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Seetha Rama Kalyana Mahotsavam-Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Mar 17 1996 - 20:45:16 PST

Adi Kavi Sri Valmiki"s celebration of the Kalyaanam

Chapters 71 to 73 of Bala Khandam of 
Srimad Ramayanam of Valmiki celebrates
the wedding of Seetha and Rama .In Chapter 71 , 
Janaka offers the hand of his Daughters Sita and 
Urmila to Rama and Lakshmana respectively and 
recounts his own pedigree . Vasisht and Viswamitra 
ask for the hands of the daughters of the brother  of 
King Janaka for maqrriage to Bharatha and Satrughnaa.
King Janaka agrees . Dasaratha gets his sons to perform 
Samaavartana Ceremony and he himself performs Nandi
Sraddha (a ceremony to offer worship ot his ancestors  as 
a preparatory rite for the weddings ).  

In chapter 73, we see Janaka escorting the four princes of
Ayodhya in nuptial attire to the marriage pavillion. Vasishta
places the Rishis Viswamitra and Sataananda at an exalted 
seat and performs the Vivaha Mahotsvam at the request of
 King Dasaratha (Ramasya Lokaraamasya Kriyaam  Vaivaahikeem
Praboh ). 

King janaka escorts the most beautiful Sita to the marriage
pavillion and seats Her next to Sri Rama. At the end of the 
preparatory ceremonies, Janaka addressed Rama  and 
said :" Iyam Sita Mama Suthaa SahadharmacharI  Tava,
Prateeccha Chainaam bhadram Teh paanim grihneeshva 
Paaninaa , Pativrataa Mahabhaagaa Chaayevaanugataa Sadhaa".
( " This Sita, My daughter is going to be your helpmate in
discharging your sacred obligations as a householder.Take
Her hand in yYour own and accept Her (as Your Own).May 
Auspiciousnes sbetide You! She is highly fortunate and will
remain exclusively devoted to You and will ever follow you 
as a shadow .") .At the en dof this Kalyana Mahotsavam,
Celestial kettle drums sounded and abundant shower of 
flowers rained from the sky .Gods and Sages exclaimed "Sadhu, 
Sadhu (Good, Well Done)! 

Seetha Kalyanam In Kambha Ramaayanam

Poet Kambhan, who lived a thousand yers ago describes in
great detail the arrival of Rama at he city of Mithila and his
eyes meeting those of Sita , who was looking at Him from the 
portal of Her Kanni Maadam . Kambhar Describes the first 
exchange of glances between Sita and Rama  and uses the 
occasion to praise the exquisite  beauty of Sita this way:

PONNIN SOTHI POTHININ NAARAM POLI POOVIN
TEHN UNN TEHNIN THEEM SUVAI SENCHORKAVI INBAM
KANNI MAADHATTHU UMBARIN MAADEH KALI PAYDOHDU
ANNAM AADUM MUNTHURAI KANDU ANGU AYAL NINRAAR 

The poet uses his imagination to describe Sita as the total
embodiment of the glorious color of gold, the fragrance 
of the flowers, the delectable honey gathered by the bees,
and the sweetnes of the words of great  poetry . He says that 
she was surrounded by  the friends of her , who looked like 
female swans as they stood next to that embodiment of 
beauty in the portal of the Kanni Maadam.The first exchange of 
glances between Rama and Sita and the los of their heart to
each other is described by Kambhan in exquiaite detail .
He says: Vari Silai ANNalum VaatkkaNN Nangaiyum ,
Iruvarum Maarippukku Idayam Aithinar ". The heroic Rama and the 
beautiful Sita lost their hearts to each other. Rama moves on and Sita
enters the inside of the  inner Quaters of the Palace. She suffers from 
the pangs of Love for Rama and Rama spends the night restlessly in
the quarters allocated by King Janaka . Next morning , Rama bends and 
breaks the Sivva Dhanua and claims the hands of Sita.Dasaratha arrives 
from Ayodhya and the marriage ceremony proceeds in the Chapter known
as KatimaNa Padalam. Rama performs frst the Aaradhana to Sri Ranganatha
and  arrives at the marriage pavillion with his family. Janaka brings
with him his daughter and seats her next to Ramachandra.
Kambhar"s describtion of the scene of the Divya dampathis sitting next 
to each other is a tender one:

MANRALIN VANDHU MANATTHAVISU YERI
VENRI NEDUM TAHAI VEERANUM AARVATTHU
INTUNAI ANNAMUM YEYTHI IRUNTHAAR
ONRIYA  BHOGAMUM YOGAMUM ottaar .

Rama , the embodiment of heroism and generosity 
sat close to the swan-like Sita, whose heartfelt desire 
was to become his life's partner. They sat on the 
special seat and they looked in that happy state like the 
union of Bhogam and Yogam (Sirrinbham and Perinbham).
Janakan pours consecrated water over Rama's hand and gives
his daughter in marriage to Rama.Other Vedic ceremonies 
such as Saptha Pati, Laja Homam , Pradhana Homam continues.

