2:04 am - Sunday March 26, 2023

Historical Personality

Devotees of India


Devotee of Sri Rama and younger brother of the Valiant Ravana, king of Lanka. He had great affection and respect for his elder brother .He went away from Lanka, surrendered himself to the virtuous Sri Rama and helped him in the battle against Ravana.


Among the devotees of Sri Rama who helped him, Hanumanta and Vibhishana are well known. The message of Sitadevi was conveyed to Sri Rama by Hanumanta. Vibhishana went to Sri Rama's aid in his fight with Ravana. Hanumanta and Vibhee- shana are among the seven immortals of Hindu mythology.

Ravana's Brother

Vibhishana was the younger brother of Ravana, the King of Lanka. Ravana had another younger brother also, by name Kumbhakarna, and a younger sister called Shoorpanakha. Their father was Vishravas, and mother Kaikasi. Vishravas had also a first wife who bore him a son by name Vaishravana, also called Kubera, who performed long and arduous austerities and meditation, to propitiate Lord Brahma, the creator. By His boon, Kubera became of the 'Lokapalakas', the deities who over the eight cardinal directions and protect the world; he also secured a 'Vimana' (aeroplane) which was called 'Pushpaka'. He was the king of Rakshasas developed Lanka into a prosperous kingdom.

But Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Shoorpa - nakha grew into evil persons. Their mother Kaikasi, pained thereby, spoke of her anguish to her husband. He consoled her saying, "Do not weep. You will get a us son who will bring a good name to our family." The son born after that was Vibhishana.

Penance By Ravana, Kumbhakarna

Overcome by a desire to excel Kubera, Ravana and Kumbhakarna undertook austerities to please Lord Brahma. Finally when Brahma appeared, Ravana prayed thus - "0 Lord, give me this boon, that any of the Angels, Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Nagas or Garudas cannot kill me. As for humans and beasts, they are mere grass to me; I am not afraid of them."

And Kumbhakarna's request was this - "Lord, bless me that I may spend the major part of any year in a happy slumber."

Lord Brahma conferred on them the boons they asked for and returned. Kumbha- karna's mind became clear after Brahma disappeared. He felt ashamed at his own stupidity.

Vibhishana Too Gets A Boon

Vibhishana also took to rigorous penance and meditation. In summer he set up fires in four containers on all four sides, himself sitting in the middle. He kept one more burning fire in front of him and engaged in the 'penance of the five fires'. In the rainy season he remained in the half standing posture of 'Veerasana', exposing his whole body to heavy downpour, and carried on his meditation. He stood in bitingly cold water in winter and continued pas'. He gave up all food; the air he breathed was his only sustenance.

Brahma was pleased with his austerity and came to him. He said, "My dear boy, What do you want? Ask for any boon and I will give it."

"O Lord, I salute you again and again, a thousand times. Bless me that I may not stray from the path of virtue in my happi- ness or in difficulties. And may I have the ability to wield the great missile 'Brahmaastra' without anyone teaching me. Grant me these boons," Vibhishana entreated.

Brahma blessed him thus - "Beloved Vibhishana, you have a righteous mind, and so you have asked for such good boons. You have them. And on my own, I give you one more boon- that you will be immortal."

Ravana - King Of Lanka

Ravana's mother Kaikasi and his grand- father Sumali put evil ideas into his king him to take away the Kingdom of Lanka and the Pushpaka plane from Kubera. He ignored the principle that an elder brother should be looked upon with the respect due to a father. Kubera had to flee from the kingdom. Ravana became the King of Lanka and began to rule over the Rakshasas.

Kubera went to the Kailasa region and g the area that he liked, established the Kingdom of the Yakshas. He ruled over his realm righteously. Ravana then cast his greedy eyes on Kubera's Pushpaka plane too. He behaved in a provocative way and began a war with Kubera. Defeating 'Kubera, he emplaned on the Pushpaka and came back from Kailasa to Lanka.

Ravana married Maya's daughter, Mando- dari, who was a very devoted wife and very righteous. He had a son by her, named Meghanaada (which means the 'sound of the clouds' or the 'sound of thunder'). Meghanaada defeated Indra, the king of angels, and earned the title of 'Indrajit' also. Ravana had many more wives from whom he had other sons like Akshaya- kumara, Anukampa and so on.

