Explore the nature of dharma which compels Bharata to plead with Lord Rama to take the throne.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When Sage Vasishta stated that "no one had learned the lessons of dharma better than Bharata," he speaks to the idea that Bharata recognized and understood how individuals have to be subservient to what dharma entails.  The dharma that compels Bharata to be so passionate about not taking the throne is one that stresses loyalty between brothers and honoring this bond.  Bharata does not wish to have something that was both rightfully Lord Rama's and something that was begotten illegitimately.  In both conditions, Bharata recognizes how dharma has been violated.  It is for this reason that he admonishes his mother and protests to Lord Rama to return.  When he does not, the act of taking his slippers back and placing them on his head from the wild to Ayodhya helps to convey how the nature of dharma binds all.  Bharata recognizes that Lord Rama upholds dharma in honoring his father's words.  Bharata uses this as an example to uphold dharma himself in ensuring that Lord Rama's rule is not disrupted by himself.  The fact that he is willing to end his life should Lord Rama not return is reflective of how the nature of dharma is one that must be revered and respected, even more than one's own individuality.


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