This was kept by him as an honoured heir-loom. Since only a very exceptional man
could be considered worthy of Seeta, Janaka issued this proclamation: "Seeta, my
daughter, will be given in marriage to the prince who can lift, bend and string the bow of
Siva which Varuna gave me and to none other."
Many princes who had heard of Seeta's
beauty, went to Mithila only to return disappointed. None could fulfil the condition.
Led by Viswaamitra, the rishis from
Siddhaashrama were proceeding to Mithila, with bullock-carts transporting their luggage.
The animals and the birds in the aashrama set out to follow Viswaamitra, but he gently
bade them stay behind.