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When Sita reached the age of marriage Janaka was sad that he would have to part with her. Though he tried hard, he was for long unable to choose a prince worthy of Sita. Many kings came to Mithila, seeking Sita's hand, but in Janaka's view none of them was good enough. The King anxiously thought over the matter and came to a decision. Long ago, pleased with a yaga performed by Janaka, Varuna the sea-god, presented to him Siva's bow and two quivers. That was an ancient heavenly bow, which was very heavy and no ordinary man could even move. One day he saw with great surprise SITA move the bow with her little finger.

Since only a very exceptional man could be considered worthy of Sita, Janaka issued this proclamation: "Sita, my daughter, will be given in marriage to the prince who can lift, bend and string the bow of Siva which Varuna gave me and to none other."