Punjab, the land of five rivers has many places of which reflect the historical grandeur of the place. Amritsar the major city of Punjab province is an old historical city and is home to many historical and religious building important to Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims. Samadh of Shravan in Amritsar is a famous must see attraction.
About 6 Kilometres from Ajnala near Jastarwal (earlier known as Dashrathwal) is located one of the oldest heritage spots in Amritsar. It belongs to the Ramayana period a legend has it that Shravan lies buried here after the fell from the arrow of King Dashrath, the Lord of Ayodhya. The Samadh is situated on the banks of an old rivulet (Purani Dhab ).Shravan had taken his blind parents on a wide-ranging pilgrimage by cradling them on his shoulder in a wooden device Shravan Kumar was killed by King Dashratha (father of Lord Rama) by mistake. In ancient India, there once lived a sage named Shantunu and his wife. Both were very old and blind. The couple had a young son named Shravan. Shravan had devoted his life to serving his blind parents. He took care of each and every wish of his parents. Shravan’s whole life centred around serving his parents.
Once his parents said to him, “Son, we are old and do not have much time to live. Before we die we wish to go on a pilgrimage to Bharat’s holy places.” Shravan agreed at once to fulfill their wish. He made a kavad, a special carrier, for his parents. He carried the kavad on his shoulder and they left on the pilgrimage. Shravan was so devoted to his parents that he did not feel their weight. A few months later, they reached the outskirts of Ayodhya, the holy birthplace of Shri Ramchandra Bhagwan (Sri Rama).
Shravan’s parents were very thirsty. Shravan put the kavad on the ground. Dasaratha, before his ascension to the throne had been a skilled marksman with a fondness for hunting. He was capable of aiming at targets by merely listening to the noises they made. This talent was accompanied by the misguided enthusiasm that is characteristic of youth.
Shravan took a waterpot to fill the river Saryu flowing nearby. As he bent down to fill pot, an arrow pierced his chest. King Dashrath had hit him by accident. The king was in the forest hunting for a deer. In the fading light of the dusk he mistook Shravan for a deer because of the gugling sound from the pot. As soon as the arrow hit him, Shravan cried out in agony. Dashrath realized his mistake and he ran to the young boy. Shravan was lying in a pool of blood. He was hit badly in the chest. “O scion of the solar dynasty, you have ruined your reputation completely by using your weapon on one who was not up in arms against you. Alas what will become of my poor parents who are blind and in whose service I have been living all these days? Dashrath was immensely pained at the sight and asked forgiveness.
Shravan told him, “My old parents, are very thirsty. Please take this water to them and quench their thirst.” After saying this he died. Picking up the pitcher and filling it with water he made his way to the humble resting place of Sravankumar’s parents. Upon looking at them Dasaratha felt his inner being shiver uncontrollably. They were at first reassured by the sound of approaching footsteps assuming that it was their son who had returned with water. When Dasaratha disclosed his identity they were mildly surprised and the father frantically enquired of him “dear Prince of Ayodhya, pray tell us what is keeping our son so long, he has never failed us in his service and we are now afraid that some calamity has befallen him”
When Dasaratha related the events to the poor couple the father was stung to the quick and spat out the following words “great king you are, he who takes the life of an innocent.
Where on earth can you find a son like Sravankumar?
We cannot hold on to life in his absence. We shall go where our son has gone. But listen o unworthy successor to the throne of the solar race, just as we die a miserable death, separated from our son whom we love more than our lives you shall also die separated from your offspring.
This shall not be prevented by any means.”
Despite Dasaratha’s attempts to apologies the old couple gave up their lives and a grief stricken Dasaratha came back to Ayodhya. The couple’s words later turned out to be true for Dashrath. He, too died, longing for his son Shri Ram.