Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 73

Sargam [Chapter]: 73
Marriage Celebration

[The uncle of Bhārata arrives in Mithilā. The four marriages are conducted by giving the brides to grooms and by their going round fire.]

On the day, when the King gave away the cows in charity, that day, the valorous Yudhājit [uncle of Bhārata] arrived. 73.1

He was the son of the King of Kekaya and uncle of Bhārata, after seeing and enquiring about the welfare to Daśaratha, he told the King Daśaratha. 73.2

"My father, the King of Kekaya enquired about your welfare and all the people whose welfare you would ask are okay." 73.3

"Oh joy of Raghu clan, Oh Indra of all kings, My father, the King of Kekaya wished me to see the lady of our family and so I went to Ayodhyā." 73.4

"Oh king, hearing that you have arrived in Mithilā along with your sons for their marriage, I came speedily here to see the son of my sister." 73.5

Then Daśaratha accorded him great hospitality and also extended proper honours to him." 73.6

Thereafter, spending that night with his illustrious sons, King Daśaratha, who knew his duties, woke up at dawn, completed his morning rituals, reached the sacrificial place, preceded by sages. 73.7- 73.8

At the auspicious time, Rāma along with his brothers, all of them completely adorned by various ornaments, after having performed the rituals preceding the marriage, with Vasiṣṭha and other great sages walking ahead of him, reached his father's presence. 73.9-73.10

The God like Vasiṣṭha approached the King Janaka and spoke the following words, "Oh king, oh great man, King Daśaratha has performed all rites preparatory to the marriage along with his sons and is waiting for the one who would give them the brides." 73.11

"All other rituals of marriage take place only when the giver and receiver meet together and so fulfil your duty by performing the auspicious marriage." 73.12

After the great Vasiṣṭha, who was exceedingly generous, told like this, King Janaka, who had great lustre and one who follows the tenets of Dharma strictly, replied using the following words. 73.13

"Did any guard prevent you? To whose command are you waiting for? Why this hesitation to enter your own house? For this kingdom is like your kingdom." 73.14

"Oh great sage, my daughters, who have performed all the rites preceding the marriage and shining like the flame of a fire, have already arrived at the foot of the altar." 73.15

"I am keeping myself ready and am waiting for you. We would proceed further without any problems and why should there be further delay?" 73.16

Having heard the words spoken by Janaka, Daśaratha made his sons as well as many sages enter the marriage arena. 73.17

Afterwards, Janaka, the King of Videha, spoke these words to sage Vasiṣṭha, "Oh Lord, who observes Dharma, Oh sage, along with other sages, be pleased to perform the marriage ceremonies of Rāma so that the whole world is happy." 73.18-73.19

The god like sage Vasiṣṭha addressed Janaka and said, "Let it be so." He, along with sage Viśvāmitra and virtuous Sathananda, reached the centre of the marriage arena and constructed an altar according to the scriptures. He decorated the altar with fragrant flowers, golden pots with holes, earthen ware pots filled with water and sprouts, pots for holding incense, conch shaped vessels, sacrificial bowls and ladles, water pots for offering Arghya, vessels containing puffed rice and the well prepared sacred rice." 73.20-73.23

Then the lustrous god like sage Vasiṣṭha, according to tradition, placed equal quantity of Durba grass around the altar, recited mantras according to scriptures and started fire on the altar by placing fire on it and started giving ablations. 73.24

Then King Janaka, having brought Sītā adorned with all types of ornaments, in the presence of fire, placed her facing Rāma and spoke to Rāma, who increased joy of Kausalya." 73.25-73.26

"This girl Sītā, who is my daughter, would be travelling with you in your journey to observe Dharma. Please accept her hand and hold it with yours. May there be safety to both of you." 73.27

"This greatly lucky and virtuous Sītā would always follow you like your shadow", saying like this, along with chanting of Mantras, he released sanctified water in to the hands of Rāma. 73.28

Then all devas and sages said, "Great, great" and the divine drums were played and there was rain of flowers. 73.29

Then the King Janaka, having given Sītā to Rāma, along with the sanctified water, shed tears of joy and said. 73.30

"Oh Lakshmana, please come. Urmilā is ready to be given to you. Please accept her hand and hold it with your hand. Let there be no delay in doing it." 73.31

After speaking like this to Lakshmana, Janaka addressed Bhārata and said, "Oh son of Raghu clan, please hold the hand of Māṇḍavī." 73.32

That soul of Dharma, King Janaka then addressed Śatrughna and also spoke to him, "Oh great hero, please hold Sruthakeerthi's hand in yours." 73.33

"Oh sons of Kākutstha dynasty, all of you posses good conduct, have a gentle disposition and are faithful to your vows. Without any delay start living with your wives." 73.34

After hearing the words of Janaka, after taking the consent of Vasiṣṭha, those four took the hands of their wives in their hand." 73.35

Those good and great sons of Raghu clan, accompanied by their wives, in obedience to sage Vasiṣṭha, went round the sacred fire in the altar and entered in to matrimony. 73.36

When the sons of Kākutstha clan were holding the tender and soft hands of their wives with immense splendour, there was rain of flowers from the sky. 73.37

Accompanied by the playing of divine drum, there was the sound of various musical instruments. The gang of Apsarās danced and the Gandharvas sang when the important sons of Raghu clan were getting married and it was wonderful. 73.38-73.39

When the tunes of wind instruments were making the sweet music, those lustrous brothers went round the fire three times and got married. 73.40

Thereafter, the sons of Raghu clan, along with their wives, went towards their residences accompanied by the king, hosts of sages and relations. 73.41

This is the end of Seventy Third Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.