• Nitika Mehra

Goddess Shanta From Ramayana: One of The Two Major Sanskrit Epics of Ancient India

Updated: May 16


Goddess Shanta was a daughter of queen Kausalya the wife of king Dasharatha (Ayodhya). She was later given in adoption to Raja Romapada, king of Anga. She was educated in Vedas, art, craft as well as in warfare, and was considered to have been very beautiful. She was married to Rishyasringa, son of the legendary Indian Hindu saint Vibhandaka. There is a temple of Rishyashringa in Nepal with Goddess Shanta residing in that temple.


One day, while her father, the king Rompada, was busy in conversation with Shanta, a Brahmin came to ask for help in cultivation in the days of the monsoon. Rompada did not pay attention to the Brahmin's plight. This irritated and enraged the Brahmin, who left the kingdom. Indradev, the god of rain, was unable to bear the insult of his devotee, so there was little rainfall during the monsoon season resulting drought in kingdom. Whereas Dashratha had no children, he wanted a son to continue his legacy and to enrich his royal dynasty the troubles of both kingdoms could only be alleviated by yajnas performed by a brahmin with the powers that come from observance of perfect chastity.


The only such person is Rishyasringa who was raised by Vibhandak Rishi isolated from society without knowledge of women needed to be brought to the city, and be persuaded to carry out the necessary yajna ceremonies, despite his fear of the power and anger of Vibhandak Rishi, both kings send young women to introduce the boy into normal society, then Shanta fulfils this task and Rishyasringa marries Shanta, he then agrees to perform yajna for Anga, during the recitation of it, it rained heavily, the public rejoiced and there were festivals in Anga. Rishyasringa also performed a Putra Kameshthi yajna for Dashratha to beget progeny, and as the consequence of the said Yajna were born: Lord Rama, Bharata, and the twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna.


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