Ṛṣyaśṛṅga (Rishyasringa) is a ṛṣi (rishi; sage) of great fame. The son of sage Vibhāṇḍaka (Vibhandaka), he was a forest-dwelling sage with great ascetic energy. With his father, he lived inside a dense forest without any other human company. He performed both kinds of Brahmacarya (Brahmacharya; Celibacy) — Mukhya (Primary) and Gauṇa (Gauna; Secondary). He had no other kind of worldly knowledge.
At this time, a great famine struck Aṅgadeśa (Angadesa). When Romapāda (Romapada), king of Aṅgadeśa (Angadesa; the land of Anga), requested Brāhmaṇas(Brahmana) to find a remedy, they said that if Śāntā (Santa), daughter of King Romapāda (Romapada) got married to Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, only then rains might come down upon the land of Aṅga. The king asked the priests and ministers to perform this task, but for fear of Vibhāṇḍaka (V0bhandaka), nobody showed the courage to go and bring Ṛṣyaśṛṅga to the country. Finally, as per the advice of some ministers, Romapāda sent a group pf courtesans to bring the forest-dwelling sage Ṛṣyaśṛṅga to the kingdom of Aṅga. Ṛṣyaśṛṅga knew nothing about women, the courtesans used their charms to deceive him and thus brought him to the kingdom of Aṅga.
In Mahābhārata (Mahabharata), there is a detailed description of Ṛṣyaśṛṅga’s conversation and his innocent response regarding his first sight of women. However, as soon as Sage Ṛṣyaśṛṅga entered into the kingdom of Aṅga, Indra became pleased and caused rainfall. The king gave his daughter’s hand in marriage to Ṛṣyaśṛṅga. Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, with his wife Śāntā , started living in Aṅga. Sanatkumāra had already prophesied all these events. Sumantra said all these things to Daśaratha.
Sumantra further said to Daśaratha (Dasaratha) that Sanatkumāra(Sanatkumara) also predicted that if Daśaratha could bring Ṛṣyaśṛṅga to Ayodhyā, and get a yajña performed by him, he will have four sons. Learning this, Daśaratha himself went to the kingdom of Aṅga, and asked Romapāda’s permission and brought Ṛṣyaśṛṅga . Ṛṣyaśṛṅga and his wife came to live as guests in Ayodhyā (Ayodhya).
At last, in the spring season, Daśaratha decided to perform Aśvamedha Yajña. He appointed Ṛṣyaśṛṅga for this great act of yajña (yajna; a fire-sacrifice). Ṛṣyaśṛṅga agreed and decreed that the yajñabhūmi (yajnabhumi; the ground consecrated for the purpose of a yajna)should be made on the ank of the river Sarayū. 1.11; 12.1-4
When the yajñabhūmi was made, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga asked Daśaratha to come there. Other sages and hermits , led by Ṛṣyaśṛṅga also came to the place of yajña. Ṛṣyaśṛṅga and the other Brāhmaṇas, through the chanting of mantra (sacred hymns), invoked Indra and other gods, and offered āhūti (ahuti; offeing to the holy fire). After the yajña was over, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga and Vaśiṣṭha distributed among all the Brāhmaṇas the dakṣinā (the customary gift)offered by Daśaratha. When Daśaratha asked for his blessings, he said that Daśaratha would be blessed with four sons. Daśaratha was pleased, he paid his respects to Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, and requested him to take initiatives regarding that purpose.
Listening to the words of Daśaratha, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga entered into the state of samādhi and calmed his soul. Then he declared that he would perform Putreṣṭi-yajña (Purtreshti-yajna). Ṛṣyaśṛṅga himself conducted the yajña. After the yajña was over, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, along with his wife, went back to Aṅga.
In Sabhāparva(Sabhaparva) of Mahābhārata, the name of Ṛṣyaśṛṅga is mentioned as one of the sages present in the sabhā (sabha; court) of Brahmā (Brahma).