Once upon a time, there lived a brave and just ruler of Ayodhya whose name was Dasaratha. He was born in the Solar Dynasty. He was married to Kausalya, the daughter of the King of Kosala. After some time, Dasaratha got worried as he had no children. So on the advice of Kausalya, Dasaratha got married to Sumitra and then again to Kaikeyi. Alas, none of the three Queens were blessed with a child.

Feeling anxious, King Dasaratha prayed to the family priest Sage Vasishta. The holy Sage advised him to perform the Putrakameshti Yaga- a sacrifice performed to seek the blessings of God for getting children. As Rshyasrnga performed the Yaga, a majestic figure rose from the sacrificial fire. He held a bright vessel in his hands. A voice resounded from the sky saying, “Maharaja! Accept this vessel, and give the sacred payasam brought therein in appropriate shares to your three Queens”. The king received the payasam and the heavenly person disappeared.

Gurus to tell children: When you are worried and anxious you must pray to God. When you yearn for something in life, you must seek God’s blessings

Values to be imbibed: Faith in God / Importance of Prayer and Surrender

The payasam was divided between the three queens, but an eagle snatched Queen Sumitra’s bowl of payasam. Queen Kausalya and Kaikeyi shared their payasam with Sumitra. Soon Kausalya gave birth to a son Rama. Bharata was born to Kaikeyi. Sumitra gave birth to twins- Lakshmana and Shatrughna.

Values to be imbibed: Joy of Caring and Sharing / Happiness is multiplied many-fold when shared

Dasaratha celebrated the birth of his four sons with pomp and glory and distributed cows to the poor. They were not ordinary children. They were Divine. So they were special in all respects. Sumitra found that her son Lakshmana was crying day and night. Doctors examined him and medicines given, but to no effect. Finally at the advice of Vasishta, Lakshmana was put in the same cradle as Rama. Immediately, he stopped crying. Similarly, Shatrughna was happy only when he was with Bharata.

When the princes grew in age, Dasaratha sent them to Vasishta’s house to be educated. They did not wear costly dresses but simple clothes.

Gurus to tell children: You should not wear flashy clothes / expensive watches or carry costly pencil boxes / pens to school, where all children are equal; we go to school only to learn valuable lessons

Values to be imbibed: Simple Living & High Thinking commands more respect than ostentatious display

When they completed their studies with him, Vasishta gave permission to Dasaratha to take his sons back to the palace. Dasaratha wanted his sons to be trained in archery too. When the trainers told them to shoot birds in the forest, Rama refused saying that they were learning archery for protection of the good and not to kill innocent animals and birds.

Gurus to tell children about how Lord Rama followed the Divine Dictum: “Help Ever, Hurt Never”.
Values to be imbibed: Ahimsa (Non Violence) and Dharma (Right conduct)

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