Rama, the Wearer of the Beautiful Garland Offered by Sita

सीतार्पितवरमालिक राम् | sītārpitavaramālika rāma |
sītārpitavaramālika rāma |
sītārpitavaramālika rāma |

Sita was beauty personified as she walked slowly towards Lord Ram. Her endless anticipation had been transformed into a feeling of extreme joy, the moment Sri Ram had snapped the bow of Lord Shiva into two. With her heart overflowing with love, Sita tried to veil her inexplicable elation, as she coyly reached out to garland the victorious prince. Her companions broke into a song, marvelling at the sight of the beautiful couple.

Envoys were immediately dispatched to Ayodhya to deliver this most joyous news to King Dasharatha. The king immediately set out for King Janaka’s palace with his other two sons, Bharat and Shatrughna. Sage Vishwamitra asked King Janaka to extend the bonds of love between the two families by marrying his other daughters to the other sons of Dasharatha.

The weddings between the noble princes of Ayodhya and the virtuous princesses of Mithila were arranged in great splendour. The marriage altar was filled with vibrancy and auspiciousness. The sacred fire was placed in the centre and the chanting of Vedic mantras echoed as the royal weddings took place. The weddings marked a new beginning of a relationship between the two illustrious families and an alliance between the two great kingdoms of Ayodhya and Mithila.

Sri Ram and Sita were Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi embodied, and hence, their mutual love could not be perceived by anyone. It was beyond the reach of the best mind, intellect and speech. The hero of the Raghu race swore his undying love and loyalty to Sita alone.

Marriages in those days reflected the rich culture that prevailed at the time. Rooted in a strong value system, couples grew together in love, learning to embrace the entire family beyond their limited individual selves. The bond between the families was the support system that nurtured the love that held couples together and close-knit families formed the basis of the society.

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Chinmaya Udghosh