Markandeya starts to recite the anecdote with Maharaja Aja who belonged to the Ikshvaku lineage, who had a son Dasaratha. Dasaratha a pious and learned person, had four sons Rama by Kausalya, Bharata through Kaikeyi and by wife Sumitra he had Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Brahma himself created Sita, as the daughter of Janaka Maharaja of Videha, to be the dear wife of ShriRamachandra.
Origin of Ravana's Family ==
In Mahabharata we find the details of the lineage of Ravana, described by Markandeya as follows:
Brahma ---- Pulastya (पुलस्त्यः । One of the Manasaputras) ---- Vaishravana (वैश्रवणः। Son born of Gau) and Vishrava (विश्रवस् । Pulastya's form of himself associated with anger) ---- Dashagreeva (Ravana, son of Pushpotkata)
<blockquote>पितामहो रावणस्य साक्षाद्देवः प्रजापतिः। स्वयम्भूः सर्वलोकानां प्रभुः स्रष्टा महातपाः॥ 3-274-11 </blockquote>
<blockquote>पुलस्त्यो नाम तस्यासीन्मानसो दयितः सुतः। तस्य वैश्रवणो नाम गवि पुत्रोऽभवत्प्रभुः॥ 3-274-12 </blockquote>
=== Vaishravana or Kubera === The story goes thus... Brahma, the Creator, himself is the grandfather of Ravana. Brahmadeva had a manasaputra called Pulastya. To Pulastya was born Vaishravana through his wife Gau. Vaishravana however, leaving his father Pulastya, was always in service of his grandfather Brahma. Angered by this action, Pulastya created another form of his from half his body, called as Vishravas. Vishravas held a deep resentment for Vaishravana and was always looking for an opportunity to attack him. Brahma was highly pleased with the services of Vaishravana and bestowed * अमरत्वम् ॥ Amaratva or immortality * धनेशत्वम् ॥ Rulership over wealth * लोकपालत्वम् ॥ one of the rulers of the lokas * लङ्काधिपत्यम् ॥ Ruler of Lanka, the capital of land of rakshasas * यक्षाणामाधिपत्यम् ॥ Rulership over the Yaksha ganas (semi-celestial beings)
Brahma encouraged the Vaishravana to seek support of Mahadeva and granted him a son, named Nalakubara. He also gave Vaishravana the title of "Rajaraja". He granted Pushpakavimana to travel anywhere as per his wish via the aerial route to Kubera. === Ravana and his siblings === Vaishravana who was granted many boons by his grandfather, Brahma, was always viewed with resentment and anger by his father's form Vishravas (विश्रवस्). He made many attempts to please him. Vaishravana or Rajaraja Kubera always lived in Lanka, enjoying all the wealth, he engaged people to carry him on their shoulders in a vehicle (नरवाहनः). To please his father Vishravas, he engaged the services of three rakshasis (परिचारिकाः) named Pushpotkata (पुष्पोत्कटा) Malini ( मालिनी) and Raaka (राका) well versed in song and dance and who served him competitively to gain his good graces. Pleased with their service, Vishravas granted them each of them sons according to their wish, who are as mighty with immense strength equal to that of lokapalakas. <blockquote>पुष्पोत्कटायां जज्ञाते द्वौ पुत्रौ राक्षसेश्वरौ। कुम्भकर्णदशग्रीवौ बलेनाप्रतिमौ भुवि॥ 3-275-7</blockquote> <blockquote>मालिनी जनयामास पुत्रमेकं विभीषणम्। राकायां मिथुनं जज्ञे खरः शूर्पणखा तथा॥ 3-275-8 </blockquote>Ravana and Kumbhakarna of Pushpotkata who were mighty rakshasas. Malini gave birth to one son named Vibhishana. Raaka gave birth to a male child named Khara and a female child named Surpanakha. == Ravana 's Jealousy ==Once when Kubera, in his pomp and splendour was in the company of Vishravas. At that time Ravana and others were moved by jealousy over his wealth and grandeur. In their heart of hearts they all decided to do severe tapas (penance ) to please Brahma. Ravana did penance for thousand years standing on one foot, living only on air and in deep meditation with Panchaagnis around him. Kumbhakarna similarly limited his food and slept only on the ground. Vibhishana sustained himself only on dry leaves during his penance. Clever and generous hearted Vibhishana so continued his penance for years along with his brothers. Khara and Surpanakha engaged themselves in protecting and serving their brothers who were doing penance. Brahmadeva was highly pleased with their tapas and asked them to wish for any boons other than Amaratva (immortality).
Courtesy: Samskrit Shlokas of Mahabharata from Rashtriya Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.<ref>Mahabharata Project - [http://www.rsvidyapeetha.ac.in/mahabharatha/menu.html Main Page]</ref>