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Dashrath / दशरथ
- Dashrath was a king of the solar race, son of Aj, a descendant of Ikshvaku, and ruler of Ayodhya.
- He had three wives, Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi.
- Once, when Dashrath was quite young, he had a killed a young hermit boy named Shravan. Shravan had been filling water at the river and Dashrath, mistaking the gurgling noise for an animal drinking water, killed Shravan. Shravan was the only son of his blind parents, and on his advice Dashrath went to his parents to tell them of his deed and beg forgiveness. The parents, who could no longer live without their son, cursed Dashrath that he too would die of a broken-heart on separation from his son, and then burnt themselves on the fire along with Shravan.
- In the battle between the Asurs and the gods, Dashrath, at the request of the gods, went to help them. In the fight with the Asur Shambar, he fell down unconscious and was carried away from the battle-field by his wife Kaikeyi, who nursed his wounds and revived him. For this Dashrath granted her two boons, but Kaikeyi did not ask for any-thing then, saving the boons for a time when she would need them.
- Though he had three wives, Dashrath had no son and he decided to perform the Horse Sacrifice.
- At about the same time, the gods in heaven, were pleading to Vishnu to be born as a man and put an end to Ravan (who had been strengthened by a boon from Brahma) and his atrocities.
- Vishnu agreed to be born as a son of king Dashrath. When the sacrifice was being performed on earth, a celestial figure appeared and handed to king Dashrath a divine beverage, which was to be divided among his queens.
- In due course of time, four sons were born to him from his three wives. Kaushalya bore Ram, Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharat and Sumitra bore Lakshman and Shatrughna.
- Dashrath loved all his sons immensely, and was happy to see his sons grow up strong, brave and virtuous. Ram was his favourite.
- He was extremely heart-broken when Kaikeyi, poisoned by Manthara, demanded the fulfilment of the two boons Dashrath had promised her. She demanded the coronation of her son Bharat and exile for Ram for fourteen years in the Dandak forest.
- After Ram had left for the forest with Sita and Lakshman, Dashrath could not bear his agony and died of a broken-heart.
- Dashrath also had a daughter named Shanta, who was adopted by king Rompad of Anga.
- After Sita had passed the ordeal of fire, Dashrath appeared on a celestial chariot before Ram and Lakshman, who had just won the battle against Ravan. Seeing his favourite son, his heart filled with pleasure and he asked his son to return to Ayodhya and accept the throne.
- On Ram's insistence, Dashrath forgave Kaikeyi her cruel deed. Then, embracing Ram and Lakshman and advising Lakshman and Sita to stay forever loyal to Ram, Dashrath returned to heaven.
Ahalya · Rama · Bharat · Laxman · Shatrughna · Dashrath · Kaushalya · Kaikeyi · Sumitra · Shurpnakha · Janak · Sita · Ravana · Urmila · Meghnad · Vibhishan · Angad · Hanuman · Kumbhakarn · Marich · Mandodari · Vasishtha · Vishvamitra · Bali · Sugriva · Sampati · Jambvan · Manthara · Jatayu · Shabri · Lanka · Neel · Nal · Panchvati · Lav Kush · Tadka