(; ), (also Kooni
in some versions) in the Hindu
, is a servant who convinced Kaikeyi
that the throne of Ayodhya
belonged to her son Bharata
and that Rama
should be exiled from the kingdom.
Manthara is described in the Ramayana as a hunchback, and extremely ugly. A family servant of Kaikeyi, she lived with her from the time of her birth. When she hears that King Dasaratha
is planning to make his oldest son, Rama prince regent (rather than Bharata, his child by Kaikeyi), she flies into a rage and reports the news to Kaikeyi. Although Kaikeyi is initially pleased, Manthara convinces her that is Rama comes into power, he will have Bharata exiled or killed in order to eliminate a possible threat to his power. After convincing Kaikeyi of her danger, she suggests that scheme that will result in Rama's banishment.
Manthara appears only once in the Ramayan after Rama's banishment. Having been rewarded by Kaikeyi with costly clothing and jewels, she is walking in the palace gardens when Bharata and his half-brother Satrughna come upon her. Seeing her, Satrughna flies into a violent rage over Rama's banishment, and assaults her murderously. Kaikeyi begs Bharata to save her, which he does, telling Satrughna that it is a sin to kill a woman, and that Rama would be furious with them... Read More