Seethaswayamvaram (Wedding of Sita)
Story Play (Attakkatha):
Only the title is known about the author. Renowned as Kottarakkara thampuran, meaning a member of the royal family from Kottarakkara. It is said that, the author was borne to a family called “Valliyoor”, who were subsidiaries of Chera Udaya Varma of the Chera Dynasty. The works of KottaraThampuran is supposed to have happened in the 15th Century CE.
The play is one among eight Ramayana Stories written by Kottarakkara Thampuran. The plot has been picked up from the first canto of epic Ramayanam. The story covers the arrival of Viswamitra in Dasaratha’s palace in Ayodhya and till the confrontation between Sreerama and Parasurama following Sita’s marriage to Rama.
Nowadays only the last scene —where an angry Parasurama has a showdown with Sreerama and later retreats to the Himalayas — is normally presented. Sometimes the 11th scene taking place in King Janaka’s palace is also presented.
Viswamithra comes to Dasharatha to seek the help of his sons, Rama and Lakshmana to guard his sacrificial rites. Though hesitant, on the prompting of the King’s advisor, he deploys his two sons for the purpose. Viswamithra takes Rama and Lakshmana and on the way he imparts knowledge of the use of divine arrows as well as Manthras to control hunder and thirst.
As they traverse through a forest, they come across demoness Thataka, and on a cure from Viswamithra, Rama shoots her down. They reach Sidhasrama, the abode of the Rishi. On a new moon day, the sacrificial rites are performed, which the demons attempt to interrupt. Sreerama, accompanies by Lakshmana engage the demons in a battle inter-alia killing the leader Subahu. Another leader, Maareecha was spared singe he appealed for pardon.
After the rites, Viswamithra takes the boys to Mithila, where the princess and the daughter of the King Janaka was ready to be offered in wedding to a worthy person who could tie the string of a bow, once possessed by Lord Shiva and break it. Permitted by Janaka, Sreerama accomplishes the task and wins Seetha as her companion. Absolutely pleased, Janaka offers his other dauther Urmila in marriage to Lakshmana. Janaka’s brother Kushadwaja gives his daughters, Maandavi and Sruthakeerthi, in marriage respectively to Bharatha and Shatrhughna.
In the final 15th scene Dasaratha alongwith Sreerama, Sita and Lakshmana, are showing leaving Janaka’s palace for Ayodhya. On the way Parasurama, angry on hearing that someone has broken the famous “Siva’s bow” belonging to his guru, confronts Dasaratha’s entourage. Dasaratha requests the sage to spare his young sons but is insulted. As every attempt at appeasement fails Sreerama gets angry and breaks the “Vaishnava bow” that Parasurama hands him. Thereupon Parasurama realises that Sreerama is part of Lord Vishnu, cools down, praises Lord Rama and retires to the Himalayas for meditation.
Characters ( 15th Scene):
Attakkatha translated by: Mr. Achuthan TK