After Shantha married Rishyashringa and both of them stayed with her father King Romapada, and the Kingdom of Anga flourished. Rishyashringa had collected immense powers of penance and because of this the country of Anga was prosperous and happy.
However now trouble was brewing in the kingdom of Ayodhya. King Dasaratha – Shantha's biological father was having a problem. He had given his only daughter in adoption. He had three wives – Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra, but he had no children to carry on the kingdom after him!
King Dasaratha was worried. He could not concentrate on the affairs of the kingdom. It was at this time that Sumantra, Dasaratha's minister came and talked to him. 'Your majesty! You do not seem well...You look worried and unhappy...Is there anything I can do to...' Sumantra looked at the king waiting for him to explain.
King Dasaratha drew a deep breath and said, 'Sumantra! I have nothing to hide from you...I have tried to be a good king...' Sumantra vigorously nodded his head, as Dasaratha continued, 'But I will not stay young forever...I will need to pass on the affairs of my kingdom and retire....But what can I do? Whom do I give the reins of my kingdom...I ….'
Sumantra held up his hands and smiled with a twinkle in his eyes, 'Your Majesty! The answer to your question lies with Shantha...'
Dasaratha was enraged, 'I have given Shantha in adoption to Romapada...I cannot...'
Sumantra smiled and said, 'Your majesty! Hear me out! Shantha is now married. She is married to a great sage by name Rishyashringa...'
Dasaratha listened attentively as Sumantra continued, 'Sage Rishyashringa is very powerful and has lots of powers of penance... In fact he is so powerful that it was because of him that the famine of the Anga kingdom came to an end...'
Dasaratha slowly nodded his head as he heard Sumantra, 'So you are saying we invite him and Shantha here?'
Sumantra nodded and said, 'Yes your majesty! I have heard of a yagna called as the 'putrakameshti yagna'... It is yagna performed for getting children...It is not an easy yagna to perform...But Rishyashringa with his power would be able to perform the yagna...'
Dasaratha's eyes lit up as he spoke almost joyously, 'So you are saying that I should invite Rishyashringa here and ask him to perform the putrakameshti yagna for me?'
Sumantra nodded and Dasaratha was looking at him happily.
Immediately King Dasaratha went to the kingdom of Anga and requested his friend King Romapada, to send Shantha and Rishyashringa with him to Ayodhya for performing the yagna.
Both Rishyashringa and Shantha gladly came with Dasaratha. Deep inside Rishyashringa realized that this was the actual reason he had been brought out of the forests by Shantha. He started preparing for the yagna earnestly.
As he possessed immense powers of penance, Rishyashringa was able to perform the difficult yagna with ease. At the end of the yagna, Agni, the God of the Fire emerged from the fire.
He called out to Dasaratha, 'Here take this payasam,[pudding] Dasaratha!' Saying this the Deva handed over King Dasaratha a golden pot. 'Divide the contents among your wives. You will have the children, you have always wanted...' Dasaratha bowed to the Deva as he vanished.
After the Deva had vanished, Dassaratha deeply thanked Rishyashringa and Shantha for their help. Rishyashringa felt like he had finished the work for which he had been brought out of the forest. Both he and Shantha retired to the forests near Anga and Rishyashringa began his penances and meditation again.
It was after taking the payasam, that Dasaratha had four sons - Ram, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughan...
Ram was born to Kausalya, the first wife and Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharat. Sumitra had twins - Lakshman and Shatrughan. How Sumitra alone had twins is another story....