DASARATHA AJA (b. - -5086)

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Death: Died in Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Managed by: Krishnan s g
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About DASARATHA AJA

Dasharatha (Sanskrit: दशरथ, IAST Daśaratha, Tibetan: ཤིང་རྟ་བཅུ་པ, Khmer: Dasarath, Malay: Dasarata, Burmese: Dasagiri, Yuan: Dattaratthah, Tamil: Dhasarathan, Thai: Thotsorot, Lao: Thotarot, Chinese: 十车王)[1][2] was, according to Ramayana, the king of Ayodhya and a descendant of the Ikshvaku dynasty (also known as Suryavamsha or Raghuvaṃśa). His life story is narrated principally in the Hindu epic Ramayana. He was a descendant of Raghu and was the father of prince Rama, the principal character in the Ramayana. Dasharatha was the son of Aja and Indumati. Contents [hide]

Dasharatha had three wives namely, Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Kaushalya was from the King of Kosala. Sumitra was from Kashi. Kaikeyi was from Kekeya Kingdom. Dashratha who had no sons from his previous wives, had promised Kaikeya(Kaikeyi's father) that the son born to her would become the successor. [edit]Daughter

Dashratha had a daughter from his 1st wife Kaushalya. Her name was Shanta. She was given in adoption to Romapada of Anga. This daughter married Sage Rishyasringa.[3] [edit]Yajna to beget Sons

Dashratha performed two yajnas with the help of Sage Rishyasringa on the advice of Vashistha. One was the Ashwamedha[4] and other was the Putrakameshti.[5] As the conclusion of the Yagna drew near Agni sprang out from the yagnakunda and handed Dashratha a pot of kheer advising him to distribute it among his queens. Kaushalya ate half the kheer, Sumitra ate a quarter of it. Kaikeyi ate some and passed the pot back to Sumitra who consumed the kheer a second time.[6] Thus the princes were conceived after the consumption of the kheer. Since Kaushalya had consumed the largest portion she gave birth to Rama. Sumitra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata. [edit]Boons to Kaikeyi

Dashratha is reminded by Kaikeyi about the two boons he has yet to fulfill for her. She talks of the time when she had saved him from the demons during a battle. Dashratha is obliged to fulfill those boons. Kaikeyi demands that Bharata be crowned the king and Rama should be sent to the forest for fourteen years.[7] Hearing this Dashratha falls into a swoon and passes the night in a pitiable condition in Kaikeyi’s palace.[8] [ After Rama’s departure to the forest, Dasharatha lies in his bed with a wailing Kaushalya. He suddenly remembers an incident which had occurred in the past. He narrates to Kaushalya about how, by accident, he had killed a young boy named Shravan mistaking him to be an elephant. Dashratha who was then a crown prince had gone hunting on the banks of River Sarayu. He was an expert in hunting by determining the direction of sound and heard the gurgle of an animal drinking water. Mistaking it to be an elephant Dasharatha shot the arrow. He became mortified when he heard a human cry as the arrow found its target. Dasharatha hurried there to find a boy lying sprawled on the banks of the river with an arrow lodged in his chest. The boy rebukes Dashratha for his unrighteous act and demands that he pull the arrow out of his chest.[9] He also tells him to take the pitcher of water to his blind parents who must be waiting for him. The boy dies. Dasharatha approaches the blind couple and tells them about his unfortunate death. The parents, grief-stricken curse the prince “Just as we are dying due the separation from our beloved son you too shall have the same fate.” Dasharatha concludes the chapter by saying that his end is near and the curse has taken effect.[10] [edit]Demise The Death of King Dasharatha Following his narration of Sharavan Dasharatha passes away in the night due to pain and misery of his separation from Rama.[11] His funeral rites are performed by Bharata and Shatrughna who were called back from Kekeya.[12]

