Sanath Kumara’s narration was resumed by Sumantra. “A king who is dazzling, affluent, and committed to the truth will be born into the Ikshvaku dynasty. He will be known as Dasaratha, a man of many virtues who keeps his word, and he will later become friends with Romapada. According to the narrative, the renowned monarch Dasaratha, who was a champion of morality and truth and the leader of the people, would travel to Romapada and ask him to send Rshyasringa to perform the ritual sacrifice for the summoning of progeny so that the Ikshvaku dynasty may continue unhindered.
Dasaratha’s tortured thoughts raced with excitement when Romapada concurred. He walked up to Rshyasringa with reverence and his hands folded. He claimed that because he was sonless, he wanted to carry out the proper rites to conceive kids and that Rshyasringa should preside over them and grant him boys. His wishes came true. The birth of four famous sons brought the Ikshvakus acclaim and fame unmatched in all three worlds. Sanath Kumara narrated this tale at the beginning of the Krita Yuga.
Sumantra then instructed King Dasaratha to assemble a magnificent retinue, command the finest chariots, and honour and escort Rshyasringa back to Ayodhya. With Vasishta Dasaratha’s approval, Dasaratha travelled to Angada with his queens and courtiers. After fording numerous rivers and woodlands, he came across Romapada sitting next to the brightly magnetic Brahmin, who was glowing like a newly born fire.
Romapada greeted the king with great love and reverence after seeing Dasaratha, the best of his companions, and was overjoyed. Recognizing the friendship between the two Rshyasringa, they also presented a special tribute and a reception that was much more lavish. King Dasaratha wanted to go home after taking advantage of the exquisite hospitality for a few days so that he could start the austerities. He received a heartfelt and kind farewell from Romapada. Dasaratha embarked on his return trip to his realm with eagerness and excitement. To announce their approach and to adorn the city, he sent messengers in advance. When the royal procession returned home, the people of Ayodhya joyfully got busy obeying the king’s orders. Incense was burned, flags were flown, and the streets were doused with fragrant water. To the blare of conches and the beating of drums, Dasaratha soon entered a brilliantly decorated Ayodhya with Rshyasringa standing in front of him. The populace was ecstatic to see the dazzling sage being led into the palace for a formal and appropriate greeting. Being able to bring Rshyasringa made Dasaratha delighted. The royal women cheered as they observed Shanta. Their admiration for her beauty led them to treat her with reverence and respect. Shanta, who was also content, spent some time living in Ayodhya with Rshyasringa.
Days went by as time passed, and when the lovely and alluring springtime arrived, Dasaratha developed a desire to carry out the sacrifice. Dasaratha asked that Brahmin, whose brilliance was celestial, to start the rites and serve as the principal presiding priest after bowing his head in respect to him. Following Rshyasringa’s acceptance of the honour, Sumantra was asked to call together all those Vedic gurus, including Suyajna, Vamadeva, Jabali, and Kasyapa, as well as the family priest Vasishta and other well-educated Brahmins. Dasaratha paid honour to the elderly assembly, his words resonating with grace and righteousness. He said his need for sons was so deep that he was bereft of any delight. For that reason he intended to execute the Asvamedha sacrifice as ordained so that, his desires may be achieved. The lofty gathering complimented Dasaratha saying that he will be rewarded with four sons of great repute.
Rshysringa and the other masters commanded king Dasaratha to acquire materials for the sacrifice and release the horse under the protection of warriors. The king was pleased and instructed his ministers to carry out his preceptors’ instructions. According to the instructions, a sacrifice pavilion was to be constructed on the Sarayu River’s northern banks. For the unbroken completion of the sacrifice, auspicious rites had to be carried out as prescribed. The ministers taking leave of the king agreed to carry out the directives. Dasaratha withdrew to his palace while the brahmins went back to their homes.
