Bharat was the son of Dashrath third wife Kaikey. Ram was extremely fond of his younger brother Bharat. His name was carefully selected by Sage Vashitha for his innate ability to look after the welfare of the subjects and keep them well fed and nurtured. In the kingdom of Ram, the care of subjects and welfare of his people was a task assigned to Bharat. Shatrughan and Laxman were younger than Bharat. The single motto of Bharat life was to follow the example set by Ram ideal behavior. He cheerfully carried out whatever task was given to him by Ram. None could match Bharat in his attitude of sacrifice, un-worldliness and devotion. He was as close to Ram as one could be.

When Kaikey was cajoled by her cunning maid Manthra to ask Dashrath for the two boons he owed her, a fourteen-year exile for and the throne for Bharat, Ram .Shatrughan and Bharat were away visiting his uncle at Kaikey (near present day Kashmir). On returning to Ayodhya, Bharat heard that Ram, Laxman and Sita have left for the forest and Dashrath has passed away in grief, he was greatly shocked. He considered the throne and crown as the root cause of selfish behavior and disputes and decided to give it up .He severely reprimanded his mother, and immediately declared his intention of bringing Ram back from the forests, and if need be, of serving out his exile for him. When the people of Ayodhya and the numerous allies of Ram learned of this, their scorn and hatred towards Bharat (born out the assumption that he had a role in Ram exile) dissolved, and he was immediately made immortal in fame to the world by his selflessness, honour for his family’s fame and tradition, adherence to truth and righteousness and last but not least, love for his older brother. Along with family members and court seniors, he went to the forest to persuade Ram to accept the throne. They reached Chitrakoot where the three, Ram, Laxman and Sita were living like ascetics in simple huts. However Ram persuaded Bharat to return to Ayodhya and told him that they must keep true to Dashrath vow. To be able to do so, Bharat, requested Ram for his charan paduka (sandals). He also stated that if Ram delayed his return to Ayodhya even a day longer than the promised fourteen years, Bharat would take his own life. He returned to Ayodhya and placed Ram paduka (sandals) symbolically on the throne. Considering himself a representative of Ram, he managed the affairs of the kingdom for fourteen years. Till Ram returned, Bharat lived in a simple but, like on ascetic at Nandigrama near Ayodhya.

During Ram exile time he did not forgive his mother Kaikey, and diligently served Kaushlya and Sumitra as mother.

It is also known that Bharat conquered the Gandharavas and created his kingdom of takshisila comprising of present day, Punjab region, Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia. It is evident by the Uzbek capital city’s name Taskent that it is derived indeed from the word “Takshishila.” The present-day Pakistani city of Taxila is also a mark of his rule. Bharat was also the king of Kosala When Ram reaches Ayodhya. He makes obeisance to Guru Vashishth, meets his mothers, and embraces Bharat. They proceed to the palace. On the way,Ram expresses his desire to visit mother Kaikaye apartment. As Bharat does not enter the room Ram tells him to apologize to his mother. Bharat touches his mother’s feet and Kaikaye embraces him Upon Ram return to Ayodhya, Bharat led the procession to greet the rightful king and queen, and his brother Lakshman. Although Ram intended to crown Laxman the Yuvraj, or Crown Prince after his own coronation, Lakshman pointed out that Bharat great virtues and years of experience as Ayodhya administrator qualified him better, and thus he was immediately made Yuvaraj by Ram.

When Ram decided to retire, Bharat and Shatrughan joined him. When Ram walked into the river Saryu, he transformed into his eternal and original Vishnu form, which Bharat and Shatrughan walked into the river also and united with him.

Bharat total devotion to Ram and his unquestioned adoration are held as role models and shine like a beacon of ideal character, illuminating the path for those who follow. The Koodalmanikyam Temple in the state of Kerala is the only temple of Bharat in India.

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