Sri Sita Rama Kalyanam (wedding) along with Urmila & Lakshmana, Mandavi & Bharatha , Shrutkirti & Shatrughna concludes magnificently. With Open invitation to all, several guest, family friends and people of both kingdom participate and enjoy the wedding.
यस्मिन् तु दिवसे राजा चक्रे गो दानम् उत्तमम् |
तस्मिन् तु दिवसे शूरो युधाजित् समुपेयिवान् || १-७३-१
tasmin tu divase shuuro yudhaajit samupeyivaan || 1-73-1
On which day the king Dasharatha made the impressive cow donations or, initiatory rites, on that day alone the valiant Yudhaajit turned up. [1-73-1].
पुत्रः केकय राजस्य साक्षात् भरत मातुलः |
दृष्ट्वा पृष्ट्वा च कुशलम् राजानम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-७३-२
dR^iShTvaa pR^iShTvaa ca kushalam raajaanam idam abraviit || 1-73-2
Yudhaajit, the son of Kekaya king and the brother of Kaikeyi, thus the direct maternal uncle of Bharata, having seen and asked after the wellbeing of Dasharatha said this to him. [1-73-2].
केकय अधिपती राजा स्नेहात् कुशलम् अब्रवीत् |
येषाम् कुशलकामो असि तेषाम् संप्रति अनामयम् || १-७३-३
yeShaam kushalakaamo asi teShaam saMprati anaamayam || 1-73-3
“The ruler and king of Kekaya, viz., my father and your father-in-law, has affectionately asked after the wellbeing of all, and in whose wellbeing you are interested at my place, they are all hale and healthy as of now… [1-73-3].
स्वस्रीयम् मम राजेन्द्र द्रष्टु कामो महीपतिः |
तत् अर्थम् उपयातो अहम् अयोध्याम् रघुनंदन || १-७३-४
tat artham upayaato aham ayodhyaam raghunaMdana || 1-73-4
“Oh, Raghu’s legatee, oh, best king, my father and the king of Kekaya is interested to see my sister Kaikeyi’s son, Bharata, and for that reason I am sent to Ayodhya… [1-73-4].
श्रुत्वा तु अहम् अयोध्यायाम् विवाह अर्थम् तव आत्मजान् |
मिथिलाम् उपयातान् तु त्वया सह महीपते || १-७३-५
त्वरया अभुपयातो अहम् द्रष्टु कामः स्वसुः सुतम् |
mithilaam upayaataan tu tvayaa saha mahiipate || 1-73-5
tvarayaa abhupayaato aham draShTu kaamaH svasuH sutam |
“Oh, lord of the land, in Ayodhya I have heard that you went to Mithila along with your sons for their marriages, and wishing to see my sister’s son Bharata I promptly travelled here…” Thus Yudhaajit told Dasharatha. [1-73-5, 6a]
Is this entry of this maternal uncle of Bharata a forced one or does this have any bearing on the flow of epic… is a doubt, though not a question. Further he is saying ‘my sister’s son’ i.e., Bharata alone, instead of ‘all my nephews…’ Whether this episode has a bearing on future events or not, one maama is entered in Indian epics, like this one and Shakuni maama in Maha Bharata.
अथ राजा दशरथः प्रिय अतिथिम् उपस्थितम् || १-७३-६
दृष्ट्वा परम सत्कारैः पूजार्हम् समपूजयत् |
dR^iShTvaa parama satkaaraiH puujaarham samapuujayat |
Then king Dasharatha on seeing the adorable guest who arrived in his presence, and who is a merited one for adoration, Dasharatha adored Yudhaajit well, with full observances. [1-73-6b, 7a].