Vibhishana married Sarama, daughter of the Gandharva king Shailusha. Sarama also was of a virtuous bent of mind like Vibhishana, and full of good qualities.

Hanumanta Goes To Lanka

Sri Rama, the eldest son of Dasharatha the emperor of Ayodhya, relinquished the kingdom and went to the forest to honour his father's word given to the third queen Kaikeyi, who wanted her son Bharata to me the ruler. Rama's wife Sitadevi and his brother Lakshmana followed him with love and joy. Before the prescribed of twelve years of forest life could be completed, Ravana abducted Sita in the jungle area known as Janasthana. He concealed her as a prisoner in Ashokavana, a vast area of greenery near his palace in Lanka.

Rama and Lakshmana wandered in search of Sita. They found a friend in Sugriva, whose minister Hanumanta went south wards in the search for Sita. Hanumanta crossed the southern sea, and entering Lanka, saw Sitadevi in Ashokavana. He thought it would be better to see Ravana before leaving Lanka. He thought of a plan for that purpose, and started destroying the Ashokavana.

Reports of the havoc caused by Hanumanta reached Ravan. He sent his son Akshayakumara with an army of Rakshasas to subdue Hanumanta. But Hanumanta killed Akshayakumara, destroying the Rakshasa army. Then Indrajit defeated and bound' Hanumanta with the 'Brahmaastra', and brought him captive to the court of Ravana.Ravana asked Hanaumanta, "Who are you? What brought you to Lanka?Why did you destroy the Ashokavana? You are a vicious culprit, having killed Akshayakumara and the Rakshasa army."

Hanumanta replied, "Ravana, you are the real culprit, you who have stolen Sitadevi. I wished to see you. So I hit upon the trick of destroying Ashokavana.Iam Hanumanta, and have come as Sri Rama's messenger, to see Sitadevi and convey Rama's message to you. Ravana, though you are an emperor and have conquered all the worlds, you have abducted Sitadevi like a cowardly thief. I am certainly capable of freeing Sitadevi from your clutches and taking her away. But I can't think of it because Sri Rama has to do that. Now, don't make it necessary for Sri Rama to invade your realm and kill you. Restore Sitadevi to Sri Rama and win his favor."

"Brother, This Is Not Statecraft"

These fearless words of advice from Hanumanta made Ravana's blood boil. The very word Sri Rama pained his ears as if were pierced. The Rakshasa court unanimously passed a sentence of death on Hanumanta.

Vibhishana had much affection and respect for his brother Ravana. Yet he felt that it was unjust to put a messenger to death. So he resolved to protest against it. He stood up, saluted Ravana and said, "Great monarch of Lanka, you are my elder brother, whom I should respect like a father. Please don't think I am disobedient to you. May I speak to you with the freedom of a younger brother? You are also a very great scholar, having lernt all the Shastras, our sacred religious, social and political texts. You are a statesman well aware of all rules of statecraft. I cannot teach you these laws and conventions. But sentencing a messenger to death is not permitted by the principles of statecraft."

"Brother Vibhishana, I do agree with what you say of statecraft," Ravana replied. "But this monkey standing before me has not conducted himself like a court messenger. He has indeed behaved like an enemy. The destruction of the Ashoka- vana and the killing of Akshayakumara and the Rakshasa army are certainly not ordinary offences.Is he a court messenger or clearly a foe? The death sentence is quite appropriate."

Vibhishana understood Ravana's mind. He spoke in a suitable way, saying "O King, Hanumanta is guilty, but still he is not an enemy and he has come here as Rama's messenger. He should not be put to death."

Ravana too grasped Vibhishana's opinion. He said, "Brother, so you do grant that hanumanta is guilty. So he shall be imprisoned. Is that all right?"

Vibhishana did not agree with that He said to his brother, "It is improper to either kill or even imprison a messenger, because that will upset the whole system court messengers. Then who can convey our ideas and opinions to the enemies?"

But Ravana queried, "Then is there no punishment for all the offences of Hanumanta?"

