Tuesday, 26 February 2013

40. Kaikeyi executes the plan.

       Having been thoroughly tutored by that vile Manthara, Kaikeyi laid down on the floor as a Kinnara woman pierced by a poisoned arrow.  She then rehearsed with Manthara as to how she should handle the king Dasharatha.  She told it all slowly to Manthara.  When she finished the rehearsal, she really became  very angry and dejected.  Manthara became very much pleased.  Kaikeyi, being angry and well determined, laid down on the floor with eye brows knitted in her face.  Thereafter, she threw away her colourful chaplets and the beautiful ornaments which she omitted to discard earlier, on to the floor.
      Those chaplets and ornaments which were thrown away by her were making the floor shine, as stars in the sky.  Tying her single braid of hair tightly over her head and wearing soiled clothes, Kaikeyi lying down on the floor of the chamber of wrath was looking like a Kinnara woman lying down dead.  
      King Dasharatha after making all arrangements for Rama's coronation, took permission to leave the elders who were present there and entered his palace.  King Dasharatha, who kept all activities under his control entered the inner chambers to tell the good news of Rama's coronation firstly to Kaikeyi  (presuming that she had not yet heard the news). 
      King Dasharatha could not find his dear darling Kaikeyi on her usual couch there.  He tried other places but could not find her.  He was distressed in not finding his most beloved wife.  Until now, Kaikeyi did not keep away herself at that kind of hour, nor the king entered her chambers at any time without her presence.  After entering the house, king Dasharatha inquired the maid-servants there.  Then, a female door-keeper nervously folding her hands in supplication, said: "Oh, Your Majesty! The queen ran to the chamber of wrath in great anger".  King Dasharatha was already disturbed in mind due to the absence of Kaikeyi there, became more dejected after hearing the words of the door-keeper. 
      King Dasaratha then hurried and saw Kaikeyi lying down on the  floor in the chamber of wrath.  This sight tormented him with grief.  King Dasharatha saw his favorite wife Kaikeyi who was a sinless and youthful woman dearer than his life, lying down on the floor, looking very miserable.  She was lying on the barren floor looking like a completely uprooted creeper, a fallen angel, a thrown down Kinnara woman, an expelled divine Apsara dancer, a dropped off illusionism and a female deer trapped in a net.  He touched Kaikeyi affectionately, as a great elephant in a forest touches a female elephant which was wounded by a poisoned arrow. That great King Dasharatha, possessed with infatuation and fearful mind, fondled his lotus-eyed darling with his hands and spoke "Oh my dearest wife with most auspicious qualities!  I do not know why you are angry with me?  Who has cursed or disrespected you?  I am pained to see you resting in this way on a dirty floor.  When I am here to expend all good to you, why are you hurting my mind by lying down on the floor like the one who is possessed of a devil?  There are so many royal physicians who are skilled and famous. They can make you healthy.  Tell me your sickness. To whom do you want a favour to be done?  Who has offended you?  Tell me to whom I have to extend a favor now and to whom I have to disfavor.  Oh, Kaikeyi! Do not weep and make your body dried up.  Tell me that which is desired by your mind to be achieved even at the cost of my life.  You need not suspect me, as you very well know your authority over me.  I keep my oath on my righteousness that I shall certainly do whatever you desire.  blah! blah!! blah!!!........" 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

