Shatashloki 26: The marriage of Rama and Seeta.

Janaka said to his family Guru Shatananda, “O sage, for this auspicious occasion, I seek that my brother Kushadhwaja should be by my side. Please invite him. Let him also share this happiness.”

Upon receiving this news Kushadhwaja arrived immediately and offered his obeisance to all the elders present there. He took his seat beside brother Janaka. In accordance with the invite received from Janaka, Dasharatha, together with his entire retinue and under the guidance of Maharishi Vashistha arrived at the court of King Janaka.

In the court Dasharatha announced, “O King Janaka, in our family we always follow the guidance and path laid down by our Guru, Maharishi Vashistha. Now, if Vishwamitra Maharishi permits, our Guru Vashistha will read out our entire lineage”.

In the presence of everyone, Vashistha Maharishi read out the entire lineage of Ikshvaaku dynasty beginning from Surya (Sun God). This is known as Maha Sankalpa. He concluded by saying, “Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna are all great valorous personalities. Hence a marriage alliance with this family is worthy”.

Thereafter Emperor Janaka read out his entire lineage beginning with King Nimi.  In the presence of all the respected elders, both the kings gave their consent for this wedding. Maharishis Vashistha and Vishwamitra discussed between themselves and thereafter Vishwamitra addressed Janaka and said, “Your daughter Sita is being given in marriage to Rama and your second daughter Urmila is being given to Lakshmana. This is good. Your brother Kushadhwaja too has two daughters Mandavi and Shrutakeerti. It would be wise to give them in marriage to Bharata and Shatrughna respectively. At this auspicious moment we desire that both your families should merge to become one family”.

This news delighted Janaka and Kushadhwaja and they happily gave their consent. The air was filled with happiness. They offered their obeisance to all the sages assembled there.

Dasharatha proceeded to complete all the rituals that should precede the wedding ceremony. 4 lakh healthy, milk yielding cows, each with a calf were brought to Mithila. In those days, maintaining and gifting of such large number of cows was considered extremely great. Emperors would rear cows in plenty. Only kings and emperors could maintain such a large population of cows. Dasharatha ordered that the horns of the cows be adorned with golden jewels. He even gave away an equivalent number of vessels that would be needed to milk them. Seeking the welfare of his sons, Dasharatha gifted these cows to Brahmins assembled there.


Exactly at that time, the maternal uncle of Bharata, Yudhaajit, arrived there and said to Dasharatha, “O King, my father seeks to see his grandson Bharata. He sent me to fetch him. Upon reaching Ayodhya I got the news of this marriage and I hastened to this place. I thought that by coming here I can attend the wedding and also get the opportunity to meet you.”


Dasharatha warmly welcomed Yudhajit. Meanwhile the brothers took the customary holy bath (mangala snana) before the marriage, adorned themselves in royal clothes and arrived at the marriage hall. Maharishi Vashistha approached King Janaka and said, “O King! The groom has arrived and now you have to fulfill your dharma”.

Janaka arrived there with his daughter Sita and placed her hand in Rama’s hand. Simultaneously, Urmila was given away to Lakshmana, Mandavi to Bharata and Shrutakeerti to Shatrughna. The priests recited the holy Vedic hymns at that time. All the 4 couples circumambulated around the holy fire.

The Devatas who were witnessing this incident from Heaven showered flowers. Sounds of drumbeats from Heaven could be heard. The newly weds took the blessings of the elders present there.

The next morning, in great jubilation, Dasharatha, along with his sons and daughters-in-law began the journey back to Ayodhya. He generously gave away many valuable gifts to all the servants who had attended upon them. Janaka accompanied the marriage party up to some distance and then bidding them farewell, returned to Mithila.

Sita Raama kalyana (marriage) is no ordinary marriage. It is a divine event; an extraordinary and wonderful event. However much is spoken about it, it always falls short.

Om Seeta Ramaabhyaam namaha.

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