Ravana's doubt was cleared by his brother who said, "A guilty messenger can be beaten by a staff, or his limbs could be severed. His head can be shaven, face and forehead disfigured with ugly writing, and he can be taken in procession in that condition on the streets, and later driven out of the city."

Ravana nodded in approbation of Vibhee- shana's knowledge of the conventions of statecraft and pronounced his decision thus - "I do appreciate your knowledge of statecraft. Now it is said that the tail is an important feature of a monkey. So I order that Hanumanta's tail be set fire to, burnt, and then he be released".

All the Rakshasas there joined together and covered Hanumanta's tail with cloth tied all over it. The tail increased in size. They tied round it all the cloth they could lay their hands upon, poured several tins of oil on it, and set fire to it. The tail began to bum like a forest fire. Hanumanta touched the moustaches and beards of Rakshasas with his burning tail. He dipped the tail onto several spots in the city and the whole of Lanka was on fire.


The sight of the city in Names depressed discouraged Ravana. His mind was perturbed. He remembered the curse of Nandi. He immediately summoned his cabinet. Prahasta, Durmukha, Indrajit, Nikumbha, Vibhishana and all others attended. Kumbhakarna was in a deep slumber.

Ravana said, "Court consultations are to lead to victory. So I have summoned this meeting." The Rakshasas trusted more in physical might than in mental powers.Each of them would be a mountain of a man. For them statesmanship meant only con- frontation and fighting. Hanumanta had defeated the diety Lankadevata and entered Lanka. He had found out the secret place where Sita had been kept a prisoner. He had destroyed the Ashoka- vana forest, and killed Akshayakumara and the Rakshasa army. Finally he had faced Ravana himself undaunted and also burnt the city of Lanka. But they did not stop to think about all this. If they had the least intelligence, they would certainly have thought that the monkey army of Rama and Lakshmana would be as strong as they themselves were.

But the Rakshasas were stupid and did not think of this. They flattered Ravana saying, "You are omnipotent and have conquered all the worlds. You can alone face and fight with Rama and Lakshmana. They are after all mere mortals". With such flattery, they made Ravana's pride rise.Everyoneamong them blew his own trumpet. "Prahasta can single-handed kill both Rama and Laksh- mana. If only Kumbhakarna, made immen sely powerful by Brahma's boon, wakes up from hi blissful slumber, he is no ordinary fighter And if Indrajit, who bound Hanumanta with his Brahmaastra, unfolds his magic weapons and powers, the enemies would be heIpless. If Ravana commands, one of us could go and kill Rama and Lakshmana and could also reduce the monkey army to nothing. "These & such were the Words of bravado uttered by the Rakshasas.

"But Think, My Brethren"

Blood began to boil in the Rakshasa hordes. They all hungered for a fight.

Vibhishana resolved to check these who were embarking on the path of war following the method of confrontation and punishment, which is the very last step in statecraft. He knew that if he did not check the overconfidence of these people, the ruin of Lanka would be a certainty. He knew that his words in this regard would be disliked by them.

But he felt that for the welfare of a, and to save Ravana, it was his duty to caution them. So he stood up, saluted Ravana, and turning to the Rakshasas said: 'you are brethren of my own Rakshasa clan. I beg of you to be patient. I salute you and request you to listen to my words calmly. In statecraft we have the four well-known methods or stages - Saama o good words of advice and persuasion, Daana or the attempt to win over with gifts andpromises, Bheda or the splitting of the enemy, and finally, Danda or the last method of confrontation and punishment. But you seem to neglect all the three earlier methods and to believe only in the last one of force. Sri Rama, like us, is certainly a hero.We have already witnessed the might of Hanumanta. Think also as to how many more thousands of heroes like Hanumanta there would be in their army." With these words he tried to tone down their clamour for a war.

Vibhishana continued - "Brothers, let us think clearly and calmly. Who committed the first mistake? Was it not Khara who teased and troubled Rama andLakshmana who were minding their own busiess? Was it wrong on the part of Sri Rama and Lakshmana to have opposed khara in self- defence? You might still assert that the mistake is Sri Rama's. If so, why did you not start a war so far? Further, granting that Sri Rama may be our enemy, what has the poor lady Sitadevi done? Why should she be abducted? You all know the adage that haste makes waste.So,Please think before you leap, and think well."

