In the story, when the King performs a Putrakameshti Yagna, the sacrifice for progeny, a divine being, purusha, emerges from the holy fire and offers a pot of payasam milk sweet. King Dasharatha distributes the dessert to his three wives, the Queens Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi, in accordance with the status of each, and each wife conceives. As a result, Queen Kaushalya gives birth to the oldest son, Rama; Bharatha is born to Queen Kaikeyi; and Lakshmana and Shatrughna are born to Queen Sumitra.
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