“Hearing the words of the vipra, my father brought the bow forward. Bending the bow in the twinkling of an eye and applying string to it, the mighty prince Rama, who was full of valor, quickly drew the bow at full length.” (Sita Devi speaking to Anasuya, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 118.47-48)
Concern was mounting. First, there was worry that the handsome youth accompanied by Vishvamitra Muni and an almost twin-like younger brother would fail. From one glance the people of the town decided they wanted Him to win.
The contest was drawn up by the king, Janaka of Mithila. Whichever prince from the gathered assembly could first lift the bow and string it would win the hand of the princess Sita. There was double interest in attending. The victor’s fame and strength would be broadcast throughout the world. They would also win…
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