Then he turned to Ravana- "Brother you have brought up all of us under your protection. We owe our very lives to you. So it is our duty to ensure your welfare. Our ministers have unfortunately forgotten that. They are misguiding you. Please do not listen to them. I have always thought of your welfare only. You are a great states- man. And you so well know the ways of the world. Do not ruin yourself by thinking only war. It is better to return to Sri Rama his wife Sitadevi whom you have brought here by stealth. Win over Sri Rama's friendship and favour, and be Safe."

Ravana's mind was highly disturbed by Vibhishana's words of advice. He ended the Rakshasa conclave abrubtly, without any decision.

When The Brother Is Unjust

Vibhishana returned home from the royal court. His mind was full of concern for his brother. The whole night was over in thinking of what was right and what was wrong, of what was just and what was unjust. He loved his brother dearly, but was convinced that his abduction of Sita was clearly unjust. He knew that Ravana obduracy would destroy him and destroy Lanka also. When he tried to show the just course, both Ravana and the sycophants flattered him would become angry beyond words. But Vibhishana was determined not to swerve from the path of right- eousness and justice, whatever be the defficulties. He was prepared even to brave banishment from the country if it came about.

As the morning dawned, Vibhishana his bath and performed the daily ship. He then went straight to Ravana's palace. Seeing Ravana still in the midst of his worship of Lord Ishwara, he also prayed for his brother's welfare. As Ravana came out after the worship, Vibhishana saluted him and both went to the royal court hall. Already Prahasta, Indrajit and other Rakshasa chiefs were waiting for Ravana. The discussions began.

Vibhishana's Advice Rejected

Vibhishana spoke in a frank manner. He said, "Brother, since the visit of Hanumanta and his return, we are facing very bad times. Even our deity Lanka Devata no longer appears lustrous. The avenues of the capital are infested with snakes and scorpions. Groups of crows and vultures circle over our houses. Ugly wails of jackals are heard day and night all over the city. The women of the city look forlorn and frightened. My beloved brother please heeds, to my words, and return Sitadevi to Sri Rama. I am not speaking out of any fear for my life; but I speak out of my affection for you. I speak so that the danger that is ahead may be prevented"

Vibhishana's sane advice fell on Ravana's ears like molten metal pouring in. Ravana's anger was roused like a forest fire. With burning eyes, Ravana stamped his foot on the ground and thundered, "Vibhishana, stop your nonsense. Stop all this stupid advice. Rama and Laksh- mana are to me like straw. Sugriva, Hanumanta, Jambavanta and others are of no account. You can shut up and get out!"

Vibhishana had to go out of the court-hall.

The whole day Ravana was distraught. He was worried that his own brother rose in revolt against him. Throughout the day his mind was drowned in distress.


Rama and Lakshmana came with a monkey-army and set up camp on the southern seacoast.Ravana's spies brought him the news. With a disturbed he called another meeting of the council. Kumbha- karna, who was in slumber when the court met last, attended this meeting. He had been awakened from his sleep with great effort and brought to the meeting in a semi-sleepy state. He was like Ravana's right-arm, his main pillar of support.

Ravana explained to the Rakshasa leaders why he had called them for a meeting again. He said: "O Rakshasa chiefs, I have news that Rama's monkey hordes have set up camp on the southern' sea-coast with intent to take back Sita I am one who would not care for Rama or Lakshmana, Sugriva, Hanumanta, Jambavanta or any others. But I felt that I should consult you all and so called this conclave."

Kumbhakarna was still half a sleep and did not understand the situation and the subject properly. But immediately after Ravana spoke, he stood up and said: "Brother, you should have consulted us earlier. Then we could have given our considered opinion. Why did you go to Janasthana and bring Sita here kidnapping her? Did you do so with our consent? The situation is now so bad and critical. What is the use of thinking now?"