Another spring came after a year had passed. Dasaratha proceeded to the sacrificial pavilion to begin the Asvamedha after finishing the preceding procedures. There, he prostrated before the famous Brahmin Vasishta, to whom he addressed the following: “You are my buddy and supreme adviser; it is up to you alone to carry the burden of the great ceremony and to ward off any obstruction to any aspect of the sacrifice.” Vasishta gave Dasaratha his word that everything would go according to plan. Vasishta started the massive event of great piety, promising victory. He requested famous, seasoned Brahmins who were skilled in carrying out such sacrifices and knowledgeable about carrying out ritual-related tasks. He addressed illustrious, skilled craftsmen, including carpenters, astrologers, dancers, and actors, as well as aristocratic architects. Men with extensive understanding of the ritual texts who are highly intelligent and erudite were also interviewed. Vasishta instructed them to begin the sacrifice rituals in accordance with the established rules. Additionally, he gave the order to transport thousands of bricks for the construction of luxurious royal residences for monarchs and many more beautiful homes for the brahmins. All were to be constructed as well as equipped with every type of food and beverage imaginable. For the inhabitants of Ayodhya, a building with all the comforts of home was also to be constructed. Even residents of rural areas and tiny towns were expected to receive the finest meals with the utmost respect. The same cordial welcome was to be extended to all social classes. Hospitality was not to be hampered by lust, anger, or greed.
According to their rank, artists, priests, and sculptors involved in performing the sacrifice received unique attention. Vasishta’s parting advice was for everyone to love and care for one another, paying attention to every detail and skipping nothing. The group pledged to carry out his requests and pay close attention to every detail.
Sumantra was called once more. Vasishta requested that he extend an invitation to all of the earth’s kings, as well as to Vaisyas, Kshatriyas, Brahmins, and Sudras. He was to accompany Dasaratha’s father-in-law, the king of Kekaya, who was elderly and immensely aristocratic, as well as the distinguished Janaka, king of Mithila and an ally of Dasaratha. The king of Angada, Romapada, who was close to Ayodhya, had to be escorted as well. All of the kings of the Eastern and Southern areas, as well as those of Sindhu, Sauvera, and Saurashtra, along with all of their allies, retinues, families, and relatives, were to be welcomed into the dominion. Vasishta’s directives were swiftly carried out by Sumantra. He travelled to Mithila to honour and travel with the renowned Janaka, king of Mithila, after sending agents to several kingdoms. Vasishta reminded everyone once more about the importance of perfect civility despite being happy to hear that all preparations were finished. He advised against giving presents without the proper respect since doing so would bring the giver to ruin because such gifts were offered in the absence of love and with contempt.
The earth’s kings travelled to Ayodhya for several days and nights, giving Dasaratha presents. Vasishta, proud of his achievements, told his monarch that he had shown proper hospitality to all the noble lords who had been given a royal welcome. He now wished for Dasaratha to go to the sacrifice pavilion, where the overseeing priests were waiting for the monarch, completely absorbed in their work. The Lord of Ayodhya entered the sacred sacrifice ground on the auspicious day and at the auspicious timing, as recommended by the family priest and Rshyasringa. The overwhelming grandeur and beauty of it all left onlookers in amazement, as if Dasaratha, the monarch, had created it all out of his own free will and creativity. The magnificent Asvamedha yaga, as prescribed by the shastras, began amidst this splendour and good fortune under the direction of Rshyasringa, the greatest of priests.
The Asvamedha yaga was started on the northern bank of the river Sarayu upon the return of the liberated horse at the end of a year. The Asvamedha was started by Rshyasringa, the chief of the priests, assisted by numerous other revered Brahmins, with Dasaratha sitting in the middle of the most honourable of kings. According to Kalpasutra, priests with vast vedic understanding carried out each ceremony flawlessly.
Nobody was thirsty or hungry within the sacred grounds of the Asvamedha. People were coerced into accepting the greatest cuisine and gifts of the nicest clothing. For the countless visitors from the countryside and cities, mountains of food were always kept on hand. Even though they were full, Brahmins, ascetics, Sudras, women, kids, and even the ill could not stop eating the exotic cuisine. People sung homage to Dasaratha as they marvelled at the unparalleled hospitality. The sacrificial fireplace was erected by Brahmins according to the Shastras’ specifications for size and construction. According to Shastras, even the bricks used to build fireplaces were fashioned to a specific size. The types of wood that were utilised for the stakes that held the sacrificed animals were likewise done so in accordance with established custom. The eagle-shaped sacrifice altar that was built glistened like burnished gold and gave the impression that it had golden wings. There were eighteen fireplaces required for the three-day Asvamedha ceremony, which was three times more than usual. When King Dasaratha, who was incredibly gracious, entrusted the earth to the ruling priests at the end of the yaga. They objected, stating that only the monarch, who was sinless and cleaned, was the ultimate ruler and defender of the world. They argued that those noble souls refused to accept such magnanimity. By distributing a million cows, one hundred million pieces of gold, and four times that much in silver, Dasaratha once more outdid himself. When Dasaratha bowed to Rshyasringa in gratitude for carrying out and supervising the Asvamedha yaga, the sage bestowed upon him four sons who would carry on his lineage.
