श्री राम व चारों भाईयों का विवाह >> बाल-काण्ड



siitaa raama kalyaaNa ghaTTam
The Marriage of Sheetha with Rama

We need not wait for any invitation or wedding card or call for this marriage, as all are welcome, equally and individually. Let us go there straight, without any introductions and preliminaries.
यस्मिन् तु दिवसे राजा चक्रे गो दानम् उत्तमम् |
तस्मिन् तु दिवसे शूरो युधाजित् समुपेयिवान् || १-७३-१
On which day the king Dasharatha made the impressive cow donations or, initiatory rites, on that day alone the valiant Yudhaajit turned up. [1-73-1]
पुत्रः केकय राजस्य साक्षात् भरत मातुलः |
दृष्ट्वा पृष्ट्वा च कुशलम् राजानम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-७३-२
Yudhaajit, the son of Kekaya king and the brother of Kaikeyi, thus the direct maternal uncle of Bharata, having seen and asked after the wellbeing of Dasharatha said this to him. [1-73-2]
केकय अधिपती राजा स्नेहात् कुशलम् अब्रवीत् |
येषाम् कुशलकामो असि तेषाम् संप्रति अनामयम् || १-७३-३
"The ruler and king of Kekaya, viz., my father and your father-in-law, has affectionately asked after the wellbeing of all, and in whose wellbeing you are interested at my place, they are all hale and healthy as of now... [1-73-3]
स्वस्रीयम् मम राजेन्द्र द्रष्टु कामो महीपतिः |
तत् अर्थम् उपयातो अहम् अयोध्याम् रघुनंदन || १-७३-४
"Oh, Raghu's legatee, oh, best king, my father and the king of Kekaya is interested to see my sister Kaikeyi's son, Bharata, and for that reason I am sent to Ayodhya... [1-73-4]
श्रुत्वा तु अहम् अयोध्यायाम् विवाह अर्थम् तव आत्मजान् |
मिथिलाम् उपयातान् तु त्वया सह महीपते || १-७३-५
त्वरया अभुपयातो अहम् द्रष्टु कामः स्वसुः सुतम् |
"Oh, lord of the land, in Ayodhya I have heard that you went to Mithila along with your sons for their marriages, and wishing to see my sister's son Bharata I promptly travelled here..." Thus Yudhaajit told Dasharatha. [1-73-5, 6a]
अथ राजा दशरथः प्रिय अतिथिम् उपस्थितम् || १-७३-६
दृष्ट्वा परम सत्कारैः पूजार्हम् समपूजयत् |
Then king Dasharatha on seeing the adorable guest who arrived in his presence, and who is a merited one for adoration, Dasharatha adored Yudhaajit well, with full observances. [1-73-6b, 7a]
ततः ताम् उषितो रात्रिम् सह पुत्रैः महात्मभिः || १-७३-७
प्रभाते पुनः उत्थाय कृत्वा कर्माणि तत्त्ववित् |
ऋषीन् तदा पुरस्कृत्य यज्ञ वाटम् उपागमत् || १-७३-८
Then on taking rest for that night along with his noble-minded sons, and again on getting up in the next morning, and on performing morning-observances as a duty-bound king, Dasharatha arrived at the hall of Vedic-ritual, keeping the sages in his forefront. [1-73-7b-8]
युक्ते मुहूर्ते विजये सर्व आभरण भूषितैः |
भ्रातृभिः सहितो रामः कृत कौतुक मंगलः || १-७३-९
वसिष्ठम् पुरतः कृत्वा महर्षीन् अपरान् अपि |
Rama arrived at his father together with all of his brothers, keeping sage Vashishta and other eminent-saint ahead of them, on an opportune and appropriate hour called 'Victory...' and all the bridegrooms are adorned with all kinds of jewellery appropriate for the wedding time, and all have performed the auspicious ceremony for marriage-thread, conducted prior to the marriage and, all have thread-bands tied around their wrists, as they all have performed an auspicious ceremony antecedent to marriage ceremony. [1-73-9, 10a]
वशिष्टःओ भगवान् एत्य वैदेहम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-७३-१०
