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Ram Vivah, Ayodhya Dec.

10, 2010
Srikrishna Prapnnachari Page 1 of 11

Ram Vivah ( |-| i|||r)
Gods creation has got composition of exclusive beings (|||), and the matter ( ||-) of the
cosmos. They eternally co-exist together but keep on changing their physical form through the
stages of birth and death or destruction brought about by a cosmic annihilation (+-|| |
-|r|+-|| - the epoch events of the creation). In fact, during pralaya the cosmos is wrapped up
and merge with God, maintaining the veiled entities of all the beings and the matter on such a
small scale that one can imagine for understanding purpose to be even smaller than a tiny
electron. Thus continues the cycle of creation superbly monitored at the divine level.
In this process, as the situation arises, Almighty Himself keeps on incarnating in various
manifestations. This suggests that the incarnations also take place in cyclic order repeating the
similar manifestations in different periods of eternal cyclic order of time. Ramavatar (|-|||-|)
being one of the very popular incarnations of God, is known to take place in treta yug (+-|||),
the second part of the four footed cyclic order of yug (||), defined by sequential order of
occurrence of satyug (|-| |), treta (+-|||), dwapar (|+ ||), and kaliyug (=i-|||).
When Almighty manifests in human form, He truly observes the life style of a human being. Ram
incarnating as a son of the king of Ayodhya, apparently passed through pains and pleasures of
an earthly life. His wedding is a special event marking the union of Lord with His eternal divine
consort, Sita. Ramayan is a graphic description of His period on earth, and it is in fact said to be
composed by Valmiki before His advent was known to the human beings. Now a days, several
versions of Ramayan is available composed by saints of later periods.
The regular recitation of the holy epic Ramayan partially or fully is a part of devotional practices.
There are devotees who concentrate on a particular part of Ramayan, and there are others who
instead only keep chanting the holy name of Sita and Ram. There are as many devotional
practices as many devotees.
The wedding of Ram in Ramayan has description of all the pleasant moments of the wedding
ceremony. The devotees reciting the descriptions of His wedding ceremony find utmost
pleasure during the period of recitation and forget all other disturbing factors of the real life.
Gradually this gave birth to a devotional cult, and the devotees of this cult, worship bridal couple
of Sita - Ram, always immersed in the imagination of enjoying the pleasant moments of the
Lords wedding. Thus came into practice celebrating Ram vivah. It is celebrated on full scale
enacted like a real life wedding. This is celebrated annually occurring on the fifth day of the
bright fortnight of the month of Agahan. Besides this, the fifth day of every fortnight is also held
as the day of wedding, and is celebrated with utmost enjoyment.
Travel to Ayodhya ( ||||)
I left Delhi in the evening of Dec. 9, 2010 by Kafiyat Express (departing from Old Delhi railway
station) and arrived in Ayodhya at about 7:50 am in the following morning of Dec. 10, 2010. The
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keen long cherished desire was to participate in the annual divine wedding ceremony of Lord
Ram organized at Sri Viahuti Bhawan (>|| i|r-| ||-|) in Ayodhya.
Ram Vivah (|-| i|||r) is the divine wedding solemnized here regularly by the affectionate
devotees. Initially it happened to take place in Janakpur (now in Nepal) when Lord Ram fulfilled
the royal condition put forth by the king Janaka of breaking the bow of Shiva. This lead to His
