by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1891 | ISBN-13: 9788171101566

This page describes Chapter LXXIII of the English translation of the Ramayana, one of the largest Sanskrit epics of ancient India revolving around the characters Rama, Sita and Ravana. It was orignally authored by Valmiki at least over 2500 years ago. This is the first book of the Bāla-kāṇḍa (Bala-kanda) of the Ramayana, which consists of 24,000 Sanskrit metrical verses divided oer seven books.

And it came to pass that the day on which the king made excellent presents of kine, the heroic Yudhājit, son to the lord of the Kekayas and maternal uncle to Bharata, presented himself before Daśaratha. And having seen the king and enquired after his welfare, he said to him.

The lord of the Kekayas has from affection enquired after your welfare, sayiing,—‘They of whose peace you are anxious, are at present well.’ And, O foremost of kings, desirous of seeing (Bharata) together with his wife, that lord of earth repaired to Ayodhyā.

O descendant of Raghu. And learning at Ayodhyā that your sons for the purpose of marriage had, O monarch, come to Mithilā with yourself, I have speedily hide hither, with the intention of seeing my sister’s son.

Then king Daśaratha, on having that dear guest with him, rendered to him all the respect that he deserved.

Then having passed the night in company with his high-souled sons, that one versed in men and things arose in the morning, and having disposed of his daily duties, approached the entrance of the sacrificial ground, headed by the saints.

Then at an auspicious moment called Vijaya; Rāma with Vasiṣṭha as well as other Maharṣis at his head, and accompanied by his brothers adorned with various ornaments, who had all performed the rites relative to their nuptials, (approached the entrance of the sacrificial ground). Then the worshipful Vasiṣṭha, coming to Vaideha, spoke as follows.

King Daśaratha, O foremost of sovereigns, that chief among the best of men—accompanied with his son, who have performed all the rites relative to their nuptials, stay the orders of the bestower (of the bride); for the meeting of the giver and the receiver is indispensable to every transaction (of this nature). Do you therefore maintain your merit by accomplishing this excellent nuptial ceremony.

Thus addressed by the high-souled Vasiṣṭha, that exceedingly generous and energetic one versed in morality answered, saying,

Who act as my warder there? And whose commands does he stay? And what need of exercising judgement in such a matter? As this kingdom is mine, so it is verily your. O foremost of anchorets, my daughters resembling flames of fire, having performed all the rites relative to the incoming nuptials, are at the foot of the dais; and, sitting beside the dais.

I myself had been expecting you every moment. Do you perform everything without let. What need of delaying further?

Hearing those words uttered by Janaka, Daśaratha entered in together with his sons and the body of saints.

Then to the king of the Videhas, Vasiṣṭha spoke as follows,—O saint, do you, O pious one, in company with the saints, perform, O master, the nuptial ceremonies of Rāma charming to all.

Thereupon, saying, So be it to Janaka, the worshipful saint Vasiṣṭha of mighty austerities with Viśvāmitra and the pious Śatānanda in his front, constracted a dais agreeably to the scriptures, decking it out with fragrant flowers all around, and golden ladles, and variegated water-pots, and platters with ears of barley, and censers filled with Dhūpa, and conchs, and sacrificial spoons, and vessels furnished with Arghyas, and those containing fried paddy, and sanctified Akṣatas. And over the dais, Vasiṣṭha with due mantras and rites spread an awning consisting of Darbhas of equal proportions. And with prescribed rites and mantras placing fire upon the dais, the highly energetic one commenced upon offering oblations.

Then bringing Sītā adorned with various ornaments near the fire, and placing her before Rāghava, king Janaka addressed the enchancer of Kausalyā’s joy, saying,—This Sītā, my daughter, to you accept, good betide you, as your partner in the observance of every duty: do you take her hand by yours. May she be of excited piety, and devoted to her husband; ever following you like your shadow!

Saying this, the king sprinkled Rāma’s palm with water sanctified with mantras; with the celestials and saints exclaiming, Excellent! Excellent!

And the celestial kettle-drums sounded, and blossoms began to shower down copiously. Having thus given away his daughter Sītā, with water and mantras, king Janaka, overflowing with delight, said, Come forward, O Lakṣmaṇa, good to you. Receive you Urmilā ready to be bestowed by me upon you. Do you accept her hand: let there be no delay about it.

Having addressed Lakṣmaṇa thus, Janaka spoke to Bharata, saying, Do you, O descendant of Raghu, take Māṇḍavya’s hand by yours own.

The righteous lord of Mithilā spoke also to Śatrughna, saying, Do you, O you of mighty arms, take Śrutakīrti’s hand by your own. May you all be good, and vowed to excellent life! And be, you Kākutsthas, you united with your wives. Let there be no delay about it.

Hearing Janaka’s speech, those four perpetuators of Raghus’s line, staying by Vasiṣṭha’s opinions, taking the hands of the four brides with their own, went round the sacrificial fire, and the dais, and the king, and the high-souled saints; and in company with their wives, agreeably to direction entered into matrimony in accordance with the ordinance.

There was a mighty shower of shining blossoms from the firmament accompanied with the sounds of celestial kettle-drums, and choiring and instrumental music. And the Apsaras, danced and the Gandharvas sang melodiously, at the bridal of the foremost of the Raghus. And this seemed wonderful to witness.

To the blowing of trumpets, those exceedingly puissant ones, thrice going round the fire, in company with their wives went to the encampment.

The king, having seen that all the auspicious ceremonies were performed, went in their wake accompanied by the sages and his adherents.

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