Episode 101 – Why is Manthara the ONLY person in Ayodhya who is against Rama?


In the previous episode we witnessed that Manthara was brainwashing Kaikeyi to go and ask King Dasharata for the two pending boons granted to her. Initially Kaikeyi was hesitant to do it as she felt guilty of asking a selfish favor to her own husband! However, Manthara never relented in her effort. She made sure that Kaikeyi was cornered emotionally in all ways possible and after lot of brainwashing, Kaikeyi finally decides to go forward to ask for the two boons to King Dasharata. Thus, she goes into the “Chamber of Anger” (Kobha Gruha) and sits, waiting for King Dasharata to come to her!

Before we move further to whether King Dasharata came to see Kaikeyi or not, we need to check out on a small interlude – A very important question might have arose within the readers as to why is this Manthara the only person in the entire Ayodhya city who was against Rama? What made her so angry about Rama that she even goes to the extent of stopping the all-important coronation ceremony at a crucial juncture? Why does she want to take such revenge? Let us discuss the answer for this in today’s episode.

This Manthara, as we know, being an old woman, had a bent back (Manthara is often referred to as “Kooni” in Tamil, because the word “Koon” in Tamil means “Bent back”) Since her back was bent, she was not able to walk with her back upright. Rama, when he was a five-year-old child used to make fun of this woman who was having this peculiar way of walking. Hence with his small bow and arrow he used to point at her bent back and hit it with small arrows containing small balls of sand! When she tries to lift herself after he hit her back, she gets angry and the little Rama used to make fun of her! By this act of little Rama, she felt insulted! It was this small incident that she had in her mind for so many years now like a dormant volcano! Thus, finally she got the golden opportunity now, to take revenge on Rama and satisfy herself!

We might be wondering, why was Rama affected just by one small “Leela” (Child-play) that he did to this woman, whereas, Krishna never gets caught when he plays like this with everybody around him during his childhood! This is a very interesting comparison here – Comparison between “Rama Leela” and “Krishna Leela”. I’ve discussed a similar comparison in one of my earlier episodes between the lives of the two incarnations of Bhagawan – Rama and Krishna, and here is one more interesting comparison!

We might have never heard of “Rama Leela” at all in any instance, whereas we might have heard loads and loads of “Krishna Leela” and all those child plays by Lord Krishna were like this only! For instance, little Krishna, while roaming around with the cows, suddenly would tie a bunch of small crackers to the tail of a cow and light it up! When it bursts with a thudding sound, the cow gets terrified and runs around and upon seeing this, little Krishna would laugh out loud and clap His hands! 🙂 🙂 Similarly, we all know that little Krishna used to go and steal the butter from each house, without the knowledge of anybody – All such plays were done by this “notorious” little Krishna, and he never gets caught by anyone, nor anybody takes any revenge on him! But here, just because little Rama did one small play, this Manthara takes him for a ride!

Anyway, this is just for a comparison purpose to have some fun! Of course, every divine incarnation of Bhagawan has specific purposes to be fulfilled on this earth – Be it Lord Rama, or Krishna or anything else! Thus in order to fulfill that important purpose, Bhagawan has his own divine “Leelas” or ways to fulfill them!

Thus, Kaikeyi prepares herself to ask for the two boons and is waiting for King Dasharata to arrive at the “Kobha Gruha”. King Dasharata learns that Kaikeyi is here, and he immediately rushes to the Chamber of Anger, and sees Kaikeyi in fury written all over her face! King Dasharata was concerned and asks her what happened. He says, “Oh Kaikeyi! What happened to you? Is there any problem? Please tell me! I’ll fulfill whatever you desire, right now! Please ask me whatever you wish for!”

This is one big weak point of King Dasharata – if someone comes to him, the first sentence he utters to them is “Please ask me whatever you wish for! I’ll grant that for you!” We might remember that this was the same dialogue he used for Sage Vishwaamithra when he arrived, and eventually he got himself strangled! Now he is committing the same mistake to Kaikeyi as well! Here, the important lesson for us to learn is that, if a decision needs to be taken, it shouldn’t be impulsive or emotional. It should be taken with a bit of deliberation and thinking over!

We shall elaborate this point, in the subsequent episode in more detail. Now what did Kaikeyi ask him? Did she ask him the two boons directly? Let’s see the next series of events that took place in the next episode!


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