Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Daśaratha at Wikipedia or at the Urday website

DASARATHA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A prince of the Solar race, son of Aja, a descendant of Ikshwaku, and king of Ayodhya.

He had three wives, but being childless, he performed the sacrifice of a horse, and according to the Ramayana, the chief queen, Kausalya, remained in close contact with the slaughtered horse for a night, and the other two queens beside her. Four sons were then born to him from his three wives. Kausalya bore Rama, Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata, and Sumitra bore Lakshmana and Satrughna. Rama partook of half the nature of Vishnu, Bharata of a quarter, and the other two shared the remaining fourth.

The Ramayana, in explanation of this manifestation of Vishnu, says that he had promised the gods to become incarnate as man for the destruction of Ravana. He chose Dasaratha for his human parent; and when that king was performing a second sacrifice to obtain progeny, he came to him out of the fire as a glorious being, and gave him a vessel full of nectar to administer to his wives. Dasaratha gave half of it to Kausalya, and a fourth each to Sumitra and Kaikeyi. They all in consequence became pregnant, and their offspring partook of the divine nature according to the portion of the nectar each had drunk.

There were several others of the name.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM