Ayodhya-kanda - Doha 21 to 30

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

Doha - 21

"At your suggestion I would throw myself down a well and can even forsake my son and husband. When you tell me to do something in view of my dire distress, why should I not comply with it in my own interest?"


Winning over Kaikeyi and treating her as an offering accepted for sacrifice the humpback whetted the knife of trickery on the stone of her heart. The queen, however, like a sacrificial beast who nibbled the green turf, did not foresee the impending calamity. Agreeable to hear, yet painful in consequence, were the words she spoke; it seemed as if she was administering honey mixed with poison. Said the maid-servant, "Do you, or do you not, remember the incident you once told me, my lady? You have in reserve with the king a couple of boons that he once promised you. Ask for them today and soothe your heart. Bestow sovereignty on your son and an abode in the forest on Rama and rob your co-wives of all their joy. When the king swears by Rama, ask the boons only then, so that the former may not go back upon his word. The scheme will fail if this night is allowed to pass; cherish my words as dearer than life. "

Doha - 22

Having thus hatched her very cruel design against the queen the wretch said, "Betake yourself to the sulking-room. Manage the whole affair discreetly and be not too ready to believe."


Holding the humpback dear as life the queen appalauded her uncommon shrewdness again and again. " I have no such friend as you in the whole world, "she said." You have served as prop to one who was drifting along a stream. If God fulfils my heart's desire tomorrow, I will cherish you, my dear, as the apple of my eye." Thus lavishing every term of indearment on her maid-servant, Kaikeyi retired to the suking-rooms Discord was the seed and the servant-girl(Manthara) the rainy season; while the evil mind of Kaikeyi served as the soil. Fed by the water of wiliness the seed took root and sprounted with the two boons as its leaves and will eventually bear the fruit of adversity. Gathering about her every token of resentment, Kaikeyi lay down on the floor in the sulking-room; while enjoying sovereignty, she was betrayed by her wicked mind. There was a great flutter in the gynaeceum as well as in the city; nobody had any inkling of this evil design.

Doha - 23

In their ecstasy of joy all the citizens, bothe men and women, busied themselves with festive preparations and the entrance to the royal palace was flooded with a continuous stream of people going in and coming out.


Delighted at the news a few of Sri Rama's boy-companions called on Him in a body; and sensible of their affection the Lord received them kindly, and politely enquired after their health and welfare. After receiving the permission of their beloved friend they returned home speaking highly of Him to one another, "Is there anyone in this world so amiable and constant in his affection as Rama? In whichever species we may be born from time to time as a result of our actions, may God grant us that Sita's spouse may be our lord and we his servants, and that this relation between us may continue till the end." Everyone in the city cherished the same desire; but there was intense agony in Kaikeyi's heart. Who is not ruined by evil company? Man loses his wit by following the counsel of vile men.

Doha - 24

At eventide the king joyously visited Kaikeyi's palace; it looked as if love incarnate had called on harshness personified.


The King was taken aback when he heard of the sulking-room, His feet refused to advance on account of fear. He under whose powerful arm the lord of celestials dwell secure and whose goodwill was even sought by all rulers of men was stunned at the news of his wife's anger: look at the mighty power of sexual love.Even those who have endured the blows of a spear, thunderbolt or sword have been overcome with the flowery shafts of Rati's lord (the god of Love). The king timidly approached his beloved queen and was terribly distressed to perceive her condition. She was lying on floor in old and coarse attire having cast away all the ornaments of her person. Her wretched garb so eminently befitted her, prognosticating as it were her impending widowhood. Drawing close to her the king asked in soft accents, "Why are you angry, my soul's delight?"


As the king touched her with his hand saying "Why are you angry, my queen?" Kaikeyi threw it aside and flashed upon him a furious glance like an enraged serpent with the two (above-mentioned) cravings of her for its bifurcated tongue and the boons (that had been promised to her by the king) for its fangs, spying out a vital part. As fate would have it, says Tulasi, the king took it all as an amorous sport.

Doha - 25

Said the king again again, "Tell me the cause of your anger, O fair-faced bright-eyed dame with a voice melodious as the notes of a cuckoo and a gait resembling that of an elephant."


"Who is it, my that has harmed you? Who is there with a head to spare and who is it that is courted by death? Tell me what pauper I should exalt to the position of a king and what monarch I should banish from his kingdom? I could slay even an immortal, were he your enemy; of what account, then, are men and women, who are mere worms as it were? You know my disposition, O beautiful lady; my mind is enamoured of your face as the Cakora bird is of the moon. O my beloved my people and my family and all that I possess, my sons nay, my beloved, my people and my family and all that I possess, my sons, nay my life itself are all at your disposal. If tell you anything in sincerely, O good lady, I should be quilty of falsely swearing by Rama a hundred times. Ask with a cheerful countenace whatever pleases your mind and adorn your charming limbs with jewels. Distinguish within yourself between an opprtune and inopportune hour and give up, my darling, this unbecoming attire at once."