39. The Die is cast.

      The long sermon of Manthara made Kaikey think.  After chewing, swallowing and digesting those words of Manthara, Kaikeyi's face started to burn with anger.  After a long and hot sigh, she spoke to Manthara "Now itself I shall send Rama to the forest.  I shall get Bharata anointed for the princely kingdom immediately.  O! Manthara!  Advise me the means by which Bharata will get the kingdom bypassing Rama by any method.  Think about it now." 
       Manthara smiled with a glee and told Kaikeyi  "O! My dear beautiful Queen!  I am very glad to see that you have started thinking sensibly.  I shall tell you the means by which your son Bharata will get the kingdom.  Have you forgotten about it or are you pretending?  If you desire to hear that from my mouth, I shall, of course, tell you." 
      After hearing Manthara, Kaikeyi slightly rose from the well-laid bed and asked "O Manthara! I do not understand what you are talking about!  Please tell me the means by which Bharata will get the kingdom and Rama will not get it under any circumstances." 
      The iniquitous, wicked, evil and vicious thinking hunchbacked Manthara said with a sneer "My child! Once upon a time, when there was a battle between the celestials and the demons, your husband Dasharatha went along with you to help Indra in the battle, to a famous city called Vaijaynata in which the demon Timidhvaja lived in a southern direction in the forest of Dandaka.  That great demon famously called Samhasura  who had several magic effects, defeated all the celestials and challenged Devendra to a battle.  In that great battle, demons did not follow any ethic and forcefully killed enemies who were injured and also those who were sleeping.
Comment : It is not a virtuous practice according to scriptures, to kill injured people and defenseless people sleeping.  Demons do not follow such scriptures.
End Comment.
      "Then, king Dasharatha went to assist Devendra in that great battle there.  You accompanied your husband as his charioteer.  The demons made the long armed Dasharatha unconscious.  You saved the life of your unconscious husband by taking him away from the battle field.  Don't you remember that he then offered to grant you two boons?  You told him then that you will ask him whenever you need them.  He agreed to it.  I do not know what exactly had happened there, but I am simply repeating what you yourself told me about this.  Use those two boons now.  Ask your husband as two boons, firstly anointing Bharata for the princely kingdom and secondly sending Rama to exile for fourteen years.  If you send Rama to the forest for fourteen years, your son Bharata will get intimate association with the people and will get stabilised firmly in the kingdom and all the people will completely forget Rama.  Now, enter the chamber of wrath (क्रोधागारं)(in those days houses of each and every affluent family, including royalties will have one chamber known as 'Chamber of wrath'.  When the wife/mistress/queen etc. was angry with her master, she would enter that chamber, declaring silently that she was very angry.  In other words when the master came to know that his lady was in the 'chamber of wrath' then he would know that his lady was very angry with him) as if angry with him and lie down on the floor without any spread underneath and wearing soiled clothes.  As soon as you see Dasharatha, pull a very sorrowful face and keep on sobbing, without looking at him and without talking to him face to face.  You are always dear to your husband.  I have no doubt about it.  King Dahsaratha will even jump into fire to please you. The king will do or promise anything to make you calm and stop you from sobbing.  He cannot see your lovely face contorted in anger.  He will give up even his life for you.  You realize your abundant strength.  King Dasharatha may offer you diamonds, pearls, gold and various other precious stones.  Do not care for them. You remind Dasharatha of those boons.  Ensure that your benefit does not get thwarted.  Dasharatha himself will raise you from the floor and agree to grant you the boons.  Thus, after making him steady, you ask for these boons viz. 'Oh, king! send Rama to forest for fourteen years.  Let Bharata be made as king of this earth'.  Rama having been sent to forest for fourteen years, your son will stand firmly, having laid his roots and will stay in power for the rest of his life.  O! Kaikeyi!  Remember that sending Rama to forest is very important.  Thus, your son will accomplish all the desired benefits.   By sending Rama to exile, he will not get a chance to see and talk to the people.  When Rama returns from the forest, your dear son would have accumulated friends and drawn people to his fold, thus establishing firm roots himself.  This is the appropriate time for you.  Be fearless and relentless and by your insistence make the king turn aside his effort to anoint Rama."
       Kaikeyi was completely mesmerized by Manthara.   Kaikeyi exclaimed like a little girl "Oh, Manthara!  What a fool I was!   I am aware that you care me a lot and are telling very good things, always.  However, I have not realised that you are this good.  You are the best among all the hunchbacks on this earth in making intellectual decisions.  Oh, Manthara! you always show interest in my well being and wish for my benefit.  But for you, I would not have been aware of the king's intentions.  In your long hunch, which looks like an apex of a chariot, are dwelling your various thoughts, royal arts and magic effects.  When Rama goes to the forest and Bharata gets the  kingdom, I shall adore this hunchback with a golden garland.  After accomplishing the benefit desired by me, I shall, with delight, get your hunchback anointed with well refined gold of the best quality.  I shall get you beautiful ornaments and for your forehead auspicious dots of variety done of pure gold.  You will be moving around like an angel, wearing beautiful clothes.  You will achieve an important position in the eyes of your adversaries with pride and with your face, incomparably competing with moon."
       Manthara told Kaikeyi "Oh, Kaikeyi! When water has already flown out, there is no use constructing a dam.  Now rise and do this purposeful action.  Apply all your influence on the king."
      Kaikeyi noded and removed the pearl necklace worth a fortune and other great valuable auspicious ornaments from her body, entered the chamber of wrath along with Manthara, lied on the floor there like a golden creeper.  She then told Manthara "After Rama's going to the forest, Bharata has to get the kingdom.  Or else, you inform the king that I died here itself.  Neither gold nor diamonds nor ornaments are of any use to me.  On which day Rama gets anointed for the kingdom, the same day it will be the end of my life."
       Manthara agian spoke to the seriously talking mother of Bharata  "If Rama becomes king, you and your son will be destroyed.  Hence you ensure for the coronation of your son, Bharata "
      Having thus cleverly manoeuvred  by the devious words employed by Manthara again and again, Kaikeyi felt sad and was angry with the king, and by keeping hands on her heart, was surprised with the cleverness of Manthara and praised her time and again.  She exclaimed "If Rama does not go to forest from here, I do not long for any mattresses or garlands or sandal paste or eye-liner or drink or food or even my life here."  She, having removed all the ornaments and wearing only the darkness of extreme anger and with her depressed mind, looked like a starless sky in a gloomy night.  Manthara smiled happily and patted Kaikeyi fondly.