Dasaratha, a brilliant, brave, and honourable ruler who was known in those three words as an Athiratha and was renowned for controlling his senses, governed the entire globe when Manu had lived in the city of Ayodhya. He was an expert in the Vedas, a commander of all forces, endowed with foresight, and equipped to handle any difficulty. People in towns and villages also loved him. He was regarded among the Ikshvakus as an unmatched warrior who battled from swift chariots. He made several sacrifices, was completely self-disciplined in his devotion to virtue, and was well-known across the three worlds as a destroyer of enemies. Dasaratha was equal to Indra and Kubera in terms of wealth and riches. He was a colossus among men who was trustworthy, upheld morality, and controlled Ayodhya as well as his Amaravathi, Indra, could. People were happy, sincere, and upright in this wonderful metropolis. They had in-depth knowledge of the Vedas and Sastras, were trustworthy, and lacked covetousness because each man was happy with what he had. No householder who owned a sizable quantity of property hadn’t fulfilled their Dharma, Artha, and Kama objectives. Money, horses, cattle, or grain were never in short supply. Philanderers, misers, illiterates, and atheists couldn’t be found anywhere in Ayodhya. Both men and women behaved in a polite manner. None lacked necklaces, garlands, diadems, or earrings. They enjoyed a happy and fulfilling life. They used perfumes and unguents, had fragrant baths, and dressed in armlets and gilded breastplates. They all ate well-balanced meals, were kind, and controlled their emotions and desires. There were no thieves, mean individuals, or people of mixed castes or unsuitable ancestry. The Brahmins propagated the Vedas, conducted Chandrayana, carefully tended the sacred flames, and were knowledgeable in Sastras. There were just marital interactions. No one lied or denied the existence of god. None were dissatisfied or unstable; everyone worshipped their ruler. No man or woman was born without the ability to be beautiful. The inhabitants of Ayodhya were by nature kind and interested in self-improvement. The four castes revered their visitors as deities. They had a long and happy life surrounded by many of their children and grandchildren, safe in the protection of truth and integrity.
Vaisyas followed Kshatriyas, who were subordinate to Brahmins. Sudras helped everyone else. This is the pattern based on the efforts. And this pattern is interchangeable based on the acts of the person. Based on developed ability, any one can act accordingly, this was harmonious line work. Everyone was completely immersed in their line of work. Dasaratha successfully ruled the city, which was renowned for its lion-like warriors who were adept, skillful, and unbeatable masters of their trade. Similar to Indra’s mount Utchaisrava, Ayodhya possessed horses from the Kamboja, Bahlika, Vanayu, and Sindhu areas. Other powerful elephants of unparalleled breeds were born in the Vindhyas and the Himalayas from Airavatha, Mahapadma, Anjana, and Vamana. These elephants belonged to the races of Bhadra, Mandra, and Mriga as well as to interbreeds of the races of Bhadra and Mandra, Mandra and Mriga, as well as Bhadra and Mriga. Ayodhya, which meant “the unassailable,” was indeed significant with its thronging population of thousands, resplendent with magnificent buildings, robust gates, and hard bolts. After defeating his adversaries, Dasaratha governed the glorious city like the moon ruled the stars, equal to Indra.
Dasaratha, a noble descendant of the Ikshvakus, received assistance from eight ministers of exceptional character. Drishti, Jayantha, Vijaya, Siddhartha, Artha, Sadhaka, Asoka, Mantrapala, and Sumantra were incorruptible, indomitable, and steadfast in their commitment to duty and to the business of the state. Vasishta and Vamadeva, two of the greatest seers, were also family priests and other advisors. None of them ever spoke a lie, whether it was done for amusement, financial gain, or out of rage.
