Bharata was the younger brother of Lord Rama, who is one of the central figures of the Indian epic, Ramayana. Bharata was the son of King Dasharatha and his third queen, Kaikeyi.
According to the Ramayana, when King Dasharatha decided to crown Rama, his eldest son, as the king, Kaikeyi demanded that her own son, Bharata, be crowned instead. She used a promise that Dasharatha had made to her earlier, in which he had promised to grant her two wishes in return for her saving his life during a battle. Kaikeyi demanded that Rama be exiled to the forest for fourteen years and that Bharata be crowned king instead.
However, Bharata, upon hearing what his mother had done, was deeply saddened and refused to accept the throne. He instead went to the forest to persuade Rama to return to Ayodhya and assume the throne as rightful king. Bharata even carried Rama’s sandals with him as a symbol of Rama’s authority and placed them on the throne as a temporary measure until Rama returned from the forest.
Bharata lived in the forest for fourteen years, during which he governed the kingdom as a regent on behalf of Rama. He was a devoted brother and an exemplary ruler, who governed the kingdom justly and with compassion. He even refused to sit on the throne or wear royal clothes during his rule, as he considered himself merely a caretaker until Rama’s return.
Bharata is revered as a symbol of brotherly love, loyalty, and duty. His story is a testament to the importance of familial bonds and selflessness in Indian culture.