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Dasharatha - the king of ayodhya with his wives and sons
Another legend gives the version that Dasharatha divided the divine nectar between his two senior wives, Kaushalya and Kaikeyi only and that when the younger, Sumitra, asked for some, each of the senior ones gave one half from their respective shares.So Sumitra received two quarters and gave birth to two sons-one part received from Kaushalya gave birth to Lakshmana who was ever attached to Rama and the other part received from Kaikeyi gave birth to Shatrughana who was more attracted towards Bharata.

All the four brothers grew up together at Ayodhya and learnt fast various subjects covering arts of peace and methods of wars. While they were still young and Rama had turned only sixteen, one highly revered saint, named Vishwamitra, came to king Dasharatha. He requested for Rama's help to protect him and his disciples from demons, who had been interfering with his usual religious sacrifices to gods. Very reluctantly Dasharatha sent Rama and his younger son Lakshmana to the hermitage of sage Vishwamitra. Rama cleared the hermitage of all demons and killed a powerful female-demon named Taraka. Sage Vishwamitra was very pleased and taught Rama precious pieces of rare wisdom. He also gave Rama some celestial weapons with extraordinary powers.

Marriage of rama and sita
Vishwamitra took the two brothers to the court of king Janaka, the ruler of Mithila a territory near Ayodhya. Janaka had a very beautiful daughter by the name of Sita. At that time Sita had grown and her father wanted to marry her to a talented and strong prince. Janaka had in his possession a divine bow of great weight, which god Shiva had given to him as a gift. The King arranged for a competition as a prelude to Sita' s marriage. He announced before the assembly of competing princes that anyone who could lift and stretch the string of this bow would win the hand of his daughter. None could succeed except Rama, who stretched this old bow with such force that it broke into two pieces. This way Sita was married to Rama amidst joy and gaiety.

The breaking of Shiva' s divine bow by Rama into two pieces led to an interesting episode. Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu was alive at that time. This sage in incarnation, to take revenge against Kshatriyas for the murder of his father, had exterminated the members of this caste a number of times. He just at that moment reached the court of King Janaka. Seeing the bow broken into parts he became furious and started rebuking the prince of Ayodhya. He challenged Rama to combat with him and settle the score. However the dispute was ultimately peacefully settled and Parashurama too was convinced of the greatness of Rama.

At Ayodhya King Dasharatha felt that he had been growing old. He decided to formally announce the name of his eldest son Rama as the next successor to his throne.What happened then was that Kaikeyi, the second and the most favorite wife of Dasharatha, had a hunch-backed maid- servant, named Manthra. She was crooked not only in body but also in mind too. Though Kaikeyi, like a good stepmother, loved Rama without malice, Manthra, playing the role of a wicked court lady, worked upon the maternal instincts of Kaikeyi. She instigated her mistress against her stepson and pleaded that this action of the king showed no regards for the sentiments of the woman, whom he pretended to love so much. Why should Bharata, the son of Kaikeyi, not be declared the heir-apparent of the kingdom of Ayodhya?

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