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24                            Ramavijaya.

king was doing. Kausalya, overwhelmed with grief, could
not utter a word, when Vashista • broke the sad news to
him. He deeply mourned for his father and remained
mute for a while. Yashishta condoled with him to perform
the last "ceremony of his father. Whereupon he went to
the river, Qaya, and performed the ceremony. Kausalya,
Suniitra, Yashishta, and all the people persuaded Rama to
return to Ayodya and take charge of the kingdom, when
he said, " I am always true to my promise, faithful to my
wife, and of a firm resolution. I cannot, therefore, break
the promise given by me to my mother, Kayakayi, in fulfil-
ment of the promise given by my father to her and return
to Ayodya under any circumstances." Bharat said, *' If
you do «fbt come to Ayodya, I will go somewhere else and
pass my days there until you return to the city.*' Rama
stroking his head, replied, "Bharat do not be dishearten edt
I shall return to Ayodya in. fourteen years and fourteen
days. I, therefore, wish you to go back to the city and
rule there on my behalf.'* Bharat said, " I am very glad
to obey you, but I shall not feel there well without your
company. I therefore, beg that you will kindly let me go
to Nandigram and stay there for fourteen years and fourt-
een days.*' Rama replied, " If you will not be happy in
Ayodya in my absence, I shall let you go to ISTandigram.''
** But " said Bharat, "if you do not return from the forest
within fourteen years and fourteen days, I shall commit
suicide. " Rama, having been pleased with his brotherly
feelings, gave him his padukas and sent him to Nandigram
where lie lived as a Jogi* for fourteen years and fourteen!
days. Rama also gave his padukas to Shatrughana ,andi
bade him go to Ayodya and rule there on his behalf. ShaJ
tr ugh ana returned to Ayodya with Kausalya, Suniitra, and]
all the people who had accompanied him. A few days af-j
ter he had left for Ayodya, the Brahmans, who lived atj

•* An ascetic. ,