राजा दशरथो राजन् कृत कौतुक मन्गलैः |
पुत्रैः नर वर श्रेष्ठ दातारम् अभिकांक्षते || १-७३-११
Then that godly sage Vashishta on going from Vedic-ritual hall to marriage hall said this to Janaka, "Oh, best one among best people, oh, king Janaka, having performed the auspicious marriage-thread ceremony, Dasharatha along with his sons is looking forward for the donor... [1-73-10b, 11]
दातृ प्रतिग्रहीतृभ्याम् सर्व अर्थाः संभवन्ति हि |
स्वधर्मम् प्रतिपद्यस्व कृत्वा वैवाह्यम् उत्तमम् || १-७३-१२
"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, isn't it. Hence let king Dasharatha come, and then on actualising this best marriage you too will be doing your best devoir as royal priest... [1-73-12]
इति उक्तः परम उदारो वसिष्ठेन महात्मना |
प्रत्युवाच महातेजा वाक्यम् परम धर्मवित् || १-७३-१३
Janaka is not just a decidedly valiant king but he is the profound knower of probity also, besides being an unreservedly generous king, hence he has already made all arrangements, and when he is spoken in this way by Vashishta that king replied this sentence to that right honourable Vashishta. [1-73-13]
कः स्थितः प्रतिहारो मे कस्य आज्ञा संप्रतीक्ष्यते |
स्व गृहे को विचारो अस्ति यथा राज्यम् इदम् तव || १-७३-१४
"Who is that doorman that prevents your entry? Or, for whose orders you all await with a bated breath? Do you hesitate in your own house, or what? This kingdom is as good as yours... isn't so... [1-73-14]
कृत कौतुक सर्वस्वा वेदि मूलम् उपागताः |
मम कन्या मुनिश्रेष्ठ दीप्ता वह्नेः इव अर्चिषः || १-७३-१५
"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... [1-73-15]
सद्यो अहम् त्वत् प्रतीक्षो अस्मि वेद्याम् अस्याम् प्रतिषितः |
अविघ्नम् कुरुताम् राजा किम् अर्थम् हि विलम्ब्यते || १-७३-१६
"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..." So said Janaka to Vashishta. [1-73-16]
तत् वाक्यम् जनकेन उक्तम् श्रुत्वा दशरथः तदा |
प्रवेशयामास सुतान् सर्वान् ऋषि गणान् अपि || १-७३-१७
On hearing that sentence of Janaka, then Dasharatha started towards marriage hall, and then he started to enter his sons one by one, four in all, into marriage hall along with all of the assemblages of sages. [1-73-17]
ततो राजा विदेहानाम् वशिष्ठम् इदम् अब्रवीत् |
कारयस्व ऋषे सर्वान् ऋषिभिः सह धार्मिक || १-७३-१८
रामस्य लोक रामस्य क्रियाम् वैवाहिकीम् प्रभो |
Then that king from Videha bloodline, Janaka, said in this way to Vashishta, "Oh, the knower of punctilios, oh, Brahma-sage, oh, masterly sage, along with other sages you make happen all of the marriage ceremonies of Rama, the rejoicer of the world..." Thus Janaka spoke to Vashishta. [1-73-18, 19a]
तथा इति उक्त्वा तु जनकम् वशिष्टःओ भगवान् ऋषिः || १-७३-१९
विश्वामित्रम् पुरस्कृत्य शतानंदम् च धार्मिकम् |
प्रपा मध्ये तु विधिवत् वेदीम् कृत्वा महातपाः || १-७३-२०
अलम् चकार ताम् वेदीम् गन्ध पुष्पैः समंततः |
सुवर्ण पालिकाभिः च चित्र कुम्भैः च स अंकुरैः || १-७३-२१
अंकुर आढ्यैः शरावैः च धूप पात्रैः स धूपकैः |
शंख पात्रैः श्रुवैः स्रुग्भिः पात्रैः अर्घ्यादि पूजितैः || १-७३-२२
लाज पूर्णैः च पात्रीभिः रक्षितैः अपि संस्कृतैः |
Thus said, that godly sage Vashishta on saying, "so be it," to Janaka, embarked on arranging Altar of Fire keeping sage Vishvamitra and the virtuous sage Shataananda afore of him, and that sage with great ascesis, Vashishta, has 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 are full with just sprouted sprigs, and he sanctified even 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. [1-73-19b, 20, 21, 22, 23a]