After some time spent in deep spiritual thought, the vedic teacher Rshyasringa declared, “I shall conduct Putreyshti for you to conceive boys using mantras as in Atharvasirasi.” The gods, gandharvas, all the spiritually accomplished sages, and Brahma the creator gathered when the ritual started to receive their fair portion of the ritual offerings. The gathering of celestials informed Brahma of their problems at this time. “My God! We are being tormented by a rakshasa named Ravana, who is empowered with the boon you bestowed. We are helpless against his demonic abilities. We tolerate the damage he causes because we can’t correct him and because we respect the blessing you bestowed. The evil demon causes fear in the three worlds with the arrogance that comes from that power. He is indomitable and does not spare the Brahmins, the Gandharvas, or the asuras. We loathe him. Even the Sun is dimly shining, the winds are afraid to blow, and the agitated oceans are still waiting for him to arrive “.
It is true, according to Brahma, that Ravana had a boon that was written in such a way as to practically make him invincible. He had asked for immunity from every celestial being and every animal that had ever been born on Earth, but there was no mention of man in his request for the blessing. In his arrogance, he was embarrassed to ask for protection from their feeble might, which he even refused to acknowledge out of disdain. “Ravana will therefore perish at the hands of people. His demise is already predetermined “. While the celestials were celebrating, Visnu arrived in all his glory, dressed in yellow and carrying a conch, a mace, and a discus. The divine assembly bowed to the god of gods and begged him to take on human form so that Ravana could be banished from the world. Visnu assured them and granted their requests, promising to kill not just Ravana but also his sons and relatives. He briefly considered where he ought to have been born. He then made the decision to split into four pieces in order to become Dasaratha’s four sons. The celestials commanded, “Do that,” “and soon return to Vaikunta, your permanent home free of all passion, wrath, and sin, and inaccessible to even the celestials.
The all-knowing Bhagwan Narayana questioned the gods, “Is there a method to eliminate that lord of the rakshasas who brings so much suffering to the sages?” out of respect and grace. And they sang in unison “. Take on a human’s body, then murder him. He is impervious to all gods and all living things thanks to Brahma’s blessing. In his disdain for humanity, Ravana dismissed them as mere mortals unworthy of consideration and did not seek protection from them. Therefore, only man is responsible for his death “. After the gods and sages bid Visnu a respectful farewell, he too disappeared to assume his next incarnation as the son of Dasaratha, who was doing the Putreyshti yagna for the purpose of progeny at the time. Meanwhile, a brilliant entity with unmatched splendour emerged from the sacrificial embers, pulsing with strength and might. He had a robe of black and red, a voice like the booming of drums, shiny hair and a beard like a lion’s mane, and a haughty tiger’s walk. He was as tall as a mountain peak and was radiant. He was holding a vessel made of exquisite gold with a lid made of silver in his arms. Celestial porridge was contained in a lovely and airy vessel that appeared to have just descended from the stars. “My Lord Know That I Have Come Here Sent By Prajapathi Brahma,” he added, turning to face Dasaratha. Dasaratha greeted him with folded hands saying “Bhagwan! what can I do to help you? The divine figure spoke: “Take this porridge that the gods have prepared. To your wives who will bear you boys, give it “. Dasaratha was overjoyed to get the celestial porridge; he exclaimed as a pauper might at the unexpected discovery of a priceless treasure. That magnificent apparition that had emerged from the flames vanished after his task was completed. Dasaratha rang with tremendous excitement as he entered the palace. The king went straight to the queen’s residence and gave them the porridge. He handed Sumithra a part of it, and Kausalya the other half. He gave Kaikeyi the other half of the last remaining quarter. He gave Sumithra the other half after giving it some thought. The thankful queens were overjoyed, and Dasaratha’s excitement when the queens became pregnant was immeasurable.