ततः ताम् उषितो रात्रिम् सह पुत्रैः महात्मभिः || १-७३-७
प्रभाते पुनः उत्थाय कृत्वा कर्माणि तत्त्ववित् |
ऋषीन् तदा पुरस्कृत्य यज्ञ वाटम् उपागमत् || १-७३-८
prabhaate punaH utthaaya kR^itvaa kar.hmaaNi tattvavit |
R^iShiin tadaa puraskR^itya yaj~na vaaTam upaagamat || 1-73-8
Then on taking rest for that night along with his noble-minded sons, and again on getting up in the next morning, and on performing morning-observances as a duty-bound king, Dasharatha arrived at the hall of Vedic-ritual, keeping the sages in his forefront. [1-73-7b-8]
He arrived at the Vedic-ritual hall that he was frequenting for the last few days. Unless invited the bridegroom’s party will not enter the marriage hall, and nowadays such an invitation includes a small function also, called vara puuja as every bridegroom will be looked up to as Vishnu, and the bride as Lakshmi. The marriage hall is constructed nearby this Vedic-ritual hall, thus it is to be assumed.
युक्ते मुहूर्ते विजये सर्व आभरण भूषितैः |
भ्रातृभिः सहितो रामः कृत कौतुक मंगलः || १-७३-९
वसिष्ठम् पुरतः कृत्वा महर्षीन् अपरान् अपि |
bhraatR^ibhiH sahito raamaH kR^ita kautuka maMgalaH || 1-73-9
vasiShTham purataH kR^itvaa maharShiin aparaan api |
Rama arrived at his father together with all of his brothers, keeping sage Vashishta and other eminent-saint ahead of them, on an opportune and appropriate hour called ‘Victory…’ and all the bridegrooms are adorned with all kinds of jewellery appropriate for the wedding time, and all have performed the auspicious ceremony for marriage-thread, conducted prior to the marriage and, all have thread-bands tied around their wrists, as they all have performed an auspicious ceremony antecedent to marriage ceremony. [1-73-9, 10a]
The ceremony for the marriage thread, the sacred thread of marriage for knotting as a necklace of the bride, mangala suutra is nowadays mixed up with gauri puuja, and this gauri puuja took precedence of that ceremony, because gauri puuja, took its roots in the auxiliary Ramayana-s, where Seetha is said to have gone to Goddess Parvati’s temple, prior to her marriage, to perform gauri puuja, pledging herself to Rama. The thread bands tied at the wrists of both the bride and bridegroom is as per wedding time vows, to bring them under the pledge of marriage, until its consummation. Indian marriages are time-oriented and every function has to happen on the appointed hour. Hence, the arrival of bridegrooms is also on an opportune hour, which astrologically brings forth success of that event. But some say that this auspicious hour Vijaya occurs in the early part of the day, where this marriage is occurring in the later part of day, hence this time is to be reckoned as one that acquires some victory later in the epic.
Brides are not the lone category of people destined to wear jewellery. But bridegrooms are also asked to wear golden ornaments, at least one, on such occasions. The metal gold is said to contain some effect by which a man or a woman will be benefited, health wise: mR^itaa dur luptam madhumat suvarNam dhanam jananam ruNam daarayiSunam… after all gold is gold.
वशिष्टःओ भगवान् एत्य वैदेहम् इदम् अब्रवीत् || १-७३-१०
राजा दशरथो राजन् कृत कौतुक मन्गलैः |
पुत्रैः नर वर श्रेष्ठ दातारम् अभिकांक्षते || १-७३-११
raajaa dasharatho raajan kR^ita kautuka mangalaiH |
putraiH nara vara shreShTha daataaram abhikaaMkShate || 1-73-11
Then that godly sage Vashishta on going from Vedic-ritual hall to marriage hall said this to Janaka, “Oh, best one among best people, oh, king Janaka, having performed the auspicious marriage-thread ceremony, Dasharatha along with his sons is looking forward for the donor… [1-73-10b, 11].
