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The terror and torment of Ravana had burdened the Dharti (earth) with an immense load of sins. The anguished Dharti (earth) appealed to Indra who in turn appealed to Brahma. Then Brahma took all the Gods and Dharti to Shiva and then all of them together went to Vishnudham where Lord Vishnu was reclining on his Sheshshaiyya (serpent seat). Goddess Lakshmi was seated at his feet, gently massaging his feet.
The Gods appealed to Vishnu to help Dharti (earth) and rid it of the trouble and turmoil. Lord Vishnu promised to appear on earth in a human form in a new avatar.
Meanwhile King Dashratha of Ayodhya had reached middle age but did not have any son of continue his lineage. He appealed to his Guru Vashishtha to resolve his problem. Sage Vashishtha called for Shringi Rishi to perform Putreshti Yagna (fire sacrifice for obtaining sons). King Dashratha arranged the Yagna. At the end of the ritual, Agni, the Lord of Fire, appeared with a bowl of Kheer, a rice pudding. Dashratha gave the Kheer (rice pudding) to his three queens, Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. At the end of nine months, Rama was born to Kaushalya, Bharata to Kaikeyi and Lakshmana and Shatrughna to Sumitra.
As soon as he was born, Rama appeared before Kaushalya in his divine, four-armed form. Kaushalya bowed before him and requested the joy of motherhood. Therefore Rama used his miraculous powers to make her forget the episode and took the form of a crying new born baby. The Gods in heaven rained down flowers in celebration.
Once, while playing, baby Rama ate some mud. His mother asked him to open his mouth. When he did so, she saw the entire universe inside. She was puzzled and mystified but Rama began to laugh merrily.
Once he appeared to be in two places at once, in the cradle and in the courtyard. Kaushalya ran from one place to the other to find her baby bouncing in the cradle and at the same time crawling in the courtyard. Just in time Rama used his power to make her forget this and began to cry. She cuddled him and held him lovingly in her arms.
One day as a toddler, Rama wanted the moon to play with like a ball. He wailed and wept for the shining ball. So Kaushalya filled a huge platter with water and placed it so that the orb of the moon was reflected in it and Rama played with his own moon happily!
Birth of Rama, Ramayana – The Epic Story