marriage with Sita, an incarnation of goddess bhu devi, | :|| divine consort of Narayan
known as Lakshmi. She was the only daughter of the king. It was treta yuga (+-| ||), and the
story is well depicted in the Ramayan of Valmiki followed by several later saints. Tulsidas is one
of the most popular saints who composed the Ramayan in the sixteenth century, called
Ramcharita Manas (|-|
|i- -||-||) in Hindi to
enlighten the north
Indian masses. Kamb
Ramayan (=| |-||||),
said to be composed by
Kambar in Tamil in the
ninth century, is similarly
popular in south India.
There are several
versions of Ramayan
composed in almost all
the languages of India.
The epic is popular in
far-east countries also
composed in the
languages of those countries.
In treta yuga (+-| ||), the Lords wedding took place on agahan shukla panchmi (|r-| |+-|
+|-||), the fifth day of bright fortnight of the month of margshirsha (-||||||), variously called
agahan. This year, in 2010, it occurred on Dec. 10, Friday.
Sri Viahuti Bhawan (>|| i|r-| ||-| Divine Wedding House)
It is a temple premises, popularly called wedding house of Lord Ram. It has its present origin
way back in 1938 established by the saint Ramshankar Sharan. He is now no more, as he
discarded his mortal remains in 1970. Among the galaxy of saints of Ayodhya, he was better
known by his other name, Pujari jee (+||| || the venerable priest). The natal place of Sita, is
Janakpur which stands for a distinctive culture, called Mithila (i-|i|-||) representing the great
dynasty originated from Mithi. Ayodhya, the birth place of Ram is known as Awadh, an icon of a
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characteristic culture of the house of the king Raghu. Viahuti Bhawan represents the Mithila
culture in Ayodhya which means, it is like an island of Janakpur established by Pujari jee amidst
Awadhi Ayodhya. Its sole purpose is to enact the marriage of Sita and Ram to infuse divine
pleasure in the life of devotees.
Bade Maharaj jee
Ramshankar jee (Pujari jee) is called Bade Maharaj jee. Present Maharaj jee is Baidyanath
Sharan jee who took over taking care of the devotees after Bade Maharaj jee deserted this
world in 1970. The advent of Bade
Maharaj jee is known on Jyeshth
shukla dasami in 1894 in a remote
hamlet of Hasanpurava (r|-|+|| ),
near the town of Siwan, in the state
of Bihar. Jyeshth shukla dashami
(|= |+-| :|-||), is better known
as ganga dashara (||| :|r| the
day of dawning of the sacred
river, Ganga ||| on earth) in the
month of jyeshth (|=), one of the
summer months of north India. He
was married in 1909 to Janaki
Devi. He shifted to Ayodhya with
his wife in 1915 to lead a sacred
spiritual life. Being born in a Brahmin family he qualified for a priests position in a
temple called Thathera Mandir (==| -|i-:).
In the spring season of 1938 he lost his wife. Thereafter he became a real recluse
initiated in the rare cult of bridal mysticism. It was summer of 1938 that he found an
independent premises for Viahuti Bhawan, i.e., the dwelling place of divine couple
enjoying the regularly enacted marriage ceremonies. There came the annual marriage
celebration of agahan 1970 that three days short of the vivah panchami (i.e., on agahan
shukla dwitya) he wrapped up his mortal remains for the eternal abode. It is this day of
every agahan shukla dwitya that a grand bhandara is organized on the Viahuti Bhawan
premises by distributing to visitors and devotees, sumptuous prasad having varieties of
delicacies. Similar bhandara is organized on his advent day of ganga dashara on
jyeshtha shukla dashami. He had maintained his position of priest in Thathera mandir,
until he established Viahuti Bhawan in the summer of 1938. However, throughout his life
he was addressed by the saints of Ayodhya as Pujari jee.

