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In Hindu mythology, Rishyasringa was a boy born of a doe with a small horn on his forehead. In Sanskrit, Rishyasringa means 'horned rishi'. He was a hermit and was brought up in the forest by his father, sage Vibhandaka. His mother was a deer. He had not seen any other human being till he was on the threshold of manhood.

Once there occurred a great drought and famine in the kingdom of Anga. The King Romapada was advised by his Brahmins that the sage Rishyasringa was the only person who could bring rain. The king sent the most charming courtesans of the city and entrusted them with the mission of bringing Rishyasringa to Anga. One among them succeeded in her attempt and brought Rishyasringa to Anga, who saved the kingdom. In return, the king gave his daughter’s hand in marriage to Rishyasringa. Santha was the daughter of King Dasaratha, who was given by adoption to King Romapada. It was Rishyasringa who performed the ‘Putrakameshti yaga’ for Dasaratha which brought about the birth of Ram.

The story of Rishyasringa is narrated in the Bala Kanda of Ramayana and in the Vana Parva of Mahabharata.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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