKSHMANA

It Is Bharata Why Is He Coming?

Rama's party set up a hermitage in the Chitrakoot forest on the banks of the river Mandakini and spent a few months there. One day they saw wild animals running about with fear near their hut. After sometime, they heard a big commotion as if a big hunting expedition was on. Rama suggested to Lakshmana to climb up a tree and see what it was all about. From the treetop, Lakshmana could see an army battalion. In the middle of the ranks was fluttering a 'Kovidara'flag - it was Bharata's flag.

Lakshmana, sighting it, said; "A battalion is coming. It is Bharata's. His flag is flying. As if not satisfied with usurping the kingdom, he is now probably coming to inflict more harms upon you. You stand aside with the sister-in-law. I will finish that bad fellow. Let his mother, who got him the kingdom through her misbehavior, see that I will kill him." Rama said, "is it Bharata who is coming?

Why do you think about him in this manner? Probably, my brother must be coming to take me back to the capital after denouncing his mother's misdeed. Without you, I do not want to be the ruler of even all the three worlds." Hearing this, Lakshmana felt somewhat ashamed.

Bharata arrived shortly and as expected, pleaded with Rama to return. Rama was not willing. When he heard that his father had passed away, Rama decided that there was no point in going back. Thereupon, Bharata requested Sri Rama to give him his sandals and with them returned to the capital. "These sandals will rule our kingdom in your absence. You must return immediately on completion of the 14-year exile. Otherwise, I will burn myself and die."

Lakshmana must have wondered at Bharata's conduct, which was quite contrary to what he had imagined. He now felt very happy. Then onwards he never thought anything bad about him. One day, remembering him, Lakshmana said: "Dear brother, Bharata is waiting in the capital pining for your arrival." His sympathy and affection were evident. Kaikeyi also, had come with Bharata to see them and desired that Rama should come back. Still Lakshmana was sore about her. "People say that sons take after their mothers instead of their fathers. It may not be wholly true. Bharata did not take after his mother," he thought. Rama told him: "Speak about Bharata whatever is good. But I do not like your speaking ill of our aunt." Lakshmana kept quiet. "When I speak thus in support of my elder brother, he himself supports those opposed to him and chastises me," thought Lakshmana but he did not feel hurt. Rama's demeanor had now made him a most obedient servant rather than a brother.

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana visited various Ashrams, stayed there for one, two or six months and by the tenth year arrived on the fringe of the Janasthana jungle.

At that time, this forest was under the control of 'Rakshasa' (demons). Ravana, the ruler of Lanka, was their king. Under his aegis, the local chieftains were very arrogant. Khara, Dooshana and Trishira were these local rulers. When Rama, Sita and Lakshmana arrived on the fringe of the forest, Rama decided to build a hermitage there. Lakshmana built the huts and his work earned praise from Rama.

They stayed there happily for sometime. Nearby was the abode of ‘Gridhraraja’, (Gridhraraja means an eagle as stated in contemporary versions of Valmiki Ramayana. That the bird spoke like a human being and acted like one could only be a fable.

Perhaps, we should interpret the name Gridhraraja as a king whose standard bore the insignia of an eagle.) Jatayu told Rama and his companions that he was a friend of Dasharatha and welcomed them affectionately.

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Rama set out for the forest with Sita behind him, followed by Lakshmana equipped with bow and arrows
About Lakshmana
Introduction
Sage Vishwamitra's Blessings
Rama Obliged To Go In Exile To Forest
"Don't Leave Me And Go"
You are Here! It Is Bharata- Why Is He Coming?
" I am Ravana's Sister"
Where Is Sita?
Sugriva's Friendship
Lakshmana - Heroes' Hero
A Pyre For Sister-In -Law
Ideal Brother
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