Viswamitra and the princes then proceeded to Mithila.
This city was ruled by King Janaka. He had a daughter named Sita.
King Janaka had declared that whoever managed to lift the divine Rudra’s bow and string it, would get his daughter Sita’s hand in marriage. The bow was brought on an eight-wheeled chariot.
Many strong warriors had tried lifting the bow but failed. Viswamitra asked Rama to lift the bow.
Rama lifted the bow with ease. Placing one end against his toe, he put forth his might and bent the bow to string it when the bow broke into two parts.
King Janaka was speechless with joy. He blessed Rama and announced in the court that his beautiful daughter Sita would wed the brave prince. King Janaka sent messengers to Ayodhya to convey the happy news to king Dasaratha and to invite him for the wedding of their children.
King Dasaratha was delighted to hear this news and reached Mithila along with his wives, his ministers, sage Batista, and others to take part in the wedding.
King Janaka arranged for a grand wedding.
Rama married Sita. At the same time Lakshmana married Sita’s sister Urmila, Bharata and Shatrugna married Sita’s cousins Mandavi and Srutakirti. A grand feast had been arranged for all the citizens. The newlywed couples were blessed by one and all. Dasaratha returned to Ayodhya with his sons and daughter-in-law. King Dasaratha was growing older. So, he wanted to crown Rama as the king.
Dasaratha, therefore, consulted his ministers about this. They unanimously welcomed the suggestion. But there was one woman who grieved to hear about Rama’s coronation. It was Manthara. She was Kaikeyi’s maidservant. She resolved to stop the coronation somehow or the other. She was the first to give the news of the coronation to kaikeyi.
At first, kaikeyi was overjoyed to hear that Rama was to become the king. She loved Rama very much. But manthara poisoned her mind. She told kaikeyi that if Rama became the king, then he would make Bharat his servant, and kaikeyi would be nothing more than a glorified maid of queen Kausalya. Queen kaikeyi, who loved Rama very much, now stood in fear of her position.
Her mind was poisoned. Kaikeyi and manthara hatched an evil plan. Dasaratha went to kaikeyi’s apartments to convey personally the glad news of Rama’s coronation. But what a strange sight met his eyes! Kaikeyi had thrown away all her ornaments. He asked her what the matter was. Kaikeyi recalled the day when she had saved the life of Dasaratha from the demons in a fierce battle. At that time Dasaratha had promised two boons to her, which she could ask of him anytime and she wanted them now. The first boon was to crown Bharat as the crown prince and the second one to send Rama to the forest for fourteen years.
Dasaratha could hardly believe his ears. He turned pale and speechless. He pleaded with kaikeyi to ask for anything else, but she wouldn’t change.
Slowly it sank into Dasaratha that he would have to oblige kaikeyi with her two boons. Soon Rama was summoned into kaikeyi’s chamber and she told Rama everything about her boons. Rama listened to her patiently. Rama believed that it was more important to obey a mother’s wish and honor a father’s commitment than anything else. So, he agreed to go to the forest.