Written by London swaminathan
Date: 23 March 2017
Time uploaded in London:- 22-24
Post No. 3750
Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.
There is a very interesting episode in Valmiki Ramayana, which many of you would have missed. Shatrugna, brother of Rama and Lakshmana, was about to slay Manthara, the hunchback. But Bharata who was equally angry at her, saved her. He gave two reasons for saving her:
1.Women should not be killed, however evil they were, according to Hindu Law Books.
2.If Rama knew that we have killed Manthara, the hunchback, then he would not even meet us.
But before Bharata admonished Shatrugna, what happened there was interesting.
It is in chapter 78 of Ayodhya Kanda of Ramayana. Shatrugna was the younger brother of Lakshmana. He wondered how come Lakshmana allowed this unjust thing to happen (banishing Rama for 14 years). When he was fuming with anger, this wretched woman Manthara appeared before him with all the bling on her body. This infuriated Shatrugna.
Everyone in the palace knew that she was the main cause for this misfortune. So the guards roughed her and brought her before Shatrugna. He said Let this woman receive the ‘fruit of her action’. He seized hold of her with his strong hands. she rent the palace with her shrieks. The women who were with her fled in different directions in fear. They thought Shatrugana would kill all of them and went to Kausalya for protection.
In the meantime, enraged Shatrugna gave her severe blows. When he showered blows on Manthara, she fell down on the ground. Then he redoubled his strokes and her ornaments were scattered. Valmiki says the floor with her bling looked like the autumn sky with stars!
Shatrugna holding her with his strong hands started scolding Kaikeyi, who fearing him, ran to Bharata.
Bharata said to Shatrugna: “one should avoid slaying any woman, therefore control yourself. I would have killed even Kaikeyi for her heinous conduct. But if Rama hears that this hunchback Manthara was slain, he would not approve it.
Hearing this he let her go and she fell at the feet of Kaikeyi, breathless and weeping. The hunchback looked like a Krauncha bird that was caught in a noose!
When we read this, we ourselves feel that we should punch on the face of Manthara. Had we lived at that time, given an opportunity, we would have done so!