13.gif (16315 bytes)   

    Viswaamitra and the princes were welcomed with great honor by King Janaka who was very pleased that the two princes had come. He requested them to attend his Yagna.

He then ordered his men to bring the bow which was kept safe and sacred in an iron box. It was brought on an eight-wheeled carriage and dragged like a temple chariot because of its heavy weight.

"Here," said Janaka, "is Shiva’s bow worshipped by me and my ancestors. Let Rama see this bow."

After obtaining permission from Viswaamitra and the King, Rama stepped out to the iron bow-case; all eyes were fixed on him in wishful expectation. Opening the box, he lifted the bow effortlessly, as if it were a garland of flowers, and resting one end of it against his toe, he bent and strung it and drew the string back with such great force that the mighty bow snapped with a crash like a clap of thunder. And there fell from heaven a shower of flowers from the Devas.

Janaka proclaimed: "My beloved daughter shall be wedded to this Prince."

Viswaamitra said to Janaka: "Send your messengers to Ayodhya to give the news to Dasaratha and invite him."