Sita sees Arunthati star and Vasishta Rishi concludes the mariage
ceremonies on Panghuni Uttaram day.Dasaratha and Rama  return
to Ayodhya withthe rest of their family and new brides. 

Sri Narayana Bhattadhiri"s describtion of Sita Kalyanam

The Grantha Kartha of Sriman Naarayaneeyam describes very 
succinctly  the many chapters of Bala Khandam in one verse of
the 34 th Dasakam this way:

BINDHAANASCCHANDRACHOOTAM DHANURAVANI SUTHAMINDIRAAMEVA 
lABDHVAA , rAAJYAM PRAATHISHTATAASTVAM 
TRIBHIRABHICHA SAMAM BRHATRUVEERAI: SADHAARAI: 

Bhattadhiri asks Guruvayurappan this question: Is it correct that 
you went to janaka"s Palace and broke the Bow of Siva and married 
Sita and returned with your three brothers and family to Ayodhya? 
Guruvayurappan nodded His head and indicated that it was correct.

Arunaaachala Kavi"s Describtion of Sita kalyanam

In Rama Natakam, Arunachala Kavi of Seerkazhi describes the 
tender scene, when Sita sees Rama from the Kanni Madam 
for the first time . She is captivated by the beauty of Rama and 
asks: Yaro, Ivar Yaro ,Enna Peroh? Ariyeneh !
Kaar Ulaavum Seer Ulaavum Mithilayil
Kanni Maadam tannil Munneh Niravar , Yaro,Ivar Yaro? 
Chandra Bimbha Muka Malaraaleh Yennai Thaaneh Paarkiraar,
Orukkaaleh Antha NaaLileh Dondham pola Uruhuhiraar, Inta 
NaaLil vandhu sevai Taruhiraar, Yaro, Ivar Yaro, Enna Peroh? "

Sita asks her friends: " Who is this beautiful prince with the 
beautiful face like that of the full moon  looking at me? He acts 
like the one, who has been my consort in previous aeons and 
languishes for me .He blesses me with his Darsanam today.
Who could this be? What might be his name? I do not know ."

After the  mutual Nayana Dheekshaa, Rama reaches the palace
of Janaka and wins Sita"s hands in the Svayamvaram by breaking the 
Siva Dhanus. The Kanya Dhanam of Sita to Rama by Janaka is
decribed by Arunachala Kavi this way in the tradition of Valmiki:
"Intha Sitai Enthan Magal (Iyam Sita Mama Suthaa) ,
Unthan PankirkerravaL , Angamaay Adainthu Vazhvaai( Sahadharma
Charita, Pathivrathaa Maha Bhaaga ) .
The Panigrahanam, Walking around the fire(the seven steps),
Standing on the Ammi, Sighting Arunthati Star , Receiving the blessings of 
the assembled are summarized beautifully by Kavi this way:
" Raghavan Seethaiyai Paanigrahanam seythu
Narriyai Valam Vandhaan Seethai  Paadam
Mohamudan parri Ammi Meethil Vaitthaan
Mukkalum Arunthati Mun Kaatinaan pin
Ekamanathudan munivar Tanthai thaimaar 
ellorkkum sevitthaan appaal inbam
aaha oru nanmanaiyil Seethaiodum
amarnthittan andamellaam sumanthitaneh "

Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar saluted the blessed scene of 
the Seetha Kalyaana Mahotsavam this way in one of his 
Ramaashtakam:
"Seetha kalyaana Mahotsava Vaibhava yutha Sri Ramachandroh
Maam Rakshathu".

I conclude this special posting on the Seetha Rama Kalyana Mahotsavam
with the salutations of BHodendhraaL (Rama Karnaamrutam) and
Swami Desikan"s Raghu Veera Gadhyam.

Swami Desikan 's salutation is :

PRABHAAVAAN SITAYAA DEVYAA PARAMA VYOMA BHASKARA:

Rama shines forever  as the Aditya in the Paramaakasam known as 
Vaikuntam  and is victorious in Her company.

BhodendraaL's Sautation recognizes Rama as the Indweller of the Sun:

SAKALA BHUVANA RATNAM SACCHIDHAANANDA RATNAM SAKALA
HRUDHAYA RATNAM, SURYA BIMBHAANTHA RATNAM

NIGAMA SIRASI RATNAM NITYAMASAKTA RATNAM
NIKILA SUKRUTI RATNAM JAANAKI RUPA RATNAM
BHUVANAVALAYA RATNAM BHUBHRUTAA MEGARATNAM
PRAKRUTI SULABA RATNAM MYTHILI PRAANA RATNAM 
RAMA RAMA NAMOHSTHU TEH

SRI SEETHA RAMA PARABRAHMANEH NAMA:

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan