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Story Of Dasharatha And Shani Bhagavan In Ramayana

In the Bengali Krittibasi Ramayana, there is an intriguing story about King Dasharatha and Shani Bhagavan that unfolds during Dasharatha's reign in Ayodhya. This episode is a fascinating blend of divine intervention, celestial influence, and the valor of the king, which underscores the mythical richness of the Ramayana.

The Severe Drought in Ayodhya

During King Dasharatha's rule, Ayodhya faced a severe drought, causing immense distress to its inhabitants. The scarcity of water was unusual, as Indra, the god of rain, had once promised King Raghu, an earlier ruler of Ayodhya, that there would be no drought in the kingdom.

Dasharatha's Journey to the Heavens

Perplexed and concerned about the broken promise, King Dasharatha decided to seek answers. He ascended to the heavens with his formidable army, determined to confront Indra. Dasharatha was renowned for his Shabdabedi baan, an extraordinary arrow that could target and kill an enemy by sound alone, making him a fearsome adversary.

Encounter with Indra

The devas were terrified of Dasharatha due to his legendary prowess. Realizing the potential threat, Indra decided to meet Dasharatha with respect and honor. He welcomed the king warmly and clarified that the drought in Ayodhya was not due to his negligence. Indra revealed that Shani, the celestial being associated with the planet Saturn, was the actual cause. Shani's presence in the Rohini constellation was responsible for the drought.

Dasharatha's Confrontation with Shani

Determined to resolve the crisis, Dasharatha sought Shani's abode. As he approached, Shani's gaze fell upon him, causing the king's chariot to break apart and the horses to collapse. Dasharatha himself started plummeting toward the ground, but he was heroically saved by Jatayu, a powerful and wise bird, marking the beginning of a great friendship between them.

The Final Confrontation

Undeterred by the previous encounter, Dasharatha prepared himself once more and confronted Shani. Recognizing Dasharatha as a significant figure in whose lineage Narayana (Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord Rama) would be born, Shani realized that Dasharatha's destiny was extraordinary.

Shani's Boon

Acknowledging their shared heritage from the Solar dynasty, Shani spoke to Dasharatha, expressing that his sight often brought calamities. Impressed by Dasharatha's courage and determination, Shani offered the king a boon. Dasharatha requested Shani to divert his gaze away from the Rohini constellation to end the drought plaguing Ayodhya. In response, Shani agreed and removed his sight from Rohini, thereby alleviating the drought and restoring prosperity to Ayodhya.

This story from the Krittibasi Ramayana highlights the themes of divine influence, the importance of righteous rulers, and the interplay between celestial beings and human destiny. King Dasharatha's unwavering resolve and bravery, combined with divine intervention, ultimately brought relief to his kingdom, showcasing his dedication to his people's welfare.