Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 66

Sargam [Chapter]: 66
Sītā's Story and Shiva's Bow

[The next day, when Viśvāmitra requests Janaka to show the bow of Shiva to Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, Janaka tells the story of bow and how it came in to his family. He then tells about how he found Sītā when he was ploughing the field. He further tells that Sītā would be given in marriage to the man of great prowess and some Kings quarrelled with him when they did not get her. He defeated all of them and drove out. He further said that if Rāma lifts the bow, he would give his daughter Sītā in marriage to him.]

The next day, after performing his morning ablations at dawn, that King invited the great sage as well as the sons of Raghu clan. 66.1

After worshipping according to the scriptures, Viśvāmitra, that follower of Dharma, as well as the sons of Raghu clan were addressed by the great one as follows. 66.2

"Oh God like sage, I offer you a great welcome. Oh faultless one, what can I do to please you. Please command me." 66.3

After Janaka, the great follower of Dharma, spoke like this, the expert in speech and words, Viśvāmitra addressing the valorous one told. 66.4

"The world famous Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa of the royal lineage are eager to see that great bow in your possession." 66.5

"Safety unto you. Please show that great bow to these two princes as per their wish. They will return after seeing it." 66.6

The great King, having been told like this by the great sage Viśvāmitra, told "Please hear as to how this great bow came to be deposited here." 66.7

"Oh god like person, there was a King called Devaratha, sixth in succession to the great Nimi. He was a famous King and this great bow was given to him by Lord Shiva." 66.8

"Formerly, before the destruction of the sacrifice of Dakṣa, Rudra of great valour lifted this bow and playfully spoke these words to devas." 66.9

"Oh devas, waiting to get their share from the sacrifice, you have failed to provide my share to me and so I shall cut off your worthy hands and limbs." 66.10

"Oh great sage, then those devas. with a dejected mind, propitiated the lord of devas and then Rudra was greatly pleased." 66.11

"That greatly pleased lord gave this bow to the great devas and oh Lord, then that gem of the weapon was deposited by devas with my ancestor." 66.12

"Afterwards, when I was ploughing the sacrificial land and was trying to purify it once, the plough lifted the well-known Sītā from that sacrificial ground." 66.13

"She, who was not born from a womb but had risen from the earth, grew as my daughter. I decided that this maiden would be offered only to the one who gives valour as a fee to me." 66.14

"That one, who has arisen from the earth, is growing up as my daughter; Many Kings have arrived and sought her in marriage." 66.15

"That maiden is being sought by all the kings in this world and I have told them that I will not give her, who is my daughter, except for a fee of great valour." 66.16

"Oh great sage, after that, all those kings have come to Mithilā with a wish to test their prowess." 66.17

"That bow has been brought and placed before them who were interested in testing their prowess; but none of them have been able to even lift the bow." 66.18

"Oh great sage, after recognizing that the valour of all those kings, who have come to test their prowess, is negligible, I rejected all of them." 66.19

"All those great kings, whose prowess was doubted by me, flew in to great rage and had surrounded my town of Mithilā." 66.20

"Those great kings, thinking that I have insulted them, became enraged and were tormenting my town of Mithilā." 66.21

"Oh great sage, after the passage of one year, availability of everything got diminished and I became extremely worried about the situation." 66.22

"And then, pleased by my penance, devas gave me an army with four divisions." 66.23

"Then those powerless wicked kings, who were doubtful of their own prowess themselves, were defeated and fled in all directions along with their ministers." 66.24

"Oh great sage, who observes great penances, I shall show Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa that highly lustrous bow." 66.25

"Oh Sage, if Rāma lifts that great bow, I will give my daughter, who was not born from a womb, to that son of Daśaratha." 66.26

This is the end of Sixty Sixth of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.