The birth of Kusha and Lava
In the Uttarakandam of Valmikiramayanam, the birth and naming of the twin children of Rama and Sita is described succinctly .
Rama proved his worth as a hero by undergoing the toughest challenges in life …
first losing the golden opportunity of being anointed as the heir apparent as a matter of slip between the cup and the lip ..
then living the life of a recluse in the forest for fourteen years just to fulfill a promise made by his father..
proving his unchallengeable strength in defeating and slaying powerful Ravana was the next mission….
Finally he regained his rightful kingdom and his life with Sita, his brothers and family and his subjects looked promising and happy for ever thereafter..
But misfortune again stuck in the shape of a scandalous allegation by some loose-tongued citizen and Rama had to abandon his pregnant wife Sita in the forest..
Sage Valmiki adopted Sita and made her comfortably settled in his own hermitage, i
n the company of the numerous wives of the sages who were his disciples occupying the ashram..
Kingly duties proceeded as even in Ayodhya..
The youngest brother of Rama Shatrughna was directed on a mission to fight and vanquish Lavanaasura…
And on his way to the battle, as fate would have it, he had to spent a night in the ashram of Valmiki.
On the very same night Sita delivers the twins,
The following stanzas from Chapter 66 of the Uttara Kandam of Valmiki Ramayanam, describes the moment of birth for the twins… Kusha and Lava..
यामेव रात्रिं शत्रुघ्नः पर्ण्णशालामुपाविशत्।
तामेव रात्रिं सीताऽपि प्रसूता दारकद्वयम्॥१
ततोऽर्द्धरात्रसमये बालकाः मुनिदारकाः।
वाल्मीकेः प्रियमाचख्युः सीतायाः प्रसवं शुभम्॥२
भगवन् रामपत्नी सा प्रसूता दारकद्वयम्।
ततो रक्षां महातेजः कुरु भूतविनाशिनीम्॥३
तेषां तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा महर्षिः समुपागमत्।
जगाम तत्र हृष्टात्मा ददर्श च कुमारकौ।
भूतघ्नीं चाकरोत्ताभ्यां रक्षां रक्षोविनशिनीम्॥४
कुशमुष्टिमुपादाय लवं चैव तु स द्विजः।
वाल्मीकिः प्रददौ ताभ्यां रक्षां भूतविनाशिनीम्॥५
यस्तयो पूर्वजो जातो स कुशैर्मन्त्रसत्कृतैः।
निर्म्मार्ज्जनीयस्तु तदा कुश इत्यस्य नाम तत्॥६
यश्चावरो भवेत्ताभ्यां लवेन स समाहितः।
निर्म्मार्जनीय् वृद्धाभिर् लव इत्येव नामतः॥७
एवं कुशलवौ नाम्ना तावुभौ यमजातकौ।
मत्कृताभ्यां च नामभ्यां ख्यातियुक्तौ भविष्यतः॥८
॥श्रीमद्वल्मीकीये रामायणे उत्तरकाण्डे ६६ तमे सर्गे॥
yāmeva rātriṁ śatrughnaḥ parṇṇaśālāmupāviśat|
tāmeva rātriṁ sītā'pi prasūtā dārakadvayam||1
tato'rddharātrasamaye bālakāḥ munidārakāḥ|
vālmīkeḥ priyamācakhyuḥ sītāyāḥ prasavaṁ śubham||2
bhagavan rāmapatnī sā prasūtā dārakadvayam|
tato rakṣāṁ mahātejaḥ kuru bhūtavināśinīm||3
teṣāṁ tadvacanaṁ śruitvā maharṣiḥ samupāgamat|
jagāma tatra hṛṣṭātmā dadarśa ca kumārakau|
bhūtaghnīṁ cākarottābhyāṁ rakṣāṁ rakṣovinaśinīm||4
kuśamuṣṭimupādāya lavaṁ caiva tu sa dvijaḥ|
vālmīkiḥ pradadau tābhyāṁ rakṣāṁ bhūtavināśinīm||5
yastayo pūrvajo jāto sa kuśairmantrasatkṛtaiḥ |
nirmmārjjanīyastu tadā kuśa ityasya nāma tat||6
yaścāvaro bhavettābhyāṁ lavena sa samāhitaḥ |
nirmmārjanīy vṛddhābhir lava ityeva nāmataḥ||7
evaṁ kuśalavau nāmnā tāvubhau yamajātakau|
matkṛtābhyāṁ ca nāmabhyāṁ khyātiyuktau bhaviṣyataḥ||8
||śrīmadvalmīkīye rāmāyaṇe uttarakāṇḍe 66 tame sarge ||
1 On the very same night that Prince Shatrughna stayed in the precincts of the hermitage of Valmiki (in a cottage made of leaves) Sita gave birth to the twin children.
2..In the middle of the night, children of the occupants of the hermitage announced to the sage,the happy tidings regarding the safe delivery of the twins by Sita
3..The boys of the hermitage said, “ Revered Sage and Master, The wife of Rama, Sita has delivered two children. Oh, Lustrous One, please provide protection by holy chants for the children so that the evil spirits waiting to harm them may be destroyed.
4..On hearing the words of the boys, the sage accompanies them and went to where the twins were born, saw them and was very happy.. And immediately made protective charms capable of annihilating the evil spirits that might attack for the new borns.
5..The twice born Sage Valmiki, took one handful of Darbha grass comprising of the soft upper parts called Kusha, and another handful of Darbha grass comprising of the lower stem parts called Lava and invoked protection for the infants and destruction of evil spirits intent on attacking them..
6..He directed that the first born among the two should be used to be waved in sanctification with the bundle of Kusha Grass to protect him from evil spirit and thereafter the boy would be called by the name Kusha.
7.. He further ordered that the second born should be waved in sanctification to be done by the elderly ladies of the hermitage, with the bundle of Lava grass to ward off the evil spirits, and thereafter that boy will be called by the name Lava
8.. The Sage further blessed “Thus these two infants born as twins will become very famous by the names Kusha and Lava as given by me..”
The boys grew up into heroes, and even challenged Lord Rama and Anjaneyaswamy in fight.. That is sweet history..