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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Putrakāmeṣṭi literally means ‘a Vedic sacrifice to be performed by one desiring for a son’.

The desire for a worthy son is a natural phenomenon in all the societies of the world, especially in ancient society. Understanding this, the ṛṣis of yore had prescribed a particular Vedic sacrifice called ‘Putrakāmeṣṭi’ or ‘Putreṣṭi’ for the fulfillment of this desire. King Daśaratha is said to have performed it on the advice of the sage Rṣyaśṛṅga.[1]

The king performed the Aśvamedha-yāga first, to purify himself and then only the Putrakāmeṣṭi. The Rāmāyana says that the mantras were taken from the Atharvaśiras.[2] The Āśvalāyana Śrautasutras also describes it. However, it is very difficult to get the details of it.


  1. Rāmāyaṇa, Bālakānda 15
  2. Bālakānda 15.2 and 3
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore