At that time, there was a great king DASARATHA in Ayodhya, who was sad that none of his three wives had had any children. He prayed for sons and performed a great Yagna for getting children.

As the ghee was poured into the fire of the Yagna, from out of the flames came a majestic figure,  holding a bowl of gold.

Calling King Dasaratha by his name, the figure said: "The Devas are pleased with you and are answering your prayer. Here is payasam (nectar) sent by the gods for your wives. You will be blessed with sons if they drink this divine nectare." With great joy, Dasaratha received the bowl and distributed the payasam to his three wives, Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi.In course of time, Dasaratha's four sons were born: Rama to Kausalya, and Bharata to Kaikeyi. Sumitra gave birth to twins, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. For, she had drunk the divine payasam twice.