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Rama jee (Bhagat jee)
Bade Maharaj jee was gifted with the natural talent of melodious voice, and was a great
crowd catcher by his magical throat while presenting the vocal devotional songs. His
magical songs caught the attention of another elderly saintly personality of the same
area known by his name Sri Rama jee (>|| |-|| ||) who hailed from the village called
Khedaya (=z||), situated about fifteen km from Hasanpurava, and was better known in
his area by a respectable nick name of Bhagat jee (||- ||).
Rama jee, alias Bhagat jee, lead a married domestic life full of kith and kin, and was a
rare saint always immersed in enjoying the pleasure of the vision of the bridal couple of
Sita - Ram. Whenever he could see a marriage procession, he would find his
destination there, and getting closer to the groom he used to enjoy as if he were
witnessing the well dressed lord Ram at the time of His marriage. Bhagat jee, being an
impressive singer, devoted his life in organizing the song-full enaction of the divine
marriage of Ram. In course of time, due to his advancing age, he was concerned of
finding a potential successor who could carry forward the regular re-enaction of
marriage ceremony of Lord Ram with Sita. In his cult of celebrating the divine marriage
ceremony, he never adhered to a fixed date for celebration. Any day was the day of
Lord Rams marriage celebration, and on the invitation of any household, he would help
making preparations on a full real-life scale of enacting divine marriage ceremony. This
was his style of worshipping the divine couple of Sita and Ram. Depending on the
available facility, he would organize all the
associated rituals of a marriage
commencing from receiving the invitation of
auspicious marriage, covering particularly
the ceremonies of turmeric smearing of
Sita, and janeu of Ram. He had a full team
of selected devotees who could perform the
role of king Dasarath father of Ram, King
Janaka father of Sita, royal priests
Vashishth, and Satanand who had guided
the original divine marriage in treta yug in
Janakpur. (Rama jee with bridal couple in the inset
photo)
All the rituals are performed with the
minutest details observing the social
customs and local practices of a marriage
ceremony prevalent in Janakpur of the
legendry days. The performance of divine
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marriage runs for about a week; couple of days preceding the marriage day are
dedicated in celebrating the janeu (|-|= || |n|+||- investing the groom with the sacred
thread) of Lord Ram, and haldi (r-:| smearing the body of the bride with auspicious turmeric
gel) of Sita. The following couple of days after marriage are spent in celebrating kaleva
(=-||| a great feast organized in honour of the marriage party), and chouthari (||||| the
fourth day from the marriage day celebrated as the joining of the married couple with the kith
and kin in an open pleasant social game of playing dice).
The role of divine couple is performed by young swarup (|=+ shadow persons) aged
between five to ten years, well pre-initiated in this special cult. Alternatively, in absence
of properly pre-initiated swarup, their representatives are also created by placing the
copies of holy Ramayan decorated specially to create an impression of a well dressed
bridal couple.
Lord Ram, had got four brothers, and all of them were married together in Janakpur.
Sita, the daughter of Janak was married to Ram, but the other three brothers Bharat,
Lakshaman and Shatrughn were married to cousin sisters of Sita called Mandavi,
Urmila, and Shrutikirti respectively. Four pairs of couples are Ram Sita, Bharat
Mandavi, Lakshaman Urmila, Shatrughn Shrutikirti (|-| ||-|, |- -||z||, -|--||
=i-|-||, |+-| >|i-=|i- ). At times, all the four couples represented by four pairs of 5-10
yrs old swarup, were present in the marriage ceremony. In absence of availability of
proper well initiated live couples, four pairs of the copies of holy scripture Ramayan are
used. In addition, two more copies are used to represent Hanuman (r-|-||-|), and
Tulasidas (--|||:||) also.
Rama jee spotted his spiritual successor
In 1912, in a local devotional congregation of Bhagwat katha, Ramajee was impressed
by an excellent melodious recitation of the Ramayan by Bade Maharaj jee. He instantly
picked him as his successor and called him Nause Babua (-||| |||), which means
Lord Ram Himself whom he always used to call a bridal groom. He was able to
convince him to carry the torch of bridal mysticism being upheld by him in the
nineteenth century north India. In subsequent consequential meetings, the inner
affection of Rama jee and Bade Maharj jee became deeper and stronger.
Finally, on the inspiration of Rama jee, Bade Maharaj jee left the parental abode and
came to Ayodhya in 1915 accompanied by his wife . Subsequently he kept meeting
Rama jee in Ayodhya also, and they together organized several divine marriage
ceremonies beginning from Hasanpurva to Janakpur. Rama jee used to offer aarati by a
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dance maintaining a ghee lit lamp over his head. Subsequently this rare performance
was taken over by Bade Maharaj jee.
In 1921 December, there was a mammoth all India spiritual congregation organized by
Rupkala Samiti at Tulsi Udyan in Ayodhya. Bade Mahraj jee presented a rare
performance of devotional song. The entire Ayodhya was under the influence of this
magical bridal mysticism, and a large following began to gather to witness the rare
performance of Bade Maharaj jee. First such congregation he organized independently
in 1922, on the premises of Thathera Mandir itself. Thereafter he performed such
celebrations at other places beginning from the one at his natal place Hasanpurava. It
was in 1928, Jyestha Krishna dwitiya, that Bade Maharaj jee lost the association of
Rama jee who took to his eternal abode due to old age. The loss was shocking but
Bade Maharaj jee carried forward organizing the divine marriages in several places as
far as Chitrakoot, sweeping as far north as Janakpur.

