Ramayan is a reflection of truth and Dharma in the highest wisdom. While Shri Ram stood as an embodiment of Dharma, all the people associated with him represented his traits by following his ideals. It was not only Shri Ram who withstood the trials of difficulties for Dharma, but his brothers too, especially Bharat who underwent a great deal of sorrow for no fault of his. Bharat teaches mankind a lesson that the real test of integrity is when one faces unknown and sudden adversities.
The first adversity Bharat faced was the unknown happenings in his absence in Ayodhya. While he was away at his uncle’s place, Manthara‘s evil thoughts influence Queen Kaikeyi and she in turn forces Maharaj Dasarath to send Shri Ram to the exile in the name of Dharma. Had Bharat being in Ayodhya, Ramayan would have a different story. Bharat faces great shock of losing his father, being separated from his brother and getting the inheritance of a kingdom which he never wanted. But, Bharat gives preference to Dharma although it was going against his own mother. He rebukes Queen Kaikeyi for her greed. He teaches her that family bonds are greater than any of the riches and power. Just as the noble brother of Shri Ram, Bharat stops Shatrughan from killing Manthara, thus proving that in virtues, he is as equal to Shri Ram.
Bharat faced the blasphemy of the people of Ayodhya for the mistake he never committed. When he returns back to Ayodhya, the people of Ayodhya accuse him of being a part of Kaikeyi’s evil plot and do not trust him. Bharat faces this accusation with a bold heart and does what is right for Dharma. With Bharat’s decision to get Shri Ram back to Ayodhya, seeing his firm determination to walk barefoot till he meets Shri Ram and more importantly his pure devotion for Shri Ram shines with such vivacity that the people of Ayodhya get convinced of his righteousness and selflessness.
Convincing Shri Ram to take back the kingship of Ayodhya was the greatest trial faced by Bharat. While Shri Ram maintains that Bharat becomes king, Bharat tries his best to convince Shri Ram to come back to Ayodhya. He also mentions that he switches places with Shri Ram to fulfil their father’s wish. However, with Shri Ram’s loving advice, Bharat understands the true nature of Dharma which lies in upholding it in spite of all difficulties. He stands united with Shri Ram for the same although he knew that he would be separated from his brother for fourteen years.
Letting Shri Ram fulfil the promise of being in exile did not mean that Bharat enjoyed the status of a king although Shri Ram insisted upon. As the true epitome of sacrifice, Bharat instead opts for a life as similar to Shri Ram and becomes a hermit renouncing all the comforts of a palace. But he does not let away his responsibilities and takes up the rule of Ayodhya as a representative of Shri Ram staying at Nandigram placing Shri Ram’s padukas on the throne and his heart.
While Lakshman chose to be with Shri Ram all time sacrificing his personal happiness and life, Bharat did both of sacrificing his personal life and also being separated with Shri Ram to retain Dharma. Bharat lost everything, yet he continued to be loyal to Shri Ram defining the true spirit of devotion and selflessness, which makes one the highest embodiment of Dharma.