Ayodhya-kanda - Doha 11 to 20

Sri Ramcharitmanas is a great Hindu scripture and poetic classic written by Goswami Tulsidas.

Doha - 11

"Perceiving our grave calamity, O Mother manipulate things in such a way today that Sri Rama may retire into the forest, relinquishing His throne, and the object of us immortals may wholly accomplished."


Hearing this prayer of devinities goddess Sarada stood still and was grieved at the thought that she was going to play the same role with reference to the people of Ayodhya as a wintry night does with repect to a bed of lotues. Seeing her downcast the gods spoke again in a suppliant tone, "Mother, not the least blame will attach to you; for the Lord of Raghus is above sorrow and joy alike. You are fully acquainted with Sri Rama's glory. As for the people, every embodied soul is subject to pleasure and pain according to its fate. Therefore. you should go to Ayodhya for the good of the celestials" Clasping her feet again and again they exerted great pressure on her till she yielded and set out, considering the gods as mean-minded. She said to herself, " Though their abode is on high thier doings are mean; they cannot see other's prosperity. " Again reflection on the role she was destined to perform in the days to come, when worthy poets would seek her favour, she came with a cheerful heart to the capital of Dasaratha like the intolerably evil influence of a planet.

Doha - 12

Now Kaikeyi (Bharata's mother) had a dull-witted servant-maid, Manthara by name; having perveted her reason and making her a receptacle of ill-repute, the goddess of speech returned to her abode.


Manthara saw the city decorated and festal music melodiously playing; she, therefore, asked the people, "What is all this rejoicing about?" When she heard of Sri Rama's coming installation, she felt distressed in her heart. That evil-minded and low-born woman pondered how mischief might be created overnight, even as a wily Bhila woman who has seen a honey comb hanging from a tee schemes how to get hold of the honey. Pulling a long face she approached Bharata's mother. "What makes you look so grave?" the queen smilingly asked. She made no answer, but only heaved a deep sigh and adopting the way of women shed crocodile tears. Said the queen laughing, "You are a most saucy girl; what I suspect, therefore, is that Laksmana has taught you a lesson. "Even then the most wicked servant-maid would not speak and merely hissed like a cobra.

Doha - 13

Apprehensive of mischief, the queen said to her, "How is that you do speak? I hope Ramaa and his royal father, Laksmana Bharata and Ripudamana (Satrughna) are all well?" The hump-backed woman (Manthara) was pained at heart these words,



"Why should anyone, O mother, give me a lesson? And on whose strength shall I be cheeky? Who is happy today, except Rama, whom the king is going so invest with regal powers? Providence has turned most favourable to Kausalya; seeing this she cannot contain the pride of her bosom. Why not go and see for yourself all the splendour, the sight of which has agitated my mind? Your son is away ; while you are complacent under the nation that your lord is under your thumb. You are excessively fond of sleeping on a cushioned bed and are unable to detect the deceitful cunning of the king." Hearing these affectionate words, yet knowing her malicious mind the queen angrily said, "Keep quier now. If you ever speak thus again expert as you are in sowing seeds of discord in a family, I will have your tongue pulled out."

Doha - 14

"The one-eyed the lame and the hump-backed know these to be perverse and wicked more so if they come of the fair sex and particularly those belonging to the menial class!" said Bharata's mother smiled.


" O sweet-tongued girl. I have said all this to you way of advice; otherwise I cannot even dream of being angry with you. That day alone will be auspicious and a bestower of good fortune, when your words will come to be true. The eldest brother should be the lord and the younger ones his servants: such is the blessed tomorrow, ask of me, my friend, what pleases your mind and I will grant it. Bu his innate disposition Rama lovers all his mothers as dearly as Kausalya. He is particularly fond of me. I have had occasions to test his love. Should God in His mercy vouchsafe to me a human birth again, may Rama and Sita be my son and daughter-in-law respectively. Rama is dearer to me than liffe; how is it that you have got perturbed at the news of his inauguration?"

Doha - 15

"I adjure you Bharata's name to tell me the truth putting away all deceit and reservation. Let me know the reason why you should grieve on an occasion of rejoicing."


"I have had all my ambitions fulfilled as a result of my speaking only once; I shall now speak again with another tongue. My wretched head surely deserves to be smashed since you get offended even at my well-meaning words. Those alone who speak unctuous words, minding not what is true and what is false, are your favourites, while I am disagreeable to you. From this day onward I too will utter only that which is palatable to my mistress, or else will keep mum all the twenty-four hours. God has given me a misshapen body and made me dependent on others; one must reap as one has sown and must get what one has given. Whoever may be the ruler, I lose nothing thereby; for shall I cease to be a servant and become a queen now? Damnable is my nature in that I cannot bear to see harm come to you. That is why I just broached the topic. But it was a great blunder on my part; therefore, pardon me, O venerable lady."