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DASARATHA AJA's Timeline

-5115
-5115
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND OF KOSALA AND AYODHYA.
Valmiki briefly mentions the greatness of .the line of Ikshvaku and says that the epic came into being through the grace of Brahma, and he is only making it known to the world as it contains the three purushaarthas, namely dharma, artha and kama, which subsequently lead to the fourth, Moksha. Valmiki then entreats the listener to hear it with sradhdha, faith and withoutasooya, cavil.
Every literary work must satisfy four requisites, namely, vishaya, subject matter, adhikari , to whom it is intended, prayojana, the fruit and sambandha , relevance. Vishaya has been indicated by ‘Ikshvaakoonaam idham theshaam raajnaam vamse mahaathmmanaam mahadhuthpannamaakhyaanam ramayanamithi srutham,.’ this Ramayana, the story of Rama , descendant of the line of Ikshvaku. Adhikariis the one with sradhdha and without asooya, Prayojana is the four purushaarthas and the sambandha is made specific by the above.
Then comes the description of the land of Kosala which is situated north of Ganga, on the banks of the river Sarayu. It was prosperous and fertile the residents of which were mudhitha. Happy and spheetha, rich. While Valmiki only hinted at the splendour of Kosala, Kamban has gone into raptures and dedicated a whole chapter for the description of Kosaladesa and its inhabitants. One of the most beautiful and oft quoted verse of Kamban about Kosala is,
’ thandalai mayilgal aada, thaamarai vilakkam thaanga,
kondalgal muzavin Enga, kuvlai kan viziththu nOkka,
thenthirai ezini kaatta, thembizi makarayaazin
vandugal inidhu paada, marudham veetrirukkum maadhaO.
’ The type of land was called Marudham, fertile agricultural region, which reigns supreme in Kosala. With plenty of rain one can always hear the thunder of the clouds sounding like the regal trumpet and drum, the peacocks are the court dancers, the lotuses are the carriers of lamps, while the singers are the bees, the kuvalai flowers are the audience and the curtain for the stage is provided by the waves of the Sarayu river. Only a vague description can be provided as the beauty of the poetry can be understood only when it is read in the original Tamil.
After just one sloka about Kosala Valmiki starts to describe the city of Ayodhya by three slokas. It was constructed by Manu, the father of Ikshvaku. The city covered the area of twelve yojanas long and three yojanas wide.( A yojana is approximately nine miles.) The streets of Ayodhya were highways, flanked by trees, strewn with flowers and the city was always cool with enough rains and watered otherwise. The city as described by Valmiki proves that in ancient India .city civilization was of a high standard. The houses were inlaid with precious stones and with barns full of food grains always filled with the sweet sound of musical instruments.
Valmiki describes the people of Ayodhya. They were laghuhasthaah, skilled and dexterous,vishaaradhaah, learned and strong, able to kill wild animals by arrows as well as by hand, ‘hanthaarah nishithaissastraih balaath baahu balairapi.’. But they were also noble and desisted from hitting by mere sound na sabdhavedhyam, even though they could, perhaps learnt their lesson by the experience of Dasaratha who killed a hermit’s son mistaking him to be an elephant by the sound and incurred the curse of his parents. There were no cowards, or orphans or loners in Ayodhya..
Ayodhya means yodhdhum na shakyaa, invincible. Valmiki indicates the invincibility of the city by saying ‘ dhurgagambheera parikhaam dhurgham anyaih dhuraasadhaam, surrounded by moats deep and difficult to cross over and hence inaccessible to others.
The description of the prosperity of the citizens of Ayodhya by Kamban is interesting. He says,
’kalvaar ilaamaipporul kaavalum illai; yaadhum
kolvaar ilaamaikkoduppaaargalum illai madho.
ellaarum ellaapperunchelvamum eidhalaale
illaarum illai ;udayaargalum illai maadho.
Since there were no robbers there was no police. Since there was no one to receive there were no givers. Since all were enjoying all riches there was no one who can be termed as poor nor as rich.

-5115
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

.DASARATHA AND PLAN FOR PROGENY- COUNSEL OF THE DEVAS
Dasaratha ruled the kingdom from Ayodhya. He was a vedavit, scholar of vedas, loved by his subjects and so valiant that Devendra sought his help in fighting against the asuras. He was athiratha, capable of fighting with 10000 rathis, warriors in chariots. Since he had all people in his control by his good qualities he is called rajarshi.He was equal to Kubera and Indra in riches and power. Thus Valmiki describes Dasaratha. 'Thaam pureem cha mahaathejaa raajaa dasaratho mahaan shashaasa shamithaamithrah nakshathraaneeva chandramaah. ' He was as pleasing to all as the moon is to the stars.
Dasaratha, besides his eight ministers , also had sages like Vasishta and Vamadeva to advise him and lived his life accrding to dharma, thus qualifying himself to become the father of Rama , the embodiment of dharma. Dasaratha had everything but one, that is a progeny. He consulted the sages and his ministers and decided to do Asvamedha yaga and the sages and brahmins blessed him that he will get sons through the sacrifice, 'sarvathaa praapsyase puthraan , you will get sons' because a man is not called putravaan having only one son, 'ekaputrah na putravaan.'
Dasaratha made arrangements for horse sacrifice, asvamedha, which was, in those days, a grand affair and only chakravarthis could afford to do it. A horse well decorated and laden with riches is sent to all countries with an army and whoever reveres it are supposed to accept the sovereignty of its owner and those who resist its course are conquered. When the preparations were in progress Sumanthra , who was the charioteer and the minister of Dasaratha, told him to call Rsysrnga and make him conduct the sacrifice. Sumanthra said he had known this from the sages who were told by Sanatkumara that Dasaratha will be getting sons through this act.
Rsyasrnga was a munikumara , the son of Vibhaandaka whom his father brought up with care without any sensual desire touching him. Hence he was a pure soul. The king of Anga, whose land was suffering with draught, was told to bring Rsyasrnga whose padasparsa will bring rain.. He sent young girls to entice him in his father's absence and he was brought to Angadesa and there was abundant rain. The king gave his daughter Shantha to him in marriage.
Hearing about Rsyasringa Dasaratha went himself to Angadesa and requested Rsyasringa to come to Ayodhya. It is said that Shantha was actually the daughter of Dasaratha and was given in adoption to Romapaada, king of Angadesa..Rsyasringa accepted the invitation and came to Ayodhya. Dasaratha performed the Asvamedha yaga with all the rshis and brahmanas and asked Rsyasrnga to perform putrakameshtiyaga for him to get sons and Rsyasrnga agreed..
The devas who assembled ready to receive the havirbhaga of the sacrifice to be performed, entreated Brahma to do something to destroy Ravana who was tormenting the world and devas , arrogant with the power of his boons from Brahma that he will be indestructible by devas , gandharvas, yakshas, dhaanavaas and raakshasaaas. Brahma reassured them that he never included human beings in his boon and that fact should be utilised now
In the meanwhile the Lord Narayana Himself came there in anticipation of their prayer in His earnestness in dushtanigraha and sishata paripalana.Govindarajar comments beautifully the sloka that mentions the arrival of the Lord which we will see later, along with the lovely verse from Kamban about the same.

Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda in Prose Sarga 16

Vishnu agrees to incarnate as human and selects Dasharatha as his father. And when Dasharatha is performing the Vedic ritual called putrakaameSTi a deity called praajaapatya purusha arises from the sacrificial fire to give a golden vessel of divine dessert to Dasharatha for distribution among his queens to beget progeny. The three queens on consuming that dessert conceive their children.

