With the exchange readings of the lineage of both wedding parties over, preparations began for the wedding. There was a surprise visitor from Kaikeyi—Yudhajit, Kaikeyi’s brother and Bharata’s maternal uncle. Having gone to Ayodhya to see his nephew, he heard that all have left for Rama’s wedding and he
came to Mithila.
King Dasharatha is addressed here as a Tatwavit, knower of truth. With the sages, including Vasishtha leading the train, the king with his four sons were clad in festive clothes and arrived at the dais at the hour—Vijaya—an auspicious time that promised to bring success in all activities. Vasishtha announced that Dasharatha has come to receive the donation from King Janaka and any transaction of give-and-take happens only with the co-coperation of both parties concerned.
Janaka told Vasishtha that there was no need to wait at the door because the palace and all the wealth of Mithila belonged to Dasharatha now that all the preliminary wedding ceremonies were over. “For whom does he wait still?” the king asked. No sooner than he heard this, Dasharatha’s entourage walked into the palace along with the sages and occupied the pavilion made for the wedding.
To the delight of the people, the king of Videha addressed Vasishtha to conduct along with the other sages the wedding of Rama. “So be it,” said Vasishtha and placed Vishwamitra and Satananda at the lead and got the sacrificial altar ready in the centre, decorating it with sandal paste and flowers. Sprouted grains in earthenware vessels were arranged beautifully.
When the fire rituals began, Sita, bedecked with precious gems and jewels, was brought to the sacrificial fire and was seated opposite to Rama. Then Janaka uttered the most famous words in the Ramayana that is repeated in every wedding today. Also, this is the line used in films, particularly in the southern part of India to show the mantras being chanted at weddings: Iyam Sita Mama Suta Saha Dharmachari Tava Praticha Chainam Bhadram Te Panim Grihnishwa Panina—This Sita, my daughter, I offer unto you. May good fortune be yours as you hold her hand with yours. She is blessed, very pious and will
follow you like a shadow. As the king sprinkled holy water with incantations, all the gods and sages showered flowers of blessings.
Then Lakshmana walked the aisle with Urmila, Bharata with Mandavi and Shatrughna with Shrutakeerti. The whole place was filled with joy, fun and gaiety as divine dancers performed and the air was filled with the music of the Gandharvas. Dasharatha was filled with bliss to witness such a beautiful wedding event of his four sons at one dais and at the same time too.The writer is Sevak, Chinmaya
Mission, Coimbatore; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chinmayamission.com