दातृ प्रतिग्रहीतृभ्याम् सर्व अर्थाः संभवन्ति हि |
स्वधर्मम् प्रतिपद्यस्व कृत्वा वैवाह्यम् उत्तमम् || १-७३-१२
svadharmam pratipadyasva kR^itvaa vaivaahyam uttamam || 1-73-12
“In marriages all the puruSaartha-s , the component values of life, namely rightness, riches, revelries, and results of final release will be occurring only if the benefactor and beneficiary meet, isn’t it. Hence let king Dasharatha come, and then on actualising this best marriage you too will be doing your best devoir as royal priest… [1-73-12]
Hindu marriage is not a contractual obligation because it protracts over seven life cycles of that couple. Therefore, it is calculated correctly and celebrated sacredly.
इति उक्तः परम उदारो वसिष्ठेन महात्मना |
प्रत्युवाच महातेजा वाक्यम् परम धर्मवित् || १-७३-१३
pratyuvaaca mahaatejaa vaakyam parama dhar.hmavit || 1-73-13
Janaka is not just a decidedly valiant king but he is the profound knower of probity also, besides being an unreservedly generous king, hence he has already made all arrangements, and when he is spoken in this way by Vashishta that king replied this sentence to that right honourable Vashishta. [1-73-13].
कः स्थितः प्रतिहारो मे कस्य आज्ञा संप्रतीक्ष्यते |
स्व गृहे को विचारो अस्ति यथा राज्यम् इदम् तव || १-७३-१४
sva gR^ihe ko vicaaro asti yathaa raajyam idam tava || 1-73-14
“Who is that doorman that prevents your entry? Or, for whose orders you all await with a bated breath? Do you hesitate in your own house, or what? This kingdom is as good as yours… isn’t so… [1-73-14]
These are neither questions nor surprises, but the usual retorts and repartees usually employed during wedding time by both parties, samdhi-s of northerners and sammandi-s, of southerners, i.e., the wedding parties. By these rebuttals and ripostes, both the parties come close with each other’s family habits or with its members.
कृत कौतुक सर्वस्वा वेदि मूलम् उपागताः |
मम कन्या मुनिश्रेष्ठ दीप्ता वह्नेः इव अर्चिषः || १-७३-१५
mama kanyaa munishreShTha diiptaa vahneH iva arciShaH || 1-73-15
“Oh, eminent-saint Vashishta, on absolutely performing the auspicious ceremony for the marriage-thread, and thereby tying thread-band at wrists my daughters have already arrived, and they are at the base of the Altar of Fire, like the irradiant jets of flames of radiant fire… [1-73-15].
सद्यो अहम् त्वत् प्रतीक्षो अस्मि वेद्याम् अस्याम् प्रतिषितः |
अविघ्नम् कुरुताम् राजा किम् अर्थम् हि विलम्ब्यते || १-७३-१६
avighnam kurutaam raajaa kim artham hi vilambyate || 1-73-16
“I am already ready and awaiting for you remaining at this Altar of Fire. Let everything be done indeed without any deterrents. What for the king Dasharatha is dawdling…” So said Janaka to Vashishta. [1-73-16]
And Vashishta reported this to Dasharatha, and Dasharatha and his coterie then started a wedding-walk, which usually will be dillydallying, inching and poking along, very leisurely. Even today this custom, not custom exactly, the habit of ‘wedding-walks’ is there and a baraat ‘pageant of bridegroom’s party’ covers two furlong distance in two hours, or even more, keeping the bride’s party on tenterhooks.
तत् वाक्यम् जनकेन उक्तम् श्रुत्वा दशरथः तदा |
प्रवेशयामास सुतान् सर्वान् ऋषि गणान् अपि || १-७३-१७
praveshayaamaasa sutaan sarvaan R^iShi gaNaan api || 1-73-17
On hearing that sentence of Janaka, then Dasharatha started towards marriage hall, and then he started to enter his sons one by one, four in all, into marriage hall along with all of the assemblages of sages. [1-73-17].
