Fear now entered the heart of the Queen. Manthara won. Kaikeyi's face was
flushed; her breath became hot. Helpless she clung to Manthara for comfort and safety.
Because his first two wives had borne no
children, Dasaratha, following the royal custom, married Kaikeyi. At that time Kaikeyi's
father secured from Dasaratha the promise that the child of her womb should become king
after him. In such a promise given by a childless king there was nothing surprising and
nothing wrong. At that time, his then queens had long been childless. The King took a
third wife for the sake of progeny. Even then his wish for a son to be born was not
fulfilled. Many years passed.
After the great sacrifice was performed,
all three wives bore children. The son of the Queen Eminent, Raama, was the eldest among
four sons. He was also great in virtue, fully equal to the burden of Kingship, acceptable
to ministers, citizens and vassal princes. How could Dasaratha violate the royal custom
and ignoring Raama's claim anoint Bharata?