Every fifth day of each fortnight was being
organized as marriage ceremony of Lord Ram
and Sita. The performances included taking out
huge colorful marriage procession accompanied
by elephants, horses, chariots amidst the strong
crowd of devotees. Agahan panchmi remained
the fixed date for celebration at Ayodhya.
Besides, he also stayed at Ayodhya in the
months of Chaitra (birth of Lord Ram), Vaishakh
(birth of goddess Sita), Jyestha and Shrwan ( for
Jhoola swinging ceremony of the pleasant
divine couple) to celebrate the respective
occasions.

Bade Maharj jee with the divine bridal couple.





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Present Maharaj jee (Baidynath Sharan jee)
After the departure of Bade Maharaj jee in 1970, the onus of organizing the divine ceremonies
was taken over by present Maharaj jee. Viahuti Bhawan witnessed surging devotees in all the
ceremonies. Maharaj jee fully maintained the
practices laid down by Bade Maharaj jee. This year
in 2010, the occasion of annual marriage
anniversary of Lord Ram and Sita, falling on agahan
shukla panchmi, i.e., Dec. 10, 2010 was organized
with a great splendor. After the chanting of round
the clock Ram Nam, on Dec. 6 and 7, 2010, Ram
Janeu and Sita haldi were performed on the
successive days of Dec. 8 and 9 respectively.
Surrounding the chariot of the bridal couple, the
marriage procession left Viahuti Bhawan at about
4:00 pm on Dec. 10, 2010 with the strong crowd of
devotees lead by colorfully elephants, and horses.
The main street of Ayodhya from Tulasi Udyan
(--||| .|-|) to Hanuman Garhi (r-|-||-| |c|) had
hardly any inch of space left vacant. The route of the
procession was from Viahuti Bhawan, via Tulasi
udyan to Hanuman Garhi, moving past the streets
behind Kanak mandir, and Asharfi Bhawan, it closed the circuit back to Viahuti Bhawan. The
bridal procession was offered a grand welcome back at Viahuti Bhawana at about 8 pm.
Annual anniversary of divine marriage
Ayodhya celebrates the annual marriage ceremony of its Lord with great gala and show of
festivity. About half a dozen marriage processions are taken out from various devotional
premises. All the processions have a common route from Hanuman Garhi to the street behind
Kanak Bhawan through Asharafi Bhawan. The tunes played on the bands of trumpet, and
varieties of colorful sparkles of lighted festoons mark the movement of the bridal procession.
The procession of Kanak Bhawan has a distinctive style of carrying the small idols of Lord Ram
and Sita on a palanquin born over the shoulders of the devotees.

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Chariot carrying bridal couple of Viahuti Bhwan


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Ramuday jee taking incessant shelter in holy
Ayodhya for over one and a half decade.