Ravana was feeling very uncomfortable with these words of his brother. Kumba- karna also was by now fully awake.Looking at Ravana's face, he realised that his words had displeased him. With more control on his tongue now, he began again in a more conciliatory manner � "My dear brother, any way Please stop worrying about it. The hearts of our enemies will be filled with fear even as they look at my mountain-like body. Their very entrails will swirl with fright at my lion-like roar. Before any arrow of Rama can touch me, I would have pounced on him and drunk his blood. Bless me with your good wishes for victory and send me now." So thundered the huge-bodied Kumbhakarna.

Wisdom Is Curbed

Vibhishana was opposed to war. He spoke against the counsel of Kumbha- karna, and said: "I understand that brother Kumbhakarna is all for war. I appeal to you, Rakshasa chiefs, to realise that it is sheer madness to think that we could refuse to hand over Sitadevi and defeat Sri Rama. Sitadevi is no ordinary person but a great and divine lady. By fetching her here by force, we are only playing with fire. Please do not bring the flames of war to the gates of Kanaka-lanka, our golden city. Like a deadly plague it will destroy not only Lanka but the entire Rakshasa population."

Hearing such words of sanity in the royal councils had become insufferable to Indrajit. These pleadings for peace fell harsh on his ears. His ire was great as he thought that his uncle's advice crossed the limits even for his father's tolerance. So with sparks of anger from his eyes Indrajit thundered, "Uncle, you have always been like an axe on our Rakshasa community. You always speak like a coward and praise our enemies. For nothing you are afraid, and you put fright into us also. Is there one to challenge and oppose me in all the worlds - me, who has humbled Indra and is so well known as (Indrajit' in the whole universe? Why can't you stop this flattery of our foes? So he reviled his uncle.

And Ravana also shouted in anger "Coward, you are treacherous to your own people. Because of my love for you as a brother, I have so far tolerated all your words with indulgence. One can rear a cobra or even trust enemies, but should not rely on relations who pretend to be friendly. Anyway you have shown your true colors at the right time. The truth is that your eyes cannot stand the dazzle of my grandeur and you are too jealous to tolerate my glory. You are a treacherous creature ruining the house that reared you and brought you up. Do not stand before me. Get out, and go anywhere. Cursed be your days!"

And the Rakshasa assembly in one loudly shouted - "Vibhishana, you are an accursed one. May you be cursed our being false to our Rakshasa family for your treachery to Ravana!"

The Bond Is Sundered

Vibhishana was highly vexed by these harsh words of Ravana. He was also agonised because the Rakshasa brethren reviled him. But it only stirred his self- respect.With that feeling and with courage, he stood up opposite Ravana and told him, her, you are elder to me, hence like a father, and so to be respected like God Himself. Therefore I take whatever you said as your blessings to me. It is that I have spoken in a frank manner. Kindly excuse me. Can you remember the proverb that one who speaks too smoothly is but a hypocrite? Let me again warn you. Your end is drawing near and that is why you feel that I have enmity towards you. You feel I am like a hostile cousin. I am not worried. Still I wish to tell you that Sri Rama is no ordinary mortal. Please listen to me. Don't have him as your enemy. Take Sitadevi to him, and return her to him. Thereby win his favor and friendship.

"For me,the bonds of Lanka are sundered. The bond of living under your auspices is also broken. I go as a man banished from his own country. I should not remain here without a sense of self-respect. May you live long and retain Lanka! That will be possible with Sri Rama's blessing. So, good-bye to you."

With these words Vibhishana flew into the sky. His four ministers also did so. Vibhishana looked as if he was the great Meru Mountain with wings flying in the sky.

Supplication To Sri Rama

Soldiers of the monkey army of Rama saw Vibhishana with the mace weapon in his hand and with his four Ministers coming towards them. They reported it to Sugriva. Sugriva thought that they were Ravana's men and went to attack them.Vibhishana flew up into the sky to protect if and with humility said, "I am of e the youngerbrother of the wicked Rakshasa king Ravana, but I am opposed to him. My name is Vibhee- shana. I have as a supplicant to Sri Rama, to be foIlower."