दर्भैः समैः समास्तीर्य विधिवत् मंत्र पुरस्कृतम् || १-७३-२३
अग्निम् आधाय तम् वेद्याम् विधि मंत्र पूर्वकम् |
जुहाव अग्नौ महातेजा वशिष्ठो मुनिपुंगव || १-७३-२४
Then that great resplendent and eminent-saint Vashishta neatly overlaid even-sized sacred grass on that Altar of Fire synchronising with Vedic-chants, and on preparing Ritual-fire by rubbing two wooden sticks, called araNi , he placed that fire in the pit of Altar, which is aflame now, and then reverently and in tune with the Vedic-hymns he effused oblational liquids into that Altar of Fire, with short-handled and long-handled wooden scoops. [1-73-23b, 24]
ततः सीताम् समानीय सर्व आभरण भुषिताम् |
समक्षम् अग्नेः संस्थाप्य राघव अभिमुखे तदा || १-७३-२५
अब्रवीत् जनको राजा कौसल्य आनंद वर्धनम् |
Then that king Janaka led forth Seetha, who by now is decorated with every variety of bridal jewellery, and on positioning her en face Raghava in the presence of Altar of Fire, then Janaka addressed Rama who is the enhancer of his mother Kausalya's rejoice. [1-73-25, 26a]
इयम् सीता मम सुता सह धर्म चरी तव || १-७३-२६
प्रतीच्छ च एनाम् भद्रम् ते पाणिम् गृह्णीष्व पाणिना |
"This is Seetha, my daughter, she acquits herself in whatever duty you undertake. Take her wishfully, let safeness betide you, take her palm into your palm..." [1-73-26b, 27a]
Or
Here Sita stands, my daughter fair, / The duties of thy life to share. / Take from her father, take thy bride, / Join hand to hand, and bliss betide! / - Ralph T. H. Griffith
The above is very a convenient and readymade gist of that verse. But the three pronouns in the first stanza iyam, mama, tava 'this, mine, yours' are supposed to play havoc in deciphering the latent meaning of this verse. Let us look at some of them.
Seetha is very much there in the front of Rama, and Janaka might have shown her and told "take her...' Why this iyam i.e., "this" It is explained as below:
Janaka: This and this alone is Seetha, the unique, exceptional and earmarked one for you... do not confuse yourself by looking at Urmila, Maandavi and Shrutakiirti they are for your brothers
Rama: Why she alone is earmarked for me?
Janaka: Because she is 'Seetha '
Rama: What, you mean a furrow, or a sillion...
[Sillion is an old word for furrow, not found in dictionaries, but used by poet Hopkins in his 'The Windhover' ' sheer plod makes plough down sillion /]
पतिव्रता महभागा छाय इव अनुगता सदा || १-७३-२७
इति उक्त्वा प्राक्षिपत् राजा मंत्र पूतम् जलम् तदा |
"She who is prosperous and husband-devout, will always be abiding you like your own shadow..." So saying that king Janaka then poured forth water into the palms of Rama, which is sanctified with hymns. [1-73-27b, 28a]
साधु साधु इति देवानाम् ऋषीणाम् वदताम् तदा || १-७३-२८
देव दुंदुभि निर्घोषः पुष्प वर्षम् महान् अभूत् |
Then there occurred great flower-showers from firmament, while sages and gods staying in firmament have exclaimed, "nice... fine..." to the drumbeats of heavenly drums. [1-3-28b, 29a]
एवम् दत्त्वा सुताम् सीताम् मंत्र उदक पुरस्कृताम् || १-७३-२९
अब्रवीत् जनको राजा हर्षेण अभिपरिप्लुत |
On handing over his daughter Seetha who is duly sanctified with sanctified waters, King Janaka is completely overwhelmed with exhilaration for the successful performance of his bit as a father and he said this. [1-73-29b, 30a]