They were experts in Shastras and the sciences, were familiar with every field of knowledge, and avoided all forms of injustice. Famed, eminently affluent, and with controlled senses, their actions were consistent with their statements, and they never made judgments hastily but rather after careful thought. They chatted with a smile on their faces and were without comparison. Secret operatives kept them updated on activities that were already completed, actually happening, or were only being thought about. Nothing happened at home or abroad that they were unaware of. They were adept at their jobs and so devoted that, if the situation called for it, they would not spare even their own sons. They would not harm even an adversary if he had committed no wrongdoing since they were busy refilling the royal treasury and sustaining an army. They were mighty and strong, excellent statesmen who guarded the country and its citizens. They did not harm the Brahmins and Kshatriyas while performing their tasks. Only after taking into account the seriousness of a man’s offence was punishment administered. There wasn’t a single man in the kingdom who ventured to give a false testimony when those honourable and upright men were sitting in judgement.
The wise and discerning ministers of exceptional statesmanship were of perfect conduct, constantly watchful and alert to the king’s wellbeing.
They donned elegant clothing and jewellery, were well-known for their politeness, resoluteness, unlimited bravery, and heroism, and they were renowned even outside of their own country for their impeccable judgement. They always had pleasant and friendly conversations. Dasaratha never discovered an enemy who was either better than him or even comparable to him despite his constant surveillance by the secret spies! Enemies were subdued, the tributary kings were obedient, everything was calm, and Ayodhya basked in tranquilly. Dasaratha ruled the world in splendour, just like Indra ruled the heavens, accompanied by a horde of extraordinarily talented advisers, like the rising sun with its bright rays.
Despite being unbreakable, magnificent, and renowned around the world as the epitome of virtues, Dasaratha had a secret unhappiness. It was his dissatisfaction at not having any heirs to continue his dynasty. He was depressed and yearning for sons, and he asked himself why he shouldn’t conduct the Asvamedha yaga to have children. Once he had made up his mind, he sent for Sumantra, the best of his ministers, and requested that he bring back all of the family priests and spiritual preceptors. Suyajna, Vamadeva, Jabali, Kasyapa, and Vasishta then showed up together with other Brahmins. Venerable Dasaratha paid homage to the lofty assembly and spoke to them with the utmost grace, stating “I long for sons and am perpetually dissatisfied and restless because I am childless. I want to conduct the Asvamedha yaga right now and honour the gods. Also, let me know how I may get my dream “.
That choice was praised and blessed by Vasishta and the other Brahmins, who assured him that his wish would soon be fulfilled. Dasaratha was overjoyed by their praise, and his eyes sparkled with pleasure. The sacrifice horse was to be released under the protection of soldiers, and he commanded that the items needed for the rite be obtained in accordance with the instructions of the spiritual masters. The sacred pavilion was to be built in accordance with biblical guidelines on the left side of the river Sarayu. For the unbroken completion of the sacrifice, auspicious rites had to be carried out as prescribed. He highlighted that Asvamedha was the best of the yagas and that every monarch would desire to complete it if challenges and hurdles did not appear. “In order to attack the sacrifice, knowledgeable brahma rakshasas are always looking for flaws. If this happens, the person performing the sacrifice will be instantly annihilated. Therefore, it is essential to work flawlessly by completely adhering to the guidelines and paying attention to every detail.” Dasaratha received assurances from the ministries that his directives would be implicitly followed. The knowledgeable and learned Brahmins gave the king their blessing for the quick satisfaction of his wishes before departing. When he informed his beloved wife of his preparations, Dasaratha went to the palace. The notion of the Asvamedha thrilled and captivated them. Their lovely faces shone like lotuses.
Later, his charioteer Sumantra told the tale to the monarch Dasaratha in the solitude of his castle. An old tale was related by the revered Sanath Kumara in front of seers. Sumantra claimed that this tale concerned Dasaratha, who was now in need of offspring; “The illustrious Kasyapa had a son named Vibhandaka who was given permission to conceive the renowned Rshyasringa. This forest-raised Brahmin had no other occupation save attending to his father’s requirements. He had only ever known the life of keeping the sacred fire, and he had only ever known his father as a person. He lived the dual celibate life that the Brahmins revered as Vratitva and Prajapatya. Long years passed while he served his venerable father and worshipped the fire god, and many more while he practised Vratitiva, a celibacy lifestyle.