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Later when the Omnipresent Narayana is thus nominated by best gods, and though he knows the outcome, he gently spoke these words to gods in this way.
The name Vishnu indicates his all pervading Omnipresence in all beings, sessile or mobile: vyaapitvaat sarva bhuuteSu vishnuH iti abhidhiiyate. This is one of his thousand names, called Vishnu sahasra naama , each name elucidating his attributes.
"What is the idea to eliminate that demon's chief Ravana, oh, gods, adopting which strategy I will have to eliminate that thorn in the side of sages?" Thus Vishnu asked the gods.
Asked thus all the gods said to that sempiternal Vishnu, "on assuming a human form, eliminate Ravana in a war. Oh, destroyer of enemies, he that Ravana undertook a vehement ascesis for a long period, thereby the creator of worlds and the first born one Brahma, felt gladsome of his ascesis. Satisfied with his ascesis Brahma gave boon to that demon that he shall have no fear for his life from many kinds of beings, excepting humans, because that demon indeed slighted humans earlier at the time of bestowing boon.
"Thus, on getting boon from the Forefather Brahma he has become arrogant and torturing the three worlds, and he is even abducting women. As such, oh, enemy destroyer Vishnu, his elimination is envisaged through humans alone." So said gods to Vishnu.
On hearing that speech of gods said that way, he that kind-hearted Vishnu then chose Dasharatha as his father in human world.
During that time the great resplendent king and an enemy subduer Dasharatha is performing putrakaameSTi ritual, desiring progeny as he is sonless.
On taking a decision Vishnu took leave of Forefather Brahma, and vanished while he is still being extolled by gods and sages.
Then, from Fire of Altar Dasharatha's ritual there emerged a greatly vigorous and energetic Divine Being with an unparalleled resplendence, called yajna puruSa. He is clad in black and red garments and his face is red and his voice resembled the drumbeat. His moustache and hairdo are soft like that of a lion's mane. And he is endowed with auspicious features and decorated with divine ornaments, in height he is like a mountain peak, and in valiance he is like an imperious tiger.
That great ritual being personally brought a big golden vessel carrying it with both of his hands as if he would personally handle his own wife, which vessel is made from the molten gold and covered with a silver lid, and which appeared to be crafted out of a divine illusion, since it is dazzling like sun and glowing like the tongues of flame, and that vessel is full with the divine dessert.
That divine person on observing king Dasharatha said these words "oh, king, you may know me as the being sent by Prajapati." There after, king Dasharatha greeted that divine being with palms adjoining and said in reply, "oh, god, welcome to you, and what shall I do for you?"
Then again, that divine being sent by Prajapati said these words, "oh, king, now you have obtained this dessert in golden vessel as you have propitiated gods.
"Oh, tigerly king, take this dessert prepared by divinities, this is a blessed dessert that enriches progeny and health. Oh, king, let this be consumed" saying so he further said, "for which purpose you have performed this ritual that childbearing will be fructified in your wives by bearing sons, hence give this among your eligible wives." So said the divine being to Dasharatha.
Agreeing to that the king wholeheartedly took that god-given golden vessel full with divine food. With high ecstasy Dasharatha revered that Ritual Being, the Prajapati Purusha or yaj~na purusha , an astonishing and delightful being in his appearance, and performed circumambulations around him.
On obtaining that dessert prepared by gods then Dasharatha is highly gladdened like a pauper obtaining unforeseen wealth.
On completing his work of giving the golden vessel with dessert then that divine being who is astonishing by his form and highly glowing by his physique, disappeared then and there itself.
Lit up with beams of happiness Dasharatha's palace chambers shone forth like the autumnal sky brightened with moonbeams. Then Dasharatha on entering palace chambers spoke this to queen Kausalya, "Receive this dessert to beget your son."
This divine dessert is meant for the 'eligible' queens, as informed the Ritual Being and also in order to maintain the divinity of Ram's birth. In the context of seed and field, the field has no equal importance to the seed biija kshetra nyaya . Hence the seed is divine in the form of dessert and fields are therefore shall 'be eligible' for the seedling. As such the First Queen and Empress Kausalya is being addressed firstly, and given firstly.
The king then gave half of the dessert to queen Kausalya, and he gave half of the half, i.e., one fourth to queen Sumitra. And to Kaikeyi he gave half of the remaining half, i.e., one eight of the dessert, with a desire to beget sons. Then thinking for a while gave the remaining, i.e., one-eighth portion again to queen Sumitra. Thus, the king distributed the dessert to his wives differently.
This is a much-discussed distribution by the traditionalists. Adhyatma Ramayana, a treatise that postulates god-hood to Rama, gives a well-constructed argument about these shares of dessert and the resultant births of the four brothers, viz., Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna, in accordance with these shares. In its simplest terms and as contained in these verses, queen Kausalya got half of the dessert as an Empress, paTTa mahiSi. Sumitra gets one-fourth in the first round and after a rethink by Dasharatha, she gets another one-eighth portion. Kaikeyi gets only a one-eighth quantity. Thus, Kausalya gives birth to Rama, Sumitra to Lakshmana and Shatrughna, and Kaikeyi to Bharata. The quantum of apportionment of the dessert does not make Rama all-powerful or Bharata the least. Since the Absolute is indivisible into parts, the dessert that is divided is not to be taken as the divided Absolute, but a kind of medium through which the incarnation is made possible.
There is another declination enquiring whether the incarnation of Rama is full or partial, puurNa avatara or artha avatara... Rama is Vishnu Himself while Bharata and Shatrughna are his disc and conch-shell, while Lakshmana is the thousand headed snake aadi sesha on whose coils Vishnu reclines. The whole dessert is divine and parts of it do not signify and inter-divided god-hoods. Hence, the apportionment of the desert is done in order to keep up the hierarchy of the queen-hoods and their status. Throughout this magnum opus Rama never said that he is god or an incarnate of god, but called himself, nimitta maatra a casual relation to the course of events. Should Rama be the incarnation of the Almighty Himself, he has little or no necessity to incarnate the weaponry along with him. They are at his beck and call at any time. Thus, Rama is neither a half nor one-fourth incarnation of the Absolute nor a dividend of the whole, but an incarnate of the virtuously ideal personality of Vishnu, maryaada purushottama Rama.
Incidental to this apportionment of the dessert, the aspect of eldest son is also studied. Rama is the first-born and thus the eldest. This is because the dessert is given to queen Kausalya in the first instance, and half of the whole vessel. She immediately consumed to lionise her share and as an Empress. Sumitra waited a while till apportionment is complete. Kaikeyi got her portion but waited till her elder sister Sumitra completes her drink. In the meanwhile Dasharatha thought a while, as said in the verse, and gave Sumitra another one-eighth part. Sumitra then consumed her two parts. Later Kaikeyi drinks her dividend.
On getting the dessert all of those best ladies of the king, whose hearts are exuberant with happiness, deemed it as a reward. Then on consuming dessert those best ladies of the king whose resplendence then vied with that Fire and Sun became pregnant after some time.
A synecdochic expression to indicate that Sun and Fire, the enliveners of living beings, pratyaksha naraayaNa are there in those wombs and their resplendence is shining out of mothers bodies.
Then on seeing his queens with confirmed pregnancies Dasharatha regained his lost heart for sons, and he is gladdened like Vishnu, who will always be gladsome when worshipped by gods, namely Indra and others, as well as by the assemblages of great souls, sages.

