Janaka Informs to Rama the Appearance of Sita


Legend of Shiva's bow is narrated as Vishvamitra asks Janaka to show that bow to Rama and Lakshmana, as they have come this far to have a glimpse of that great bow. Janaka, while narrating its history, makes an offer saying that his daughter Seetha will be given in marriage, if only Rama can string the bowstring of Shiva's bow. In the very same sixty-sixth chapter of Kishkindha Kanda, Valmiki narrates the birth of Hanuma through Jambavanta, elaborately. But here Valmiki informs through Janaka about the nature of birth of Seetha, very concisely, which gave raise to too much of debate about this enigmatic Seetha and her birth. Some points are given in the endnote.

Chapter [Sarga] 66 – in Detail

Then on performing morning time rites in the aurora [dawn] of next morning, king Janaka invited great souled Vishvamitra, along with Raghava-s. [1-66-1]

On reverencing [to regard or treat with honor] Vishvamitra and the noble souled Raghava-s according to the formalities envisaged [said] by scriptures, then the virtue souled Janaka spoke these words, indeed. [1-66-2]

Oh, God, you are welcome, oh, holy sage, bid me as to what I should do for you, for I am biddable [easily led, taught, or controlled] by you, indeed... [1-66-3]

When said thus by the foreseer Janaka, [who can foresee as to why Vishvamitra came with Raghava-s this far, and thus asked him as to what next is to be done,] that sage Vishvamitra, for he is presager [one with an intuition or feeling of what is going to happen in the future] and wordsmith, [and who knows what is to be done next,] said these words in reply to that valiant king Janaka. [1-66-4]

These two are the sons of Dasharatha, well-renowned Kshatriya-s in world, and they are desirous to see that marvelous bow which has a place with you... [1-66-5]

You may show that bow, well bodes [indicates] you, and on beholding that bow the desire of these two princes will come true, and they will go back as they like... [1-66-6]

But Janaka replied the great sage Vishvamitra when he was addressed thus, I shall [firstly] tell by which reason that bow has its place here... [1-66-7]

Oh, Godly sage, there was a king renowned as Devaraata, sixth one from Nimi, [the originator of our lineage,] and this bow was handed down to him for custodial care by the Sublime [supreme] Soul, Shiva... [1-66-8]

Once, during the devastation of the Vedic-ritual of Daksha Prajapati, the mettlesome [spirited] God Rudra, rancorously [bitterly] outstretching the bowstring of this bow, said this to all Gods, superciliously [coolly] [1-66-9]

Oh, Gods, whereby you have not apportioned my portion [of oblations in Vedic-ritual s, as I am also the] desirer of such portion, [thereby] I will shred the highly revered heads of yours with this bow...' [So said Shiva to Gods.] [1-66-10]

Then, oh, best saint Vishvamitra, all Gods are truly dismayed, and on their supplicating [giving], Bhava, namely Shiva, the God of Gods is gladdened... [1-66-11]

And that Sublime Soul Shiva gladly gave that bow to all of the great souled Gods, and oh, Godly saint, then those great souled Gods gave this gem of a bow of Shiva, the God of Gods, to our ancestor [Devaraata,] for custodial care... [1-66-12, 13a]

Later, when I was ploughing [an implement used to cut, lift, and turn over soil especially in preparing a seedbed] the ritual field then raised by the plough [from the furrow is a baby girl... since she is] gained while consecrating [making sacred] the ritual-field, she is named as Seetha, and thus she is renowned... [1-66-13b, 14a]

Hers is a non-uterine birth as she surfaced from the surface of the earth, but fostered as my own soul-born girl and I determined [to giver her in marriage to a bridegroom where his] boldness is the only bounty, [I receive in that marriage...] [1-66-14b, 15a]

Oh, eminent sage, as my daughter has surfaced from the surface of earth and has come of age, the kings, [having heard my declaration that the bounty for Seetha is boldness alone,] have come and besought for her... [1-66-15b, 16a]

To all of those kings who are beseeching [wanting and anxious] for the girl, I have not given my daughter, saying that she will be given for a bounty of boldness... [1-6-16b, 17a]

Then all the kings convoked [assembled] and on arriving at Mithila, then they wanted to ascertain the caliber [of the bow, vis-à-vis their own...] [1-66-17b, 18a]

For them, those who wanted to ascertain the caliber of the bow, that bow of Shiva is fetched to their proximity [closeness], but they are incapable to joggle [to shake slightly] it, or even to catch hold of it... [1-66-18b, 19a]

Oh, great saint, on knowing the valor of those valorous ones as valueless, I countermanded [to recall] them... oh, ascetically wealthy Vishvamitra, by that you may know [the sequel [subsequent development] of it...] [1-66-19b, 20a]

Then, oh, eminent sage, those kings beleaguered [troubled] Mithila in a blind fury, since a self-mistrust bechanced [befall] among them all, about their own valor... [1-66-20b, 21a]

They surmised [to form a notion or opinion] for themselves that they are brushed off by me, and they possessed by a high rancor [bitter deep-seated ill will], they strangled the City of Mithila... [1-66-21b, 22a]

Then elapsed is an year and in anyway the possessions for livelihood went into a decline, oh, eminent sage, thereby I am highly anguished [tormented or agonized] [1-66-22b, 23a]

Then I have assuaged [appeased] the assemblages [gathering] of Gods by my asceticism and Gods are also highly gladdened and gave me fourfold forces... [1-66-23b, 24a]

Then those evildoers and self-mistrustful kings while being drubbed [by the heaven-sent army, they have become] vigor-less and broken, and they beat a hasty retreat... [1-66-24b, 25a]

Oh, tigerly sage this is that supremely radiant bow, and oh, saint of sacred vows, I will show it, even to Rama and Lakshmana... [1-66-25b, 26a]

If Rama strings the bowstring of that bow, oh, sage, I will offer my daughter, whose birth is non-uterine, to Dasharatha's Rama... [So said Janaka to Vishvamitra.] [1-66-26b, c]

Thus, this is the 66th chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate