Sita Swayamvar

With the sage, Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to Janakpuri. When the people saw them arriving through the main road into Janakpuri, they thronged to get a look at the two handsome, enchanting young. Men and women, old and young, were…

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sita swayamvar

With the sage, Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to Janakpuri. When the people saw them arriving through the main road into Janakpuri, they thronged to get a look at the two handsome, enchanting young. Men and women, old and young, were all captivated by the sight of Rama and Lakshmana.

When he heard the news of sage Vishwamitra’s arrival, King Janaka, ruler of Mithila, hastened to welcome him with due honor. The sage introduced Rama and Lakshmana to him. Rama’s charming face enchanted Janak and he gazed spell-bound at him.

At night, before retiring, Rama and Lakshmana massaged Vishwamitra’s feet but when the hour was late, the sage bid them to stop and go to sleep.

At daybreak, as son as they heard the cockcrow, the two boys woke up at once. On the guru’s order, they went to gather flowers from the garden for his puja.

The two boys walked around the lovely pushpvatika (garden of flowers). Just then king Janaka’s daughter, Sita came to the garden with her friends to worship at the temple of Gauri. Their eyes met and Rama and Sita beheld each other for the first time. Sita was overcome by the glowing handsome countenance of Rama and closed her eyes in rapture. Somehow her friends managed to take her away to the temple for Gauri puja.

Silently praying to the goddess, Sita fervently wished to be with Rama. The goddess granted her wish. But this secret longing and the granting of the unspoken boon was not revealed to anyone else.

Guru Vishwamitra reached the location where the Swayamvar (marriage ceremony) was to be held. All the kings present in the assembly paled before the radiance of Rama. King Janaka announced that whoever lifts this might bow of Shiva, will be garlanded by Sita, as her chosen groom.

One by one all the kings tried to lift the bow but they could not even move it an inch, let alone lift it. Then some kings tried to lift it together as a team but their combined strength was not enough to even make the bow budge a bit.

Ring Janaka said that he was grieved to think that there was no brave man left on earth to meet the challenge. Had he known this, he would not have taken such a harsh vow to wed his daughter.

This enraged Lakshmana. He declared that such a statement should not be made in an assembly where Raghuvanshis are present. “You are asking for the bow to be lifted but if my guru allows and my elder brother Rama blesses me, I can lift the bow like a ball”, he said in an angry tone. Sage Vishwamitra pacified Lakshmana and made him sit down. He then asked Rama to break the bow.

Shri Rama went towards the bow and lifted it up with great ease. He drew the bow string and the bow broke into two. The heavens resounded with the loud sound of the bow breaking asunder. Everyone was filled with fear.

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King Janaka was delighted to see Rama fulfil the condition for the Swayamvar (marriage ceremony) and asked Sita to come forward. Sita put the bridal garland around Rama’s neck. The Devas rained flowers from heaven in joy.

Just then Parshurama arrived at the spot and asked in an angry tone. “Who broke the bow belonging to my chosen God Shiva? Tell me so that I can punish him.”

King Janaka was shaken as the mood of the assembly changed from joy to fear. Lakshmana confronted Parshurama and said, “It was an old bow anyway. So what if it broke. Why make so much fuss over it? We broke countless bows when we were young and no one ever got upset about it.”

Parshurama said, “You insolent creature, I am sparing you as you are still a child” Vishwamitra calmed Lakshmana down and made him sit back. Rama addressed Parshurama very cordially and admitted. “It is I, your humble servant, who broke the bow. We, suryavanshi’s have always respected Brahmins.”

Rama’s humble stance and polite tone impressed Parshurama. He noticed the brilliant signs of an avatar in Rama. So he picked up his own celestial bow and gave to Rama and asked him to string the bow if he could.

As soon as the bow touched Rama’s hand, the bowstring was stretched and strung on its own accord Parshurama bowed before Rama. “You are Vishnu incarnate, the lord of the universe. Forgive me my wrongdoing” he said. And then Parshurama returned to his dwelling place on the mount Mahendra.

Sita Swayamvar, Ramayana – The Epic Story

Maharishi Valmiki
Valmiki (Sanskrit: वाल्मीकि, Vālmīki) is celebrated as the harbinger-poet in Sanskrit literature. The epic Ramayana, dated variously from 5th century BCE to first century BCE, is attributed to him, based on the attribution in the text itself. He is revered as Ādi Kavi, the first poet, author of Ramayana, the first epic poem.
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