-5114
January 10, -5114
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

The Ramayana has seven long sections called kandas. The first section, the Bala-Kanda (pages 2-19), tells of Prince Rama's birth, his youthful adventures, and his marriage to the Princess Sita. Bala refers to "childhood" or "early" events
Date of Birth of Lord Ram 10 TH JANUARY 5114 BC

Aadikavi Valmiki in 1/18/8-10 of Ramayan has given details that Shri Ram was born on 9th tithi of Chaitra month during day time when the position of different planets vis-à-vis zodiac constellations and nakshatras (visible stars) was as under:
1. Sun in Aries 2. Saturn in Libra
3. Jupiter in Cancer 4. Venus in Pisces
5. Mars in Capricorn 6. Lunar month of Chaitra
7. Ninth day after Amavasya 8. Lagna as Cancer
9. Moon near the star Punar vasu (Pollux) in Gemini Constellation.
Moon & Jupiter were shining together in Cancer.

This data was entered into the ‘Planetarium Gold’ software, the results indicated that this was exactly the location of planets/stars vis-à-vis zodiac constellations on the 10th of January noon time in the year 5114 BC if viewed from latitude/longitude of Ayodhya (25°N 81°E). Thus Shri Ram was born on 10th January in 5114 BC.

By making use of software to convert solar calendar into lunar calendar, it was found that this date also happened to be the 9th day of Shukla Paksha in ‘Chaitra’ month and the time was around 12 to 1 noontime. This is exactly the time and date when Ramnavmi is celebrated all over India till date .

