King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, being issueless, is in great anguish. So the king, in consultation with the rishis, performs the Aswamedha and Putrakameshti sacrifices. At the very same time, the gods meet Brahma Deva and inform him of the atrocities perpetrated on the three worlds by Ravana, the invincible king of the demons. The gods led by Brahma then surrender themselves completely (saranagati) to Lord Sri Narayana and beseech Him to save them. The Lord who is an Ocean of Mercy assures the supplicants that He would do the needful. As the Putrakameshti progresses, a majestic figure comes out of the flames and hands over a bowl of divine payasam to Dasaratha. Dasaratha receives the bowl and distributes the payasam to his three Queens, Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra.