Thursday, 17 October 2013

90. Seetha tells Anasuya the story of her marriage.

                   Seetha was very pleased with the tribute  of  Anasuya.  Seetha without any pride but with full of reverence for her, replied Anasuya "It is not a surprise that a venerable lady like you, talk to me like this. I completely agree with you that the husband is the most respectable person for a woman. Even if my husband is without fortune, he should unhesitatingly be obeyed by me. I am very fortunate and I proudly say that my husband is renowned for his virtues, compassionate, master of my heart, ever affectionate, a religious person, the manifestation of the tenderness of a mother and a father to me. The exceedingly strong Rama bears himself to all other Queens, as he exercises his behaviour towards his mother, Kausalya.
            "The valiant and pious Rama who is devoted to Dasharatha and free from all sense of importance treats as his mothers even all those women on whom Dasharatha has  bestowed a single glance on a single occasion. 
            "While departing for the forest, my mother-in-law imparted a great message to me, which I have inscribed in my heart. What my mother taught me when witnessed by the fire, earlier at the time of my marriage with Rama, I shall always remember them. O, virtuous woman! By your words, all that is being renewed. No austerity, other than obedience to one's husband is decreed for a woman.
            "Rohini, the excellent among all women, is not seen without the moon even for a single moment in the sky. Such excellent women, devoted to their husbands, and by their meritorious deeds, are highly honoured in heaven."
             Anasuya was immensely please with the modest reply of Seetha.  She kissed Seetha on the forehead and said "O, Seetha with a bright smile! I am so much happy and pleased with you. Your words are suitable for the occasion and are charming too. I am highly pleased and greatly satisfied. Tell me what good I may do for you. I have the power to grant you a boon and want to grant you one. Please ask what you want."
         Seetha was vastly surprised by the offer of a boon. With a gentle smile she replied "Everything stands fulfilled by your grace."
         Anasuya became more delighted with the reply of Seetha. She said "O, Seetha! Alas! I will create a great joy for you, which will be to your advantage. Here are divine gifts: a garland, an apparel, jewels, a scented cosmetic and a rare body-cream. These are all given by me to adorn your limbs. They will be ever worthy of you and will remain in tact even after constant use.
         "O, Seetha! Your body, anointed with these heavenly cosmetics, will cause your husband to see you as beautiful, as Lakshmi (the goddess of fortune and beauty) the consort of the imperishable Vishnu (the Lord of Preservation)."
         Seetha accepted them as unsurpassed gifts of love. Then Anasuya asked Seetha "O, Seetha!  I want to hear from you as to how you married Rama. I wish to hear that narrative in detail. Hence, tell me that tale in full."
       Then, Seetha said "A king of Mithila kingdom, named Janaka who was valiant and  righteous, was devoted to the duty of his warrior class and was ruling the earth in a fitting manner.
       "While he was furrowing a territory of land, holding a plough in his hand, it is so said that I came forth as a baby, splitting up the land, as a daughter of that king. The king Janaka, who was absorbed in scattering handfuls of seeds was surprised to see me, with all my limbs covered with dust.
Placing me personally on his lap with affection, that childless king Janaka took me as his daughter, and was very fond of me since then. It is said that a voice resembling that of a human being in the air above me rang out saying 'O, King! Let it be so. This divine child without a match is a daughter to you, rightly.'
             "Thereafter, my father the the king of Mithila kingdom was rejoiced in my possession and acquired extensive property. Performing auspicious acts gave me into the care of the chief Queen. She nourished me fondly and with maternal affection.
              "When I grew up to womanhood, my father fell a prey to anxiety like an indigent man feeling miserable by the loss of all his possessions. The father of an unmarried girl, even if he is like Indra himself on earth, suffers indignity in the world from the suitor's men, no matter whether they are equal or inferior to him.
              "For quite some time my dad could not find a suitable match for me. Many suitors offered their hands but my dear dad did not find anyone suitable for me.
              "After reflecting deeply he decided to get me a husband by Svayamvara (a process of self-choosing marriage). Many years ago my dad received with affection from Varuna the rain-god, an excellent bow with two quivers that never lacked arrows.
               "That bow was so heavy in weight that no man could even lift it up. My father stipulated that all the princes who desire to marry me, should lift and string the bow. 
               "Seeing that excellent bow, resembling a mountain in weight, and being unable to lift it up, the princes offered salutation to it and went away.
                "After a very long time, the sage Viswamitra brougt this Rama born in Raghu dynasty with a great splendour possessing a true valour, and his brother Lakshmana to witness a sacrifice. The sage Visvamitra, told to my father
'These two boys, the sons of Dasharatha wish to see that bow. Show that bow, coming from gods, to Rama the prince.' Hearing the words of Viswamitra, Janaka caused the bow to be brought to their presence. The mighty and the valiant Rama bent that bow merely within an instant and immediately stringed the bow with the bow-cord and drew the bow to the full.
             "While Rama was drawing the bow to the full, the bow was broken into two in the middle due to the resultant jerk. The terrific sound then created was like that of a falling thunderbolt. Then and there, my father true to his promise decided to bestow me on Rama, offering him a jar of pure water. But Rama did not consent to accept my hand till the consent of his father, the Lord and the king of Ayodhya was made known to him.
                     "Thereupon, my father-in-law and the king Dasharatha was invited to Mithila by my father and with his approval, I was bestowed on Rama. My younger sister Urmila was given as a consort to Lakshmana. I was given thus to Rama in that Svayamvara, a process of self-choosing marriage. I became devoted, by my good works, to my husband who is excellent among men of strength."

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