In the previous episode we had witnessed that King Dasharata and co. started from Ayodhya after Sage Vasishtaachaarya approved Rama’s marriage proposal with Sita. The entire group of people reached Mithilapuri for the auspicious event and subsequently was welcomed warmly by King Janaka and his people. Subsequently the great rishis got their acts together and narrowed down on the auspicious day to conduct the marriage ceremony. It was finally decided that the event would take place on the day of “Panguni-Utthiram”. Thus the entire city of Mithilapuri was in a festive mood – All houses were decorated with beautiful eye-catching garlands and flowers. No wonder, the palace of King Janaka was extremely vibrant with lot of happiness and people running around here and there. The ambience of the place was in such a way that even the celestial beings from above desired to be present at the day of the event!
Thus, with all these celebrations going on each passing day, finally the day of “Panguni-Utthiram” arrives! Everybody are eagerly waiting for the proceedings to commence.
“Pathi sayyoba sulabham vayodrishtvaa cha me pithaa!
Chintaannava gathaf paadau naasa saara applavoyathaa!!”
Here Valmiki Maharishi mentions a very important point. Just like how a climber or a creeper plant revolves itself around a stick and grows along with it, Goddess Sita Devi with her immense love towards Rama, revolves herself around him! Why at all do we have this incidence? The simple reason is to illustrate that a “Jeevaathma” (People like us) advances towards the Paramaathma (Bhagawan) with the increase of awareness and knowledge about Bhagawan! Thus, all were in readiness for the auspicious event to commence!
King Dasharata formally requests his counterpart, King Janaka to give his daughter Sita, in marriage to Rama and send her to Ayodhya! King Janaka was extremely pleased with King Dasharata’s request and replies, “Oh great King Dasharata, I’m not just going to give you only Sita! You’ve come here with your three other sons as well, isn’t it? Hence I’m going to give my other three daughters in marriage to your other three sons as well!” King Janaka had two daughters – Sita and Urmila. King Janaka’s brother, Kushadhvaja had two daughters – Maandavi and Shuthakeerthi. Thus, King Janaka proposed to Dasharata that Sita would be given in marriage to Rama, Urmila to Lakshmana, Maandavi to Bharata and Shuthakeerthi to Shathrugna!
“Kushadhvaja idhighyaathaha pureem arthasavarchutham!
Aagnyayaath narendrasya aajagaama kushadhvajaha!!
Viditanthe mahaaraajaa ikshvaaku kula deivatham!
Abhyaktham paramo brahma shaashwatho nithya avvyayaha!!”
Thus, upon hearing this proposal from King Janaka and Kushadhvaja, King Dasharata and Sage Vasishtaachaarya were extremely happy and pleased and immediately accepted the proposal! Thus there were four marriage ceremonies that were to take place simultaneously!
Thus, everything was in readiness and the next part of the ceremony is the reading of each other’s “Pathrika” (Marriage proposal). Normally the “Pathrika” serves as a remembrance of the great forefathers and ancestors of both the families. There was a huge list of forefathers and ancestors that both the families read out! We already know that both the families were no less significant in comparison to each other. How did it go? Let’s wait to find till the next episode!