||Sitarama Kalyan Ghatta||

||"Iyam Sita Mama suta ..."!||

||om tat sat||

The seventy third Sarga in Balakanda is about, ' सीता राम कल्याणं" or the marriage of Rama and Sita.

The most famous and oft quoted sloka from this episode is Janaka's words to Rama:

"इयं सीता ममसुता सहधर्म चारिणी तव।
प्रतीच्छ चैनां भद्रं ते पाणिं गृह्णीष्व पाणिना॥

That is the utterance of king Janaka, who escorts his daughter to the marriage pandal, makes her stand before the scion of Raghu, the best of Raghu's namely Rama.

What he says is simply the following.

"This is my daughter Sita. She will be your partner in life in discharging righteous responsibilities. Take her. All good for you. Take her hand in your hand."

This could be simply translated as "This is my daughter Sita. Please take her as your partner in life, discharging righteous responsibilities, by taking her hand in your hand. May all be well for you ".

In the marriage ceremony of Rama and Sita, we do not hear much about the Vedic rites or the processes. We are simply told that Janaka requests Vasistha to perform the marriage ceremony. Vasistha then prepares the marriage pandal as per Vedic instructions, and performs the Homa. After that Janaka brings his daughter to the pandal and making her stand in front of Rama and utters those famous words (sloka).

There is certainly much more to that sloka than the simple translation presented as above.
There are many echoes of many thoughts.
In those words we see the pride and anxiety felt by every father in that sloka

The one speaking is great Janaka, a learned man.
After the killing of Tataka and freeing Ahalya from the curse, the divinity of Rama is already known.
But what is on Janaka's mind is not the divinity of Rama.
What is on Janaka's mind is his daughter Sita, whom he obtained providentially.
So he starts his exhortation to Rama with the words about his daughter.

"इयं सीता", "This Sita"

There are many echoes or hints in that announcement "इयं सीता".

Saying "इयं सीत", Janaka is telling Rama that,
"This Sita of indescribable beauty and qualities, is a match to you, who have been described as -
"पुंसां मोहनरूपाय" , the best looking male among all in this world. Not only that she is equal to you in all respects".

Why would Janaka think like that?.
"सीत" means the furrow .
Sita was found in the furrow made by the plough while tilling the soil.
She was promptly called Sita.
Sita is "अयोनिज", Not the one born through the process of human creation.
She is of uncommon birth and of unmatched qualities
Janaka saying "इयं सीता", is echoing those uncommon unmatched qualities of Sita
Janaka is telling Rama ,"Rama is I am placing a lady of uncommon and unmatched qualities in your hands.

Furrow is also a symbol of success of a farmer.
Sita , found in a furrow , which makes the farmers life a success", is also a symbol of success.
Much like the furrow carrying the seeds of farmer's success,
Janaka is telling Rama
"This Sita "इयं सीता", too will ensure your success, in all your enterprises".
Here we hear the belief of every father, that their daughter is no less contributor of the grooms success.

After composing Ramayana, we hear from Valmiki in the Balakanda that he looked for persons to whom he can entrust the composition. Then he sees Lava and Kusa who were born to Sita under his care. Valmiki makes them grasp this poem, which he described as Ramayana and also, "सीतायाः चरितं महत्", "The great Story of Sita".

While Lava and Kusa were singing this song , "The great Story of Sita", all over the kingdom, hearing the praise from all quarters Rama invites them to his court and asks them to sing the same. Rama exhorts all his brothers also to join for listening to this epic composition, saying " This is a great story and is beneficial to me too. Let us listen to this".

Valmiki , the poet speaking through Janaka , saying "This Sita" "इयं सीता", is alerting all listeners that this is the Sita whose great story unfolds hence forward ( in the Ramayana)".

Janaka having said "इयम् सीता" also adds "मम सुता" my daughter ".
It is as though Janaka is telling Rama, "My daughter Sita is of that pedigree !

Not only that Janaka says, this Sita will be "सह धर्मचारी तव".
There need not be any doubt about how she will be .
She will perform all righteous rites along with you.
What ever righteous rites you perform, she will be your partner !
You are known as the diligent follower of parental wishes -"पितृवाक्य परिपालकः."
So is my daughter, as your "सह धर्मचारी ".
That is the import of Janaka saying that "this Sita" will be "सह धर्मचारी तव".

Having said all this Janaka Continues.
"प्रतीच्च चैनां" "Take her...".

Janaka did not say I am giving my daughter take her.
His import is " She is yours". He virtually says
"Your divinity is clear. .
This Sita is an incarnation of Lakshmi, your consort.
She is your "Sahadharmacharini:
Recognize her and take her".

Janaka continues

"भद्रं ते".
In taking her is your fortune.
She is your consort.
"O Rama by taking her you also enter that stage of life which is best among the four stages"
"Namely the stage of a married man.
You will be known all over.
Your progeny will enhance your prestige
You will be known as "Sitarama"
With this marriage all auspicious things happen to you".

Saying this Janaka says
"पाणिंगृह्णीष्व पाणिना"
"Take her hand in yours"
In that act of Rama taking her hand is the underlying sentiment that from that moment, her safety is his responsibility.

Having said this then king Janaka symbolically leaves auspicious waters in Rama's hand.

This is what we hear in "Sitarama Kalyana Ghatta" in the seventy third Sarga.
This sloka is a sacred text.

This sloka is heard in many marriages.
We see this on many wedding cards
What was said in the sloka is about Rama and Sita.
Why then is it of importance in our marriage ceremonies?
The import of this sloka in the context of Hindu marriages is as follows.
In every marriage the bride and groom are like Sita and Rama.
The bride is not just the girl seen in that wedding dress.
She is a person of great lineage from her parents.
Hence forward she will be the life partner for the groom.
With the marriage all auspicious things happen to the groom.

This is the wish of all parents, while symbolically giving away their daughter.
That is also the import of that sloka
"इयं सीता ममसुता सहधर्म चारिणी तव",
in the context of Hindu marriages.

||om tat sat||