Joined: 05 May 2011
The Vasistha Ramayana , which is one version of the Ramayana written by Valmiki , in its Adi parva refers to the ancestry of Dasaratha , his birth and how he became a king in the Solar dynasty . This reveals an unknown story about Dasaratha ' s youth , marriage and about his female child . Adbhuta Ramayana and Adhyatma Ramayana also refer to this subject .
When King Aja of Kosala died , his son Dasaratha was only eight months old . When he attained the age of 18 , he became the ruler of Kosala . He was a powerful king . The King of northern Kosala agreed to rule under his patronage . He had a beautiful daughter , Kausalya , whom Dasaratha wanted to marry . The King agreed ; but did not know that he and Dasaratha were closely related , coming from the same clan ... sagotra .
The demon King of Lanka , Ravana , wanted to marry Kausalya . He came to know from Brahma that his death would be at the hands of a divine son born to Dasaratha and Kausalya . Ravana became furious and decided to kill Kausalya even before her marriage . But Mandodari , his wife , pleaded with him not to commit stree hati ( the sin of killing a woman ) . She suggested that the marriage could be prevented by separating Kausalya from Dasaratha . Ravana agreed . He sent a few demons to kidnap Kausalya , put her in a box and float it in the river Sarayu so that she would not have a chance to survive and thereby preventing the marriage of Dasaratha with Kausalya .
One day Dasaratha was crossing the Sarayu river . He saw a box being thrown into the river by some persons from a hillock . Dasaratha jumped out of his boat and retrieved the box after fighting with the men . He was surprised to see Kausalya inside the box and thus saved her . Sage Narada who appeared there said it was the right time for the marriage of Dasaratha and Kausalya . Shortly the marriage was solemnised .
Soon Kausalya gave birth to a female child which unfortunately had a handicap in its leg . The child was named Shantai . The palace doctors could not remove the handicap . Sage Vashistha said the handicap was due to the marriage between close cousins -- of the same gotra . He suggested she would become normal if given in adoption to a divine couple ... ( ? ) . Dasaratha and Kausalya gave the child in adoption to Romapada , the king of Angadesa . Shantai ' s disability vanished with due care and treatment . Romapada performed the marriage of Shantai with Rishyasringa Maharishi .
It was after Shantai was given in adoption that Dasaratha got married to Sumitra and Kaikeyi with the hope of getting healthy children . As he had no issue even after that Dasaratha arranged for the Putrakameshti Yaga on the advice of sages . It was Rishyasringa who performed the Yaga and enabled Dasaratha to beget four sons .
The unknown story in the Ramayana highlights that Shantai was Sri Rama ' s elder sister . It also brings to light the ancient wisdom in the ill effects of consanguine marriages .
for more unseen story
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