लक्ष्मण आगच्छ भद्रम् ते ऊर्मिलाम् उद्यताम् मया || १-७३-३०
प्रतीच्छ पाणिम् गृह्णीष्व मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः |
"Come on, Lakshmana, safe betides you... say yes to Urmila, the one who is decided by me to be given to you... take her palm into yours... lapse not the time... [1-73-30b, 31a]
तम् एवम् उक्त्वा जनको भरतम् च अभ्यभाषत || १-७३-३१
गृहाण पाणिम् माण्डव्याः पाणिना रघुनंदन |
Janaka having said to Lakshmana that way, he also addressed Bharata, "Oh, Bharata, the delight of Raghu-s, take Maandavi's palm into your palm... [1-73-31b-32a]
शत्रुघ्नम् च अपि धर्माअत्मा अब्रवीत् मिथिलेश्वरः || १-७३-३२
श्रुतकीर्तेः महाबाहो पाणिम् गृह्णीष्व पाणिना |
That honourable king of Mithila even said to Shatrughna, "oh, dextrous Shatrughna, take the palm of Shrutakiirti into yours... [1-73-32b, 33a]
सर्वे भवन्तः सौंयाः च सर्वे सुचरित व्रताः || १-७३-३३
पत्नीभिः सन्तु काकुत्स्था मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः |
"Oh, Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna ... you all are tender-hearted, well-behaved and well-intentioned brothers from Kakutstha lineage... without lapse of time take up other ceremonies..." So said Janaka to bridegrooms. [1-73-33b, 34a]
जनकस्य वचः श्रुत्वा पाणीन् पाणिभिः अस्पृशन् || १-७३-३४
चत्वारः ते चतसॄणाम् वसिष्ठस्य मते स्थिताः |
All the four bridegrooms are palminpalmed with all the four brides, paying heed to Janaka's words, and abiding in Vashishta's orchestration of Vedic hymns and procedures. [1-73-34b, 35a]
अग्निम् प्रदक्षिणम् कृत्वा वेदिम् राजानम् एव च || १-७३-३५
ऋषीन् चैव महात्मानः सह भार्या रघु उद्वहाः |
यथा उक्तेन तथा चक्रुः विवाहम् विधि पूर्वकम् || १-७३-३६
On performing circumambulations along with their wives around the Ritual-fire, and around the Altar of Fire, and that way, around king Janaka, the awarder of wives, and around sages as well for they conducted the marriages well, those great-souled bridegrooms that have emerged from Raghu's dynasty on performing further deeds of ritual consistent with custom as directed by Vashishta, they are all wed. [1-73-35b, 36]
पुष्पवृष्टिर्महत्यासीदन्तरिक्षात्सुभास्वरा |
दिव्यदुन्दुभिनिर्घोषैर्गीतवादित्रनिःस्वनैः || - यद्वा -
पुष्प वृष्टिः महति आसीत् अंतरिक्षात् सु भास्वरा |
दिव्य दुन्दुभि निर्घोषैः गीत वादित्र निःस्वनैः || १-७३-३७
ननृतुः च अप्सरः संघा गन्धर्वाः च जगुः कलम् |
विवाहे रघु मुख्यानाम् तद् अद्भुतम् अदृश्यत || १-७३-३८
There occurred rich and highly dazzling flower showers from firmament, and that ambience is 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 is the marriage of celebrated bridegrooms from Raghu's dynasty, such a charming spectacle is envisioned.. [1-73-37, 38]
ईदृशे वर्तमाने तु तूर्य उद्घुष्ट निनादिते |
त्रिः अग्निम् ते परिक्रंय ऊहुः भार्या महौजसः || १-७३-३९
In this kind of ongoingness of harmonious music of vocal, instrumental and that of dancers, those great resplendent brothers married their wives on circumabulating the Ritual-fire fire thrice. [1-73-39]
अथ उपकार्याम् जग्मुः ते स दारा रघुनंदनाः |
राजा अपि अनुययौ पश्यन् स ऋषि संघः स बान्धवः || १-७३-४०
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 sons and daughter-in-laws. [1-73-40]
इति वाल्मीकि रामायणे आदि काव्ये बाल काण्डे त्रि सप्ततितमः सर्गः