ततो राजा विदेहानाम् वशिष्ठम् इदम् अब्रवीत् |
कारयस्व ऋषे सर्वान् ऋषिभिः सह धार्मिक || १-७३-१८
रामस्य लोक रामस्य क्रियाम् वैवाहिकीम् प्रभो |
kaarayasva R^iShe sarvaan R^iShibhiH saha dhaarmika || 1-73-18
raamasya loka raamasya kriyaam vaivaahikiim prabho |
Then that king from Videha bloodline, Janaka, said in this way to Vashishta, “Oh, the knower of punctilios, oh, Brahma-sage, oh, masterly sage, along with other sages you make happen all of the marriage ceremonies of Rama, the rejoicer of the world…” Thus Janaka spoke to Vashishta. [1-73-18, 19a].
तथा इति उक्त्वा तु जनकम् वशिष्टःओ भगवान् ऋषिः || १-७३-१९
विश्वामित्रम् पुरस्कृत्य शतानंदम् च धार्मिकम् |
प्रपा मध्ये तु विधिवत् वेदीम् कृत्वा महातपाः || १-७३-२०
अलम् चकार ताम् वेदीम् गन्ध पुष्पैः समंततः |
सुवर्ण पालिकाभिः च चित्र कुम्भैः च स अंकुरैः || १-७३-२१
अंकुर आढ्यैः शरावैः च धूप पात्रैः स धूपकैः |
शंख पात्रैः श्रुवैः स्रुग्भिः पात्रैः अर्घ्यादि पूजितैः || १-७३-२२
लाज पूर्णैः च पात्रीभिः रक्षितैः अपि संस्कृतैः |
vishvaamitram puraskR^itya shataanaMdam ca dhaarmikam |
prapaa madhye tu vidhivat vediim kR^itvaa mahaatapaaH || 1-73-20
alam cakaara taam vediim gandha puShpaiH samaMtataH |
suvarNa paalikaabhiH ca citra kumbhaiH ca sa aMkuraiH || 1-73-21
aMkura aaDhyaiH sharaavaiH ca dhuupa paatraiH sa dhuupakaiH |
shaMkha paatraiH shruvaiH srugbhiH paatraiH ar.hghyaadi puujitaiH || 1-73-22
laaja puurNaiH ca paatriibhiH rakshitaiH api saMskR^itaiH |
Thus said, that godly sage Vashishta on saying, “so be it,” to Janaka, embarked on arranging Altar of Fire keeping sage Vishvamitra and the virtuous sage Shataananda afore of him, and that sage with great ascesis, Vashishta, has arranged an Altar of Fire in the midpoint of the cool-thatched manorial-marriage-shed, decorating it with sandal paste and flowers. Then he promptly sanctified variously coloured handy vessels, and lid-like concave earthen vessels, which are full with just sprouted sprigs, and he sanctified even other golden vessels, censers with fumes of incenses, conch-shell like vessels, and short handled wooden scoops for scooping oblatory items from vessels for putting it in long-handled scoops, and long-handled wooden scoops to drop those oblatory items into Ritual-fire, and vessels filled with oblatory items like ghee, water, milk etc., and vessels filled with toasted rice-flakes and vessels filled with holy yellow-rice duly treated with turmeric, and he sanctified all articles of wedding ceremony by sprinkling holy-yellow-rice, as a kind of dry-ablution. [1-73-19b, 20, 21, 22, 23a]
These are some of the usual paraphernalia for marriage ceremony even now. The sprouting sprigs are symbolic for the prospective sprigs from this marriage, and rice-flakes for the abundance of livelihood of the couple. Usually the concave lid like vessels will be filled with black cotton soil, and on them nine varieties of grain nava dhaanya will be sprinkled to obtain sprigs. Later they are to be kept sacred for some days, watering daily, and then can be implanted in earth, if they survive. There are hosts of shops specialised to sell these items and the shopkeeper firstly asks for information ‘for bride’s side or for bridegroom’s side?’ And if we say, ‘we are from bride’s side’ a long-list is presented, [while bridegroom’s side will have a shorter list of items,] and then the shopkeeper mercifully asks ‘how much is the dowry?’ If we say this much or that much, he will present a Victorian model push-close pull-open velvet bag. If we exclaim ‘what for is this, priest has not listed this’ then he politely says, ‘the priests of these days are unaware of customs and the dowry is to be put in that velvet bag and then given, as a royal presentation…’ And if we say ‘we are drained out by the dowry, wherefrom we give royal presentations…’ then he will spew fire on us saying ‘you spend so much on dowry, can’t you purchase its velvet bag…’ and thereafter a sermon follows about the dying Indian culture at the onslaught of westernisation, while he starts throwing the packets of nava dhaanya etc., as though he is giving alms to the beggar. Though Janaka has not purchased such a bag of dowry, he has some more problems with this marriage. A discussion on this is there at later part. Here the sprouted sprigs are the sprouting avengers on the evil, called Ravana..