The monarch of Angada at this time was Romapada. The nation was experiencing a period of terrible drought, endangering all life and its creatures, as a result of a lapse in its king’s behaviour. The defeated king called the Brahmins together and addressed them “You are all knowledgeable about the ways of the world and have experience. Give me some specific repentance so I can atone for my faults and find release “. The masters of the Vedas then instructed Romapada to bring Rshyasringa into Angada, receive him with appropriate dignity, and formally propose marriage to him for his daughter Shanta. At that point, Romapada pondered aloud how he had managed to import into the nation a man of such astounding intelligence, a titan among men, a master of all senses, and a born celibacy. It was ultimately decided to send the priests and ministers in order to bring Rshyasringa into the territory of Romapada after considerable debate and discussion with his advisors. The priests and pastors were horrified by this news because they were deathly fearful of the powerful Vibhandaka. They dreaded the thought and went to the king with crestfallen faces, begging him to release them from that duty out of fear that they could incur his anger. The administrators gathered once more, pondered their options carefully, and decided that courtesans would assist them accomplish their goal. The plan was effective. Arriving in Angada was Rshyasringa. Parjanya opened the skies so it may rain copiously when Shanta was given in marriage. After hearing and appreciating Sumantra’s narrator, Dasaratha was curious as to the specifics of how Rshyasringa entered the court of Romapada.
Sumanthra commented on the circumstance that led to Rshyasringa’s presence at Angada in response to the king Dasaratha’s request. The perfect plan they had devised to deliver that outstanding Brahmin was revealed to king Romapada by the ministers and priests. They told him that it was safe to do so and that it could be done. The great Vedic scholar and woodland dweller Rshyasringa was going to be coaxed out of the woods by stunning courtesans who were gorgeously attired, exquisitely decorated, and encrusted with jewels.
One day, as anticipated, these charming individuals visited the peaceful forest glades, their sweet voices singing the forest. They made an effort to get a glimpse of Rshyasringa, the ascetic of celestial brilliance who lived a blissful life and practised austerities, from a distance. The peaceful spell of Rshyasringa’s existence abruptly changed when he stumbled upon that multitude of gorgeous women who had wandered into the forest with a purpose. He had never left the hermitage and had never seen anyone other than his father. These women soon surrounded Rshyasringa and grilled him with inquiries. “Brahmin! How are you managing here? Why do you wander these barren, empty forests?” Having never witnessed such beauty, Rshyasringa experienced a wave of friendship and the want to speak with them. “I’m Vibhandaka’s son, and my name is Rshyasringa. My actions and name are well known throughout the entire planet.” The damsels accepted Rshyasringa’s invitation to stay at his hermitage. When he arrived, he treated them with respect as was customary and gave them fruits of the wild and roots to bathe their feet in. The courtesans wanted to stay, but they were scared of the sage Vibhandaka and opted not to risk his wrath. Before they went, they gave Rshyasringa some food and sweet meat that they had brought with them but that he had never seen before. The courtesans left the area on the pretence that they had religious rites to perform because it was time to return.
Rshyasringa got depressed and roamed aimlessly after the maidens gone. When he returned the following day to the location where he had first encountered the attractive courtesans, they were overjoyed to see him and extended an invitation for him to return with them to their hermitage where they would lavishly welcome him. Bewitched Rshyasringa, tempted by the human snares’ allures, gave in to their charms and was drawn away from the forest and his innocence as a result. Parjanya unleashed torrents of rain on the dry ground as soon as Rshyasringa stepped foot in Angada. Romapada went to meet Rshyasringa and bowed down to him in gratitude for providing rain to the nation. Additionally, he requested protection from Vibhandaka’s anger for taking Rshyasringa. When Romapada’s demands were satisfied, Shanta was given to Rishyasringa as his wife, and he experienced immense peace and contentment.
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 roar of conches and the thumping 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.