In the previous episode we saw that King Dasharata in Ayodhya, is ready to commence the “Puthra-Kaameshti Yaaga” at the northern banks of the river Sarayu. He’s about to begin and at this time, all the Devas (Celestial Beings) along with Lord Brahma, represent themselves to Lord Vishnu on the evil activities done by the Demon king Ravana, and request Lord Vishnu to re-incarnate in the world to destroy him. What was Lord Vishnu’s reply? Let’s see today!
As the Devas and Lord Brahma request Lord Vishnu, He accepted their request with a smile and said, “Oh Lord Brahma and Devas, I also think it’s time for me now to incarnate in this world again! It has been a long time since I was born to restore the Dharma again in the world!”
As per His own words in the Bhagawad Gita:
“Yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glaanir bhavathi bhaarata!
Abhyukthaanam adharmasya tadaatmaanam shrujaamyaham!!”
Now Lord Vishnu, having given the assurance to the Devas and Lord Brahma that He would definitely re-incarnate in the world, all of them plan as to how should Bhagawan incarnate – In what form (animal or a human being), where and how? Valmiki Maharishi gives a very beautiful description at this point.
“Tataha Padma phalaa saakshaha krithvaathmaanam chathurvitham!”
Lord Vishnu decides that he would split himself into four different human beings – Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shathrugna, and be born as the sons to King Dasharata along with his three wives – Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumithra. Valmiki Maharishi goes on to stress on this very point – Nobody in this world has the capacity to choose their parents before they’re born, but Bhagawan does that! This is His specialty! He says,
“Pitharam rochayaamaasa tathaa dasharatham nrupam!!”
Thus, Lord Vishnu announces to the Devas and Lord Brahma, “Let King Dasharata get this opportunity! I’ll be born as the son of Dasharata!” But here comes a small clause: Why should Bhagawan be born only to Dasharata? There’s an interesting explanation to this, which I would discuss it at a later stage when the apt context arrives. I request the readers to keep this in mind for now. Re-iterating the question again: Why did Bhagawan choose King Dasharata as his father? All of us know Ravana’s boon from Brahma – Ravana forgot to ask Brahma that he shouldn’t be killed by a monkey (Vaanara) or a human being (Nara) as he considered these living beings to be insignificant. Hence, we infer that, for this reason, Bhagawan incarnated as a normal human being on earth. But why select Dasharata as his father? Let’s wait for the answer on another occasion.
Now, moving on.. Valmiki Maharishi continues in his description:
“Tatho naraayano vishnuhu nyukthaha sura sakthamaihi!
Jaanannapi suraaneevam slakshnam vachanam abhraveeth!!”
Continuing further, Lord Vishnu says that all the Devas should be born as “Vaanaras” (Monkeys) and Goddess Lakshmi would incarnate as Sita Devi. Thus the scene at the Vaikunta comes to an end with the decisions being made collectively by the Devas, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu!
“Ithan dhuruva shaardhoola paayasam deva nirnitham!”
Now coming back to Ayodhya, where the ritual is taking place. Now the “Paayasam” (The sweet nectar) at the end of the ritual should be born. Only with the “Paayasam” distributed amongst the three wives of King Dasharata, will they be blessed with children. What happened next? How does this “Paayasam” arrive? It’s a beautiful description again by Valmiki Maharishi. Let’s wait till the next episode to experience it’s beauty!