Episode 33: King Dasharata to perform the “Puthra-Kaameshti” Yaaga


In the previous episode we witnessed that King Dasharata and the entire city of Ayodhya was deeply concerned because he was childless for a long period of time. Worries were growing as to who would succeed the Ayodhya kingdom after Dasharata. At that moment, one of his able ministers – Sumanthra proposed the idea of doing an “Ishti” yaaga (offering) as a solution to this problem and accordingly Sage Vasishta and all the other great Sages in king Dasharata’s courtroom accepted and approved this idea. In the due course, we also saw a brief history of Sage Rishyashringa who was supposed to be the only person in the world to perform this ritual successfully. How did Dasharata go about it from here? What was his plan of action? Let’s see in today’s episode.

Sumanthra and Sage Vasishta finish their advice by saying that if this “Ishti” yaaga has to be successfully done, Sage Rishyashringa and his wife Shaanta Devi should visit Ayodhya. Accordingly, King Dasharata pays heed to their advice and prepares himself to bring both of them to his palace. He goes to “Anga Desha” (his neighbouring kingdom) and requests “Romapaada” – the king of Anga Desha to send Sage Rishyashringa and his wife to Ayodhya.

“Sanathkumaarao bhagawaan poorvam kachithavaan tathaan!

Kaashyapaschtava puthroosmi vibhaantaka ithishruthaaha!!

Rishyashringairithiggraathaha tasya puthro bhavishyathi!

Naanyam jaanaathi viprendraha Nithyam vithyanu varthanaath!!”

The above slokas signify the advice given by Sumanthra and Sage Vashishta to king Dasharata and accordingly Dasharata too approaches Romapaada – the king of Anga Desha for his help in bringing Sage Rishyashringa to Ayodhya.

“Sapthaashta divasaan raajaa raajaanamidham abraveeth!

Shaanta tava suthaa raajan saha bhathraa vishaampathe!!

Madheeyam nagaram yaathu kaaryam hi mahadhyudhayam!

Tathethi raajaa samshruthya gamanam tasya dheemakhaha!!”

King Dasharata requests his counterpart, Romapaada for his help in this issue and Romapaada was happy to help him. Accordingly he requests his son-in-law, Sage Rishyashringa and Shaanta Devi to pay a visit to Ayodhya and to do the needful to king Dasharata. Thus when Sage Romapaada arrived at Ayodhya, all the sages enter into a huddle of discussion and ultimately came up with a good date for performing the ritual of “Puthra-Kaameshti Yaaga”.

“Tasthvam kim varthase brahman gnyaathumichaamahe vayam!

Pithaa vibhaandakoosvaanam tasyaahamsutha aurasaaha!!

Rishyashringa ithigyaatham naama karmacha me bhuvi!”

Thus, all preparations were going on for performing the ritual. At the final point of the preparation, the procedure normally is to designate a horse (Ashvam) and allow it to run across numerous kingdoms around Ayodhya and finally it would return back. If in the mid-way this horse was captured by any king of any kingdom, this king who had sent the horse should wage a war against the opponent, win over him and bring back the horse. Accordingly, the horse was also let to run.

“Sambhaaraaha sambhriyam taanthe turakascha vimuchyathaam!”

Here, “Turakam” means horse. The horse was made to run and it covered a large area with its travel. Wherever it goes, will anyone dare to touch the horse that is sent by king Dasharata? Nobody did!! Moreover, the entire world knows why king Dasharata had sent this horse – Everyone was eager as to when will king Dasharata be blessed with a son! Hence, the horse came back after its marathon run and the first ritual of this great “Ishti yaaga” was successfully executed!

King Dasharata was extremely happy on the successful return of his horse. Now it’s time to start the main ritual. Hence, Sage Vashishta again guides him to send an invitation to all the kings and the great sages around Ayodhya to come and participate in the grand occasion.

It is to be noted particularly here that, although Sage Vashishta knows very well that upon performing this ritual successfully, Dasharata is going to be blessed with a son, he wants him to invite all the kings, sages, etc. and receive their blessings during the process of this ritual.

Why is Sage Vasishta so particular about this? There is a beautiful in-depth meaning for this move. Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!


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