The Ram Charit Manas says that the devatas panicked when Ramji was to be coronated, for their wish to see the destruction of the rakshasas (demons) would remain unfulfilled. So, they rushed to Goddess Saraswati (goddess of learning) for help to change the course of things. Saraswati then polluted the mind of Manthara, Kaikeyi’s maid, who, in turn, started working on Kaikeyi’s mind to turn it against Ramji. This resulted in Kaikeyi asking for her terrible boons, to banish Ramji and crown her son Bharat, the King.

If this is what Saraswati did, then how can we hold Kaikeyi responsible for what she did? It was none of her fault. I put forward my “brilliant and logical” question to Swami Chinmayanandaji.
He answered in interrogations many a time. His reply came in two words, “Why Kaikeyi?” Then he paused and said, “think…why Kaikeyi and why not Sumitra?” My mind was in a spin, yes, I had not thought of that.

Slowly he said, “Nothing can tempt the mind unless the seed of desire is already there. Thoughts become seeds, and getting a conducive environment and the right time, they sprout. No seed, no sapling. This is a law. When Kaikeyi’s father gave her in marriage to Raja Dasharath, he had taken a promise from him that if Kaikeyi bore him a son, then he would crown him the King. This thought was implanted somewhere in Kaikeyi’s mind, so when she was counselled by Manthara, the seed sprouted to form a powerful desire. Sumitra’s mind had no seed and, therefore, could not be influenced.”

In simple terms, Gurudev conveyed to me the importance of guarding the mind against all negativities and selfish desires, else they could rise and create a devastating world for us.

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi.

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