Thursday, February 3, 2011

PDE Ramayana: The Sandals

Reading Guide. Bharata cannot persuade Rama to return to Ayodhya, but he will take something from Rama to represent Rama in his absence: a pair of sandals, paduka in Sanskrit, which have touched Rama's feet. You can read more at Wikipedia. Bharata, like Rama, will not return to Ayodhya either, vowing to wait for Rama's return in the village of Nandigram.

Image: You can see Bharata and the sandals (paduka) in the illustration below.

Source. Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913). [200 words]

Rama and Bharata | 24. The Sandals | Anasuya

Thereafter Bharata gave to Rama a pair of new sandals decked with gold, saying, “Put these upon thy feet, and they shall accomplish the good of all.”

Rama put on the sandals and then returned them to his brother, who said, “I will live as a devotee for fourteen years with matted hair and in a robe of bark. These sandals, O Rama, will be placed upon the throne which I will guard for thee. If thou dost not return when the time of thy penance is ended, I will perish upon the pyre.”

The brethren then took leave of one another. Bharata returned to Ayodhya, and to his counsellors spake, saying, “I will dwell outside the city in Nandigram until Rama returns again.”

Then he clad himself in bark and went to the jungle. There he conducted the affairs of government, holding the royal umbrella over Rama's sandals. All presents which were given were first presented to the sandals because Bharata ruled the kingdom for his elder brother. The sandals of Rama were the symbol of royal authority.

Rama and Bharata | The Sandals | Anasuya

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