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Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:08 am

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King Janak of Mithila had a fair and beautiful daughter who was the apple of his eye. She was no ordinary princess. Her life had an unusual beginning. One year, the kingdom of Mithila was facing a terrible famine. Times were so bad that the king himself had to work in the fields. On one such day, when King Janak was ploughing a field, he found a baby girl swaddled in cloth in a furrow in the field. King Janak took this as a sign that the child was a gift from Mother Earth and named her Sita after the furrow in which she was found.

Now, when Sita became of marriageable age, King Janak was determined that her hand would only be given in marriage to a man worthy of this precious jewel. He devised a test for the prospective suitors. The king had a bow, extremely heavy and almost impossible to lift. He announced that he would give his daughter, Sita's hand in marriage only to the man who could string this bow.

Suitors came from far and wide to win the fair princess' hand, but to no avail. It seemed that there was no suitor worthy of the lovely princess Sita. It was at this time that Vishwamitra, Ram and Laxman came to the court of King Janak. Ram decided to take up the challenge. The courtiers waited with bated breath, wondering if this mere slip of a boy would be able to accomplish what many brave warriors before him had not. Ram lifted the bow effortlessly. As he bent the bow to string it, the bow snapped in two! The court resounded with cheers as the courtiers showered praises on the young prince. King Janak declared that he would give Sita's hand in marriage to Ram as he had more than surpassed his expectations. The news was quickly conveyed to King Dashratha.

He was delighted and immediately set out to attend the wedding at Mithila.The wedding was celebrated with much pomp and ceremony and the festivities continued for several days and nights. Finally, King Janak was ready to bid farewell to his precious daughter and the newly-marrieds left for Ayodhya.



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