Ramayan – lesson 6 BALA KANDA
Shivadhanusha
The wedding of sita
The humbling of Parshurama
Shivadhanusha
Vishwamitra travelled with Rama and Lakshmana towards the northeast from Sage Gauthama ashram and reached Mithila. Mithila was the capital of the king of Videha. Seeradhwaja Janaka Maharaja was the ruler. He was the son of Hraswaroma Janaka. The founder of his dynasty had three names – Videha, Mithi and Janaka. And so every king of the kingdom used to be called Janaka, the kingdom was called Videha and the capital was called Mithila. Janaka was a rajarshi – a king-sage. His wife was Sunayane. Janaka had two daughters – Seetha and Urmila. Janaka younger brother Kushadhwaja, ruled over Sankasha Nagara, on the banks of the Ikshumathi.
At the time Vishwamitra, Rama and Lakshmana arrived in Mithila, King Janaka was engaged in a great sacrifice. Hundreds thronged Mithila because of the sacrifice. Rishis, munis and other religious leaders were in the city. Vishwamitra chose a place near a water source but far from the crowds and camped there.
As soon as Janaka learnt that Sage Vishwamitra was in Mithila he went to his camp with the royal priest Shatananda. He paid his respects and welcomed the sage. After the exchange of courtesies Janaka pointed to Rama and Lakshmana and said, Great Sage, who are these two youths? They look like Ashwinis – the twin gods. They are tall and well-built. Their eyes sparkle. Their faces are attractive and look energetic. Who are these young men, carrying bows and arrows, and moving about like lion cubs?
Vishwamitra told him about Rama and Lakshmana. He narrated how they had killed Tataki and how they had saved his sacrifice from the menace of Maricha and Subahu. He also narrated how Rama had set Ahalya free from the curse and how Gauthama and Ahalya had been reunited.
The royal priest Shatananda was in raptures when he heard what Vishwamitra said. He was the son of Gauthama and Ahalya. He was immensely happy that his mother had been set free from the curse. Again and again he thanked Rama. He made obeisance to Vishwamitra who had once again brought together his parents through, Rama.
Then Shatananda said to Rama, Rama, you redeemed my mother from the curse. Because of you my parents were reunited. I shall ever be in your debt. You are the most virtuous of men. Rama, you are really fortunate that you have a mentor like Vishwamitra. Do not imagine that he is a rishi just like any other. Human endeavour can achieve what seems impossible – and this great sage Vishwamitra is a fine example.
Shatananda then narrated to Rama and Lakshmana the story of Vishwamitra – how the king Kaushika received Sage Vashista hospitality and then coveted the cow of the ashram; how, when Vashista declined the king attempted to seize the cow by force but was thwarted; how by the sheer force of his tapas he first earned the title of rajarshi and then that of a rishi; how he bestowed on Thrishanku a realm equal to heaven there to dwell in his body; how, although once he surrendered to Menaka loveliness and his tapas was thwarted he acquired the strength of will which could spurn even the loveliness of Rambha; how, he gained the status of a maharshi and finally won recognition as Brahmarshi even from Vashishta.
Rama and Lakshmana knew that Vishwamitra was a great sage. But only now that they understood the measure of his greatness. They realized that it was their immense good fortune that had him for their Guru; they eulogized the sage again and again and made obeisance to him. Janaka led all of them to his palace.
Vishwamitra said to Janaka, Maharaja, these princes are eager to see the Shivadhanus which is in your possession. Show it to them and tell them the story of that mighty bow. Janaka said, Princes, the Shivadhanus was made by Vishwakarma. The gods gave it to Shiva at the time of killing of Tripurasura. It is called Sunabha. When Daksha performed a sacrifice he humiliated both his daughter Dakshayini and her husband Shiva. The enraged Shiva contemplated annihilating the entire universe with this bow. The gods then supplicated to him; he overcame his wrath and returned the bow to the gods. One of our ancestors, Devaratha, performed a sacrifice; the gods were pleased and bestowed the bow on our dynasty. Since then it has been in our possession. So strong is the bow that, so far, no one has been able to bend and string it.
Princes, for a long time I had no children. I decided to perform a sacrifice in order to have children. Before the sacrifice, I was ploughing, as is customary, with a plough. I then found a girl child. The word Seetha means the mark made by a plough. Because I found her when I was ploughing I called her Seetha. She has grown up and has now come of age. She is exquisitely lovely, and as virtuous as she is beautiful. People say she is like a goddess.
It is my desire that only a strong and valiant man should marry Seetha. And so I have set a challenge.: Any one who wishes to marry Seetha should bend and string the Shivadhanus. But so far no one has succeeded. Any number of princes have made the attempt, but they have not even been able to lift the bow. Gods, Rakshas and mighty monarchs have sought to bend the bow, but in vain. Gandharvas, Kinnaras and Yakshas have shared the same fate. This is such a formidable bow.Rama, you look like a youth of prowess. I shall have the bow brought here. Make an attempt.String the Shivadhanus and marry Seeta; that will make me immensely happy.
Sri Rama breaks Shiva Dhanush
The king servants brought the bow. It had been placed in a huge eight wheeled carriage. It needed the effort of hundreds of servants to draw it. Janaka pointed to the bow and said to Vishwamitra,Great Sage, show this bow to the princes. It is my desire that at least Rama, the son of Dasharatha, should succeed in the test. Vishwamitra said to Rama, Look at this bow, my child.Rama opened the lid and had a good look. He, too, wished to lift and string it. He told the sage so and Vishwamitra acceded.
7ram 7
Rama went up to the box and put his hands inside. Effortlessly he lifted the bow which gods and daithyas had not been able to lift. the spectators were tongue-tied in wonder. Gods assembled in the sky to witness the stunning feat of Rama. He raised the bow and bent in order to string it. But the bow was not equal to his strength and broke in to two, with an ear-shattering noise like that of lightning. All who were present, save Rama, Lakshmana, Vishwamitra, Janaka and Shatananda swooned for a while. When they recovered, they applauded Rama prowess in raptures and jumped and danced in joy.
King Janaka joy knew no bounds. Rama prowess surpassed his imagination. He belonged to the Ikshwaku dynasty. He was handsome beyond the reach of words, and was a treasure-house of virtues. What more could Janaka desire? He invited Rama to marry Seetha. He summoned his principal ministers and said to them, Go at once to Ayodhya. Report to king Dasharatha all that has happened here. Request him, on my behalf, to come to Mithila and receive Seetha as his daughter-in-law. He said to Sage Vishwamitra, Revered Sage, be pleased to stay here and guide us in the celebrations. And he ordered his ministers, Make arrangements for the marriage of Rama and Seetha; make it an event of unprecedented grandeur.
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The Wedding of Sita
The news reached Dasharatha. He was in ecstasies when he heard about the unique feat his son had performed. He considered himself fortunate in this marriage alliance with the king-sage Janaka. He set out for Mithila with his retinue.
Janaka and his priest and ministers as well as the citizens greeted Dasharatha and his retinue at the main entrance of Mithila and gave them a splendid welcome. King Janaka and King Dasharatha embraced and displayed their affection and friendship. Janaka extended the finest hospitality to all of them.
Vashishta, Dasharatha priest and Shathananda, Janaka priest, sat together for consultations.Dasharatha, Janaka and Kushadhwaja – Janaka younger brother and the king of Sankashanagara – also sat with them. At their request, Vishwamitra also joined them. They fixed an auspicious day for the marriage of Rama and Seetha. Janaka made a request to Dasharatha, Accept my other daughter Urmila as Lakshmana bride. Dasharatha gladly consented. Janaka younger brother Kushadhwaja had two daughters- Mandavi and Shrutakeerti. Like Seeta and Urmila, they,too, were beautiful and endowed with many virtues. Vishwamitra suggested that they should marry Bharata and Shatrughna, adding that it would be an excellent alliance. Dasharatha consented and Kushadhwaja was overjoyed.
The wedding preparations proceeded briskly. The entire city wore a festive and joyous look. Canopies and festoons of green leaves appeared everywhere. Banners fluttered from tall poles. The ground before every house was swept and cleaned with water and decorated with designs drawn with coloured powders. Musical instruments played tunes celebrating an auspicious occasion, in every house, and filled all minds and hearts with joy.
The marriage rites were to be performed in a vast sacrificial hall. It could accommodate any number of guests, no matter how many thousands thronged the venue. The marriage mantap was at a higher level. The hall glowed like the royal court of Lord Indra.
The day of the marriage dawned. Uttaraphalguni was the presiding star of the day. The auspicious rites of the morning were completed. Led by his priests, Dasharatha arrived at the marriage hall with Rama, Lakshamana, Bharata and Shatrughna. Rama and his brothers were wearing the kankanas – auspicious strings worn at the time of marriage. They were wearing magnificent jewels and were splendidly dressed, and shone like gods. The milling crowds gazed upon the princes in great joy. In particular, Rama lovely face, his strong build, his enthralling smile and his modesty that dwelt in his visage held them spellbound.
