While turning pages of our pauranik/ancient yarns, oftenly we come across with events that excites our minds with extraordinary instances and larger than life characters. And why not, with legends those are truer and that too divine, its quite obvious. One thing that is pretty usual or causal that we find is boon(vardaan as we popularly know). Sometimes the whole saga revolves around such episode or episodes and sometimes, such episodes immortalize the particular character. Vishwamitra's austerity pleased Brahmm Dev and he blessed the former with 'brahmmrishi' position. Youngling Dhruv penanced for Narayarn's affection and his fame went immortal. Iksha-Mrityu, a boon given by a loving father to his virtuous son, Bheeshm, initiated the epic, Mahabharat. Most of the incarnations taken by Bhagwan Vishnu were due to these boons only; demons like Hirarnyaksh, Hirarnyakashapu, Raavarn obtained boons from Brahmm Dev and became invincible and were finally eliminated by the avatars to install dharm.
Now, when the boonathon is currently in play and my last two posts were on Shri Ram's exile, I recollect an episode of two boons that actually were curses in disguise and hence resulted catastrophically.
Kaikeyi; Dashrath's favorite queen, had those two boons with her that did turned the tides in distant future. How she received those boons? Well the story goes like this - once, Indra, king of devas pleaded Dashrath's help in the war between devas & asurs. Dashrath agreed and fought bravely in the war, his vigorous display of strategics helped Indra winning the war later. But during the war, there came a situation when he got severely injured and lost his consciousness, it was the charioteer who not just saved his life but also treated all his injuries and helped him getting his strength back. The charioteer was no one but Kaikeyi who accompanied Dashrath to the war. Beholden to what she did, Dashrath granted her two boons and asked her to wish whatever she aspires for. The benign queen averted those boons for future course as she cared for nothing more but her husband's long life which she already took care of.
Quite a legend, ain't so; there's more to it if we read between the lines. Before that, or rather to understand that better we will learn about Kakeyi.
Daughter of King Ashwapati, she was the only princess of Kaikeya. Her alluring beauty was renowned everywhere. She also had a brother named prince Yudhajit. The wise King Ashwapati treated both of his children equally and made sure that the prince and the princess are endowed with education uniformly in different streams. Kaikeyi proved to be a great scholar along with her brother and mastered all genres that included the warfare(yes, she was a warrior too). Later she was married to King Dashrath of Ayodhya, she proved to be an ideal wife who accompanied her to the great war where she saved his king's life. She mothered the great Bharat, for whom she dared to play the woman she wasn't in actual.
Now if we compile the above stated, we can comprehend that Kaikeyi was not any usual princess but a great intellect, an enlightened soul and certified adventuress. The war where she saved Dashrath's life wasn't any regular one. Indra is the king of the devas and he himself was a mighty dev, but he had to ask for Dashrath's help as this time it was Shambar, a very powerful being and king of the rakshasas fighting against him. Indra was aware of the enimity between the suryavanshees and the rakshasas(read : http://srirom.blogspot.in/2015/06/the-uncrowned-king-khar.html) and was helped consequently. Dashrath took kaikeyi as his charioteer knowing her presence of mind and she proved working in great co-ordination with him. It is pretty clear that when Dashrath was wounded badly, he was encircled between the rakshasas, a mere charioteer would have failed in saving him. But Kaikeyi was not any mere, she not just safeguarded her king but efficiently fought the enemies. This again proves that there was gender equity in those times(read : http://srirom.blogspot.in/2015/07/ayodhya-prime-and-eternal-ii.html)
When Shri Ram's coronation was announced, whole Ayodhya was decorated and were celebrating. Kaikeyi was unaware of such news as earlier Shri Ram was only being promoted as Yuvraj. When Manthara informed her about the crowning, she was ecstasized and presented a necklace to the her. Manthara threw the necklace in fury and explained why and how the coronation may harm her and Bharat's future(baseless). Kaikeyi tried her best to resist but Mathara gained over her motherly love and brainwashed her, totally. She reminded her of the two boons that Kaikeyi let go once. Now the ball was in Kaikeyi's court and her hidden aspiration for Bharat's kingship pushed her towards the path she regretted her whole life. She wasn't herself anymore but transformed into hideous berserk woman and put those two boons in front of Dashrath; Bharat's crowning and Shri Ram's exile for fourteen years. Dashrath was ripped inside out, he was shocked as suddenly what turned her love and affection into hatred towards Ram. At the end, her firmness won and the exile was commanded that ended up taking Dashrath's life.
A genuine woman who fell prey to her hidden aspirations, without caring to know whether her own son wished for kingship or not. It is often said that Kaikeyi was right on her side and she was misguided. Accepted, but again revisiting the above stated, she wasn't the one who could be easily mislead, she had a brain and she knew how to use that. I remember to what Benjamin Parker said once, 'with great powers comes great responsibilities', she didn't cared for that and at the end came out as the biggest looser where her own son relinquished her. Moral or immoral, who are we to decide when she was revered by Shri Ram himself, as whatever happened, was his will after all.
"An opportunity to transform must prioritize societal benefit only"
Grammer Gyan -
Hirarnyaksh: he-rurn(n being silent)-yak-sha
Hirarnyakashapu: he-rurn(n being silent)-ya-kash-yup-oo
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