Doha - 16

Hearing these pregnant and agreeably deceiful words, the queen, who was a woman with an unstable mind and was dominated by the celestial Maya, reposed her faith in an enemy mistaking her for a friend.


Again and again the queen politely questioned Manthara, hyptonized as she was by the latter's guileful words like a doe fascinated by the music of a Bhila woman. Her mind was changed according to the decree of fate and the servant-maid was pleased to find her plan succeed. She replied, " While you persist in questioning me, I am afraid to open my lips, since you have given me the name of a mischief-maker. "Thus working up the queen's faith and manipulating her according to her own liking in everyway, Manthara, who desaster for Ayodhya like the influence exerted by the planet Saturn for a period of seven and a half years (according to Indian Astrology), then spoke, "You said just now, O queen that Sita and Rama were dear to you and that you had endeared yourself to Rama; this assertion of yours is true This is, however, a thing of the past; those days have now gone by. When the tide turns even friend become foes. The sun fosters the family of lotues; but in the absence of water it burns them to ashes. Your co-wife (Kausalya) would strike at your very root; protect it by means of a good fence in the form of a remedy.

Doha - 17

"You are free from anxiety on the strength of your husband's love and know him to be under your sway. The king, however, is malicious of mind, though sweet of tongue; while possess a guileless nature."


"Rama's mother (Kausalya) is clever and deep; finding a suitable opportunity she has turned it to account. You must know it is at the suggestyion of Rama's mother that the king has sent away Bharata to his maternal grandfather's She says to herself."All my other co-wives serve me well only Bharata's mother (yourself is pround because of her influence with her lord. It is therefore, O mother, that you rankle in Kausalya's heart; but she is too crafty to disclose her mind. The king is particularly fond of you but due to the jealousy to which a co-wife is naturally subject. Kausalya cannot tolerate it. That is why by resorting to machination and winning over the king she has prevailed on him to fix a date for Rama's installation on the throne. The inauguration of Rama is in accord with the traditions of the family: it is liked by all and is quite to my taste. I however, shudder to think of the consequences; may heaven so ordain that the mischief may recoil on her own head."

Doha - 18

Inventing and injecting many a mischievous formula Manthara put the queen of the scent and told her a hundred and one stories of co-wives so as to foment her jealousy.


As fate would have it, the queen felt assured in her heart of Manthara's fidelity; adjuring her by her own life she questioned Manthara once more, "What is it that you inquire about? It is strange that you should not understand things even now! Even a quadruped knows what is good or bad for it. Preparations have been going on for the last fortnight; while you have got the news from me today. I get food and clothing under your tutelage; hence I cannot be blamed for speaking the truth. If I tell a lie giving it the colour of truth, God will punish me for the same. Should Rama's inauguration take place tomorrow, God will have sown the seed of adversity for you. I swear and tell you most emphatically, O lady that you have been discarded now as a fly a cup of milk. If you and your son accept the role of servants, then alone you will be allowed to stay in the house. and in no other circumstance."

Doha - 19

"Kadru (the progenitress of the serpent race) persecuted her co-wife Vinata (mother of the whole feathered kingdom); so will Kausalya tyrannize over you. Bharata will rot in prison, while Laksamana will be Rama's lieutenant."


Hearing these unpleasant remarks, Kekaya's daughter (Kaikeyi)shrivelled with fear and could not utter a word Her body was wet with perspiration and shook like a plantain stalk. The humpback then bit her tongue (for fear lest the gloomy picture drawn by her might break Kaikey's heart) Telling her one after another many a story of wiles Manthara comforted the queen and asked her to be of good cheer. At last the tide turned and Kaikeyi conceived a fondness for mischief; she applauded a heron mistaking it for swan. "Listen, O Manthara; what you say is quite true. My right eye ever throbs and I have an evil dream every night; but in my folly I did not tell you. I cannot help it, my friend; I am so guileless by nature. I cannot distinguish a friend from a foe."

Doha - 20

"Never to this day have I done an evil turn to anybody during my ascendancy. I wonder for what offence has Providence subjected me to such terrible suffering all at once."


"I would fain go and spend the rest of my life at my father's but would on no account serve a co-wife so long as there is life in me. For him whom heaven allows so survive as a dependant of an enemy, death is preferable to life. " The queen uttered many such words of despondency; at this the humpback resorted to the wily ways of a woman. " Why should you speak in this strain indulging in self-depreciation? Your happiness such gross mischief to you shall eventually reap its fruit. Ever since I heard of this plot, my lady, I have felt no appetite during the day and have had no wink of sleep at night. I consulted the astrologers and they declared in positive terms: ` Bharata shall be the king; this much is certain' If you act up to it, O good lady, I will offer a suggestion to you; the king is under an obligation to you. "


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Last Updated : February 17, 2011

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