sometime, Dasharatha felt that his end was near and thought of crowning Rama as the
Yuvaraja to succeed him. He also thought of holding the crowning Rama immediately. He
consulted his priests and local chieftains and getting their assent, sent for Rama and
told him about his intention.
Rama obediently accepted his father's grace and told Lakshmana: "Enjoy yourself
thoroughly as a Yuvaraja." He returned home and told his mother about the Emperor's
Kausalyadevi was very pleased and at once proceeded with the auspicious rituals
preceding the great event. Seeing this, Manthara, Kaikeyi's maid, asked a maid of Kausalya
what the activity was all about and learnt about the crowning of Rama the next day.
Manthara was till then thinking that Kaikeyi was adored most by Dasharatha and so Bharata
would be chosen for the august royal office. Now, things had been upset. Heartbroken, she
rushed to Kaikei and told the queen: "Your position is in jeopardy. The emperor has
decided to bring Rama to the throne and is anointing him as the Yuvaraja tomorrow."
When Kaikeyi said it was a happy thing, Manthara. replied: "0 my queen, when your
interest is in peril, you are behaving as if you have struck great luck ! See, if Rama is
crowned, what should happen to Bharata?" To this, Kaikeyi replied: "Rama is a
nice lad. We need not have any fear."
Thereupon, Manthara persisted: "Rama is all right. But what about Kausalya? All
along, you have looked upon her with jealousy. Do you think she will now allow you to live
in peace and happiness?"
Hearing these words, Kaikeyi felt concerned. She said: "You are right, Manthara.
What shall we do now to see at Bharata is crowned instead of Rama?" Then, Manthara
said: "The Emperor greatly Adores you. When he comes to you today, ask for a
boon and when he agrees, demand that Rama is exiled to the woods for fourteen years and
Bharata is crowned. Whatever he says, doesnt relent. Rama will then go to the forest
and Bharata will became the Yuvaraja, Your wish will be fulfilled." Kaikeyi accepted