Tuesday, 27 November 2012

30. Seetha's marriage with Rama.

       Dasharatha, after arriving at the visitorial palace made an impressive cow donations and initiatory rites.  He had a surprise visitor on that day.  Yudhaajit turned up.   Yudhaajit was the son of Kekaya king and the brother of Kaikeyi, thus was the direct maternal uncle of Bharata.    
      He told Dasharatha "My dad i.e. the King of kekaya sent me to Ayodhya to enquire about the well-being of all there.  All at kekaya are hale and healthy.  Actually my dad wants to see his grandson i.e. Bharatha and that is the real reason he sent me to Ayodhya.
      "On reaching Ayodhya I learned that you you had gone to Mithila along with your sons for their marriages.  It is but natural that I, the maternal uncle of Bharatha should attend the marriage of Bharatha.  And here I am."     
      King Dasharatha did not dislike Yudhaajit; he rather liked him.  Then on getting up in the next morning after the night rest, and on performing morning-observances, Dasharatha arrived at the hall of Vedic-ritual, keeping the sages in his forefront.
      Of course Rama accompanied his father together with his brothers, keeping sage Vashishta and other eminent-saints ahead of them.  After the usual ceremonies, all the bridegrooms were adorned with jewellery appropriate for the wedding time, and all had performed the auspicious ceremony for marriage-thread, conducted prior to the marriage and, all had thread-bands tied around their wrists, as they all have performed all  auspicious ceremonies antecedent to the marriage ceremony. 
      Then  sage Vashishta went to the marriage hall and told Janaka "Oh,  Janaka, having performed the auspicious marriage-thread ceremony, Dasharatha,  along with his sons is looking forward for the donor.
      "You know very well that in marriages all the puruSaartha-s, the component values of life, namely rightness, riches, revelries, and results of final release will be occurring only if the benefactor and beneficiary meet.  Hence let king Dasharatha come, and then on actualising this best marriage you too will be doing your duty as royal priest."
      Comment: Hindu marriage is not a contractual obligation because it protracts over seven life cycles of that couple. Therefore, it is calculated correctly and celebrated sacredly.
End Comment. 
       Janaka was not just a decidedly valiant king but was a profound knower of probity, too.  As he was also an unreservedly generous king, he had already made all arrangements, and when he was spoken in this way by Vashishta he replied "Sir, who is that doorman who dares to prevent your entry?  Or, for whose orders you all await with a bated breath?   Do you hesitate in your own house?  This kingdom is as good as yours.     
      "Oh, eminent-saint Vashishta, on absolutely performing the auspicious ceremony for the marriage-thread, and thereby tying thread-band at wrists my daughters have already arrived, and they are at the base of the Altar of Fire, like the irradiant jets of flames of radiant fire.  I am already ready and awaiting for you remaining at this Altar of Fire.  Let everything be done indeed without any deterrents.  What for the king Dasharatha is dawdling?"
       On learning the benevolent attitude of Janaka, King Dasharatha started towards marriage hall  along with all his sons, the assemblages of sages and his relatives.  King Janaka then requested Sage Vasishta to start the marriage ceremony.
      Sage Vasishta nodded and embarked on arranging Altar of Fire keeping sages Vishwamitra and  Shataananda afore of him.  He arranged an Altar of Fire in the midpoint of the cool-thatched manorial-marriage-shed, decorating it with sandal paste and flowers.  Then he promptly sanctified variously coloured handy vessels, and lid-like concave earthen vessels, which were full with just sprouted sprigs, and he sanctified other golden vessels, censers with fumes of incenses, conch-shell like vessels, and short handled wooden scoops for scooping oblatory items from vessels for putting it in long-handled scoops, and long-handled wooden scoops to drop those oblatory items into Ritual-fire, and vessels filled with oblatory items like ghee, water, milk etc., and vessels filled with toasted rice-flakes and vessels filled with holy yellow-rice duly treated with turmeric, and he sanctified all articles of wedding ceremony by sprinkling holy-yellow-rice, as a kind of dry-ablution (உலர்-சடங்கோடுகூடிய சுத்தி).
      Sage Vasishta along with the other assembled sages continued the marriage rituals accompanied by vedic Hymns.  King Janaka had the four brides brought to the marriage hall and they were duly married to the four brothers.  Rama married Seetha, Lakshmana married Urmila, Bharata married Maandavi and Shatrughna married  Shrutakiirti.
      There occurred rich and highly dazzling flower showers from firmament, and that ambience was filled with the drumbeats of divine drums and with vocal and instrumental music, and promenades of apsara-s danced, and even the gandharva-s sang tunefully, and because it was the marriage of celebrated bridegrooms from Raghu's dynasty.  In this kind of ongoingness of harmonious music of vocal, instrumental and that of dancers, those great resplendent brothers married their wives on circumambulating the Ritual-fire thrice.
      Then those legatees of Raghu went to their visitatorial-palace with their wives, followed by king Dasharatha along with the assemblages of sages, kinfolks, queens and wives included, and Dasharatha feasted his eyes on his sons and daughter-in-laws.


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