Valmiki was graced with the divine vision to perceive each and every detail of the story of Lord Rama when he was inspired to compose the 24, 000 verses of the Ramayana in simple and meaningful verses. He taught this to Lava and Kusa who set the verses to tune and sang the story to the sages in the vicinity. It is said that Rama heard the boys sing outside His palace and arranged a recital in the palace. As Valmiki describes the events leading to Rama’s birth along with Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrugna (who represent His divine energy), it becomes clear that things begin to take shape when the time is ripe, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse.

When Dasaratha contemplated the idea of performing the Putrakameshti yaga with the aim of begetting a son, Sumantra recalled what Sanatkumara, the mind-born son of Brahma, had once prophesied in Krita Yuga about the events that would happen in Treta Yuga. “Dasaratha, a distinguished ruler in the Ikshvaku race, who had remained childless for long, would perform the Putrakameshti, with the aim of getting a son. He would seek the austere and auspicious sage Rishyasringa to conduct this yaga. These sons would bring name, fame and glory to Surya Vamsa.”

At the same time, the celestial beings approached Brahma to find a solution to Ravana’s atrocities. Through severe penance, Ravana had propitiated Brahma and was granted extraordinary boons. He gained immunity from all beings except humans whom he treated as insignificant against his immense strength. Lord Vishnu appeared before the celestial beings and promised to be born as a human being to annihilate Ravana. The Lord contemplated the time, place and parents for His incarnation and chose Dasaratha as His father. Towards the completion of the Putrakameshti yaga, when the primary oblations were made, a divine being rose from the flames and handed over to Dasaratha a golden vessel containing “payasam,” and told him to distribute it to his wives Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. This paved the way for the divine incarnation and at the end of 12 months four sons were born in Dasaratha’s household.

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