Legend says that when Shravan Kumar's parents became old and they asked their son to take them for pilgrimage because pilgrimage taken during old age takes a soul near the Great Lord or the maker of the universe. During those days transportation was not easily available and at the same time was very costly and as a result Shravan Kumar could not afford transport facilities for his parents.
Under such circumstances, he decided to buy two baskets and put his parents into the baskets and then carry them on his shoulder. Therefore he started carrying his parents on his shoulder to various places of pilgrimage. As he was going around with his parents near a river bank he decided to rest for a while. So he had put down the two baskets under the shade of a tree. The river by which they stopped was River Sarayu.
Being near the river Shravan had decided to take a dip into the river and his parents had requested him to fetch a pitcher of water for them. When Shravan had taken a dip into the river at that time King Dasaratha had come out for hunting and his arrow mistakenly hit Shravan instead of hitting a deer. As a result Shravan fell to death in a pull of river.
At this juncture it became the duty of King Dasaratha to complete the task of Shravan Kumar. Therefore, Dasaratha brought the pitcher of water to the parents of Shravan Kumar. But his parents were not ready to accept the water without hearing the voice of their son. As a result King Dasaratha had to tell the parents that Shravan had passed away. Hearing such a news the parents of Shravan Kumar could not bear the loss and they also expired telling Dasaratha that even he would lose his life being grieved by the loss of his son.