After meeting with Rama in the forest, Bharatha didn't return to Ayodhya with
Rama's sandals. Instead, he built a tiny ashram at Nandi Grama and remained
there, worshipping Rama's Lotus Feet. His wife Mandavi also spent her time
contemplating Rama's name and thus gave support to her husband.
So, who was handling the day-to-day administration of Ayodhya? ..........................
From dawn to dusk, it was Shatrughna who stayed at Ayodhya, enquired into the problems of the citizens, and governed the kingdom. By night, he would faithfully report everything to Bharatha. Satrughna carried out every aspect of administration of the kingdom.
Both the sons of Sumitra always engaged in serving their elder brothers and fostering unity among themselves. They never went after name and fame. Shatrughna dedicated himself totally to Bharata and executed all his commands. He was highly intelligent, able, and powerful. Sadly, such a noble character has not been much written about. For fourteen years, it was Shatrughna who held the reins of the kingdom in his able hands. However, he would never disturb Bharatha even if he had doubts. The reason was that he worried that he would be disturbing his concentration, since Bharatha was in constant meditation on Rama. .
During this long period, Ayodhya saw peace, prosperity, and security aplenty. Truth was spoken and righteousness was adhered to in every corner of the country. Shatrughna's able rule assured this. He would not sleep or rest, anticipating some problem or other. He used to worry that any lapse in his administration would fetch a bad name for Bharata. He looked after the kingdom with care and concern as a gift from Lord Rama. He always followed Rama's command.
Another unsung hero is Urmila, wife of Lakshmana; she was separated from her husband for fourteen long years; but he was always in her mind. When Bharatha conveyed to her the news about Lakshmana's fainting on the battle field, telling her: "Lakshmana's life is in danger. I am at a loss for words and don't know what to do," Urmila didn't show a trace of fear or worry. She said, "My husband's heart is filled with the name of Rama. Therefore, he is perhaps sleeping peacefully. All the pain and suffering must be only Rama's. No danger can befall my husband. He will always remain safe."
Once, Bharata received a message from Rama speaking of the enormous trouble that demons were heaping on Him. A particular mention was made of the terrible duo Khara and Dooshana, close associates of Ravana. At this moment of Bharatha's anxiety, Sumitra consoled Bharatha and said: "Don't worry about Rama. You brothers have different bodies, but your souls are the same. Don't look for any differences amongst yourselves because there is none. Stay united at this juncture and have courage. Rama will not come to any harm. He is Divinity incarnate. Therefore, don't give scope for any worries."
Satrughna's wife Shruta-keerti's is another character in the Ramayana that is extremely noble. Since he was busy with administration during the day, she was with him at night, listening to the problems that he was facing, and, attempted to lighten his burden by giving him suitable advice. She would never utter words that could harm others. 'Shruta+Keerti', as the name suggests, she would always listen to good only. In turn, she would always speak what was good and propagated that which was pleasant and pleasing to the ear. She would encourage only that which was good and beneficial to others.
What we need to recognize is that the wives of the four brothers were as virtuous and noble as their husbands. Their character gave their husbands tremendous support and thereby, also happiness and prosperity.