Monday, January 11, 2016

Daughter and Son in Law

Daughter of Dasharata
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Valmiki Ramayan does not mention Ram’s sister, however, in the Mahabharata we learn of King Lompada who adopts the daughter of Dashratha. This daughter of Dashratha is Ram’s elder sister, Shanta. In Telugu folk songs she is described as being furious when Ram abandons Sita following street gossip.

Son in Law of Dasharata
According to the Oriya Ramayan, following adoption, Shanta is given in marriage to Rishyashringa, a sage whose celibacy causes drought in Lompada’s kingdom. Following the marriage, the rains come back. This tale is consistent with the traditional theme of Vaishnava literature that condemns absolute abstinence which is seen as world-denying hence world-destructive.

Though Dashrath seems to have fathered Shanta without any difficulty, he is unable to father any more children. Dharma insists that a man must father a son and continue his lineage and that a king must produce an heir for the throne. A desperate Dashrath therefore marries a second and a third time. When nothing works, he decided to perform a yagna and compel the gods to give him a child.

The priest, who Dashrath invites to perform the ceremony that will restore the fertility of his household is none other than his son-in-law,
 His father was the Vibhandak Rishi, and his mother was a celestial paramour Urvashi

Just as Rishyashringa’s marriage to Shanta brought rains to Lompada’s kingdom, Rishyashringa’s yagna will bring children to Dashrath’s queens.



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