Seeta and Urmila, wearing dresses signalling an auspicious occasion, shone brightly in the marriage pandal. By their side Mandavi and Shruthakeerthi, the daughters of Kushadhwaja, sparkled in similar dresses. The loveliness of their faces and the effulgence – unusual to this world- bestowed a new luster on the entire hall.
Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna came up to the platform. Janaka requested Vashishta to guide the marriage rituals. Vashista,Vishwamitra and Shatananda together offered worship to the pandal, Ritualistically they prepared the sacrificial pit. They decorated it with flowers. They placed Kalasa – vessels carrying holy waters, conches, bells, sandalwood and other auspicious articles on the platform. As they recited the Vedas they installed holy fire in the sacrificial pit. They poured sacred ghee into the fire.
Bejewelled, Seeta sparkled like a goddess; Janaka guided her to Rama and said, Sri Rama, accept my
daughter Seetha in marriage. She will be your wife and assist you in the practice of Dharma. May good fortune brighten your lives. He then placed Seetha hand in Sri Rama hand, and gave her away in marriage with the prescribed rites. The gods who were watching in the skies rejoiced. Celestial kettledrums sounded and there was a shower of flowers. Joy was writ large on every face.
Then Janaka celebrated the Panigrahana of Lakshmana and Urmila. Panigrahana means taking the bride hand with the Fire God for witness. Kushadhwaja gave his daughter Mandavi to Bharata and Shruthakeerthi to Shathrughna in marriage.
The princes went round the sacred fire, performedSapthapadi – taking seven steps, holding the hands of their brides. They made obeisance to the rishis and munis who had assembled. They paid their respects to their parents and all other elders present there. Once again the heavenly kettledrums sounded. Celestial nymphs danced, gandharvas sang melodiously. The people of Mithila and the relatives, friends and retinue of Dasharatha forgot themselves in their raptures.
The celebrations concluded; Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shathrughna were now married. They returned to the palace in great joy.
The day after the marriage Vishwamitra said to Rama,My child, my mission is accomplished. I shall now go to the banks of Kaushiki at the foot of Himalayas for the pursuits that lie before me. You are yet to accomplish mighty feats. Do not lose heart, no matter what obstacles block your way and whatever trials and tribulations you may encounter. Let the protection of Dharma be your goal. Let the chastisement of the wicked and the protection of the virtuous be your objective. Rama replied with all humility, Holy sage, your advice will be ever green in my memory. Every one bowed respectfully to Vishwamitra. They followed him to the outskirts of Mithila and then took leave of him.
King Dasharatha then made preparations to return to Ayodhya. Janaka presented rich gifts and honourd every one suitably. Dasharatha set out for Ayodhya with his sons, daughters-in-law and his retinue.
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The humbling of Parshurama
As Dasharatha and his party continued their journey unfavourable omens appeared. Dasharatha was perturbed. He was apprehensive, not knowing what misfortune would befall them. He said to Vashishta, Guruji, these bad omens upset me. Vashishta said, Fear not. It is certain that we shall encounter some grave danger, but it will have a fortunate conclusion. Therefore do not be troubled.
Just then a terrible storm burst on them. The earth seemed to tremble. Even gigantic trees were felled. All of a sudden dark clouds hid the sun. They were all blinded. A person emerged from the enveloping darkness. He was walking fast and was awesome to behold. His hair was matted; he carried an axe in his right hand. A bow rested on his left shoulder. And he seemed to be hastening towards Dasharatha party in flaming wrath.
The man who thus charged the atmosphere with fear was named Rama. He belonged to the Brighu family. He was the son of a great sage Jamadagni. Jamadagni was the son of Vishwamitra sister, Sathyavathi. This son of Jamadagni, who appeared before Dasharatha party always carried a parashu – an axe – in his hand and therefore came to be known as Parashurama.
Parashurama was a man of rare valour and a fiercetapaswi. His feet were endowed with such rare power that he could traverse any distance in the twinkling of an eye. He never transgressed the instruction of an elder. Once Jamadagni was furious with his wife who had done something unworthy.He called Parashurama and said, Cut off the head of your mother. Without reflecting for a moment, Parashurama obeyed his father. Jamadagni said,I am pleased with your obedience. Seek what boon you will. Parashurama answered, Father, may my mother whom I killed come back to life.And may no trace of this bitter event linger in her memory. Jamadagni said,So be it. Renuka came back to life.
The earth was over crowded with kshatriyas in those days. They formed small groups and were always fighting with one another. They were arrogant and ill treated the people. Their harassment made the people wretched. Once when Jamadagni was engaged in tapas, a king called Karthaviryarjuna came their hunting. He killed Jamadgni. When Parashurama learnt the news he was in volcanic rage. He took a vow: The arrogance of these kshathriyas knows no limits. I am not Parashurama if I do not subdue them. With his chosen weapon, the axe, he set forth to exterminate the Kshatriyas. Twenty one times he went round the earth, and made mincemeat of the kshatriyas he encountered. Many kings fled in fear. So the entire earth was his. Parashurama then performed a sacrifice; and the entire earth he gifted away to Sage Kashyapa who had presided over the sacrifice. He then retired to Mount Mahendra and engaged in tapas.
When Dasharatha himself a kashtriya – saw this quick tempered Parashurama he was in a panic. Is
Parashurama still enraged with the kshatriyas? What will now be the fate of my sons? he asked himself, severely shaken. But he managed to greet the sage Parashurama with a smile, make obeisance and make respectful enquiries.
Parashurama did not even through a glance at Dasharatha. He said to Rama, Rama, I have heard of your prowess. It seems you broke the Shivadhanus in Janaka court. That is truly a great feat. Rama, look at this Vishnudhanus I have. Both this bow and the Shivadhanus which you broke were made by Vishwakarma. He gave one of these to Shiva and so it came to be known as Shivadhanus and the other which he gave to Vishnu came to be known as Vishnudhanus. Vishnu gave his bow to my grandfather Richika. Since then it has been in the keeping of my family. It was Shivadhanus which you broke. I have the Vishnudhanus here with me. If you are really a man of great prowess fix an arrow to this Vishnudhanus. I shall then concede that you are powerful.
Rama heard what Parashurama said. The arrogance, the provocative tone, the challenge – all enraged him. But yet he thought it would be disrespectful to exhibit his anger before his father. So he spoke in a gentle tone and expressed his feelings in these words: Parashurama, I, too, have heard of your prowess. May be you have overcome some kings. But that does not justify your assuming that all the kshatriyas are weak, and provoking them in this fashion. Parashurama, do not imagine that I am a weakling. Do you wish to witness my prowess? Look then. At once he seized the Vishnudhanus from Parashurama hand and as if it was just a game, he fixed an arrow.
He then aimed the arrow at Parashurama. He said,Watch, Parashurama, I have fixed an arrow. You are the grand son of the sister of my Guru, Vishwamitra. I cannot kill anyone who is related to my Guru. But the arrow I shoot cannot be in vain. Tell me, Shall I destroy all thepunya – spiritual merit – you have earned, or shall I take away your power of travelling like lightening?
Parashurama was now subdued. His arrogance withered. He turned to Rama and said, Rama, I am now cured of my arrogance. That you are the great master of bow is beyond question. Dasharathi, may good fortune follow in your footsteps. I cannot surrender my power of travelling to your arrow. The reason is that, when, long ago, I gifted this land to sage Kashyapa, I had vowed that I would not spend a night in the territory I had given away. So, in a moment, I have to be back in the Mahendra region, where I perform tapas. So take away the power of mytapas with your arrow, if you will. Accordingly, Rama shot the arrow. Parashurama lost the power of his tapas. At once Parashurama, with the special endowment of his feet, hastened towards Mount Mahendra.
It was as if pitch darkness had lifted and light had returned. They who had shrunk in fear at the approach of Parashurama now shouted in joy. Dasharatha drew Rama to him and embraced him. Every one was happy. They continued their journey with a carefree mind.
There was glad excitement everywhere in Ayodhya. The entire population of the city rejoiced to hear that Dasharatha was returning to Ayodhya with his sons and daughters-in-law and prepared to welcome them. They decorated the city with banners and festoons. Arches of welcome appeared everywhere. Flags also began to flutter from tall poles. Songs glorifying Rama valour were composed. Musical instruments of auspiciousness welcomed the party at the main gate of the city.The party was taken to the palace in a huge procession. It was formally welcomed at a grand ceremony. Everyone acclaimed the Rama-Seetha couple as well as the other couples. The people of the city sang and danced and blessed the newly wed couples. And the couples now began a new wife.
Rama and Seeta were a most happily suited pair. They were like a single soul in two bodies. They loved each other deeply. They never forgot any duty enjoined on them by Dharma. They ardently assisted elders in the duties of Dharma. They were all reverence towards their Gurus and elders. They were affectionate towards those younger than they. They acted as they thought. Their conduct reflected their innermost thoughts. They treated one and all as their kith and kin, so magnanimous were they. Their ideal life delighted every heart.

