When King Janak first laid eyes on Sri Ram, he was accompanied by his ministers, warriors, wise men, the family guru and chief kinsman. The august assembly rose in awe and wonderment as the Lord walked towards them. Their eyes brimmed with tears of joy, most uncharacteristic of officials belonging to such ranks. King Janak himself was overwhelmed with joy. He could not help but speak in a voice choked with love and affection.
Not just the gentry but the citizens of Mithila too were enamoured by Sri Ram and Lakshman. Troops of boys followed them wherever they went, happy just to be in the presence of the princes. Girls showered flowers on them. People left their businesses and ran out of their homes as the brothers walked by. It was as though their eyes had been thirsting for such a sight for lifetimes together. Young women peeked at the young prince Ram and spoke amongst themselves about his matchless charm. Their intuitive wish was that Sri Ram marry Sita so that he would visit Mithila again. They firmly believed that if at all anyone could break Lord Shiva’s bow, it was the prince of Ayodhya. They yearned to see him again. Children could not resist touching the lord and they excitedly showed him the Shivadhanush, which no ordinary man or monarch had been able to lift before. Their enthusiasm knew no bounds. Sri Ram and Lakshman indulged them and went wherever the children asked them to. That invoked even greater sentiment in their little hearts.
When Sita and her friends saw Sri Ram, it was as though time stood still. One girl said that she simply could not describe what happened when she saw the Lord, as “speech is sightless and the eyes are mute.” Everything about the lord captivated their hearts and put them under a spell of devotion, from which they sought no relief; the spell itself was sheer bliss.
When Prince Ram lifted Lord Shiva’s bow, it was as though he was doing it for every man and woman present there, and not just to win Sita’s hand. Their respect, love and support were with him. When he broke the bow in one swift move, victory belonged to them all. Such was their identification with the Lord and such was the blessing that he bestowed on the people of Mithila.