Janaka’s delegation arrives at Ayodhya and submits its message to Dasharatha. Listening to the tidings that his son Rama not only lifted the bow of Shiva, but broke it as well, Dasharatha is overjoyed and refers the matter of marriage of Seetha with Rama to his ministers and teachers. All of the ministers and sages unanimously agree to that proposal and they are set to travel to Mithila the next day.
जनकेन समादिष्टा दूताः ते क्लान्त वाहनाः |
त्रि रात्रम् उषिता मार्गे ते अयोध्याम् प्राविशन् पुरीम् || १-६८-१
tri raatram uShitaa maarge te ayodhyaam praavishan puriim || 1-68-1
Those envoys who are clearly ordered by Janaka entered the city of Ayodhya on sojourning for three nights en route, and whose horses are overtired for they are galloped so fast to loose no time. [1-68-1].
ते राज वचनात् गत्वा राजवेश्म प्रवेशिताः |
ददृशुः देव संकाशम् वृद्धम् दशरथम् नृपम् || १-६८-२
dadR^ishuH deva saMkaasham vR^iddham dasharatham nR^ipam || 1-68-2
On going to the palace those envoys are given an audience with the consent of Dasharatha, and when they are conducted into the palace-chambers they have seen the elderly king Dasharatha gleaming like a god. [1-68-2].
बद्ध अंजलि पुटाः सर्वे दूता विगत साध्वसाः |
राजानम् प्रश्रितम् वाक्यम् अब्रुवन् मधुर अक्षरम् || १-६८-३
raajaanam prashritam vaakyam abruvan madhura akSharam || 1-68-3
Completely gone is the angst of all the legates on seeing godly Dasharatha, and all of them adjoing palms in reverence said this compliant and mellowly worded sentence to the king. [1-68-3]
Because Dasharatha is caught in the tomfoolery of Kaikeyi he cannot be estimated as an inane personality. It is their domestic cold war. He is famous for his achievements and he fought wars on behalf of no lesser gods. Though Valmiki does not narrate Dasharatha’s exploits, other scripts say a lot about them. Hence, whenever Rama’s daring, dashing, swashbuckling is to be pictured, he will be indicated as ‘Dasharatha’s son…’ That is the reason why the angst of envoys is said in this verse as ‘vanished’ just by a glimpse of that godly personality, which hitherto haunted them as to how to countenance such a powerful personality.
मैथिलो जनको राजा स अग्नि होत्र पुरस्कृतः |
मुहुर् मुहुर् मधुरया स्नेह संरक्तया गिरा || १-६८-४
कुशलम् च अव्ययम् चैव स उपाध्याय पुरोहितम् |
जनकः त्वाम् महाराज पृच्छते स पुरः सरम् || १-६८-५
muhur muhur madhurayaa sneha saMraktayaa giraa || 1-68-4
kushalam ca avyayam caiva sa upaadhyaaya purohitam |
janakaH tvaam mahaaraaja pR^icChate sa puraH saram || 1-68-5
“Oh, exalted emperor Dasharatha! Janaka, the lineal king of Janaka-s and the present sovereign of Mithila is asking time and time again with mellowly words instilled with friendliness, after the wellbeing and after the unmitigated prosperity of your highness, along with that of your highness’ priests and teachers, also that of your highness’ subjects, who always precede your highness in convoys in any event, as your highness are the one who ingratiates himself with the Ritual-fires, ever and anon… [1-68-4, 5].
पृष्ट्वा कुशलम् अव्यग्रम् वैदेहो मिथिलाधिपः |
कौशिक अनुमते वाक्यम् भवन्तम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-६८-६
kaushika anumate vaakyam bhavantam idam abraviit || 1-68-6
“His highness Janaka of Videha, and the sovereign of Mithila, having asked after your highness’ wellbeing is sensibly saying this word to your highness, with the indorse of Kaushika… [1-68-6].
पूर्वम् प्रतिज्ञा विदिता वीर्य शुल्का मम आत्मजा |
राजानः च कृत अमर्षा निर्वीर्या विमुखी कृताः || १-६८-७
raajaanaH ca kR^ita amarShaa nir.hviiryaa vimukhii kR^itaaH || 1-68-7
” ‘Well-known is the solemn promise of mine that my daughter Seetha is a bounty for bravery… also well-know is that the kings who came to lift the bow turned out as gutless kings, and then they turned out as rancorous kings at me, and it is also well-known that I turned them back with my guts… [1-68-7].
सा इयम् मम सुता राजन् विश्वामित्र पुरस्कृतैः |
यदृच्छया आगतैः वीरैः निर्जिता तव पुत्रकैः || १-६८-८
yadR^icChayaa aagataiH viiraiH nirjitaa tava putrakaiH || 1-68-8
“Oh, Emperor Dasharatha, your young and valorous son who serendipitously arrived at Mithila along with his younger brother Lakshmana, keeping Vishvamitra at his fore, finally carries off this girl, the well-known daughter of mine… [1-68-8]
Usually this verse gives meaning that ‘two of your valorous sons won Seetha…’ because of the usage of plural number viiraiH putrakaiH But this is counted as ‘royal we’ sort of expression to honour Rama. Hence this ka pratyaya, though used in the verse, will be read as singular. There is another shade of wording for this verse: seyam mama sutaa raajan vishvaamitrsya shaashanaat | puriim imaam samaagatya tava pureNa nirjitaa || which uses only singular for Rama.
