Kusha (Ramayana)

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Kusa, one of Rāma and Sita's twin sons

Kusha or Kush (Sanskrit: कुश, Tamil: குசன், Malay: Gusi, Thai: Mongkut, Khmer: Ramalaks) and his twin brother Lava, were the children of Lord Rama and his wife Sita, whose story is recounted in the Hindu epic Ramayana. He was the elder of the two and is said to have wheatish complexion like their mother, while Lava had black complexion like their father. Once sita goes to fetch water from the lake carrying the infant lava in her arms, the sage valmiki comes to ashram from outside and asks where is sita to that the ashram people say she has gone to fetch water with other ladies but he does not see the child in the cradle of lava, he thinks demons should have taken the baby so he immediately gets some dry grass (darbha or kusha in sanskrit) and clones a baby by the time sita comes to the ashram, this is how kusha is born or he gets the name kusha. Ramayana book written by Valmiki says Sita gave birth to both Lava and Kusha at the same time. He was the ruler of the kingdom centered at Kasur in ancient times.[1] His brother Lava is purported to be the founder of Lahore. The line of kings which ruled Kashi and the Mauryan dynasty, an empire that ruled the Indian sub-continent from 320 BC to185 BC claimed descent from Kusha. Kusha belongs to Ikshvaku clan or Suryavansh Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India.

Rama fighting Lava and Kusha
Lava and Kusha engage Lakshmana in battle

Birth and childhood[edit]

According to Ramayana, pregnant Sita was banished from the kingdom of Ayodhya by Rama due to the gossip of kingdom folk. She took refuge in the ashram of sage Valmiki located on the banks of the Tamsa river.[2] Lava and Kusha were born at the ashram and were educated and trained in military skills under the tutelage of Valmiki.

Battle with Rama[edit]

When Rama performed the Ashvamedha Yagya, the sacrifice horse strayed into their forest, which was captured by Lava and Kusha. Unaware that the horse belonged to Rama and he was their father, they engaged in conflict and defeated Rama's army led by his brothers. Eventually, Rama himself came to battle his own sons. After Hanuman and Valmiki's intervention, Rama knows the truth and invites them to return to Ayodhya.

Later history[edit]

Lava and Kusha became rulers after their father Rama and founded the cities of Lavapuri and Kasur respectively. Kushavati was a city in Kosala Kingdom as per epic Ramayana. The king of Kosala Raghava Rama installed his son Lava at Sravasti and Kusha at Kushavati. The city is now identified to be Kushinagar a town near Gorakhpur.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nadiem, Ihsan N. "Kasur ancient name". Punjab, Pg.111. Google Books. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  2. ^ Vishvanath Limaye (1984). Historic Rama of Valmiki. Gyan Ganga Prakashan.