The son of Samrat Dilip and Sudakshina Devi, Raghu was also a great scholar and warrior like his father. He was well versed in all forms of arts, sciences and warfare. A humble prince, he was loved by all.ImageSource
Samrat Dilip wanted to perform 100 Ashwamedh Yagnas (अश्वमेध यज्ञ) (horse sacrifice).
He entrusted Raghu, the crown prince to protect the sacrificial horse. After successfully completing 99 yagnas, Dilip began the 100th. Indra, the king of gods, came down in an invisible form and abducted the horse. The soldiers couldn’t understand what happened. Raghu, though, could see Indra, and stopped him saying “O Indra! You are the first among devas to receive any sacrificial offering, and the upholder of Dharma. Why then, are you resorting to Adharm and stealing the horse?”
Indra, surprised that Raghu could see him, turned back and said “O Prince! What you said is true. I have a reason. Just as Lord Vishnu is Puroshottam and Lord Shiva is Maheshwar, so have the sages called me Shatakratu (performer of 100 yagnas). I cannot let your father share my name. Moreover, he will become Indra if he completes 100 yagnas. So I cannot give back the horse”.
Raghu smiled and said “O Devraj! If that’s the case, you will have to defeat me in battle”. Saying this, he stood in Indra’s way, armed for battle. Both wanted to win and used divyastras against each other. Try as he might, Indra could not defeat Raghu. Angry, he picked up his Vajr and hurled it at Raghu. But Raghu was unperturbed. Indra said “O Raghu! No one has withstood the power of my Vajrayudh. I am pleased with you. Ask anything you want, except the horse”.
Raghu replied “O Dev! Then let my father receive the fruits of completing the sacrifice”. “So be it”, said Indra and left with the horse.
Raghu then returned to the yagnashala (यज्ञशाला). Even before his arrival, Indra’s
messengers delivered the news of his victory to Dilip. Samrat Dilip beamed with pride and blessed his son.
Later, Dilip crowned Raghu the king and retired for his Vanaprasth. Raghu was also a worthy and just ruler like his father and brought the entire pridhvi under his rule.
Maharaj Raghu then performed the Vishwajit sacrifice, and as per custom, donated all his wealth after the sacrifice. Just then, a rishi, Kautsuk, approached the king to seek gurudakshina for his guru Rishi Paratantu. As he had donated all his wealth, Raghu asked the rishi to wait for a couple of days. Realizing that only Kuber, the God of wealth, could provide the amount needed by the rishi, Raghu made preparations to invade Kuber’s city the next day. Knowing Raghu’s valour, Kuber showered the king’s coffers with wealth that night.
Hearing the news in the morning, Raghu was pleased and gave rishi Kautsuk more than he required. Immensely pleased, Kautsuk rishi said “Maharaj! Mother Earth showers her bounty on the righteous kings who do not sway from the path of Dharm. What can I say about you for whom even the heavens open up? You will have a son who is worthy of you in all respects, like you were to your father. Any other vardaan would be pointless”. Thus blessing Raghu, the rishi left with the wealth.
With the rishi’s blessings, a son was born to Maharaj Raghu. As he was born in a
brahmamuhurat, he was named Aja (another name for Brahma). Source – Raghuvamsam by Mahakavi Kalidas