कच्चिन्न ब्राह्मणधनं हृतं रामेण कस्यचित् । कच्चिन्नाढ्यो दरिद्रो वा तेनापापो विहिंसितः ॥

— श्रीमद्रामायणे अयोध्याकाण्डे द्विसप्ततितमस्सर्गः (४४ श्लोकम्)

On hearing from Kaikeyi (for the first time) that SitaRaamaLakshmanas were sent to the forests by the king, Bharat trembled with fear. After somehow gaining his senses, he inquired from her mother (using the above shloka), as to what great mistake did his beloved brother ShriRaama commit, for He being punished in this extreme manner:

“I hope, even unknowingly, ShriRaama did not commit the greatest sin of i) stealing from a righteous Brahmin or ii) unnecessarily inflicting pain on others (be it the wealthy or the poor)”.

Here are the morals to be learnt from this shloka:

  1. Stealing the wealth from a righteous Brahmin, who has left धनेश (greed for wealth) and devotes his life to the Vedas, is महापापम् (greatest sin).
  2. Ahimsa is the backbone for Indian philosophy. Hence unnecessarily inflicting pain on others is महापापम्.
  3. It is evident from Bharata’s words that Dasharatha, who belonged to the lineage of Ikshvaku, was a firm follower of Dharma. This is because the first emotion that Bharata experienced, on hearing that ShriRaama was sent to the forests, was the fear if his beloved brother committed any sin (by mistake) and his father (rightfully) punished him for that. Such great kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty are the ideal for us.