King Dashratha and his spiritual life
Ramayana is one of the greatest epics of Hindu mythology. The story has a vast number of characters, each with their endeavors, goals in life, and backstories. Ramayana is the highlight of the portion of Lord Ram’s life period, but there are many incidents and stories before and after the period of Lord Ram. What makes that period immensely popular is the vast number of characters and various layers in their nature and their stories.
Ram and Ravan are the most popular characters of the Ramayana, this is because one is the protagonist and the other is the antagonist of the story. However, there are other characters also with an equal share in the story. Laxman, Hanuman, Sita, Indrajeet are some characters with the major influence in the story and they are also the major reasons why Ramayana went on as it is. There is one character whose story ended much faster on the beginning segment of Ramayana but is considered as one of the major characters. His name is King Dashratha father of lord Rama.
King Dashratha was the ruler of the kingdom Ayodhya. He is known as the father of Lord Ram along with his three brothers. He was the son of King Aja of Ayodhya. Many do not know about the father of Dashratha as he retired from Kingship and died when King Dashratha was incredibly young. Dashratha is one of the prominent figures in the tale of Ramayana. While he is the character with one of the greatest roles, his part in the actual story of Ramayana is extremely limited. The death of king Dashratha starts the journey of Lord Rama in a certain way and the events of Ramayana.
Most of the readers of Ramayana know king Dashratha as the lovely father figure and the good king of Ayodhya. He is the father of the main protagonist of the story of Ramayana. However, many do not know that King Dashratha had his own story before the beginning of the story of Lord Ram. He had lived his unique life, did his battles as the king to protect his kingdom.
One time kind Dashratha even battled the mighty Ravana. The battle concluded when no one came victorious in that war, and it was stopped by Lord Brahma himself. There is much to know about the king before the story of Ramayana begun. More than the father of Lord Ram he was, the king of the kingdom, a great warrior whom even the heavens respected, a husband and man who lived a spiritual life.
There are three wives of King Dashratha. He married all three wives on various occasions. His eldest queen was queen Kaushalya Vati, who was the main queen of the kingdom of Ayodhya. She was known for her wisdom, valor, her love for the king and the kingdom. Alongside the queen Kaushalya, queen Kei Kei and queen Sumitra were the wives of King Dashratha. The other queens were also exceptionally beautiful and loved their king and the kingdom.
Some, depict the second queen Kei Kei as a bad woman as she was the one who sent Lord Ram to the forest for living there for so many years. However, she was brainwashed by her servant Manthara. Also, it is said that it was planned by the gods as if Lord Ram never left the palace and went to the forest, he never would have come across Ravan. To kill Ravan Lord Vishnu took the form of human and if they never came across one other the main motive for incarnation would have never been completed.
Kei Kei loved Lord Ram as much as she loved his son Bharat. She was momentarily distracted by the events which led to the events of Ramayana.
No male heir
King Dashratha was immensely powerful and was maintaining his kingdom very well from various threats. However, he was succumbing to old age. How powerful he may have been, he was a human and like all humans he was getting old. He desperately wished for an heir, powerful enough to take diligent care of his family and his kingdom when king Dashratha became old.
It is a widespread belief that before the birth of the brothers, king Dashratha was childless. However, this was not the case as many people even do know about it. Before the birth of the brothers, King Dashratha had a daughter named Shanta. She was born from the union of King Dashratha and Queen Kaushalya V Vati.
There are many stories regarding the fate of the eldest born of Kind Dashratha. Some say that she was married to the rishi who could conduct the Yagya, as a fruit of which Yagya king Dashratha could have male heirs for his kingdom. Some stories say that she was given to the king of Anga D Desh for adoption. As the king and queen of Anga Desh had no heir and the queen was the sister of Kaushalya. She could not bear the pain of her sister, so she gave away her only daughter for adoption.
There is another story that describes the fate of Shanta. Shanta was born with a unique star alignment which could have been disastrous for Ayodhya. So, the sages of the kingdom suggested king Dashratha for the adoption of the child. King Dashratha loved his child very much, however; he also was the father of the kingdom and as a king, he had to choose his kingdom above his wishes. So, he gave up his daughter for adoption.
Dashratha wished to have a male heir, for his kingdom. So, as per the suggestion of the sages and his guru. He conducted Putrakameshti YYagya in his kingdom. The YYagya was conducted by Rishyayasringaa MMuni as he was very expert in this type of Yagya.
The four sons
As the boon of thee Yagya conducted by Dashratha to get the male heir, Dashratha had four sons. Ram, Bharat, Laxman, and Shatrughan. Ram was born to King Kaushalya as the eldest son of King Dashratha. Bharat to KKei KKei and the twins Laxman and Shatrughan to queen Sumitra.
