In the Bhagavatam, 9th Canto, 13th Chapter, we find this verse:

SB 9.13.19 — The son of Śīradhvaja was Kuśadhvaja, and the son of Kuśadhvaja was King Dharmadhvaja, who had two sons, namely Kṛtadhvaja and Mitadhvaja.

Here Shiradhvaja is Maharaja Janaka, so called because of his emblem, the furrow, as an embodiment of his daughter being born from one. In the Ramayana, Kushadhavaja is said to be his brother. But here it is said, "Kushadhvajas Tasya Putro", meaning Janaka's son.

Even so, it would mean that either there was some mistake in copying the original sloka, which would imply that Mandavi and Shrutakeerti had a brother called Dharmadhvaja, who by extension, would be Sita's brother.

So, the question: Is he mentioned anywhere else? (Of course not in the Ramayana, but elsewhere?)

4 Answers 4


As per Valmiki Ramayana, Sita Devi had no brothers. This was specified at time of Kaushilya admonishing Kaikeyi post Dasaratha's death.

वृद्धः चैव अल्प पुत्रः च वैदेहीम् अनिचिन्तयन् | सो अपि शोक समाविष्टः ननु त्यक्ष्यति जीवितम् || २-६६-११

Janaka too who is aged, and who is not having sons, will be thinking of Sita, over whelmed with grief and will surely abandon his life.


Yes, Sita devi had at least one brother.

Padma Purana mentions the name of Kushadhwaja, son of Shiradhwaja several times. He took part in guarding the sacrificial horse and fought with other kings.

The great warrior Puskala knowing the (use of) great missiles, fought in a single combat in chariots with Campaka protected by a great hero. That Kusadhvaja, son of Janaka, fought with Mohaka. Vimala (fought) with Ripunjaya, Subahuka with Durvara. [Patala Khanda chapter 51]

He might be named as Kusadhvaja because he has Kusa (grass) as emblem of flag. The same purana mentions Lakshminidhi as son of Janaka and he is used along with the kings who fought the war with other kings. When Kushadvaja is named, there is no mention of Lakshminidhi.

Laksmindhi says:

27b-31a. Know me to be the son of Janaka, known as Laksminidhi, skilled in (the use of) all weapons and missiles, and proficient in fighting. Release the horse of Ramacandra, the destroyer of all demons. Otherwise, pierced by my arrows you will go to Yama's abode. [Patala khanda chapter 26]

I think this Lakshminidhi is same as Kushadvaja. Even if I am wrong, there are at least two brothers to Sita Devi.


I think there was some kind of transcription error, because the Vishnu Purana describes Kushadvaja as the brother of Janaka (Siradjvaja), just as the Valmiki Ramayana does:

The brother of Síradhwaja was Kuśadhwaja, who was king of Káśí; he had a son also, named Bhánumat.

Another discrepancy is that in the Srimad Bhagavatam, there are three kings between Kushadhvaja and Bhanumat, whereas the Vishnu Pudana has no generations between them.

As far as I know, the only references to the name Dharmadhvaja outside the Srimad Bhagavatam are mentions of the father of Vedavati, who I discuss here.

In any case, outside of family trees, I don't know of any references in any versions of the Ramayana to Mandavi and Shrutakirti having a brother, or Sita having a brother. Perhaps Bhanumat or Dharmadjvaja or whoever was born after Mandavi and Shrutakirti got married, or perhaps they just did not have a role in the events of the Ramayana.

  • 1
    Dharmadhvaja was also the name of the father of Tulasi Devi, who married Shankhachuda. In the Devi Bhagavata, the son of Indra Savarni (!!!) is Vrishadhvaja, who has two children Dharmadhvaja and Kushadhvaja (!!!). Kushadhvaja is the father of Vedavati and Dharmadhvaja was the father of Tulasi Devi.
    – Surya
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 10:53
  • 1
    Yeah, that's really weird. By the way, I think other scriptures list Vedavati's grandfather as Brihaspati. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 12:16
  • Brihaspati's granddaughter? So Kusadhvaja was his son?
    – Surya
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 13:13
  • @Surya Yeah, I think other scriptures describe Vedavati's father Kushadvaja as the son of Brihaspati. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 13:22

I think two Kushadvajas is here. One is Janaka's brother and another is Janaka's son.

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