4: The Stories of Siva and Sati, and of Rishabhadeva and Bharata :
One day Rahugana, the king of the country, was passing that way on a palanquin carried by attendants. They wanted one more man to carry it and, seeing Bharata sitting there, said, “Come on. Will you help us?”
Bharata did not say anything.
They got angry and said, “Carry the palanquin!”
Bharata did not utter one word. He had not uttered one word in his entire life, and would not say anything. Whatever happens, let it happen.
They put the palanquin on his shoulder and said, “Carry! Go!”
He carried it, but he was not interested. He walked slowly, while the others were moving fast.
The king asked the palanquin bearers, “Why are you walking like this? Have you no strength? Move!”
The others replied, “We are not doing anything wrong. We are walking properly. But this new fellow is unable to walk. He is lethargic, and is moving like an ant.”
The king said, “Oh, Jada! Have you no sense? I am the king. I will hit you now. Go!”
This is the first time Bharata opened his mouth. Throughout his life he did not say anything, but when the king taunted him and said, “Jada, go! I’ll thrash you!” he opened his mouth and said, “What are you saying, King? You uttered the word ‘Jada’. Whom are you addressing? Are you addressing the five elements—earth, water, fire, air and ether? Are you scolding them that constitute the body of all individuals, mine as well as yours?
To be continued ...