Episode 77 – The Syamvara begins – Rama “has a look” at the Shiva Dhanush!


In the previous episode we witnessed the emotional scene of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita Devi looking at each other for the first time, as Rama enters the palace of King Janaka! We also experienced the beauty of the Kamba Ramayana in this regard. We are currently at a stage wherein all the kings from various kingdoms have assembled at Mithilapuri for the Syamvara. As discussed before, King Janaka had posed the rules of the Syamvara that, whoever is that person who lifts the Shiva Dhanush and sustains it in their arms, will become eligible to marry his daughter, Sita.

Accordingly, everybody has taken up their seats and King Janaka arrives at the venue. The Syamvara commences. King after king come forward to try their arm with the Shiva Dhanush, but none of them are able to even lift it an inch from the ground! King Janaka and all of them in the courtroom were looking on with awe! There is a little bit of a commotion too because at one stage, none of the kings assembled there were able to lift the Shiva Dhanush and it became too much of an ask for everyone!

It is at this point that Sage Vishwaamithra tells the child Rama who is standing by his side, “Hey Vatsa Rama.. Dhanur pashya!” Here, Sage Vishwaamithra says, “Oh dear child Rama! Go and have a look at that Shiva Dhanush!”

Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings out this scene in the following slokas:

“Idam dhanur dharam raajan poojitham sarvadhaadhibihi!

Idham dhanur varam brahman janakair athi poojitham!!

Pasyathaamthu sahasraanaam bahoonaam Raghu nandanaha!

Aaropayascha dharmaathma saleelamiva tat dhanuhu!!”

Thus, after hearing the instruction from Sage Vishwaamithra, the child Rama gets up from his seat and walks towards the Shiva Dhanush. The entire courtroom was looking at him with awe and admiring the beauty with which Rama walked towards the Shiva Dhanush! Valmiki Maharishi mentions here beautifully that Rama’s walk is as if a healthy fat lion is walking towards it’s prey, confident of catching it! Such was the confidence of Rama too, in this context! Sita is looking on and on at Rama and is completely lost in him! It is to be noted that both Rama and Sita were completely lost into each other, the moment their eyes met each other’s!

Thus, Rama reaches the podium wherein the Shiva Dhanush is stationed. At this point, let us recall what Sage Vishwaamithra had instructed Rama to do – “Dhanur pashya!”, means “Look at the Shiva Dhanush”! If we were in that situation, we would have just looked at it and come back! But Rama knows the inner meaning of the instruction – That is, “Look at the Dhanush”, internally means, “Lift it in your hands and look at it!” In other words, Sage Vishwaamithra instructed Rama to try and lift the Shiva Dhanush and prove to the entire courtroom that he is an invincible child with extraordinary powers!

Thus, the child Rama is standing in front of the Shiva Dhanush now. He first has a look at the entire length of the Dhanush, makes an approximate measurement of it’s dimension in his mind before bending down and touching it! This is the specialty of Lord Rama’s way of doing things – We should also learn a very important lesson from this: As per the proverb “Slow and steady, wins the race”, we should maintain our composure, be calm but steady in our approach in dealing with any problem or situation and here, Lord Rama illustrates this to all of us through his own example!

Now, Rama bends down and touches the Shiva Dhanush with both his hands as there is a shiver in the spine for everyone who had assembled there! Did Rama succeed in lifting it? What happened next? Let’s wait to find out in the next episode!



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