Uttara Kanda details the story of Rama banishing Sita from Ayodhya and birth of their sons. Uttara Kanda also details the story of Luv Kush training by Rishi Valmiki.
Uttara Kanda – Birth of Luv Kush
During Ram’s period of rule, an intemperate washerman, while berating his wayward wife, declared that “he is not Rama who would take his wife back after she had lived at the home of another man”. This statement was reported to Rama, who understood that the accusation on Sita was baseless.
Rama yielded to public opinion and thus Sita was forced to go to the forest for a second time, even as she was pregnant where rishi Valmiki provided shelter in his ashram, located in a forest on the banks of the River Tamsa. Sita delivered twin sons named Luv and Kush.
There is also a different tale that Sita delivered one son Luv. Once, Sita was going for a bath to the nearby river (tamsa), she requested muni Valmiki to take care of her son Luv, and muni nodded his head in agreement while he was busy writing. After going some steps she realized that muni was continually absorbed in writing, so she took Luv with herself.
After some time when muni looked for the child who was supposed to be somewhere around, he could not find Luv. Muni wasn’t aware of the fact that Sita herself had taken Luv with her. Muni was worried what he would say when Sita returned and asked for her child. So he created a boy child from nearby Kush (a grass employed for making mats and roofs of kutiya’s in ancient India) and gave life to it.
When Sita came back, Muni was shocked to see that Luv was with her, so he asked Sita to take care of both children as her own children. Since Valmiki muni used Kusha to make the child, the child was given the name Kusha.
Valmiki formally began training Luv and Kush when they were around 5 years of age. He educated them in archery and they were able to release arrows at the speed of sound and brought up in ignorance of their identity. Also, he trained them about divine & celestial warfare. He made them masters in archery so that no one on this earth could defeat them in war.
Ashwamedha Yagna in Uttara Kanda
Ram carried out Ashwamedha Yagna to expand his kingdom, (The Ashwamedha Yagna was a ritual where an emperor sent out a horse along with a huge army to several nearby kingdoms, the local king could permit the horse to wander – signalling that his kingdom may be annexed, or tie up the horse – indicating that he was ready to fight the emperor’s army to prevent his kingdom from being annexed.) The horse wandered into the forest where Ram’s twin sons lived and they tied the horse, not understanding its importance.
Ram sent Hanuman to get the horse. Hanuman, seeing Luv and Kush recognised that they were the son’s of Ram. He let them capture him and tie him up. There Hanuman started meditating on the name Ram. Worried Ram sent his brothers to look for the horse. As they saw Hanuman tied up and two boys guarding him, they thought that the two boys had stolen the horse. So Rams’ brothers started attacking Luv and Kush.
Luv and Kush defeated all of them, knocking them unconscious. Ram heard about this and correctly guessed that two kids at a hermitage who can defeat an entire army could be no ordinary kids. Eventually, Ram himself came to deal with with them in battle not knowing they were his children and introduced himself and met his sons the very first time and invited them to Ayodhya to perform the Yagya.
Valmiki composed the Ramayana (having twenty four thousand verses) and taught to Luv and Kush to sing it. Later, Rama held a ceremony during Ashwamedha yagna, which the Rishi Valmiki, with Luv and Kush, attended. Luv and Kush sang the Ramayan in the presence of Rama and his vast audience. Rama summoned all his brothers and ministers to listen to the ballad. Rama himself was put to the turmoil, for the ballad sung by these youngsters narrated the legend of Sita.
When Luv and Kush recited about Sita’s exile, Ram became grievous, and Valmiki produced Sita. Ram then learned that Luv and Kush are his children. Once Sita witnessed the acceptance of her children by Ram, Sita sought final refuge in the arms of her mother Bhumi, to receive her and as the ground opened, she disappeared into it.
Valmiki’s Ramayana is divided in following Kanda’s :