I came across an article in a respected site that Shanta,Lord Rama’s Elder sister,Dasaratha’s daughter through Kausalya Rama’s Mother) was abandoned by Dasaratha and hence Kausalya was miffed with him.
The article seems to have been influenced by A popular TV Serial.
Here are the excerpts.
The Mystery of Shanta- Lord Rama’s sister
Of the two legendary Indian mythologies, Ramayan enjoys a priestly following amid Hindu community. Surrounded by some startling facts including that it is written by once a dacoit-turned-sage Valmiki, and written partly on the basis of what Sita explained to him, it makes Ramayan ev
en more mystifying.
Shanta in Ramayan
There have been quite a few instances when not every part of story of this epic mythology was put forth for the audience to see, sometimes certain characters were kept in low limelight to highlight the importance of others. Like that of Shanta, King Dashrath’s first born; even the narration around her birth and abandonment were kept low, until only recently a popular TV show hinted to unfold a mysterious character in epic Ramayan.
King Dashratha and Queen Kausalya were blessed by their first born, a daughter, who they named Shanta. She was the epitome of poise, peace and harmony. She grew up to be a beautiful princess with qualities of a warrior. But, King Dashrath longed for a son, to continue his reign.
Dasharatha’s wives- Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi
He married Sumitra and Kaikeyi with an intention to bear a son, a ruling prince for Ayodhya. But, years went by and Ayodhya never received good news of their awaiting wish to see a prince.
Rishi Vibhandak and Urvashi
With guilt abiding within him, King Dashrath visited Sage Vashishta to seek an answer to his miseries. Vashishta told him about Sage Vibhandak, whose strict penance to achieve great power scared Lord Indra. Thus, he ordered a celestial paramour Urvashi to intervene his yogic activity.
As a result of which Sage Vibhandak got distracted, and his alliance with Urvashi bore him a son Sage Rishyasringa. Vibhandak pledged to raise his son alone in an isolated society, with no mention of womenfolk or even their existence.
King Dashratha was informed that if only a woman with great power could manage to bring Rishyasringa into a family world, then the Putrakameshti Yagya performed by him could bear the former sons.
Marriage of Shanta and Rishi Rishyasringa
Dashratha, out of desperation and helplessness abandoned his daughter Shanta and asked her to bring Sage Rishyasringa. She followed her father’s order and, despite Queen Kausalya’s plea to stay back, Shanta gave up princely life and went to live with Rishyasringa.
Sage Rishyasrunga,at the request of Dasaratha performed the Putrakameshti Yaaga to beget sons and Dasaratha was blessed with four sons,Ramayana,Bharathanatiyam,Lakshmana and Shatrugna.
Valmiki Ramayana is the authority for Ramayana.
Here is what Valmiki Ramayana says,
‘ ikSvaakuuNaa.m kule jaato bhaviSyati sudhaarmikaH |
naamnaa dasharatho naama shriimaan satyapratishravaH || 1-11-2
2. ikshwaaknaam= in Ikshwaku; kule+jaato= dynasty, born in; su+dhaarmikah= very virtuous one; naamna= by his name; Dasaratha; naama= named; shreemaan= resplendent one; satyapratisravah= truthful to his vow.
” A king named Dasaratha will be born into Ikshwaku dynasty who will be very virtuous, resplendent and truthful to his vow.” [said Sanat Kumara, the Sage] [1-11-2]
a~nga raajena sakhyam ca tasya raaj~no bhaviSyati |
kanyaa ca asya mahaabhaagaa shaa.ntaa naama bhaviSyati || 1-11-3
3. angaraajena= with the king of Anga; sakhyam= friendship; tasya+raajno= to that, king [to Dasaratha]; bhavishyati= will happen; kanyaa=daughter; cha+asya= also of him [King of Anga]; mahaabhaagaa= great women; Shanta; naama= named one; bhavishyati= will born.
” King Dasaratha will befriend the king of Anga and he, the King of Anga will beget a great girl named Shanta. [1-11-3]
putrastu so~Ngaraajasya romapaada iti shrutaH |
tam sa raajaa dasharatho gamiSyati mahaayashaaH || 1-11-4
4. putrastu= son of; sah= him [ Anga, the king of Anga]; Romapaada; iti+shrutah= thus heard; tam= to him; sah+raajaa= that king; Dasaratha; gamishyati= goes; mahaayashah= the well renowned.
The son of King Anga [the original king of Anga kingdom after whom the kingdom is named] will be known as King Romapaada and to him goes the well renowned King Dasaratha. [1-11-4]
anapatyo.asmi dharmaatman shaa.ntaa bhartaa mama kratum |
aahareta tvayaa aaj~naptaH santaanaartham kulasya ca || 1-11-5
5. anapatyah= childless; asmi= I am; dharmaatman= Oh! Righteous One; Shaantaa+bhartaa= Shanta’s husband; mama+kratum= my, Vedic ritual; aahareta= shall preside over; twaya= by you; aajсpta= be instructed; santaanaartham= cherishing children; kulasya+cha= for dynasty also.
[Then King Dasaratha says to King of Anga] “Oh! Righteous One, I am childless and hence I intend to perform a Vedic ritual. Shantaa’s husband [Sage Rishyasringa] shall preside over that Vedic ritual that enhances my dynasty, at your instruction. [1-11-5]
shrutvaa raaj~no.atha tat vaakyam manasaa sa vici.ntya ca |
pradaasyate putravantam shaa.ntaa bhartaaram aatmavaan || 1-11-6
6. shrutvaa= having heard; rдjnah= King’s, Dasaratha’s; tad+vaakyam= those words; manasaa= heartily; vichintya= considered; cha= also; pradaasyate= will give, will allow; putravantam= one who endows children by his boons; Shaanta+bhartaaram= Shanta’s husband; aatmavaan= that benevolent soul.
” That benevolent soul, [Romapaada, the king of Anga] on hearing those words of King Dasaratha, considers heartily and he gives away [will allow] Shanta’s husband, [i.e., his son-in-law, Sage Rishyasringa] one who endows progeny with his boons [to go along with King Dasaratha.] [1-11-6]
shaa.ntaa tava sutaa raajan saha bhartraa vishaam pate |
madiiya nagaram yaatu kaaryam hi mahadudyatam || 1-11-19
19. shaantaa= Princess Shantaa; tava+sutaa= your, daughter; raajan= Oh! King; saha= along with; bhartraa= her husband; vishaampte= Lord of subjects; madeeya= my own; nagaram= city; yaatu= may go over; kaaryam= a deed, the ritual; hi= verily[because]; mahat= great one; udyatam= is contemplated[by me].
” Oh! King, the Lord of Subjects, Princess Shaanta your daughter, along with her husband Sage Rishyasringa may go over my city Ayodhya, as I contemplate [to perform] a great Vedic ritual, which is great deed. ” [Said Dasaratha] [1-11-19]
Reference and citation.
There no evidence that Shanta was Dasaratha’s Daughter,according to Valmiki.
However, Sri.B.G.Kanuja,in his book Immortal Love of Ramayana, writes that Shanta was Dasaratha’s Daughter and was given in adoption to Romapada.
She was born on 12th March,4449 BC.
He quotes Valmiki Ramayana ,Canto 9 (?),Sloka 12?
I am unable to find the reference.
Scholars may clarify.
And there is no evidence Dasaratha abandoned her.