Doha - 26

On hearing this and considering the great the dull-writted Kaikeyi smilingly arose and began to put on her ornaments; it seemed as if a huntress was laying the trap at the sight of a deer.


Thinking her reconciled, the king spoke again in soft and winning accents his whole frame trilling over with emotion, "Your heart's desire, O good lady, is accomplished; every house in the city is a picture of joy and felicity. Tomorrow, I am installing Rama as the prince-regent; therefore, O bright-eyed dame, put on a festive garb." The queen's heart, hard though it was, cracked at these words ; it seemed as if a festering sore had been unwarily touched. Even such (heart-rending) agony was disguised by her under the cloak of a smile. Just as a thief's wife dies not openly weep (on seeing her husband suffer punishment lest she should be made to share his lot). The king was unable to detect her wily designs, tutored as she way by a teacher (Manthara) who ranked foremost among millions of villains. Although the king was skilled in statesmanship, the ways of a woman are like an unfathomable ocean. Again, with a greater show of false affection she smilingly said with graceful movement of her face and eyes.

Doha - 27

"You do repeat word `Ask,ask' but never actually give anything. You promised me a couple of boons; but I am yet doubtful about my getting them."


"I have now understood the whole mystery, "said the king with a smile; "You are extremely fond of being angry. You kept the boons in reserve and never asked for them; as for myself, I forgot all about them, being oblivious by nature. Pray do not level a false charge against me; you might as well ask four boons instead of two. It has always been the rule with the race of Raghu that one's plighted word must be with a lie. Can millions of tiny Gunja seeds ever stand comparison with a mountain? Veracity is the root of all noble Virtues, as is well-known in the Vedas and Puranas and has been declared by Manu (the first law-giver of the world, the author of Manusmrti). Over and above this I have unwittingly sworn by Rama, the author of Raghus, who is the very perfection of virtue and the highest embodiment of affection. "Having thus bound him to his word the evil-minded queen smilingly said, removing as it were the cap from the eyes of her hawk-like okit.

Doha - 28

The king's desire (to see Rama installed as the prince-regent of Ayodhya) represented a lovely grove and the joy (that prevailed everywhere) stood for a host of charming birds. Queen Kaikeyi, who resembled a Bhila woman, sought to release a fierce falcon in the form her piercing words.


"hear, my beloved lord, that which pleases my heart; vouchsafe to me for one boon the installation of Bharata (as the prince-regent of Ayodhya) And for the second boon I ask with joined palms-pray accomplish my desire, my lord: Rama dwell in the woods for fourteen years in the garb of a hermit and wholly detached from the world." The king was grieved at heart to hear these gentle words eeven as a Cakravaka bird is filled with agony at the mere touch of a moonbeam. He felt dismayed and could not utter a word. like a partridge in the woods at the swoop of a falcon. The king turned altogether pale as a palm tree struck by lightning; with his hands to his forehead and closeing both his eyes he began to mourn like Grief personified. "The celestial tree of my desire, that had alreadyt blossomed, has been torn with its roots by the elephant-like Kaikeyi just when it was about to bear fruit. She has desolated Ayodhya and laid the foundation of everylasting misfortune."

Doha - 29

"An inauspicious thing has happened at an auspicious moment; and I am doomed by putting trust in a woman like a striving Yogi who has been undone by nescience at a time when his practice of Yoga was just going to bear fruit in the form of Realization.


In this way the king moaned within himself. Seeing his bad plight the wicked queen sulked within her heart and said, "Is Bharata not your son? And have you bought me in consideration of money? If my words pierced you like arrows the moment they entered your ears, why should you not make promises after careful thought? Either say yes to my proposal or decline. You are true to your promise (more than anyone else) in the race of Raghu. Refuse the boons you promised me; abandon truth and court infamy in the world Lound in your praise of truth you promised me a couple of boons, imagining of course that I would ask for a handful of parched grain. Sibi Dadhichi and Bali redeemed their plighted word maintaining whatever they said even at the cost of their life and possessions." In this way Kaikeyi uttered most pungent words as though applying salt to a burn.

Doha - 30

A champion of righteousness, the king took courage and opened his eyes, and beating his head sighed out, " She has smitten me in the most vital part."


He saw her standing before him burning with rage, as if it were Fury's own sword drawn from the sheath, with a malcious mind for its hilt and remorselessness for its edge, whetted on the grindstone in the shape of the humpback (Manthara). The king saw that the sword was dreadful and inflexible and said to himself, "Is it really going to take my life?" Then steeling his heart, he politely spoke to her in endearing terms , "My darling, why should you utter such unbecoming words, casting all confidence and affection to the winds, O timid lady? Bharata and Rama are my two eyes; I vouch for it calling Sankara as my witness. I will positively despatch a messenger at daybreak, and the two brothers (Bharata and Satrughna) will speedily come on hearing the message. Then, after fixing an auspicious date and making all preparations I will solemnly bestow the kingdom on Bharata."


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Last Updated : February 17, 2011

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