How was Rama born?
Extract from The Jai Jais Legends Series “Ramayana”
Thousands of years ago, there lived a great king called Dasharatha in the beautiful city of Ayodhya, the capital of the kingdom of Kosala in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He was known for his loyalty to the gods and his bravery in battle; he had helped the gods in their fight against many fierce and strong demons, a privilege that was granted to only a few mortals. King Dashratha’s people loved him dearly as he was kind and fair. The kingdom was happy and prosperous, but King Dasharatha was filled with deep sadness; even though he had a wonderful kingdom and three wives, he had no heir to the throne, and was becoming older.
One day a sage advised King Dasharatha to perform a special ritual to grant his wish to have a son – an heir to his throne. A sacred fire was lit and the sage began to perform a special ritual. From the warm glow of the dancing flames which leapt higher and higher into the air, a messenger of Lord Vishnu appeared. His figure shone like the sun, and he looked like a blazing fire. He handed the king a beautiful golden bowl of kheer with a silver lid, and told him to share and eat the sweet rice pudding between his three wives: Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Shortly after, the king was blessed with four sons, good health, wealth and happiness. Kausalya’s son was Rama, Sumitra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna, and Kaikeyi bore Bharata.