King Dashratha loved his sons very much. He had struggled a lot in his life to get the sons. He had everything in his life, the luxurious life of the king, beautiful queens, and much more but a male heir was the one thing he wanted, and he could not get for the most of his life. This fact multiplied the love he had for his sons. Even among the four sons of king Dashratha, he loved his eldest Ram the most. He loved Ram to the point there was absolutely nothing in his life he loved more than Ram. King Dashratha loved his eldest Ram more than even his life itself.
King Dashrath’s Spiritual life
Dashratha was a very brave king of the kingdom of Ayodhya. He was also a very spiritual man who was inclined to the path of Dharma and Spirituality. He had dedicated his life to spirituality and Dharma by which he was very much favored by the gods also.
The people of Ayodhya were incredibly happy that they got a king like Dashratha as the ruler of their kingdom. He was a man on the path of spirituality. So, his main concern was the welfare of the kingdom and the people living there. His spirituality and his Dharma allowed him to see the truth of the king and what a role king plays in the life of their people.
He loved his people as they were his children and cared for them deeply. The bravery, spirituality, and diligence of king Dashratha were famous in all directions of that time. King Dashratha also was one of the greatest warriors of that time. The wrongdoers Ashur’s and the monsters trembled at the mere mention of the name of King Dashratha.
King Dashratha was an immensely powerful warrior of that time, but aside from his valor, he is known for his spirituality. He was extraordinarily strong and could do anything he wanted; nobody would have dared to stop him from doing what he wanted. However, King Dashratha was the man of spirituality. He knew what Dharma was from an incredibly early age and always moved towards it following what he believed to be was his Dharma.
The Dharma, spirituality, and bravery of King Dashratha were so famous and had a significant impact at that time even the gods respected him. King Dashrath due to his spirituality and valor was called by the gods to aid them in the battle against the demons. The Spiritual man king Dashrath upon hearing the request from the gods themselves helped them to defeats the demons and make peace in the world.
King Dashratha was a man with many gifts and talents. King Dashratha devised many Stotra in his life. This gives a clear picture of how spiritual the king was. King Dashratha among his many Stotra also invented the Shani Stotra for which he is also remembered today. Shani is among the planets and the heavenly bodies that influence the fate of the peoples. Everyone born has the place of Shani in their Kundali. Shani sometimes lives in a negative house on the Kundalini of the individual. If this were to happen the individual may face various hindrances and bad incidences in their lives.
To get Shani on the right and their good side people can recite the Dashratha Shani Storta which was invented by kind Dashratha himself. If this is chanted daily Shani dev gets pleased by the one who chants it and removes the obstacles from their lives and fills their lives with boons and various gifts.
The Curse of Dashratha
Dashratha, when was young, had gone hunting, and taking the pleasure of hunting he was traveling here and there. At the same time, a young man named Shravan Kumar was carrying his old parents to take them to the holy sites. After the long day’s travels, the old couple got thirsty and as they both were blind desired to drink water.
The boy Shravan Kumar was asked by his parents to drink water before they could proceed. He put the old couple from his shoulders to the ground and went on to search for the source of water. Shrawan went on to the river to collect water in a pot and bring it back to his parents.
At the same time, Dashrath came there hunting. When Shrawan was filling his pot, Dashrath upon hearing the sound and thinking it was a deer launched an arrow in that direction. The arrow hit young Shrawan, and he cried in pain. Upon hearing a human voice Dashrath was scared and ran in the direction.
Shrawan told his parents were thirsty and requested the King to give them water as he was about to die. Dashrath upon hearing the dying requests of Sharwan agreed to do so and went on with a heavy heart to find the old couples. Upon meeting the couple, he told them what had happened and begged for forgiveness from them. He also requested them to drink the water as they were thirsty. They refused to do so and cursed King Dashratha to also be separated from his beloved son and die from that pain. Saying so, the couple also ended their life.
Death of King Dashratha
King Dashratha died at the beginning section of Ramayana. It can be said that he died from the curse that was given to him by the old parents of Shravan. Queen Kei Kei under the brainwashing of her servant Manthara asked the boon to send his beloved Ram to the forest for fourteen years and make his son Bharat the king of Ayodhya. The King was shattered upon hearing such a boon from the queen. After great heartbreak he ordered Ram, his most loved person in the world to do so as he has given his word for a boon to queen Kei Kei.
When Lord Ram left Ayodhya King Dashratha got extremely ill by the departure from his beloved son. Just after some days, Lord Ram went into the forest, king Dashratha left his body by the departure from his beloved son as the curse had foretold.