King Dilipa of Ayodhya has riches in plenty and power too, but he is unhappy because he has no children. On Sage Vasistha’s advice, he and his wife Sudakshina begin to worship the divine cow Nandini. As Nandini leaves every morning to graze, Dilipa follows her with his bow and his quiver full of arrows, for it his duty to be with the cow day and night and guard her vigilantly.
As they return home, Dilipa takes in all the sights in the forest — the peacocks rising to the treetops for the night, the deer chewing cud. Nandini walks slowly, because her huge udders make it difficult for her to walk swiftly. The sight of the king walking along with the cow is a pleasing sight, and seems to decorate the path to the hermitage. Sudakshina, the queen of Dilipa, is waiting for the return of Dilipa and Nandini, and as she spots them approaching the hermitage, she watches them without batting her eyelids. She welcomes them to the hermitage.
In guarding Nandini, Sudakshina has a role too. At night, Nandini lies on the ground, flanked by Dilipa and Sudakshina. The couple take turns to guard the cow. When Dilipa sleeps, Sudakshina is awake, and when Sudakshina sleeps, Dilipa stays awake. Thus, they are vigilant all the time to ensure that no harm befalls the cow, elaborated N. Veezhinathan in a lecture.
All the things necessary for the next day’s puja are ready beside Nandini, so that when the cow rises, she can be worshipped. Sudakshina worships the cow by placing flowers on its forehead, for this is the way to ensure that her wishes are granted. For twenty-one days, Dilipa and Sudakshina worship the cow and attend to its comforts. The divine cow is pleased with their services, and eventually they are rewarded. A son is born to them, and is named Raghu. So famous does Raghu become that the entire clan is named after him. So well have Dilipa and his wife served the cow that Nandini comes to the rescue of Raghu, when his sacrificial horse is stolen by Indra. She enables Raghu to see who the thief is. Lord Rama is born as the great grandson of Raghu. Thus, the commitment of Dilipa and Sudakshina results in an illustrious lineage.