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Dasharatha
Dasharatha
(Sanskrit: दशरथ, IAST
IAST
Daśaratha) was a descendant of the Ikshvaku dynasty
Ikshvaku dynasty
(also known as Suryavamsha
Suryavamsha
or Raghuvamsa dynasty) and the King of Ayodhya
Ayodhya
as mentioned in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Dasharatha
Dasharatha
was the son of Aja and Indumati. He had three wives; Kausalya, Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
and Sumitra
Sumitra
and out of the union bore Rama
Rama
(the principal character in the Ramayana), Bharatha, Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Shanta.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Yajna
Yajna
To Beget Sons 3 Boons To Kaikeyi 4 Killing Of Shravan
Shravan
Kumara 5 Demise 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Dasharatha
Dasharatha
was the son of King Aja of Ayodhya
Ayodhya
and Princess Indumati of Vidarbha. His birth name was Nemi, but he acquired the name Dasharatha as his chariot could move in all ten directions, fly as well as come down on earth and he could fight with ease in all these directions. Dasharatha
Dasharatha
became king after his parents died. He was a great warrior who single-handedly conquered the whole earth with his prowess and defeated and slew many Asuras in war.

Dasharath had three queen consorts, namely, Kaushalya, Sumitra
Sumitra
and Kaikeyi. Kaushalya
Kaushalya
was from the Kingdom of Magadha. Sumitra
Sumitra
was from Kashi. Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
was from Kekeya Kingdom. Having an immense desire to beget a son, Dasharath promised Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
that the son she bore would succeed him as King of Ayodhya
Ayodhya
after she pleaded with him in the Kop Bhavan. Yajna
Yajna
To Beget Sons[edit]

Agnipuruṣa rises from the sacred fire

Dasharatha
Dasharatha
gives Payasa
Payasa
to his wives

Birth Of Four Sons Of Dasharath

Dasharath performed two yajnas with the help of Sage Rishyasringa
Rishyasringa
on the advice of Vasishtha.

The building for King Dasaratha's ashwamedha sacrifice

One was Ashwamedha
Ashwamedha
and other was Putrakameshti. It is said that Dasharath and Kaushalya
Kaushalya
had a daughter Shanta, who was Rishyashringa's wife. As the conclusion of the Yagna
Yagna
drew near, Agni
Agni
sprang out from the yagnakunda (sacrificial fire pit) and handed Dasharatha
Dasharatha
a pot of kheer (payasa), advising him to distribute it among his queens.

God emerge from fire give food to Dasratha.

Kaushalya
Kaushalya
ate half the kheer, Sumitra
Sumitra
ate a quarter of it. Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
ate some and passed the pot back to Sumitra
Sumitra
who consumed the kheer for the second time. Thus the princes were conceived after the consumption of the kheer. Since Kaushalya
Kaushalya
had consumed the largest portion she gave birth to Rama. Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
gave birth to Bharata. Sumitra
Sumitra
gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna.

Sage Vishvamitra
Vishvamitra
came to Dasharatha
Dasharatha
to send Rama
Rama
to fight with demons.

Boons To Kaikeyi[edit]

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A maid of Queen Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
named Manthara
Manthara
convinced her that the throne of Maharaja Dasharatha
Dasharatha
belonged to her son Bharata and that her stepson—crown prince Rama
Rama
(the hero of Ramayana)—should be exiled from the kingdom. The ugly maid also reminded her of the promise made to her by Dasharath when she saved him in the great war against the Asuras, that she was promised 2 boons and she could use them to make Bharata king.By crowning Rama
Rama
as king, Dasharatha
Dasharatha
would be doing injustice to her as she wanted Bharata to be king. Thus, after this conversation, Dasharatha
Dasharatha
is reminded by Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
about the two boons he has yet to fulfill for her. She talks of the time when she saved him from the demons during a celestial battle against Sambasura, an enemy of both Indra
Indra
and Dasharatha. During a fierce battle between the two, the wheel of Dasharatha's chariot broke and Sambasura's arrow pierced the King's armor and lodged in his chest. Kaikeyi, who was acting as Dasharatha's charioteer, quickly repaired the broken wheel and then drove the chariot away from the battlefield. She nursed the wounded King back to health. Touched by her courage and timely service, Dasharatha
Dasharatha
offered her two boons. However, Kaikeyi chose to ask for those boons later. King Dasharatha
Dasharatha
is obliged to fulfill them. Kaikeyi
Kaikeyi
demands that Bharata be crowned king and Rama
Rama
be sent to the forest for fourteen years. Hearing this, Dasharatha
Dasharatha
falls into a swoon and passes the night in a pitiable condition in Kaikeyi's palace. Killing Of Shravan
Shravan
Kumara[edit]

The blind hermit and his wife mourn their son, who was slain accidentally by Dasaratha.