Sugriva reported it to Sri Rama thus "O Lord Ramachandra, Vibhishana says that he has come as a supplicant here with his four ministers. He says he is opposed to Ravana. But we can never believe the words of this Rakshasas.They are deceitful. Vibhishana must have come as a spy of Ravana. He perhaps intends to kill us by some ruse."Jambavanta also doubted Vibhishana's honesty. He said "Vibhishana's coming like this all of a sudden makes his intention very doubtful. He must be a hypocrite, a tiger with masked face of a cow.

Sri Rama turned to Hanumanta, as the latter had seen Vibhishana earlier in the Rakshasa conclave in Lanka. Hanumanta gave his opinion - "Lord Ramachandra, just because Vibhishana comes from the wicked Ravana's court, we need not feel that he too is wicked. He could also be Good like Sugriva, who earned the enmity of Vaali. You did enthrone Sugriva after killing Vaali. Likewise Vibhishana might be thinking that you would eliminate Ravana and put him on the throne. There is a lot of difference betweenVibhishana and those other Rakshasas like Ravana in their nature. I would say that it would be no mistake to take Vibhishana under our protection and give him refuge."

Sri Rama weighed all these opinions for a while, and then pronounced his decision - "Vibhishana may be the brother at wicked Ravana. As Hanumanta he may even be a good person. Whether he is a friend or a foe, is not the important point for me. What is important is that he has come seeking help and refuge. Even if it is an enemy who stands with folded hands and seeks protection, he should not be killed. That is statecraft, a policy . Vibhee- shana has now come for protection, saying that he is on my side. So I receive him into my fold."

Vibhishana prostrated before Sri Rama, placing his head on Rama's feet. "O, kind one, I have come as a supplicant. You are the protector of all who need help and refuge. Please protect me," he prayed. He then described the vile nature of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Indrajit and others. He narrated how he had tried to advise them. Then Sri Rama told Vibhishana - "Dear friend, I will kill the wicked and unjust Ravana and his vile group in the war. I will put you on the throne of Lanka as you are a righteous person. This I swear in the name of my brothers Lakshamana,'Bharata and Shatrughna."

He then told Lakshmana, "Brother, fetch the holy water of the ocean and declare him the anointed King. He has not asked for it. But I am conferring it on him."

Lakshmana did his brothers bidding, proclaiming Vibhishana the King of Lanka.

Vibhishana's Honesty

In order to know the strength of Rama and Lakshmana, and their monkey army, Ravana sent two Rakshasas, Shuka and Chaarana, who had magic powers. They disguised themselves as monkey soldiers and entered the ranks of Rama's army. But Vibhishana found them out as spies sent by Ravana. He brought them to Sri Rama under custody. But Sri Rama, who was ever kind, pardoned and released them. They went back to Ravana and told him that Sri Rama was a great hero, and it would be better to make peace byreturning Sitadevi to him. But they were derided by Ravana.

After a few days, Ravana sent another Rakshasa spy by name Shardoola to the enemy camp. Shardoola went with a few other trusted Rakshasa servants. They also disguised themselves and joined in the monkey army. Again Vibhishana spotted them as Ravana's spies and handed them over to the commander of the monkey army. But Sri Rama, merciful as ever, freed them from the hands of the monkeys and allowed them to go back to Lanka.

Sugriva and all others now trusted Vibhee- shana as an honest ally.

Invaluable Help To Rama

Nala, one of the heroes of the monkey army, was an engineer. He now began to construct a bridge across the sea with the help of thousands of monkey heroes. Stretching from the southern shore right up to the shores of the Island of Lanka, a strong bridge, one hundred yojanas in length, was got ready. Then Sri Rama's army crossed the ocean and reached the shores of Lanka. The war between Rama and Ravana began.

The Rakshasa hordes and the monkey, army fought a grim battle. Dhoomraaksha, was killed by Hanumanta Neela killed Prahasta. Every day Ravana had to hear of names of mighty Rakshasas killed by the enemies. At last only Kumbhakarna and Indrajit remained on Ravana's side. Kumbhakarna, with his body as big as a hill, opposed Rama.

Vibhishana explained to Sri Rama Kumbhakarna has a boon from Brahma. If the truth about him were known,themonkey soldiers might run away in fear. So they must be told,Vibhishanasuggested, that Kumbhakarna was only a huge mechanical scare-figure. Then one of Rama's arrows killed Kumbhakarna.