दर्भैः समैः समास्तीर्य विधिवत् मंत्र पुरस्कृतम् || १-७३-२३
अग्निम् आधाय तम् वेद्याम् विधि मंत्र पूर्वकम् |
जुहाव अग्नौ महातेजा वशिष्ठो मुनिपुंगव || १-७३-२४
agnim aadhaaya tam vedyaam vidhi maMtra puurvakam |
juhaava agnau mahaatejaa vashiShTho munipuMgava || 1-73-24
Then that great resplendent and eminent-saint Vashishta neatly overlaid even-sized sacred grass on that Altar of Fire synchronising with Vedic-chants, and on preparing Ritual-fire by rubbing two wooden sticks, called araNi , he placed that fire in the pit of Altar, which is aflame now, and then reverently and in tune with the Vedic-hymns he effused oblational liquids into that Altar of Fire, with short-handled and long-handled wooden scoops. [1-73-23b, 24].
ततः सीताम् समानीय सर्व आभरण भुषिताम् |
समक्षम् अग्नेः संस्थाप्य राघव अभिमुखे तदा || १-७३-२५
अब्रवीत् जनको राजा कौसल्य आनंद वर्धनम् |
samaksham agneH saMsthaapya raaghava abhimukhe tadaa || 1-73-25
abraviit janako raajaa kausalya aanaMda vardhanam |
Then that king Janaka led forth Seetha, who by now is decorated with every variety of bridal jewellery, and on positioning her en face Raghava in the presence of Altar of Fire, then Janaka addressed Rama who is the enhancer of his mother Kausalya’s rejoice. [1-73-25, 26a]
By the way, where is this Kausalya? Does Rama enrich her happiness without bringing her to his marriage? We have not heard of her or of other queens or hosts of his other wives, for the last three, four days. Has she come, at all? – Yes, she has come and she is physically present – is the argument of some, basing on Valmiki’s style of unrecorded accounts on trivial, or matter of fact scenes. They are implied and implicit. Dasharatha has performed some cow donations, religious functions etc., which he is not supposed to do without his wife at his side. These ladies are implicitly included in the first verse of sixty-ninth chapter: sa upaadhyaayaH sa baandhavaH ‘with, teachers, with relatives…’ and Dasharatha has no near relatives, not exactly relatives, but family, other than his queens and sons. So, they all are in ‘et cetera… and others’ cadre at present. Other way round, it is said in Kshatriya-s only male members will go and get the bride, which has no reasonable or tenable import, as far as marriages are concerned, and where every marriage concerns only with womenfolk and their panoply.