When Bhagwan Visnu was about to become the successor to King Dasaratha, Brahma gathered all the Devas and said: “True to his pledge, Visnu bravely enters the world of mortals as a man on our behalf. Therefore, we must send forces to assist him. Make strong boys whose bodies possess the strength of lions and the swiftness of winds. They should be unbreakable because they are honourable, clever, knowledgeable, and equally brave. Those invincible individuals should be endowed with magical abilities so they can change into any form at will and be immune to hunger and thirst like those who have consumed the nectar of immortality. Jambavan, the best bear breed among those I have already made, is the best. The devas formed the sons in the shape of monkeys at Brahma’s command. Sons of great Siddhas, Vidyadharas, and Uragas used stones, trees, their own teeth and nails, and their own teeth and nails to defend themselves. The Sun created Sugriva, and Indra created Vali, the king of the vanaras. Wise Tara was formed by Brihaspathi, Gandamadana by Kubera, Nala by Viswakarma, and Nila by the fire god. Mainda and Dvivida were made by the Aswini gods, while Susena and Sarabha were made by Varuna and Parjanya, respectively. The unstoppable Hanuman, whose courage, knowledge, and power matched his diamond-hard body and whose speed matched that of Garuda, was created by Vayu. There appeared thousands of soldiers who could shake the earth with their feet, tremble mountains, and torture the very oceans they could span. Flying birds fell to the ground in terror at the sound of their booming voices as they prowled the forests, mountains, along river banks, and sea coastlines. They appeared as tall as mountain peaks, with a dreadful body and unrivalled strength, and the land was teeming with them who wanted to help Rama.
The Asvamedha’s ritual consecrations came to an end. The delighted earthly lords and kings went back to their nations, the gods took their portion of the havis, and Dasaratha went back to Ayodhya with his queens and company. The monarch, who was anxiously anticipating the birth of his sons, waved goodbye to Rshyasringa and Shantha. After the rites were finished, six seasons passed. The star Punarvasu was in ascendance with the five planets Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus on the ninth day of the new moon in the twelfth month of Chaitra, in the Kartaka lagna presided over by Aditi as devata. Rama, an amazing son, was born to Kausalya. She was overjoyed to see him, the pride of the Ikshvakus. He was one half of Visnu and was endowed with all the attributes of deity. Bharata, Kaikeyi’s only child, was born under the following star, Pushya, which was rising in the Meena lagna. His mental purity was perfect. When the star Aslesha shone in the Karkataka lagna, Sumithra gave birth to the equally perfect Lakshmana and Satrughna. The four sons of Dasaratha who represented Visnu in these manifestations shone with the same brilliance as the stars of Purvabhadra and Uttarabhadra. The palace echoed with happiness at that auspicious time. Gandharvas sung, apsaras danced, the heavens’ kettle drums clattered, and flowers fell from the sky. As the residents of Ayodhya rejoiced in the birth of the celestial princes, the streets thronged and echoed with music, revelry, and happiness. Vasishta completed the necessary ceremonies twelve days after the princes were born, naming the firstborn prince Rama, Kaikeyi’s son Bharata, and Sumithra’s twins Lakshman and Satrughna. The brahmins were honoured, fed, and showered with presents, and the people of Ayodhya flocked from the city and the countryside to partake in the palace’s happiness. The Vedas were written by the sons of Dasratha, who were righteous, brave, and constantly concerned about the wellbeing of the populace. Among them, Rama stood out for being devoted, pure, and endearing to everyone. He was also Dasaratha’s most adored son. The person who loved Rama more than life itself, Lakshmana, followed Rama like his own shadow. Rama returned his brother’s devotion in kind. Without Lakshmana, he was unable to eat or sleep, and he always followed his brother with a bow and arrow at the ready to fend off any potential threats. Bharata and Satrughna also shared a close friendship; despite Dasaratha’s pride in them, the princes were always modest and didn’t use it. They were always willing to give him their undivided love and respect. They were renowned for their vast intellect, virtue, and understanding, yet they were also modest and cognizant of the ways of the world. Dasaratha considered how his boys would get married. He was consulting with his ministers and kinsmen that day. The powerful ascetic Visvamitra came at the palace’s gates and took command of the guards. Declare my arrival immediately, Kausika, son of Gadhi! Vasishta and Dasaratha hastened to greet and honour the most illustrious of sages. Vasishta was hugged by Visvamitra, who inquired about his well-being and that of the other sages. Then he questioned Dasaratha about his subjects, family, the state of his finances, his devotion to worshipping the gods, and whether or not tributary rulers were submissive. Dasaratha responded to Visvamitra’s inquiries while trembling with joy and replied, “This location has become sacred as a result of your presence, and you are as welcome as rain in the desert. I feel honoured! Please let me know what I can do for you, and with your help, I will.” Both Visvamitra’s ears and thoughts were charmed by the sound of those words!