Serious Argument between Rama and Bharata on Two Words! (Post No.4332)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 24 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 16-42



Post No. 4332

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Serious Argument between Rama and Bharata on Two Words! (Post No.4332)

All of us know the outline of Ramayana, one of the two great Hindu epics in India. Ramayana has got lot of materials on Dharma or righteousness. During the meeting of Bharata and Rama in the forest, each one tried to outsmart the other. The context is Bharata persuading Rama to return to Ayodhya and take over the reins. Most of us miss the minute points; only those who read it in full original slokas (Sanskrit couplets) will observe and digest those things. Right Honourable Silver tongue V S  Srivasa sastri gave some lectures on Ramayana in 1944 touching those minute and very useful points. Madras Sanskrit Academy arranged those talks. He gave 30 lectures on Valmiki Ramayana.


Here is an excerpt: –

In the middle of the argument Bharata says, “Have pity on me. It was when I was away that Kaikeyi behaved in this fashion, fancying that it would please me. She deserves to be severely punished but I don’t punish her because I am afraid of violating the rule of Dharma. I am also afraid of your serious displeasure. As for my father, Dasaratha, he was an old man and a dotard. He was in the hands of my mother. The old saying has it that people weaken in their old age, become somewhat senile,

‘anta kale hi bhutaani muhyantiti puraa sruthi:’

This old saying has abundantly testified to by our father. (V R 2-106-8 to 14)



Then Bharata ventures on advising his own elder brother!

You know the word APATYA means son. It is grammatically neuter in gender but it means son. It comes from a peculiar belief that the son saves father from ‘falling’ (apatya), that is, from perdition we say. That is why he is called APATYAM. He prevents father’s fall. Bharat uses the word in its literal sense and ventures his brother in the truth.

Bharata says to Rama,

“Our father thinking that he was under some obligation or perhaps in fear of the anger of the wife, whatever it was, through some mistake, passed an unjust order. The transgression of our father, you had better undo it. Put it right. Father did wrong some mistake, may be he was a fool.

He is called a son in this world who when the father has gone wrong, puts the matter right:

piturhi samatikraantam puto ya: sadhu manyate- 2-106-15

If a son doesn’t do it but obeys his father in the wrong course, then he must not be called APATYA (preventing falling). He helps his father’s fall, brings it about. You had better be an APATYA.

Maa Bhavaan duskrtam pitu:- 2-106-16

Do not carry out the wrong order passed by the father. Do not confirm him in the error of his ways and thus bring down Heaven’s punishment on him. Do the right thing and save him”

See how a clever man can twist things to his own purpose.


(After giving new interpretation to the word Apatya, Bharata shows all those assembled in support of his request that Rama should return to Ayodhya)

Right Honourable Srinivasa sastri continues……………

“Then Sri Rama Says: You think that I , being the eldest son, must obey father and that you need not. Is that your opinion? Father has laid on me one duty,  going to the forest. He has laid on you another duty, being king at Ayodhya and ruling the kingdom. You forget that is your duty. Go and get yourself crowned. Do not waste time here. Carry out your father’s wish as I  carrying out his wish.

Please your mother by carrying out your father’s wish.”

Significance of going to Gaya Kshetra

Rama continues……….

“There was once a great mannamed Gaya who in the place called Gaya performed a great Yajna and saved his Pitris (departed souls).That man having saved his Pitris has laid it down for posterity.


putraamno naarakaadhyasmaatpitaram traayate suta:

tasmaan putra iti prokta: pitruun ya paathi sarvata: (2-107-12)


Because a son saves the father from the Naraka called ‘Put’ by performing what is called Ishtaputra, be it in wealth, in temples and so on, he is called PUTRA. A son who performs these benevolent offices and dedicates them for the benefit of his father is called a PUTRA.”

Now Rama says to Bharata,

You had better be a PUTRA. You asked me to be an APATYAM, I ask you to be a PUTRA.


(Both Putra and Apatyam meant the same; but Bharata gave a new interpretation and Rama corrected him by explaining Putra)


The prescription is that the man should bear many sons. One wont do, no, not even two; for life is subject to so many mutations and vicissitudes. We want one son at least to go to Gaya and perform Sraddha.


Now, ladies and gentlemen, how famous must this Gaya must have been for it to get this sanctified flavour even in the  time of Sri Rama! What an ancient place it must have been! One must wish to get many sons of whom someone may go to and perform Sradhdha.


At the end Rama outsmarted Bharata by using the word Putra which has the same meaning of Apatyam.


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