More than 300 Ramayanas are prevalent all over the world. Among them, Valmiki Ramayana, Kamban Ramayana and Ramcharit Manas, wonderful Ramayana, Adhyatma Ramayana, and Anand Ramayana are discussed more. On studying the said Ramayana, we get information about many new facts related to Ramkatha. Similarly, if we believe in South’s Ramayana, It is said that Lord Ram had two sisters, one of whom is Shanta and the other is Kukbi. It is said that not much is said about Kukbi. There is not much written about her but there is a lot about Shanta.
Shanta – Elder sister of Shri Ram
According to the Ramayana of South India, the name of Ram’s sister was Shanta, who was older than the four brothers. Shanta was the daughter of King Dasaratha and Kaushalya, but a few years after she was born, for some reason, King Dasaratha gave Shanta to King Romapada of Angadesha. The elder sister of Lord Rama was brought up by King Romapada and his wife Varshini. , who was the sister of Queen Kausalya, and Rama’s aunt.
There are three stories in this regard
- First: Varshini was childless and once in Ayodhya she jokingly asked for a child. Dashrath also agreed. To fulfill Raghukul’s promise, Shanta became the princess of Angadesh. Shanta was well versed in Vedas, arts and crafts and she was also very beautiful.
- Second: According to folklore, when Shanta was born, there was a famine in Ayodhya and the earth turned to dust for 12 years. The worried king was advised that his daughter Shanta was the cause of the famine. King Dasaratha donated his daughter Shanta to Varshini to end the famine. After that Shanta never came to Ayodhya. It is said that Dasaratha was afraid of calling him to Ayodhya because there might be a famine again.
- Third story: Some people believed that King Dashrath had given Shanta up for adoption only because she could not become his successor because she was a girl. Shanta was married to Shring Rishi, the son of Maharishi Vibhandak. One day when Vibhandak was taking a bath in the river, he ejaculated in the river itself. A deer drank that water, as a result of which Shring Rishi was born.
Shanta was married to Ring Rishi
Once a Brahmin went to King Romapada to help him with crop production in his field, but the king did not pay heed. Angry at the insult of his devotee, Lord Indra did not allow it to rain, due to which there was a drought. Then the king called Shring Rishi to perform the Yagya.
After the Yagya, it rained heavily. The public was so happy that an atmosphere of celebration was created in Angadesh. Then Varshini and Rompad decide to give the hand of their adopted daughter Shanta to Shring Rishi.
When Dasaratha called his son-in-law with the wish of a son
King Dasaratha and his three queens were worried about who would be the successor if there was no son. To remove their worries, sage Vashishtha advises you to get your son-in-law, sage Shring, to perform the Putreshthi Yagya. This will give birth to a son.
Dasaratha, on the advice of his minister Sumanta, called great sages for the Putrakameshthi Yagya. In this yagya, Dasaratha also called Shring Rishi. Shring Rishi was a pious soul and wherever he set foot there was fame. Sumanth asks Ranga to become the main Ritwik. Dashrath ordered to organize.
At first Shring Rishi refused to perform the yagya but later on Shanta’s request, Ring Rishi agreed to perform Putreshthi Yagya for King Dasaratha.
It rained in Ayodhya due to the arrival of Shanta
Dasaratha invited only Shring Rishi (his son-in-law) but Shring Rishi said that I cannot come alone. My wife Shanta will also have to come. King Dasharath got into thinking after knowing this thing of Shring Rishi, because he was still in fear that due to the arrival of Shanta in Ayodhya, there might be famine again.
But when he called his son-in-law Shring Rishi during the Putra Kameshti Yagya with the wish of a son, the son-in-law refused to come without Shanta.
Then Dasaratha, eager to have a son, sent a message that Shanta should also come. Shanta and Shring Rishi reached Ayodhya. As soon as Shanta arrived, it started raining in Ayodhya and flowers started showering. Shanta touched the feet of Dasaratha. Dasaratha was surprised and asked, ‘O Goddess, who are you? As soon as you put your feet, spring has spread all around. When the parents (Dasaratha and Kausalya) were wondering who is she? Then Shanta told that ‘she is his daughter Shanta’. Dashrath and Kaushalya were more than happy to know this. Years later both of them saw their daughter.
Dashrath gave respect to both of them and worshiped them both. Then Shring Rishi performed Putrakameshthi Yagya and from this Lord Rama and Shanta’s other brothers were born.
It is said that the life-long virtue of the person who performs Putreshthi Yagya is destroyed in the sacrifice of this Yagya. In return for his virtue, King Dasaratha was blessed with sons. King Dasaratha gave a lot of money to Shring Rishi in exchange for performing a yagya, which provided sustenance for Shring Rishi’s son and daughter, and Ram, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughan were born from the kheer obtained from the Yagya. Shring Rishi again went to the forest and started doing penance to earn virtue.
Why are there no pictures of Shanta in Ramayana and Ramcharit Manas?
In front of the public, Shanta never let anyone know that she is the daughter of King Dasaratha and Kaushalya. This is the reason why there is no special mention of him in Ramayana or Ramcharit Manas.
Shanta felt sad when no brother came to meet her
It is said that Shanta kept waiting for her brothers all her life and that they would come to meet her someday, but no one went to know about her condition. Not even Shir Ram, Maryada Purushottam, perhaps he too was afraid of famine in Ram rajya.
It is said that while going to the forest, Lord Ram also passed by his sister’s hermitage. He would have stopped for a while and would have given darshan to his sister. Shanta was not ready to come uninvited. In childhood, she had heard the story of Sati Mata from Dasharatha.
It is believed that the descendants of Shring Rishi and Shanta later became the Sengar Rajputs. Sengar Rajput is called Shringvanshi.