After Rama's departure to the forest, Dasharatha
Dasharatha
lies in his bed with a wailing Kaushalya. He suddenly remembers an incident which had occurred in the past. He narrates to Kaushalya
Kaushalya
about how, by accident, he had killed a young boy named Shravana mistaking him to be a deer. Dasharatha
Dasharatha
who was then a crown prince had gone hunting on the banks of River Saryu. 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 a Deer Dasharatha
Dasharatha
shot an arrow. He became mortified when he heard a human cry as the arrow found its target. Dasharatha
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 Dasharatha
Dasharatha
for his unrighteous act and demands that he pull the arrow out of his chest. He also tells him to take the pitcher of water to his blind parents who must be waiting for him. The boy dies. Dasharatha
Dasharatha
approaches the blind couple and tells them about their son's unfortunate death. The parents, grief-stricken curse the prince: "Just as we are dying due to the separation from our beloved son, you too shall have the same fate." Dasharatha
Dasharatha
concludes the chapter by saying that his end is near and the curse has taken effect. The place where Dasharatha
Dasharatha
killed Shravana is now known as Shravan
Shravan
Kshetra. Demise[edit]

Death of King Dasharatha

Following his narration of Shravana, Dasharatha
Dasharatha
passes away in the night due to the pain and misery of his separation from Rama. His funeral rites were performed by Bharata and Shatrughna
Shatrughna
who were called back from Kekeya.

Bharata fainted during his father Dasratha's cremation.

His Palace is in Faizabad district (U.P.) about 18.1 km away from Bilhar Ghat. It is beside the bank of the Sarayu
Sarayu
River where he was cremated. This place is very devotional for Hindus. References[edit] Distance from Ayodhya
Ayodhya
City to Bilhar Ghat External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dasaratha.

Ramayana, translated in English by Griffith, from Project Gutenberg Ramayana
Ramayana
by Valmiki Ramayana
Ramayana
by[permanent dead link] Tulsidas

v t e

Ramayana
Ramayana
by Valmiki

Ikshvaku dynasty

Dasharatha Kausalya Sumitra Kaikeyi Shanta Rama Bharata Lakshmana Shatrughna Sita Urmila Mandavi Shrutakirti Lava Kusha (genealogy)

Vanara

Hanuman Sugriva Vali Tara Rumā Angada Nala Nila Kesari Anjana Makardhwaja

Rakshasa

Ravana Vibhishana Kumbhakarna Indrajit Akshayakumara Atikaya Kabandha Khara Dushan Mandodari Maricha Mayasura Narantaka-Devantaka Prahasta Sarama Subahu Sulochana Sumali Surpanakha Tataka Trijata Trishira Viradha

Sages

Agastya Ahalya Arundhati Bharadwaja Kambhoja Parashurama Vasistha Vishvamitra Rishyasringa

Other characters and concepts

Lakshmana
Lakshmana
rekha Jambavan Janaka Kushadhwaja Jatayu Manthara Ashwapati Maya Sita Sampati Shabari Shravan Vedavati

Places

Ayodhya Mithila Dandakaranya Kishkindha Lanka

Seven Books (Kandas)

Bala Ayodhya Aranya Kishkindha Sundara Yuddha Uttara

Versions, adaptations, and inspired works

Adbhuta Ramayana Adhyathmaramayanam Adhyatma Ramayana Ananda Ramayana Bhaṭṭikāvya Hikayat Seri Rama Kakawin Ramayana Kamba Ramayanam Krittivasi Ramayan Maharadia Lawana Phra Lak Phra Ram Ramlila Ramayan (TV series) Raghunatha Ramayana Ramakien Ramcharitmanas Reamker Saptakanda Ramayana Sri Ramayana
Ramayana
Darshanam Vilanka Ra

.