Seetha is said to have all bridal jewellery, which is not odd or particular to this corner of globe. But it is oddish and exotic jewellery if the bride is from well-to-do family or from royal family. Though not all, some of the jewellery items that are almost extinct now are listed here. siimanta pralamba a pendant clipped at back of head, dangle through the central parting of head-hair, onto the crown of head, with nine-gem-stud locket; shiroja suuci diamond studded hair pins on either side of head above ears; naasa aabharanam a round nasal ring; naasa bhuSaNam single or a pair of nine-gems studded nasal ornament; karNa aabharaNa, taaTanka, karNika various kinds of earrings with dangling cups, to which trinket bells dangle; shata yaSTika hundred stringed pearl necklace; anukanThii, muktaavalii, graiveyikam and many other kinds of necklaces; mekhala three finger width golden cincture, studded with nine-gems, and with fine golden chains dangling like festoons; saptakii seven stringed girdle string, where the strings dangle onto hip, with expanding festoons; keyuuram bicep-lets; kankaNam bracelets and bangles from wrist halfway up forearm; maNi manjiira, tulaa koTi, paada angada ankle-let with kinkiNii trinket bell-globules; cuuDaa maNi a circular jewel at bun of hair from which a gold sheet dangles till the end of braid, on which all zodiac signs are engraved. At the top, on the left and right of this cuuDaa maNi ornaments in the shape of sun and moon are pinned into jhair, and at the end of braid three / five gold cups studded with hair like strands upa kaca will be dangling. This set of braid’s ornamentation is said to receive the solar energy to whole of the spine. So goes on and on the list of ornaments, to the delight of the girl wearing them and to the delight of the goldsmith making them.
Here there are five Raghava-s and only one kausalya aananda vardhana i.e., Rama. Then poet should have simply said ‘Rama’ instead of ‘Raghava’ but there are many Rama-s, Parashu Rama, and Bala Rama and suchlike, and on such calling as ‘Rama…’ Parashu Rama, who is scheduled to enter after marriage, may perhaps enter now, in a faux pas. Then the poet should have said dasharatha aatmajam . Then, who will be that single soul from among the four boys of Dasharatha to come forward. And if all the four hear the calling, as ‘oh, Raghava’ all will reply in chorus “ok, it is I…” then what will happen? Avoiding all these irksome situations, the poet gave this stage-direction to Janaka that he should aim at the son of Kausalya, with a subtext, ‘you are mothered by some human female, whereas my daughter is motherless, rather un-mothered, a yoni ja non-foetal is her origination, hence it is apt of you to not to belittle her, anytime and anywhere… and you have to keep faith with her, since she outshines in outperforming your task in this so-called incarnation…’
इयम् सीता मम सुता सह धर्म चरी तव || १-७३-२६
प्रतीच्छ च एनाम् भद्रम् ते पाणिम् गृह्णीष्व पाणिना |
pratiicCha ca enaam bhadram te paaNim gR^ihNiiShva paaNinaa |
“This is Seetha, my daughter, she acquits herself in whatever duty you undertake. Take her wishfully, let safeness betide you, take her palm into your palm…” [1-73-26b, 27a].
पतिव्रता महभागा छाय इव अनुगता सदा || १-७३-२७
इति उक्त्वा प्राक्षिपत् राजा मंत्र पूतम् जलम् तदा |
iti uktvaa praakshipat raajaa maMtra puutam jalam tadaa |
“She who is prosperous and husband-devout, will always be abiding you like your own shadow…” So saying that king Janaka then poured forth water into the palms of Rama, which is sanctified with hymns. [1-73-27b, 28a]
Pouring water at the time of donation into the donee’s hand symbolises the free flowing will of the donor. The ‘shadow’ expresses nitya sambandhatva ‘ever related entity…’ Or, a trace of His liilaa vibhuuti, maaya. Though they are living separately so far, that farness is now washed off by this holy water.
साधु साधु इति देवानाम् ऋषीणाम् वदताम् तदा || १-७३-२८
देव दुंदुभि निर्घोषः पुष्प वर्षम् महान् अभूत् |
deva duMdubhi nir.hghoShaH puShpa varSham mahaan abhuut |
Then there occurred great flower-showers from firmament, while sages and gods staying in firmament have exclaimed, “nice… fine…” to the drumbeats of heavenly drums. [1-3-28b, 29a]
What happened to these gods when boyish Rama eliminated Tataka and others? Are they any lesser feats than this marriage? And why this drumming and showering flowers and blessings, when it is ‘just’ a human’s marriage? Now the cause for the effect is conjoined to Rama to effectuate their plea to Brahma. If the entire arsenal given by Vishvamitra is set-aside for a moment, the ‘present’ now presented by Janaka is the ultimate weapon for the use against Ravana. aprameyam hi tat tejo yasya saa janaka aatmajaa ‘unlimited is the energy, to whom Janaka’s daughter belongs…’ Rama is the instrumental cause in eliminating Ravana, whereas Seetha is the efficient cause for it. Lanka is ruined by Seetha, through Hanuma with the help of Fire-god, but not by Rama, or all of the monkeys put together. And Rama eliminates the half-dead Ravana. There are some more flower-showers and drumbeats and dances, later.
