Monday, 26 August 2013

72. The rage of Shatrughna.

                    While returning after finishing the rites pertaining to the thirteenth day, Shatrughna who was in a deep thought suddenly blurted out  "When that even-minded Rama is a refuge for all beings, how much more to tell about our seeking solace to him in our grief?  He has been abandoned to the forest by a woman.  Why even Lakshmana, well known as a strong and powerful man, could not rescue Rama from distress by making our father to restrain from doing it?  By perceiving the prudence and imprudence in that wrong course adopted by the king, who has fallen into the clutches of that shrew, Lakshmana should have restrained dad even at the beginning itself."
        While Shatrughna the younger brother of Lakshmana was raising the fundamental point of doubt, the hump-backed Manthara duly adorned with all types of ornaments, appeared at the eastern gate.  Anointed with a scent of sandal-wood and wearing royal clothes, she was bedecked with several kinds of ornaments of every description in various ways.  Studded with bright-coloured girdle-bands and many other excellent ornaments, Manthara appeared like a female monkey tied with ropes!
          Perceiving  that hump-backed Manthara, the very much sinister and insensitive woman, the door-keepers caught her and delivered her to Shatrughna saying "Here is that sinful and cruel woman, by whose act Rama is in the forest and your father has laid down his body.  Do with her, as you consider fit and just."
         Hearing that, Shatrughna who was very much in grief and was firmly resolute said  "Let this woman, who created such a misfortune to my brothers and my father, receive the fruit of her cruel act."
         When he seized that hunch-backed woman with his powerful hand, she started to howl in fright which made that mansion resound with her shrieks.  Her companions ran away helter-shelter in all directions thinking "The way how he looks, he will surely slay us all. We shall take refuge with the compassionate, magnanimous, virtuous and illustrious Kausalya.  She will certainly give us asylum."
          Shatrughna, with his raging red eyes then violently dragged the crying hump-back along the floor.  While that Manthara was being violently dragged, her various colourful ornaments were scattered asunder here and there on the floor. Thus, that splendid royal mansion scattered by those ornaments, appeared very much like an autumnal sky studded with innumerable stars.  Shatrughna, a very strong and a powerful man, thus violently seizing her with rage, sharply rebuked Kaikeyi and spoke harsh words to her. Agonized very much by those harsh and painful words, Kiakeyi overwhelmed as she was with the fear of Shatrughna, took refuge with Bharata.
            Bharata told his brother "Among all beings women are not to be killed.  Hence she is to be pardoned.  If the pious Rama is not to express his displeasure with me for killing the mother, I would have killed this Kaikeyi, the ill-mannered and sinful woman.  If the virtuous Rama hears that the hunch-backed woman has been killed, it is sure that he will cease to talk to you and to me, too ."
            Hearing the words of Bharata, Shatrughna the younger brother of Lakshmana renouncing his guilty design forthwith released Manthara.  Manthara fell at the feet of Kaikeyi, breathless, weeping piteously.  Seeing the hunch-backed woman, who was very much disturbed on account of shatrughna's violence, wearing a distorted appearance and looking like a crane that has been caught in a noose, Bharata's mother tried to console her.

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