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|Parents||Sukaushal (father) |
|Children||Rama (son) |
Kausalya was the senior queen consort of Kosala in the Hindu epic Ramayana. She was the mother of Lord Rama, the titular hero of the epic, and the senior wife of Dasharatha, who ruled Kosala from its capital Ayodhya.
In some later accounts, Shanta is described as her daughter, and the eldest child, of Dasharatha. However, in the Bala Kanda of the Ramayana, Valmiki writes of Shanta only as the daughter of Romapada, the king of Anga, who was a friend of Dasharatha. At no point is Shanta's mother named.
Later texts name her as the daughter of the King Sukaushal and Queen Amritaprabha of Dakshina Kosala. At her traditionally ascribed birthplace, there exists a temple dedicated to her called the Mata Kaushalya Temple, which is perhaps among the few temples dedicated to her. Mata Kaushalya Temple is located in Chandkhuri which falls in the Raipur District of Chhattisgarh. The temple has been revived and inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel and other dignitaries under the 'Ram Van Gaman Path' project in October 2021.
At the sacrifice performed by Rishyasringa so that Dasharatha might bear sons, a divine being presented the king with a golden bowl filled with a payasam (a milk delicacy) prepared by the gods. Dasharatha offered half of this divine food to Kausalya, a quarter to Sumitra (literally 'half of that which remained'), an eighth to Kaikeyi (again 'half of that which remained'), and then, upon reflection, gave the final eighth to Sumitra again. 
When Rama set forth to begin his exile from Ayodhya, Dasaratha and Kausalya hurried after his chariot until Rama, unable to bear the sight, told his charioteer Sumantra to quicken his pace so that they would be left behind. Queen Kausalya is considered to be the incarnation of Dhara (Brahmani), wife of Dronavasu. She received a boon from Lord Vishnu, who promised her that he would be born as her son in the "Treta Yuga".
She ceased to be primary queen consort of Kosala with the death of her husband. She exercised the title of queen dowager until her son's accession to the throne, upon which she was widely honoured as the queen mother.
- "The Ramayana in Sanskrit: Book 1: Chapter 5".
- "The Ramayana in Sanskrit: Book 1: Chapter 8".
- "The Ramayana in Sanskrit: Book 2: Chapter 59".
- Sukhdev Singh Chib (1977). Punjab. Light & Life. p. 2. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- "Chhattisgarh CM inaugurates renovated Chandkhuri Mata Kaushalya temple". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
- "The Ramayana in Sanskrit: Book 1: Chapter 15".
Media related to Kausalya at Wikimedia Commons