This discoure tells you about why it is imporant to have a son.
Who were the parents of Nala and Neela in Ramayana?
Their father was Vishwakarma. Their mother was an apsara called Ghritachi. Vishwakarma had become a vanara due to a curse by Ritadhwja Muni. Nala and Neela were the architects of Rama Setu, the bridge that the vanara sena built to cross over to Lanka.
What Ramayana teaches us
Through the example of Lord Rama, Ramayana teaches us how not to falter from dharma even while facing the gravest challenges in life.
You must have definitely heard that Dasharatha did Putreshti, Putra-kameshti to beget children. Actually, it is not fully correct. What was organized was an elaborate Ashwamedha yaga. At the end of which when Dasahratha prayed to Rishyasringa for vasmsavriddhi. Then Rishyasringa said: ok, then let's do Putreshti also. Let's see how this unfolded. We saw how Dasharatha was qualified to be the father of the lord. Observing Rajadharma, Kshatriya dharma was a tapas for him. Anyt....
You must have definitely heard that Dasharatha did Putreshti, Putra-kameshti to beget children.
Actually, it is not fully correct.
What was organized was an elaborate Ashwamedha yaga.
At the end of which when Dasahratha prayed to Rishyasringa for vasmsavriddhi.
Then Rishyasringa said: ok, then let's do Putreshti also.
Let's see how this unfolded.
We saw how Dasharatha was qualified to be the father of the lord.
Observing Rajadharma, Kshatriya dharma was a tapas for him.
Anything that you do unfailingly on the face of challenges and odds is tapas.
It is not easy.
To stick to something unfailingly is not easy.
You need a lot of willpower.
Dasharatha had that.
But in spite of being a tapaswi there was one desire that was unfulfilled for him.
He didn’t have children.
Thinking about this he sometimes broke into tears.
I have never deviated from dharma.
I am fulfilling all my duties.
Why am I not blessed with children?
What is the solution?
What is the way forward?
Until then he must have tried all kinds of remedies including medicines.
He is the king.
All resources are available to him.
But nothing worked.
Dasharatha himself found a solution.
सुतार्थी वाजिमेधेन किमर्थं न यजाम्यहम्?
Why not I perform Ashwamedha yaga?
Dasharatha was a Vedic scholar himself.
What is the difference between a remedy and a yajna?
Something is due for you.
But it is obstructed due to some past deeds of your own.
That is when you perform a remedy.
But here the possibility of having progeny has to be created.
Something that does not exist has to be created.
Only Vedic yajna can do it.
Vedic yajnas are creative processes.
Of course, as part of creative process, if there are impediments even those will be removed.
Now, why is Dasharatha so desperate to have children that he even breaks into tears?
To have someone to run the country after him?
Not that alone.
ऋणनिवर्तकत्वे तावत्- जायमानो वै ब्राह्मणस्त्रिभिरृणवा जायते, ब्रह्मचर्येण ऋषिभ्यो यज्ञेन देवेभ्यः प्रजया पितृभ्य एष वा अनृणो यः पुत्री।
A man is born with three debts: one towards Rishis- which he repays by learning and leading a life as per the Vedas.
What is brahmacharya?
Brahma here means Veda, charya means path.
Following the path of the Vedas, path shown by the Vedas.
Second debt- towards Devas.
Devas nourish us with all that we need: heat, light, water, air, food.
They are all devas: Agni, Surya, Jala, Vayu, Annam.
They give to us.
We have to give back in the form of yajnas so that they are replenished and they can provide to the generations to come.
You take a loan from a bank.
Unless you repay, how will they give to another person?
Every resource has a limit.
Our Sages realized and devised agni-vidya to pay back to the nature.
We have dealt with how this payback works in detail in the context of waxing moon and waning moon.
The third runa or debt are towards the forefathers.
We are here because of the forefathers.
There is a thread that runs through generations.
To be precise 7 + 7 - 14 generations.
Unless we extend this thread to the next generation, it is broken.
तस्मात् पुत्रं चोत्पाद्यात्मानमेवोत्पादयति इति विज्ञायते आत्मा वै पुत्र नामासि इति।
Unless we extend this thread to the next generation, it is broken
Repayment of pitru-runa will not happen.
Shastra clearly says: प्रजातन्तुं मा व्यवच्छेत्सीः
Don't allow this thread to break.
You know how shraddha is done?
Three generations above you are invoked in shraddha.
When I am gone, my son will do shraddha for me.
The food and water that he offers will come to me, my father, and my grandfather.
All of us will be in Pitruloka.
So if I don’t have a son, then not only me, my father and grandfather will be deprived of food and water.
So it is my duty to make sure that there is someone after me to continue shraddha.
Even this shraddha is a thread that runs down generations.
Otherwise, the debt to the forefathers will remain unpaid.
That’s why it is said: don’t break this thread, this tantu.
पुन्नाम्नो नरकात्त्रायत इति पुत्रः।
There is a Naraka called Puth or Pum where those who don't take efforts to have a son and fulfill his duties towards forefathers, they go.
The son saves you from that Naraka.
Hence he is called Putra.
Someone without a son will not go to a good world.
His Atma will wander about without aim or direction.
पुत्रेण लॊकाञ्जयति पौत्रेणानन्त्यमश्नुते।
अथ पुत्रस्य पौत्रेण नाकमेवाधिरोहति॥
A son will give you success everywhere.
Grandson will ensure you don't perish without direction.
Son's grandson will take you to Swarga.
In Mahabharata Pandu tells kunti:
अप्रजस्य महाभागे न द्वारं प्रतिचक्षते।
देहनाशे ध्रुवो नाशः पितॄणामेव निश्चयः॥
There is no way forward for the childless.
He perishes at the time of death.
A grandson will prevent from perishing.
You are reborn as your son.
It continues like that.
Your son is reborn as your grandson.
Do you get it?
It is a single cell from your own body that develops into your son.
It is a rebirth.
It goes on and on and on.
That is why it is said anantyam- endlessness.
If the thread is broken, then you perish.
There is so much merit in begetting a son that even Indra is afraid of such people.
When is he going to come and take my position?
पुत्रवन्तं बिभेतीन्द्रः किं तु तेनाजितं भवेत्।
Being a vedavit, Dasharatha knew all these.
That's why he was so upset.
Dashratha thought Ashwamedha will ensure me Swarga.
There is no swarga without children.
So doing Ashwamedha will get me children.
That was the logic.
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