Dasharath performed two yajnas with the help of Sage Rishyasringa on the advice of Vashisth. One was Ashwamedha and other was Putrakameshti. It is said that Dasharath and Kaushalya had a daughter Shanta, who was Rishyashringa’s wife. As the conclusion of the Yagna drew near, Agni sprang out from the yagnakunda (sacrificial fire pit) and handed Dasharatha a pot of kheer (payasa), advising him to distribute it among his queens. Kaushalya ate half the kheer, Sumitra ate a quarter of it. Kaikeyi ate some and passed the pot back to Sumitra who consumed the kheer for the second time. Thus the princes were conceived after the consumption of the kheer. Since Kaushalya had consumed the largest portion she gave birth to Rama. Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata. Sumitra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna.