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Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Khanda says, that King sagara of Ikshwaku dynasty had two wives. The elder wife of King Sagara is referred as Kesini, daughter of King of Vidarbha . Asamanja, was born to her. Asamanja's son was Anshuman. Asamanja was banished from the kingdom by his father King Sagara, as Asamanja used to indulge in otracious act of throwing little children into waters of sarayu and see them struggle and die.

The younger wife of King Sagara is named Sumati. She is referred as daughter of Sage Kashyapa( Aristanemi).

Valmiki Ramayana further says , this Sumati is verily the sister of Suparna or Garuda, the celestial carrier of Lord Vishnu.

Sumati gave birth to 60000 valiant sons who were later burnt to ashes by the great sage Kapila (Avatara of Lord Vishnu), when they went in search of the sacrificial horse to the lower worlds. Bhagaritha brought ganga for emancipation of these 60000 dead sons of Sumati.

We have heard and many know that Garuda was born to Sage Kashyapa prajapati and Vinata. Another son born to them was Anoora or Arunaa?, the elder brother of Garuda.

So, the question is "Was Sumati the daughter of Vinata?(the divine mother of Garuda)"

Are there any scriptural references which say that Sumati was daughter of Vinata and Kashyapa?

Otherwise, Why is Sumati referred as sister of Garuda in Valmiki Ramayana?

  • By the way, I just realized that both Rama and Sagara married someone of the same Gotram, namely Kashyapa Gotram. I wonder why rules on Sagotra marriages didn't prevent this. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 15 '15 at 3:07
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Yes, Sumati was the daughter of Kashyapa and Vinata.. Here is what this chapter of the Vishnu Purana says:

Sumati the daughter of Kaśyapa, and Kesiní the daughter of Rája Viderbha, were the two wives of Sagara. Being without progeny, the king solicited the aid of the sage Aurva with great earnestness, and the Muni pronounced this boon, that one wife should bear one son, the upholder of his race, and the other should give birth to sixty thousand sons; and he left it to them to make their election. Kesiní chose to have the single son; Sumati the multitude: and it came to pass in a short time that the former bore Asamanjas, a prince through whom the dynasty continued; and the daughter of Vinatá (Sumati) had sixty thousand sons. The son of Asamanjas was Anśumat.

By the way, this book provides an explanation for why Sumati, a Brahmana woman, would marry a Kshatriya man like Sagara. In this account sage Upamanyu, whom I discuss here, asks for Sumati's hand in marriage, but Vinata refuses. So Upamanyu curses Vinata that if Sumati is ever married off to another Brahmana, Vinata's head would burst into pieces. So on the advice of the sage Aurva, the creator of Vadavagni which I discuss here, Sumati marries Rama's ancestor Sagara, since he's a Kshatriya.

The book claims that this story is from the Brahmanda Purana, but I can't seem to find it. (You can read the Brahmanda Purana using the links in my answer here.)

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