एवम् दत्त्वा सुताम् सीताम् मंत्र उदक पुरस्कृताम् || १-७३-२९
अब्रवीत् जनको राजा हर्षेण अभिपरिप्लुत |
abraviit janako raajaa harSheNa abhiparipluta |
On handing over his daughter Seetha who is duly sanctified with sanctified waters, King Janaka is completely overwhelmed with exhilaration for the successful performance of his bit as a father and he said this. [1-73-29b, 30a]
लक्ष्मण आगच्छ भद्रम् ते ऊर्मिलाम् उद्यताम् मया || १-७३-३०
प्रतीच्छ पाणिम् गृह्णीष्व मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः |
pratiicCha paaNim gR^ihNiiShva maa bhuut kaalasya paryayaH |
“Come on, Lakshmana, safe betides you… say yes to Urmila, the one who is decided by me to be given to you… take her palm into yours… lapse not the time… [1-73-30b, 31a]
When Bharata is the elder of Lakshmana, how Lakshmana is called now… is a lingering doubt. That rule ‘the elder brother’s marriage is first…’ does not apply if the brothers are from co-wives: pitR^ivya putre saapatne para naariiShu teShu vaa | vivaaha daana yajnaadau parivedo na duuShaNam || ‘the elderliness among the sons of father’s brothers or mothers co-wives, or other sons from other wives, do not count in their marriages, donation ceremonies, of Vedic-rituals… an younger one can be called first on such occasions…’.
तम् एवम् उक्त्वा जनको भरतम् च अभ्यभाषत || १-७३-३१
गृहाण पाणिम् माण्डव्याः पाणिना रघुनंदन |
gR^ihaaNa paaNim maaNDavyaaH paaNinaa raghunaMdana |
Janaka having said to Lakshmana that way, he also addressed Bharata, “Oh, Bharata, the delight of Raghu-s, take Maandavi’s palm into your palm… [1-73-31b-32a].
शत्रुघ्नम् च अपि धर्माअत्मा अब्रवीत् मिथिलेश्वरः || १-७३-३२
श्रुतकीर्तेः महाबाहो पाणिम् गृह्णीष्व पाणिना |
shrutakiirteH mahaabaaho paaNim gR^ihNiiShva paaNinaa |
That honourable king of Mithila even said to Shatrughna, “oh, dextrous Shatrughna, take the palm of Shrutakiirti into yours… [1-73-32b, 33a].
सर्वे भवन्तः सौंयाः च सर्वे सुचरित व्रताः || १-७३-३३
पत्नीभिः सन्तु काकुत्स्था मा भूत् कालस्य पर्ययः |
patniibhiH santu kaakutsthaa maa bhuut kaalasya paryayaH |
“Oh, Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna … you all are tender-hearted, well-behaved and well-intentioned brothers from Kakutstha lineage… without lapse of time take up other ceremonies…” So said Janaka to bridegrooms. [1-73-33b, 34a].
जनकस्य वचः श्रुत्वा पाणीन् पाणिभिः अस्पृशन् || १-७३-३४
चत्वारः ते चतसॄणाम् वसिष्ठस्य मते स्थिताः |
catvaaraH te catasR^INaam vasiShThasya mate sthitaaH |
All the four bridegrooms are palminpalmed with all the four brides, paying heed to Janaka’s words, and abiding in Vashishta’s orchestration of Vedic hymns and procedures. [1-73-34b, 35a]
The word ‘palminpalmed’ may look oddish, but it is in fashion with the verb ‘arminarmed’ invented by poet Roger McGhou.
