Lord Rama is the seventh reincarnation of the Superem head of God head. Commonly it is proposed that Rama was born about 1.2 million years ago, during the Treta Yuga, age that lasted 1,296,000 years. And so the faith goes…
To the north of the Ganga was the great kingdom of Kosala, by the shores the river Sarayu. Ayodhya was the capital city, built by Manu, the famous ruler of the Solar dynasty. From Valmiki’s description, it is clear that the ancient Ayodhya was far more superior to our modern cities. In ancient Indian cities civilisation had reached a high level.
King Dasaratha was a great king having fought on the side of the Devas (demi gods), and his fame spread in the three worlds. The people of Kosala were happy, contented and virtuous. The land was protected by a mighty army, and no enemy could come anywhere near.
It contained forts with moats around them as well as many defensive intallations, and true to its name, Ayodhya defied all enemies. (Ayodhya means that which cannot be subdued by war). Dasaratha in this court had eight wise ministers to execute his orders in best of thier capacities, great sages like Vasishtha, Vamadeva and other Brahmanas to advice him with all the wits and vurtues.
The city prospered and law & order pervailed. Surrounded by the best counsellors and statesmen, the king’s splendor shone as the rising sun. Many years rolled smoothly by. In the midst of all this prosperity Dasaratha had one regret; the king had no child.
It was for this the great king was advised of performing a horse sacrifice – ‘Ashwamagh yaga’ for progeny. The Yaga was a grand affair and the invitees included many of the kings of the day. It was no easy thing to perform yaga. The location and erection of the sacrificial platform had to be attended to in detail strictly according to prescribed rules. There were experts whose guidance was sought in arranging things under guidance of rishi Rishyasringa.
It called for the building of a new camp-city, capable of accommodating tens of thousands and providing hospitality and entertainment for the invitees who included the princes and sages of the land. Yaga was much bigger than any Olympics or the World cups of today.
When all arrangements were complete the ceremonies were set in motion strictly as discribed by the holy text – Shastras.
Contemporaneously with the yaga in Ayodhya, there was a conference of the Devas in heaven. The Devas complained to Lord Brahma that Ravana, king of Lanka and a great demon, blessed by Creator of Milkyway universe – Brahma, was causing them untold misery and hardship. They represented to Brahma: “It is beyond our capacity to subdue, conquer or kill Ravana. In the security of your boon, he has grown wicked and insolent and ill-treats all, it all choase. His desire is to dethrone king of Heaven – Indra. You are our only refuge and it is for you to devise a method by which Ravana can be slain and his despotism ended.”
Brahma knew that he had granted to Ravana the boon prayed for by him that he should be invulnerable and invincible against Devas, Asuras, Gandharvas and other such beings. In his arrogance, Ravana did not care to ask for security against mankind. As Brahma revealed this fateful omission all the Gods rejoiced and turned to the keeper of the universe – Vishnu.
Absolutely surrendering themselves to Vishnu, the Devas begged him to be born as a man and put an end to Ravana and his atrocities. Vishnu agreed and assured the Devas that he would be born as the eldest son of King Dasaratha who was then performing a sacrifice for progeny. As the ghee was poured into the fire and the flames shot up to meet it, from out of the flames came a majestic figure, resplendent like the noonday sun, holding a bowl of gold.
Calling King Dasaratha by his name, the figure said: “The Devas are pleased with you and are answering your prayer. Here is payasam sent by the gods for your three wives. You will be blessed with children if they drink this divine beverage.” With joy unbounded, Dasaratha received the bowl as he would receive a child and distributed the payasam to his wives – Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi.
He asked Kausalya to drink a half of the payasam and he gave a half of what remained to Sumitra. Half of what was then lift was drunk by Kaikeyi, and what remained was given to Sumitra again. And as blessed by devas, in due course all of them were expectant mothers. The day soon arived then Dasaratha’s sons were born Rama of Kausalya and Bharata of Kaikeyi. Sumitra gave birth to twins, Lakshmana and Satrughna. She had drunk the divine payasam twice.
This day when Rama was born is celerated as Ram navami.