तत् च रत्नम् धनुर् दिव्यम् मध्ये भग्नम् महात्मना |
रामेण हि महाबाहो महत्याम् जन संसदि || १-६८-९
raameNa hi mahaabaaho mahatyaam jana saMsadi || 1-68-9
” ‘Also, oh, highly dextrous king Dasharatha, noble souled Rama wrecked that divine bow, which is a gem of a bow among bows, at its central point before a grand assembly of people… [1-68-9].
अस्मै देया मया सीता वीर्य शुल्का महात्मने |
प्रतिज्ञाम् तर्तुम् इच्छामि तत् अनुज्ञातुम् अर्हसि || १-६८-१०
pratij~naam tartum icChaami tat anuj~naatum ar.hhasi || 1-68-10
” ‘Seetha is the bounty for bravery and I shall have to afford her to the noble-souled Rama, as such it will be apt of you to give your consent as I wish to keep up my solemn promise… [1-68-10].
स उपाध्यायो महाराज पुरोहित पुरस्कृतः |
शीघ्रम् आगच्छ भद्रम् ते द्रष्टुम् अर्हसि राघवौ || १-६८-११
shiighram aagacCha bhadram te draShTum ar.hhasi raaghavau || 1-68-11
” ‘Keeping your royal priest Vashishta and other teachers ahead of you, oh, great emperor, I wish you to come apace, let safe betide you, for it will be apt of you to take a look at your ennobled son Rama, and Lakshmana, too… [1-68-11].
प्रतिज्ञाम् मम राजेन्द्र निर्वर्तयितुम् अर्हसि |
पुत्रयोः उभयोः एव प्रीतिम् त्वम् अपि लप्स्यसे || १-६८-१२
putrayoH ubhayoH eva priitim tvam api lapsyase || 1-68-12
” ‘It will be apt of you to make my solemn promise maintainable, and that way you will derive delight on seeing both of your sons…’ [1-68-12]
‘by the by, you will also derive delight in seeing Seetha, for she is also a hyphenated daughter of yours, sutascha sutaa ca tayoH eka sheSaH… with another suffix, in-law…’
एवम् विदेह अधिपतिः मधुरम् वाक्यम् अब्रवीत् |
विश्वामित्र अभ्यनुज्ञातः शताअनन्द मते स्थितः || १-६८-१३
vishvaamitra abhyanuj~naataH shataaananda mate sthitaH || 1-68-13
“Thus the sovereign of Videha kingdom said these endearing words, abiding by the counsel of Sage Shataananda, and Sage Vishvamitra is also consentient to the proposal…” Thus the envoys conveyed the proposal and paused. [1-68-13].
दूत वाक्यम् तु तत् श्रुत्वा राजा परम हर्षितः |
वसिष्ठम् वामदेवम् च मंत्रिणः च एवम् अब्रवीत् || १-६८-१४
vasiShTham vaamadevam ca maMtriNaH ca evam abraviit || 1-68-14
King Dasharatha is highly gladdened on hearing that message from the delegates, and said this way to Vashishta, Vaamadeva, and to his other ministers, as well. [1-68-14].
गुप्तः कुशिक पुत्रेण कौसल्य आनन्द वर्धनः |
लक्ष्मणेन सह भ्रात्रा विदेहेषु वसति असौ || १-६८-१५
lakShmaNena saha bhraatraa videheShu vasati asau || 1-68-15
“This one Rama, the enhancer of Kausalya’s rejoice, is stopping over at Videha kingdom along with his brother Lakshmana, and Vishvamitra is taking care of both these boys… [1-68-15].
दृष्ट वीर्यः तु काकुत्स्थो जनकेन महात्मना |
संप्रदानम् सुतायाः तु राघवे कर्तुम् इच्छति || १-६८-१६
saMpradaanam sutaayaaH tu raaghave kartum icChati || 1-68-16
“On observing the valour of Kakutstha Rama, noble souled Janaka wishes to gift his daughter as bride to Raghava Rama… [1-68-16].
यदि वो रोचते वृत्तम् जनकस्य महात्मनः |
पुरीम् गच्छामहे शीघ्रम् मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः || १-६८-१७
puriim gacChaamahe shiighram maa bhuut kaalasya paryayaH || 1-68-17
“If you all favour the tidings from the noble-souled Janaka as to what has happened in Mithila, we quickly proceed to that city, let not the time lapse…” Thus Dasharatha informed his counsel. [1-68-17]
The word vR^ittam ‘happening’ ‘history’ and it is generally translated as ‘the history, legend, and the familial characteristics of Janaka…’ But when Janaka already is famous through the bow of Shiva, and that bow itself is broken now, no more ‘verification of antecedents’ of Janaka is needed, and it is ‘what has happened now’ i.e., the impossible deed of breaking it.
मंत्रिणो बाढम् इति आहुः सह सर्वैः महर्षिभिः |
सु प्रीतः च अब्रवीत् राजा श्वः यात्रा इति च मंत्रिणः || १-६८-१८
su priitaH ca abraviit raajaa shvaH yaatraa iti ca maMtriNaH || 1-68-18
The ministers along with all of the great sages said in consonance, “Most Welcome…” and then that highly pleased king Dasharatha said to the ministers, “we travel tomorrow…” [1-68-18].
मंत्रिणः तु नरेन्द्रस्य रात्रिम् परम सत्कृताः |
ऊषुः प्रमुदिताः सर्वे गुणैः सर्वैः समन्विताः || १-६८-१९
uuShuH pramuditaaH sarve guNaiH sarvaiH samanvitaaH || 1-68-19
The ministers of king Janaka who are gifted with all talents are given grateful hospitality by Dasharatha, and they all dwelt that night in Ayodhya, overjoyed at the successful completion of their august legatine, called sIta kalyANam… [1-68-19].