~ 47. Sons and Daughters Marry ~

After Rama passed the marriage test, King Janaka proposed not one, but four marriages. "Let your three brothers marry Sita's three sisters!" he proclaimed.
So Sita married Rama, Urmila married Lakshmana, while Mandavi married Bharata and Shrutakirti married Shatrughna.
After the wedding ceremony, Sunaina, the mother of the brides, gave them each two dolls made of sandalwood, a king and a queen, to keep on a sacred altar in the courtyard of their new home.
Sita also brought the seeds of the plants in her mother's garden so that in Ayodhya she could continue to cook the foods of Mithila.

Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: This story is on p. 59 of the book. This is the Bala Kanda (Book 1), sarga 73 of Valmiki's Ramayana. Note that instead of giving all the sisters to Rama, the story celebrates monogamy: one wife for each husband. Pattanaik notes that the custom of the king-queen dolls comes from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. You can read more about Marapachi Dolls at Wikipedia.

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