In the previous episode we were witnessing that the Syamvara had begun and different kings from different kingdoms were trying their hands on the “Shiva Dhanush” and none of them were successful in lifting it off the ground! It is at this time. Sage Vishwaamithra asks the child Rama to go and “have a look” at the Shiva Dhanush. Normally we would assume the meaning of this phrase “have a look” as to just go and survey the Dhanush and come back. But Rama, being an invincible “Kshathrya” prince, knows the in-depth meaning of this phrase, that is, to “Lift it in his hand and then have a look”! Thus, Rama walks towards the Shiva Dhanush as everybody around him looking with awe! All of them were having a feeling as to how can a little child lift this heavy Dhanush, while even the most powerful among the powerful kings couldn’t lift it!
Thus, Rama initially has a look at the Shiva Dhanush and surveys it’s length and breadth in his mind for a moment. He bends down and touches it with his small and tender hands. He spots the center of the big Dhanush and holds the center portion tightly with his left hand. Why is he using his left hand here? It is because, only if he lifts the Dhanush in his left hand, he can insert the arrow within the bow (Dhanush) with his right hand. Lord Rama normally employs this technique in every war that he has fought. In Mahabharatha, Arjuna had a nickname called “Savya-Saaji”. That is, Arjuna was a person who was capable of lifting the bow with both the right and the left hands. We can equate Arjuna to the modern day term of “Ambidextrous” wherein some people can use both left and right hands with equal power to perform any action. By this way, in a war with Arjuna, the enemy would be confused at every moment as to which hand is he going to use to release the arrow from his bow! It is thus said that Karna, the great warrior from the Kaurava camp, lost to Arjuna predominantly because of this confusion! Such is Arjuna’s valor with respect to the bow and arrow! But normally, Lord Rama holds the bow in his left hand and employs the arrow with his right hand. Thus, Rama settles his left hand on the Dhanush, and is about to lift it! Valmiki Maharishi beautifully describes this in the following sloka:
“Pashyathaamnru sahasraanaam bahuunaam Raghu nandanaha!
Aaroopayascha dharmaathmaa saleelamiva tath dhanuhu!!”
Thus, as thousands of kings/princes from various territories were looking on (“Pashyathaamnru sahasraanaam”), Rama lifts the Shiva Dhanush in his hands, just like lifting a toy from the ground! (“Sa leelamiva tath dhanuhu”!) Valmiki Maharishi continues,
“Aaropayithvaamaurbhincha poorayaamaasa tath dhanuhu!
Tath bhahancha dhanur madhye naraha shreshto mahaayashaaha!!”
Rama doesn’t stop by just lifting the Shiva Dhanush in his hands. He takes it and firmly stations it with his hands, positions it vertically on the ground with the help of his left foot. After stationing it firmly, he takes one end of the rope from the ground and tries to tie it with the top end of the bow. (It is to be remembered that only if the rope is tied to both the ends of the bow, can the arrow be mounted on it). Thus, while tying the rope to the top end of the bow, Rama applies so much of pressure. At one stage, not withstanding the extreme pressure from Rama’s hands, the center portion of the Shiva Dhanush cracked up and finally broke away into two! (“Tath Bhabhancha dhanur madhye”)!
The audience, who were looking on, were just able to see that Rama lifted the Shiva Dhanush in his hands, and within a fraction of a second, there was a huge amount of light emitting from the huge and heavy Shiva Dhanush, and immediately a huge sound of it breaking up was heard! Thus the audience were left stunned and speechless! The world trembled and everything shook off the ground for a moment! King Janaka was surprised and was overwhelmed beyond words and is in all smiles around! His entire family was happy! Sage Shataananda, his “Kula-Guru” was happy beyond words! Sage Vishwaamithra is equally happy too! Thus with all this happiness and the stunning surprise, Lord Rama proved his divine power to the world once more!
King Janaka was extremely happy, turns to his daughter Sita and says; “Now you can go and put the garland around Rama’s neck!” Sita is equally stunned and happy at Rama’s valor and she starts walking towards the little prince with all her womanly shyness and happiness mixed together in her beautiful face! Sita comes close to Rama for the first time with the garland in her hands! Let’s wait till the next episode to see how did Rama tell Sita for the first time!