It does seem unbelievable that anyone could dislike Rama. But Mantara did, and it is hard to explain why. Some things cannot be explained rationally.
If we ask the question why a hunter kills an animal for sport, will we get an answer? The animal has in no way harmed him, and yet he kills it. Some questions have no answers. Mantara's wickedness is inexplicable, said M.V. Anantapadmanabhachariar.
A man once walked towards a forest that teemed with wild animals. A sage who saw him move in the direction of the forest warned him not to proceed , for in the forest were wild animals that would surely kill him.
The man said he had been told that he had only a few days to live, and so he was moving towards the forest.
All his life he had taken pleasure in harming and hurting others. He was sorry that he couldn't continue his wickedness, once he died.
He wanted to make sure that his wicked qualities survived in this world. So he was hoping that wild animals indeed would kill and eat him. If they did, they might, by eating his flesh, absorb some of his bad qualities, and then they would continue the cruelty he had practised all his life. Now how would one explain such a man's conduct? He was wicked for no particular reason.
In the same way, Mantara was wicked for no reason at all. Some say that she was angry with Rama because He had flung a stone at her hunchback when He was a child. But will anyone nurse a grudge against a child who unknowingly did something? Will a person desire to take revenge on a child for its mistake? And even if one did bear a grievance, would one want so stringent a punishment for an act of childishness?
Mantara causes Kaikeyi's mind to work in ways it had never before worked. She causes turmoil in Kaikeyi's heart. Kaikeyi, who had been very fond of Rama, changes because of the seed of doubt planted in her mind by Mantara, and by the seed of ambition, too, planted by Mantara in her mind.
Just as the milky ocean was churned by the Mandhara mountain, so was Kaikeyi's heart put in a state of agitation by Mantara, her maid.