January 11, -5114
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
January 12, -5114
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
January 12, -5114
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
-5098
-5098
-5098
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

VISWAMITRA ARRIVAL AT AYODYA, AND ASKING HELP OF SHRI RAMA TO KILL DEMONS LIKE TADAKAS.....

VISHWAMITRA GAVE MANY ASTHIRAS (MISSILES) TO SHRI RAMA, EXPLAINING THE EFFECT AND USE OF EACH.

When Rama is 16 years old, the sage Vishwamitra comes to the court of Dasharatha in search of help against demons, who were disturbing sacrificial rites. He chooses Rama, who is followed by Lakshmana, his constant companion throughout the story. Rama and Lakshmana receive instructions and supernatural weapons from Vishwamitra, and proceed to destroy the demons.[34]
When Rama was sixteen, a holy sage named Vishwamitra came to Ayodhya and asked the young prince to go with him to the forest. The forest dwellers needed help to destroy the wild rakshasas who were deliberately disturbing the quiet devotions of the holy hermits. Accompanied by his devoted brother Lakshmana, Rama went with Vishwamitra. No sooner had they entered the forest than they met the accursed rakshasi Tataka. Vishwamitra told Rama to kill her, but Rama hesitated because Tataka was a woman. But, persuaded that her dreadful deeds deserved the most dire punishment, and observing that she was then charging at him in unruly wrath, Rama shot an arrow (9). It pierced her hard heart. She fell down dead. This was Rama’s first victory against the rakshasa raiders. Thereupon, Vishwamitra took Rama aside and, while Lakshmana stood by, taught him the mastery of celestial spells and wondrous weapons (11).

