Fraternal Love Among Brothers

"You have to develop fraternal feelings toward everyone. Here is an example from the Ramayana. Once the four brothers as young lads were playing a game with a ball. After the game, Rama ran to Kaushalya and rested in her lap. He was full of joy. When Kaushalya asked him why he was feeling so happy. Rama said that Bharat had won the game that day and that made him so happy. Kaushalya remarked that an elder brother rejoicing at the success of his younger brother is a great example of brotherly love. Shortly thereafter Bharat came to Kaushalya with a sad look. Kaushalya asked him why he was feeling sad when he had won the game. Bharat said. When I was about to lose the game, Rama managed to lose the game and made me the winner. I am feeling unhappy because of the defeat of the elder brother. Is it not sad that on my account, my elder brother should loose the game?' What an example of fraternal love! The elder brother should rejoice in the success of the younger, even by loosing the game himself. This is the lesson taught by the Ramayana. In those days, the four brothers were in a supreme state of fraternal love. Today brothers go to the Supreme Court for settling their disputes. This is not proper. Brothers should be united and live in amity. The ideal of fraternal unity, upheld in the Ramayana, should inspire the people today." Sai Baba, SS. 3/96. p. 67

Reason For Intense Fraternal Love

"What is the reason for the initimate relationship that existed between Rama and Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughana. Here you have to take into consideration an incident that happened prior to their birth. When the sweet pudding emerged from the sacrificial fire ofPutrakameshti Yajna (Yajna for begetting children) performed by Dashratha, sage Vasishta told him to distribute the same to his three wives. Scholars have distorted the truth by saying that the pudding was distributed in different portions. Dashraratha treated all his wives alike. He had no partiality towards any of them. He divided the pudding into three equal parts and distributed to each of them. He told them to have a ceremonial bath before partaking of the pudding. Kaushalya and Kaikeyi were overjoyed. They kept their share of pudding at a safe place and went inside to have a ceremonial bath. But Sumitra was not all that happy. She felt, 'Since Kaushalya is the first wife of Dashratha, then son born to her will have every chance of becoming the crown prince. Even Kaikeyi's son may occupy the throne as Dashrath had given word to her father. But the son born to me stands no chance of becoming the crown prince.' Thinking thus, she completed her bath. As there were no fans or hair dryers in those days, she went to the terrace, kept the cup containing the pudding by her side and started drying her hair in the sun. Suddenly from somewhere an eagle swooped down and took away the cup containing the pudding. Sumitra was taken aback. She was not really sad for losing the pudding, but was afraid that her husband Dashratha might reprimand her for her carelessness. She approached Kaushalya and Kaikeyi and explained to them her plight. They loved Sumitra as Sumitra loved them. So, they took pity on Sumitra and gave a part of their share to her. Out of the part of the pudding given by Kaushalya, Lakshmana was born to Sumitra, whereas Shatrughana was born out of the share of the pudding given by Kaikeyi. Hence, Lakshmana, born out of Kaushalya's share, was deeply attached to Rama, and Shatrughana, bom out of the share of Kaikeyi, was deeply attached to Bharata.


Sumitra's two children, Lakmana and Shatrughana, started crying as soon as they were born, while Rama, the stm of Kaushalya, and Bharata, the son of Kaikeyi, had blissful smiles on their faces in their cradles. The children of Sumitra puzzled everybody by their incessant crying. Sumitra tried various means to make them stop crying but it was of no avail. Emperor Dashratha consulted several physicians to cure the strange malady ofSumitra's children, but nothing worked. Mother Sumitra then called sage Vasishta as a last resort to solve her problem. The eminent sage meditated for some time and said: '0 mother, you need not administer any medicine to alleviate your children's suffering. All you have to do is to keep Lakshmana by the side of Rama, and Shatrughana in the cradle of Bharata.' Sumitra did accordingly and found that Lakshmana and Shatrughana stopped crying immediately. The two children who had refused to drink milk till then started taking food and playing in the cradle. Surprised at this sudden change of their behaviour, Sumitra prayed to the sage to explain the cause of this behaviour. Then Vasishta explained to her, '0 mother, Lakshmana and Shatrughana are the Anshas (parts) of Rama and Bharata, respectively. So, when they were united, they became blissful.

Lakshmana's suffering ended once he joined the company of Rama. Likewise, Shatrughana served Bharata all his life. It is next to impossible to find brothers like Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughana in the present-day world. We find many twins bearing the names Rama and Lakshmana, but they fight with each other over property and even go to Supreme Court to settle their disputes. But Rama and Lakshmana of the Ramayana attained supreme stage through unity. When Lakshmana fainted in the battlefield, Rama threw aside His bow and arrow, placed Lakshmana's head on his lap and lamented, '0 Lakshmana, in this vast world I may be able to get a mother like Kaushalya or a wife like Sita, but I will never be able to get a brother like you.' Such was the supreme love of Rama and Lakshmana. This is a great ideal for mankind." Sai Baba. SS. 5/2000, ppl 32-134