Epic Power


In part five, we witness the birth and childhood of Ram and his brothers, blessed and virtuous, even as the gods prepare for the eventual battle between the Saviour and the Demon King

On taking such a decision, Lord Vishnu, having agreed to the suggestion of Devatas and took his leave fron the ritual site. From the other side, the Putra Kameshti Yagam was going on uninterrupted. Then from the fire of Altar, there emerged a heavenly being called Prajapatya Purusha.

He was dressed in black and red garments with a red face and a sonorous voice, bedecked in divine ornaments. He brought with him a big golden vessel which was laden with divine dessert.

King Dasharatha greeted him and offered prayers. Then the divinity told Dasharatha, "I was sent by Prajapati, charged with bringing this dessert to you. Let this be consumed by your wives. Your desire to beget sons will be fulfilled through this".

King Dasharatha thanked him wholeheartedly and took the vessel, carefully placing it on his head.

Dasharatha divides the divine dessert

Dasharatha, on entering the palace chambers, told his elder wife Kausalya about the dessert and said, "This is equivalent to the divine drink Amruta. Worship this and consume it, you will beget a son". The king then gave half of the dessert to queen Kausalya and he gave half of the half, one fourth to queen Sumitra. And to Kaikeyi, he gave half of the remaining half, one-eighth of the dessert. Then, pondering over the last share, he gave another one-eighth portion to queen Sumitra. Thus, the king distributed the dessert to his wives in different measures. The three wives of King felt very happy to have the dessert and they deemed it as a reward. In time, they became pregnant.

Lord Brahma nominates Devatas to procreate monkey race

When Lord Vishnu consented to be the son of Dasharatha and take the form of human being on the earth, Lord Brahma dictated the Devatas and all gods to become creators of monkey heroes to help Vishnu's incarnation in annihilating Ravana.

The Devatas agreed to do so and accordingly, started parenting sons in the form of monkeys. The Siddhas, the Sadhyas, the Kinnaras, the Kim Purushas, the sages, the Charanas, etc., created valiant sons who started wandering the forests.

Among them were Vali, Sugriva, Dara, Hanuman, Gandhamadana, Nala, Neela, Mainda, Dvivida and so on. Thus, the Gods and Devatas reproduced many thousands and lakhs of heroic monkeys and chiefs of warriors who were supposed to be of help to Lord Vishnu's incarnation in eliminating Ravana, the monster king.

Birth of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna

After the completion of the Vedic horse ritual, the Ashvamedha Yaga and Putra Kameshti Yaga, all the kings and Sage Rushyasrung took leave of Dasharatha, who was immensely happy and went away to their respective abodes. King Dasharatha entered Ayodhya with his three wives.

Six seasons later, in the twelfth month after the Putra Kameshti Ritual, in the first month of Lunar new year, on the ninth day, in the constellation of Punarvasu and when the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Venus as well as Saturn were in ascension in their respective houses and when Aries, Capricornus, Cancer, Pisces, Libra, Jupiter, and the Moon were in conjunction, Queen Kousalya gave birth to the incarnation of the Administrator of the Universe, Sri Rama.

Queen Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata who was born under Pisces where Pushyami was the star. Queen Sumitra then gave birth to two sons, Lakshmana and Shatrughna who were born under Cancer where Aslesha was the star. Rama was born on the ninth day of Lunar Chaitra Month, Bharata was born the next day earlier part the tenth of Chaitra, Lakshmana and Shatrughna were born the latter part of the tenth day.

When Dasharatha announced their birth, everyone in Ayodhya celebrated with melodic singing, dancing, drum-beating, decorating the streets and so on.

On the thirteenth-day, the naming ceremony was performed. Vasishta the Chief Priest named the eldest son born to Kousalya as Sri Rama, Kaikeyi's son as Bharata, Sumitra's sons as Lakshmana and Shatrughna. King Dasharatha honored Brahmins with munificent of gifts.

Later, all the rituals of birth and ceremonies consequent to it like the naming ceremony, first-food-feeding ceremony, first-hair-removal ceremony, and sacred thread ceremony were performed with each of the princes.

Among the four children, the elder son Sri Rama was the delight of his father Dasharatha besides being dear to all. He was a champion of all valorous pursuits such as archery.

Lakshmana was deeply dedicated to Rama and behaved much like his shadow. Rama never slept without Lakshmana on his bedside and would also not take food without Lakshmana. Similarly, Lakshmana's younger twin brother Shatrughna was dearer to Bharata.

Thus, all four grew-up under the able guidance and fellowship of eminent scholars from various fields including theology and bravery. All four princes were enthralled in the study of Vedas and became experts in archery. Against this background, King Dasharatha contemplated suitable marriage alliances for his sons.

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