Bridal deities of Kanak Bhawan inside Palanquin (top),
Head priest of Kanak Bhawan on a separate palanquin (left)

The time upto midnight of Dec. 10, 2010 was full of song-ful presentations solemnizing the
divine marriage. On conclusion, the devotees were offered full meal dinner prasad comprising of
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varieties of sweet delicacies, rice, puri and vegetables. The following evening of Dec. 11, 2010
witnessed the splendorous festival of Kaleva. The bridal couple received warm welcome
through several events marked by melodious songs of deeper connotations composed by Bade
Maharaj jee. The program of Kaleva concluded at midnight by serving the devotees with
sumptuous prasad having varieties of sweets and other innumerable delicacies. Malpua
(-||-|+|) of Viahuti Bhawan has its distinctive flavor and no devotee would ever allow any
chance to miss it. Viahuti Bhawan takes due care that all the devotees are gifted with colorful
new scarf and cloths to wear while joining the marriage procession.
Chothari is concluded by a mammoth bhandara inviting saints, citizens and visitors of Ayodhya
who enjoy the sumptuous food served by blessing hands of kind and compassionate Maharaj
jee. Dec. 18, 2010, i.e., Agahan Shukla Dwadashi witnessed the rare and affectionate
celebration of the birthday anniversary of Maharaj jee.
Concurrent Bridal Mysticism of South India
As regards the manifestation of Almighty, He is said to be present in five emanations: (i) par, (ii)
vyuha, (iii) vibhava, (iv) archa, and (v) antryami (+, |r, |||, ||, --||-||). North India
has witnessed the direct presence of vaibhava form (i.e., incarnation) of Ram and Krishna. Their
divine marriages are beyond human perception which have been described in the preceding
paragraphs covering the divine marriages of Lord of Ayodhya, Ram, and beloved of Janakpuri,
goddess Sita. The stories of maharas ( -|r||| |i|-| +i|-||) of Krishna in Vrindavan has similar
connotations.
Coming to the south India, the
prevalence of bridal mysticism of
archa avtar is worthy of a reference
here. Lord Balajee of Tirumala is an
eminent example. His divine marriage
with the goddess Padmavati is well
known. Lord stays at Tirumala, and
the goddess stays at Tirupati, but their
divine marriage is celebrated every
day at Tirumala in a special event
called Kalyan Utsava (=-||| .|)
which is thronged with the affectionate
devotees inside the main premises of
the temple. The celebration is marked
by vaidic solemnization performed everyday from 10 am to 12:30 pm of the idols of the Lord and
His twin consorts bhu devi and sri devi. The attending devotees are blessed with new silk cloth,
silver coin embossed with the divine form of the deities, and several big laddus and bada. The
annual anniversary is specially celebrated on Vaishakh shukla dashami.
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Another famous example is of goddess Godamma (||:--||), variously
called Andal, and Goda (z|-|, ||:|). She was found alive at Srivilliputtur
(about 80 km south of Madurai) as a nascent child in the grove of Tulsi
by Alwar saint Vishnuchitta swamy. She was an incarnation of divine
consort of Narayan and with her unalloyed devotion she was married to
the deity of Lord Ranganath at Sri Ranagam (Tirichy). She used to
observe a holy vrata (|- vow) in the entire month of Dhanur mas (i.e.,
when the sun remains in the ninth zodiac sign of Sagittarius). Her vow
was worship of Lord Krishna and it commenced with the bath taken in
early wee hours of everyday between 4 am to 6 am of the month of Sagittarius. Every day she
composed a verse in honour of her beloved Lord and the entire composition of 30 verses in
Tamil is called Thiruppavai (i-=|||). The chanting of Thiruppavai is carried out early morning
for one full month preceding the month of makar sankranti, i.e., when the sun enters into sign
of Capricorn. As regards Dhanu, it commences from around Dec. 15 / 16 ending on Jan. 15 of
every year. Andal is the only woman who is one among 12 alwars (-|||) of sri vaishnavite
cult. Every year her marriage is solemnized in all the vaishnav temples on shukla dashmi of
paush mas (+|| |+-| :|-|| ). True vaishanavites affectionately observe the practice of
chanting Thiruppavai every morning round the year, while conducting the Lords worship.