Putra-Kameshti Yagam-The Gift of Divine Payasam (Khir)
The priests led by Sage Vasishtha and Rushyashringa conducted the Ashwamedha Yaga of which the Putrakamesthi was a part. Many kings, and the common people were invited for the great ceremony. The four Vedas were chanted. The sacrificial altars and pillers were constructed according to prescribed specifications. The standards of exactness were strictly adhered to, in timings, in the choice of materials and the procedures. Out of the sacrificial fire an extraordinary being arose. He was matchless in splendour and strength. He was clad in red, decked with celestial jewels.
He held in his hands(Valmiki R/I/16/14-15), a large basin of refined gold full of divine Payasam(Khir).He was a messenger of Vishnu; he handed over the pudding prepared by the Devas to King Dasaratha. The Payasam, when taken by the Queens, would bestow four sons on the King and confer prosperity and good health on him. The King received the Payasam with great joy and the divine being disappeared into the fire.
The King gave half of the Payasam to his first wife Kausalya and one half of the remaining half to Sumitra his second wife. He gave half(one-eighth of the total) to Kaikeyi. He reflected awhile and gave the remaining share again to Sumitra. The Queens partook of the divine fare and the King and the Queens were extermly delighted at the prospects of the Divine prediction. In Karmakanda, the yagas were held to be effective media to carry the sacrifices to God and in turn, God's gifts to human beings.
The efficacy of chanting mantras and performing precisely the prescribed rituals are being scientifically tested modren times and are found to be fruitful depending upon the accuracy of the procedures, even in fields such as agriculture, animal husbandry, etc.