अग्निम् प्रदक्षिणम् कृत्वा वेदिम् राजानम् एव च || १-७३-३५
ऋषीन् चैव महात्मानः सह भार्या रघु उद्वहाः |
यथा उक्तेन तथा चक्रुः विवाहम् विधि पूर्वकम् || १-७३-३६
R^iShiin caiva mahaatmaanaH saha bhaaryaa raghu udvahaaH |
yathaa uktena tathaa cakruH vivaaham vidhi puurvakam || 1-73-36
On performing circumambulations along with their wives around the Ritual-fire, and around the Altar of Fire, and that way, around king Janaka, the awarder of wives, and around sages as well for they conducted the marriages well, those great-souled bridegrooms that have emerged from Raghu’s dynasty on performing further deeds of ritual consistent with custom as directed by Vashishta, they are all wed. [1-73-35b, 36]
Firstly Vashishta enkindled the holy fire and offered oblations in it for the wellbeing of Rama and his brothers, say the bridegrooms. Next, another round of enkindling of holy fire took place in which Rama and brothers have offered marriage time oblations. After accepting the palms of brides, they made circumambulations, and then each couple established its own ritual fire and offered oblations into it. Then each couple had oblated rice-flakes into the fire, and again performed circumambulations to that Ritual-fire, respectively. Thus, the marriage is not a handshake like one-minute affair, as they all shall be before fire, daylong.
दिव्यदुन्दुभिनिर्घोषैर्गीतवादित्रनिःस्वनैः || – यद्वा –
पुष्प वृष्टिः महति आसीत् अंतरिक्षात् सु भास्वरा |
दिव्य दुन्दुभि निर्घोषैः गीत वादित्र निःस्वनैः || १-७३-३७
ननृतुः च अप्सरः संघा गन्धर्वाः च जगुः कलम् |
विवाहे रघु मुख्यानाम् तद् अद्भुतम् अदृश्यत || १-७३-३८
divyadundubhini.rghoShairgiitavaaditraniHsvanaiH || – yadvaa –
puShpa vR^iShTiH mahati aasiit aMtarikShaat su bhaasvaraa |
divya dundubhi nir.hghoShaiH giita vaaditra niHsvanaiH || 1-73-37
nanR^ituH ca apsaraH saMghaa gandharvaaH ca jaguH kalam |
vivaahe raghu mukhyaanaam tad adbhutam adR^ishyata || 1-73-38
There occurred rich and highly dazzling flower showers from firmament, and that ambience is filled with the drumbeats of divine drums and with vocal and instrumental music, and promenades of apsara-s danced, and even the gandharva-s sang tunefully, and because it is the marriage of celebrated bridegrooms from Raghu’s dynasty, such a charming spectacle is envisioned.. [1-73-37, 38].
ईदृशे वर्तमाने तु तूर्य उद्घुष्ट निनादिते |
त्रिः अग्निम् ते परिक्रंय ऊहुः भार्या महौजसः || १-७३-३९
triH agnim te parikraMya uuhuH bhaaryaa mahaujasaH || 1-73-39
In this kind of ongoingness of harmonious music of vocal, instrumental and that of dancers, those great resplendent brothers married their wives on circumabulating the Ritual-fire fire thrice. [1-73-39].
अथ उपकार्याम् जग्मुः ते स दारा रघुनंदनाः |
राजा अपि अनुययौ पश्यन् स ऋषि संघः स बान्धवः || १-७३-४०
raajaa api anuyayau pashyan sa R^iShi saMghaH sa baandhavaH || 1-73-40
Then those legatees of Raghu went to their visitatorial-palace with their wives, followed by king Dasharatha along with the assemblages of sages, kinfolks, queens and wives included, and Dasharatha feasted his eyes on sons and daughter-in-laws. [1-73-40].