Shravan Kumar belonged to the tretayug, when King Dashratha ruled Ayodhya.He was born to poor parents who were blind.In spite of their problems they had looked after Shravankumar remrkably well.
Shravankumar had a good physique and was very humble and honest.He loved his parents equally as he loved and worshipped the God.Shravankumar worked hard to give all the happiness of the life to his blind parents.
The parents,when grew very old,had a great desire to visit the various sacred places of pilgrimage so as to get the ultimate ecstacy and peace of mind.It is beleived that the pilgrimage to the shrines and holy places, purifies the soul and gives salvation after death.
Shravankumar was happy to fulfill the parents' wish of pilgrimage and started to plan the journey.He was thinking about the mode of transport when he learned that there was no enough transport fascility and the available transport was very costly which he could not afford.
Finally,Shravankumar, decided to carry his parents on his shoulder with a special arrangement.He made one "Kavad"-consisting of two hanging baskets,tied by ropes, at the two ends of a long bamboo stick.Shravan placed his father and mother in either basket and carried the "Kavad" on his shoulder to the places of pilgrimage.
As he was visiting various sacred places on his pilgrimage,he reached the banks of the sacred river Sharayu,where he saw beautiful environment and felt like resting for some time.He placed the "Kavad" down,in the shade of a tree and rested there.
Shravan described the beauty of the location to his blind parents and asked them to take rest till they continued their pilgrimage.He then wanted to take a wash in the river to refresh himself.Accordingly he told his parents and went for a dip in the river water.
The thirsty parents told him to fetch them some water to drink after his bath was over.Shravan had a good bath in the river at leisure and then wanted to fetch drinking water for his parents.
As he dipped the pitcher in to the river water,it created a typical bubbling sound as it was getting filled.The sound was like an animal drinking water by dipping the head in water.
Ayodhya King Dasharath was on his hunting drive at the same precise time who happened to pass near the very spot.Hearing the bubbling sound,the King was sure that a deer was drinking water in the river.
Dashrath judged the direction by hearing the sound and released the arrow in that direction,though he could not see the spot directly,beyond the trees.As the arrow hit the target correctly, the King heard the screams of a human being instead of the painful cry of a dying animal.
Soon Dasharath rushed to the spot and was sad to see a young boy fatally injured with his arrow and lying in a pool of blood screeming loudly in pains.The king was very sorry and repented for his unpardonable mistake.
Dasharath then took Shravan on his lap and inquired about his details.Shravan told him all the facts and also told him that he would die very soon.He further told him that his parents were thirsty and waiting for the drinking water,under the tree and requested the King to attend to his unfortunate blind parents.Soon Shravan breathed his last.
Dasharath then approached the parents with the water and wanted to perform the duties of Shravan.He touched the pitcher to Shravan's father's lips,without uttering a single word,to hide the reality.But the parents did not gulped a sip,since they did not get the familiar loving touch and voice of their beloved son.
The father questioned,"0 my dear,loving son. why are you silent ? Are you annoyed of the journey and our responsibility on you ?" please tell us the truth and give us relief.
Finally,Dashrath had to reveal the fact,to which the parents lamented and were unable to bear the news that their beloved son was no more.They told the king that it was impossible for them to live without their son and wanted to die.
The sad but angry parents cursed the King that he would also face a tragic death caused by the sorrow of separation from his son.Soon the parents breathed their last.
King Dashrath had four sons,the eldest son being Shri. Ram whom he wanted to crown as the King of Ayodhya and retire to the jungles and live a peaceful life.However Dashrath had given two boons in the past to his wife Kaikeyi. Rama's step-mother.
Kaikeyyi then insisted that the King grant her the boons before crowning Ram.The King had to keep up to his boons.She demanded that Ram be sent to the fjungles for fourteen years and her son Bharat be crowned as the king of Ayodhya.
The shock of the thought of fourteen years' separation from his son, Ram was so great that Dashratha instantly collapsed.Dashrath recollected the curse by the old parents of Shravan and soon had his last breathe.