How does the nurse change Bharata’s mother’s attitude toward Rama?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Manthara is able to manipulate Kaikeyi by recognizing how to act upon her own insecurities.  It is in this where the epic teaches a lesson in how to recognize one's own condition and have a grounded understanding to prevent the grip of maya, illusion, taking hold.  Kaikeyi's own background is one of banishment.  She sees her own mother being banished by her father, and thus is raised by Manthara.  As a result, Kaikeyi's psychology is one of insecurity.  She lives with this doubt as second wife to Dasaratha.  When Kaikeyi sees Lord Rama named as King, her insecurities, are not as evident.  Yet, over time, Manthara knows where the pressure points are in Kaikeyi having essentially raised her with her mother's banishment.  It is here where her maya begins to take a hold of her.  The condition of being a second wife and wanting more than what is there is something that is a remnant of maya from her youth.  Manthara knows this and is able to work on this point as she continues her manipulation of Kaikeyi.  The fear of being marginalized, again, and not being fully included is where Manthara is able to be effective in changing Kaikeyi's attitude, precluding her from seeing that she actually loves Lord Rama.  It is here where the epic emphasizes the lesson that when maya, illusion, takes control of our sensibilities, bad things cannot be far behind.


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