A relatively unknown event in Indian mythology (Ramayana)

Did you know that Lord Rama had an elder sister named Shanta?

Shanta was King Dasharatha’s eldest offspring. She was given in adoption to King Romapada, who was the ruler of Anga and a friend of Dasharatha’s.

Shanta was married to sage R̥śyaśr̥ṇga. The story goes that the kingdom of Anga once faced severe drought. King Romapada, after consultation with Brahmanas, invited Rishi R̥śyaśr̥ṇga to his kingdom and gave his daughter Shanta in marriage to him.

The rishi’s yajna brought rainfall and ended the famine in Anga. Rishi R̥śyaśr̥ṇga also eventually conducts Dasharatha’s Ashwamedha yajna and the yajna for securing the birth of sons, at the end of which the gods appear and bless the king to have four sons. 

Both Rishi R̥śyaśr̥ṇga and Goddess Shanta are worshipped today at the Shringa rishi temple in Banjar valley, Himachal

Image credit: http://himachal.nic.in
Source: Gita Press' Valmiki Ramayana (Balakanda)

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