Bal Kanda 9 - Ram and Sita’s Marriage
Deepak M R is a professional writer and trainer. He has a rich work experience of more than 25 years in varies fields that include training, education, and consulting.
He is author of the novel Abhimanyu - the warrior prince (Bloomsbury, 2021). He is also once of the contributing authors in the anthologies Unsung Valour and Aryaa and has written Kindle eBook Mahabharata Tales: Justice for Draupadi and other stories.
The next day Rama and Lakshmana accompanied Vishwamitra to King Janaka’s court. The king welcomed them and showed them his great bow. He told them that the bow was the same one Shiva had at the time of Daksha’s sacrifice. It was given to one of Janaka’s ancestors.
He then told them about how he found Sita when he was ploughing the field. He then brought her up as his daughter. The king had decided to get her married off through viryashulka, and whoever could string the great bow would marry her. Many kings tried and failed. The angry kings then created problems. But with the blessings of the Gods, Janaka obtained armies and used them to defend himself.
Janaka asked Rama to try and string the bow. The bow was then brought by 5,000 men on a wheeled casket. Rama playfully held the bow in its middle, took it out, and strung it. The bow snapped and broke into two with a thundering sound. Everyone was stunned at seeing Rama break the great bow of Rudra.
A happy Janaka then sent a messenger to convey this news to Dasharatha and seek his permission for Rama’s marriage to Sita. The happy Dasharatha then left for Mithila with his entourage. He was welcomed by Janaka, and preparations for the marriage commenced.
Vasishta then spoke about Dasharatha’s ancestry before Janaka and the others assembled. Brahma’s son was Marichi, whose son was Kashyapa. Vivasvan was Kashyapa’s son and Manu was Vivasvan’s son. Manu’s son was Ikshavaku, who was the first king of Ayodhya. Ikshavaku’s son was Vikukshi, whose son was Bana.
After Bana came his son Anaranya followed by his son Prithu, Prithu’s son Trishanku, and Dhundumara. Then came Yuvanashva, Mandhata, Susandhi, Dhruvasandhi, Bharata, Asita, and Sagara. King Sagara’s son was Asmanja whose son was Amshuman. Amshuman had a son Dileepa whose son was the great Bhagiratha.
Bhagiratha’s son was Kakutstha, who was succeeded by his son Raghu. The great Raghu’s son was Pravriddha who was known as Kalmashpada and succeeded by his son Shankana. And then came Sudarshana, Agnivarna, Sheeghraga, Maru, Prashushruka, and Ambareesha.
Ambareesha’s son was Nahusha whose son was Yayati. Yayati had a son Nabhaga whose son was Aja. King Dasharatha was Aja’s son. Rama was Dasharatha’s son and heir to the Ikshvaku race.
The delighted Janaka offered the hands of his two daughters Sita and Urmila to Rama and Lakshmana. Vishwamitra then suggested that the two daughters of Janaka’s brother Kushadhavaja, Mandavi and Shrutakirthi be offered in marriage to Bharata and Shatrughna. Vasishta approved of this and King Dasharatha agreed for the marriages.
The marriages were then carried out with fire as the witness in the presence of kings and sages. Flowers showered from the skies while apsaras and gandharvas danced and sang songs. Vishwamitra left for the mountains while Dasharatha departed for Ayodhya with his sons and daughters-in-law.
Janaka gave his daughters hundreds of thousands of cows, silk garments, elephants, horses, chariots, soldiers, and precious gems. The entourage then proceeded to Ayodhya. On the way, there was a tumultuous sound with a terrible wind raging. A fiery being stood before them amidst darkness with a battle axe and a powerful bow. It was the mighty Bhargava, the son of Jamadagni who had slaughtered generations of Kshatriyas to avenge his father’s death.
…. to be continued