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This Volume no. 5 continues with the English narration of the Story of Lord Ram as described in the devotional classic known as ‘Ram Charit Manas’ written by Goswami Tulsidas, from where we had left it in volume no. 4, i.e. Doha no. 163 of Canto 2, Ayodhya Kand.
The entire Book ‘Ram Charit Manas’ is divided into 7 Cantos, named Baal Kand, Ayodhya Kand, Aranya Kand, Kishkindha Kand, Sundar Kand, Lanka Kand, and Uttar Kand.
The topics that are covered in this volume no. 5 are the following:
(1) After Bharat performed the last rites of his father, a royal conference was held where the seniors tried to persuade him to accept the crown of the kingdom of Ayodhya in the absence of Lord Ram, but he refused, saying that he wants to go to the forest and ask for forgiveness from the Lord, besides requesting him to come back home.
(2) After making proper preparations, Bharat departed for the forest to meet Lord Ram; he was accompanied by a huge precession of seniors and ordinary folks of Ayodhya. On the way, Bharat befriended Nishad, the head of the boatman community, who then joined the procession and acted as a guide to lead the party and show the way onwards, in the direction Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman had gone to the forest.
(3) Bharat arrives at sage Bharadwaj’s hermitage. The sage lavishly praised Bharat and entertained the entire entourage. Then Bharat moved on in the direction of Chitrakoot where Lord Ram lived at that time. Bharat received a warm and emotional response from the country folk all along the way to Lord Ram’s hermitage.
(4) The fear of the gods and their guru’s reassurance to them. Finally, Bharat reached Chitrakoot, and all the four brothers met each other most affectionately. Lord Ram meets and welcomes everyone accompanying Bharat very warmly, and escorted them all inside his hermitage.
(5) The first conference was held at Chitrakoot where Bharat pleads his case before Lord Ram. Meanwhile, king Janak too arrived there with his entourage
(6) The second conference was held at Chitrakoot. Lord Ram persuades Bharat to honour their father’s words and bear with the Lord till the end of the designated time the Lord is obliged to stay in the forest; Bharat accepts Lord Ram’s commands, but asks the Lord to tell him where to place the consecrated waters of different holy places he had brought along in order to anoint Lord Ram as a King in the forest itself; Lord Ram told him to follow the instructions of sage Atri in this regard.
(8) Sage Atri advises Bharat to place all holy waters in a well nearby; Bharat goes on a tour of the holy sites of Chitrakoot; the third conference at Chitrakoot; Bharat accepts Lord Ram’s instructions to return home; he accepts the Lord’s wooden footwear as a token of his personal presence at Ayodhya, and prepares to return home.
(9) Bharat and his entourage leave Chitrakoot with a very heavy heart to return home to Ayodhya. The distraught party arrives in the gloomy city. Bharat puts Lord Ram’s sandals on the throne as a token of the Lord’s personal presence, and himself retires to lead a hermit’s life at a nearby suburb; Bharat’s exemplary life of renunciation and detachment praised lavishly by one and all.
Our Book contains the Original Text of Ram Charit Manas followed by Roman Transliteration of the verses, and then a comprehensive and analytical narrative of the Text in English, explaining it thoroughly and from different perspectives verse-by-verse, aided by detailed notes and references.
The other volumes that follow in this series will carry on with the magnificent narrative of Ram Charit Manas in a step-wise manner.