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Sita Swyamvar

SRI RAM BREAKS SHIV DHANUSH

Rama and Lakshmana accompanied Rishi Viswamitra to king Janaka’s palace. They were invited by the King Janaka for attending his daughter Sita’s Swamvara. When Rama and Lakshmana reached the place, they saw that vast crowds flocked to the green space where the trial of the bow was to be held. Murmurs arose from the people when the two princes of Ayodhya took their seats.

Kings were there who had come to bend the bow of the god Siva, and they looked with jealous eyes at the brothers, but Sita

Rama and Lakshmana accompanied Rishi Viswamitra to king Janaka’s palace. The King Janaka invited them for attending his daughter Sita’s Swamvara. When Rama and Lakshmana reached the place, they saw that vast crowds flocked to the green space where the trial of the bow was to be held. Murmurs arose from the people when the two princes of Ayodhya took their seats.

Kings were there who had come to bend the bow of the god Siva, and they looked with jealous eyes at the brothers, but Sita gazed at Rama with a look of delight. Folk whispered: ” The dark youth is the right husband for Sita.” Heralds cried aloud: ” Here is the great bow of the god, and he who shall bend it, will have fame in earth and heaven and hell, and take the king’s daughter to wife.”

One king after another mounted the platform and girded up his loins, and pulled, tugged, strained, All in vain.

” Well,” said King Janak, with a sneer, ” if I had known there were no men in the world, I would not have come to this spot to be laughed at for offering what no one will take.”

Rama and Lakshman were sitting in the crowd and were listening to this. Lakshman could not take it easy and lost his calm.

” No men in the world! ” said Lakshman to his brother, ” we must not let this wretched old bow mock us.” The hermit spoke a word in Rama’s ear: ” Up, Rama, and break the bow! ”

Rama bowed at the feet of the sage and went up on the platform.

Lakshman muttered a prayer: ” O ye elephants that hold up the four quarters of the world, and O tortoise, upon whom the elephants stand, hold the earth firm when the bow breaks, for mighty will be the shock.”

The people stood still and silent. A tear trembled in the eye of Sita. Flashing with height, the bow gleamed in Rama’s hand when he bent it, lo!

it seemed to bend over all the sky. It snapped with a crash.

The crash shook the earth, the elephants, the tortoise, and even the shining gods put their hands to their ears, so loud was the rumbling! People shouted. Angels danced in the sky.

The gods rained down gay flowers, and the kettle-drums rolled in heaven; and on earth, the citizens made noises with cymbals, drums, conch-shells, clarions, and sackbuts; and women sang songs.

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