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93. Shri Rama’s Victory Celebration

Vishvamitra, Shri Rama’s guru, stood up; he was like an unending ocean of love. The beauty of the lord standing before him with the broken bow was like the beauty of the full moon rising above the ocean in the night’s sky.  The sage was absolutely thrilled, his joy was like the rising tide, enamoring every person present.

The drums were sounding loud not only in the vicinity of the palace, but in the heavens above too.  The angelic maidens of the sky danced as they showered flowers signifying their blessings and approval.  Brahma, and the pantheon of Gods all danced and praised the lord in bliss.  Siddhas, saints and sages from all over the world came to greet Shri Rama, the victorious one.  As the music played, shouts of Jai! Jai! (Victory! Victory!) echoed throughout the cosmos.  The news that Shiva’s bow was effortlessly broken by Rama travelled quickly through all of the kingdoms on earth.  In every town and village the news and delight of Rama’s act was shared with great delight.

Preachers, storytellers of all kind, saints and priests all sang songs of praise for Shri Rama.  The rich began to give kindly to the poor.  They gave away cattle, horses, elephants, money, precious jewelry, land…all of it given away not in return for material success but out of a desire to celebrate the glory of God.

The Madranga drum was beating, cymbals were sounding, conch shells calling out throughout the night. Musicians, both professionals and amateurs, played loudly to their heart’s content.  Men and women who had never before sang a song felt impelled to sing joyously.  The Queen and her maids, who were previously sad and distressed, were all smiling from ear to ear with delight.  It was as if a withering field of crops had received nourishment from rain clouds bringing them back to life once again.

King Janaka danced in bliss, he felt as if the burden of the planet had been removed from his shoulders.  His promise could have turned into a nightmare had nobody been able to break Shiva’s bow.  He was like a distressed man lost on the ocean who had finally reached the shore, like a room illuminated by the light of a thousand candles.  All of King Janaka’s anxieties were removed the moment the he saw the bow break.

The happiness of princess Sita was unbounded, perhaps it can best be compared to the feeling of a Chataka bird who spends its time wailing and crying of thirst but will only drink a single drop of rainwater whilst the Sun is in a particular constellation once a year.  Lakshmana, ever like the Chakora bird, who spends its time glaring at the moon, looked on at his brother with great affection.

The sage Satananda signaling with his hand called Sita towards Shri Rama.  She looked beautiful, her maidens accompanied her, each holding flowers in their hands as they steadily approached the Lord of the Raghus.  The music had softened as everyone watched anxiously as if two long lost lovers were being reunited.  Although Sita looked and dressed beautifully, she was the embodiment of spiritual beauty.  In her right hand she held a wreath made of flowers to grace the neck of the victorious prince.  Like a painting on a wall, Sita stood completely still before Shri Rama.  One of the maidens to the right placing her hand on Sita’s shoulder and said:

Please place the garland of flowers on the prince, he is to be your husband.

Sita lifted the garland with both hands looking Shri Rama in the eyes without blinking.  Her hands were shaking and her heart was beating louder than a drum.  Her raised hands were like sacred lotus flowers being offered to the lord in devotion.

From the outside, it seemed as if Sita was very shy and modest before her lord, but her heart was filled with nothing but love and joy.  The love within her heart was invisible, hidden to the gaze of the public, but the Lord knew everything.  She placed the victory garland around his neck and the heavens showered down the most beautiful flowers.  Witnessing this from across the room, the other princes and kings shrunk like plants without sunlight.

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