-5098
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India


Ramayan - Parasurama's Discomfiture
Having thus safely handed back to Dasaratha at Mithila the princes entrusted to him in Ayodhya, and after attending the wedding celebrations, Viswamitra took leave of the two kings and went to Himalaya. In the story of Rama, Viswamitra has no further part. Viswamitra may be said to be the foundation of the grand temple of Rama's story. After Rama's wedding in Mithila, we do not see him again. It should be noted that characters that play a leading role in one canto of Valmiki almost fade out in subsequent cantos. Viswamitra who dominates the Bala Kanda does not appear again. Similarly, Kaikeyi and Guha are prominent only in Ayodhya Kanda. The same thing can be said of Bharata whom we do not come across in the chapters intervening between the Chitrakuta meeting and Rama's return to Ayodhya. The poet hardly brings Bharata before our eyes during the period of Rama's distress. The characters in Valmiki Ramayana (unlike those in the Mahabharata and in ordinary plays and novels) do not present themselves off and on. Critics should bear this general characteristic of Valmiki's epic in mind.
King Dasaratha returned to Ayodhya, accompanied by his retinue. On the way, there were bad omens and anxious Dasaratha asked Vasishtha what they portended. Vasishtha replied that there was no need to be alarmed, for though the birds in the air indicated approaching trouble, the animals on the land promised a happy consummation. As Dasaratha and Vasishtha were thus conversing, there broke out a great storm. Trees were uprooted; the earth quaked and clouds of dust went up and hid the sun and there was an all-enveloping darkness. Everyone was terror-struck. Soon they knew the reason for the strange phenomenon. There stood before them the awe-inspiring figure Parasurama, the sworn enemy of Kshatriyas, with a bow on one shoulder and a battle-axe on the other, and with an arrow shining like lightning in his hand. Terrible in appearance, with his matted locks gathered overhead, he looked like Rudra exulting in the destruction of Tripura. His face emitted flame-like radiance. The son of Sage Jamadagni struck terror among Kshatriyas, many generations of which he had annihilated. Wherever he went he was preceded by storm and earthquake. And the Kshatriya race trembled in fear. The Brahmanas in Dasaratha's retinue said to one another: "Because his father was killed by a king, Parasurama took a vow to destroy the Kshatriya race. We dared to hope that his vengeful wrath had been quenched in the blood of the innumerable kings he has slain. Has he again started his cruel campaign?" However, they honored him with the customary offering of water. After receiving it, Parasurama addressed himself to Rama: "Son of Dasaratha, I have heard of your prowess. I was somewhat surprised to learn that you strung the bow in King Janaka's court and that you drew the string till the bow broke. Here is my bow, equal in all respects to the one that you broke. This is the bow of Vishnu which was entrusted to my father. If you are able to string this bow, you will be worthy of my battle."
Dasaratha was perturbed at this turn of events and he begged that his son Rama should be spared the trial. He said to Parasurama: "You are a Brahmana. We have heard that, satiated with your revenge, you have gone back to tapas as becomes your order, in pursuance of your plighted word to Indra, after giving away the earth you had conquered to Kashyapa. Is it proper that you should break your vow, and seek to injure a prince of tender years who has done you no wrong, and who is dearer to us than life?" Parasurama heard him unmoved without so much as looking at him, and addressed himself solely to Rama, as though the others did not exist: "Viswakarma originally made two exactly similar bows. One of them was given to Rudra and the other to Vishnu. This is the one given to Vishnu. What you are said to have strung and bent to the breaking point was Siva's bow. See if you can, string this bow of Vishnu; and if you do, it will be proof of your skill and strength and I will then honor you by fighting with you." Parasurama spoke in a loud and arrogant tone. To him Rama replied in courteous manner, yet in firm tones: "Son of Jamadagni! You have been vengeful because your father was killed by a king. I do not blame you for that. But you cannot put me down as you have humbled others. Please give me your bow." So saying, he took the bow and arrow from Parasurama. He strung the bow and setting the arrow to it, drew the string. Addressing Parasurama, he said with a smile: "This mighty Vaishnava arrow placed on the string cannot be put back idly. It must destroy something. Tell me, shall it destroy your powers of locomotion, or would you rather that it consumes the fruits of your tapas?" As the son of Dasaratha strung the bow of Vishnu, the glory on Parasurama's face faded, and he stood, no longer the warlike conqueror, but a self-subdued rishi, for the purpose of the Parasurama avatar was over.
Parasurama said mildly to the Prince of Ayodhya: "I realise who you are. I am not sorry that you have quenched my arrogance. Let all my tapas go to you. But because of my promise to Kashyapa, I cannot remain in his domains and have therefore to hurry back to the Mahendra Mountains before the sunsets. Let me use my power of locomotion for this single thing. Subject to this, let the arrow which you have set to the bow consume all my power earned through tapas." So saying, Parasurama went in reverent circumambulation around the prince and departed. Ayodhya's citizens were over-joyed to hear that Dasaratha and the royal princes were returning to the capital. The city was festive with flowers and shone like the deva-loka. Rama and Sita lived happily in Ayodhya for twelve years. Rama had surrendered his heart to Sita. It was difficult for one to say whether their love grew because of their virtues or it was planted in their beauty of form. Their hearts communed even without speech. Sita, rejoicing in Rama's love, shone like Lakshmi in heaven. Long afterwards, when their forest-life began, Anasuya, the great sage Atri's holy wife, extolled Sita's love for Rama. And Sita answered: "How else could it be? Rama is a perfect being. His love for me equals mine for him. His affection is unchanging. Pure of heart, he has mastered the senses."

-5089
January 4, -5089
Ayodhya, Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

After Rama and Sita have been married for twelve years, an elderly Dasharatha expresses his desire to crown Rama, to which the Kosala assembly and his subjects express their support.