Hearing of the death of his uncle, Indrajit came to the battlefield. He was a master in wielding supernatural powers and magic. As he came to the battlefront is chariot, he had brought with him a re in the likeness of Sita. He beheaded figure even as Hanumanta was looking on. The monkeys did not know that it was a conjured-up figure. Hearing that Sita was killed, Sri Rama fainted, unable to bear his consuming grief. His sorrow knew bounds even after he recovered from swoon. But Vibhishana now convinced Sri Rama that it was only the magic craft of Indrajit and persuaded him again to get ready to fight.

Meanwhile Indrajit went to the temple of Goddess Nikumbhila to perform a sacrificial 'homa' in order to acquiregreater power to conquer the enemy.Vibhishana guessed this secret and told Sri Rama, "O Lord, Indrajit has to be killed before he reaches the temple of Nikumbhila. If he performs the 'homa and the worship completely, neither the angels nor any one at all can withstand and resist him. So please send the army at once under the command of Lakshmana and I will show them the way." Only Vibhishana knew this secret.

Vibhishana's Patriotism

As advised by Vibhishana, Sri Rama sent a large army led by Lakshmana and Vibhishana took them to the temple of Nikumbhila. Lakshmana's army confronted lindrajit, who even as he set his eyes on Vibhishana, became mad with fury. His body shook with anger and he roared like ion, saying "You treacherous fellow, traitor to your country and to your own people, you have proved the fatal axe to your own relations and community."

Vibhishana answered: "Know this well, Indrajit, that I am neither false to my community of Rakshasas nor given to unrighteous conduct. I do not deceive any one with the false powers of magic and I do not have the vile nature of feeling joyous at others, pain. Those who have the evil qualities mentioned by me, they are the treacherous and false ones. The Rakshasas, possessed of these vices and blind with their own arrogance, have misled Ravana. Ravana has tortured holy saints and rishis, made angels suffer, and has been cursed by thousands of virtuous Women. Think well as to whom is false and treacherous to his own country and his own people. People like you and Ravana are the traitors. You have ruined the country, and not I."

In the fight that ensued, Indrajit was killed by Lakshmana.

Brother's Love

Enraged by Indrajit's death, finally Ravana himself sat in his chariot and came to fight. A terrible battle ensued between Rama and Ravana. Ravana was also a great hero. But he was at last felled by Rama.

But now, seeing his brother fallen dead, Vibhishana could not contain his sorrow. He collapsed on Ravana's corpse and wailed loudly - "Brother, you were a great hero. But now you are lonely like one deserted by all, and dead. One who was a great emperor and slept on a soft bed made of swan-feathers, you are now oil the rough ground strewn with stones and arrows. Your body, always adorned with gems and diamonds, is now pierced by arrows. 0, brother, did I not advise you, lest such a fate befall you? Could you not heed my words instead of dying thus?"

Sri Rama himself came and consoled him. And Vibhishana said: "Sri Ramachandra, you are the Lord of the Worlds. Kindly grant me this request. My brother Ravana was a very great devotee of Ishwara, and a great hero who had conquered many worlds. He was ever charitable and a great philanthropist. He always kind to his friends and relations to his employees and subjects. He was a renowned soldier who never showed his back to the enemy. Please permit me to conduct thecremation of such a great soul with all royal honours."

Thus Ravana's obsequies were performed by Vibhishana who had been so much reviled by him. The devoted and virtuous wife Mandodari burnt herself on the funeral pyre of her husband, Ravana, according to the practice of "Sahagamana or I going together'.As promised by Sri Rama earlier, Vibhishana was crowned the King of Lanka by Lakshmana.

The Virtuous, The Best Of Devotees

By now the period of Sri Rama's banishment to the forests was over. He was ready to return to Ayodhya.

Vibhishana had retained the Pushpaka airship for this impending journey of Sri Rama to Ayodhya. The plane was got ready for the flight and Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana got into it.Sugriva,Jambavanta, Hanumanta and other heroes also emplaned, along with Vibhishana and his ministers. They were all very eager to witness the coronation of Sri Rama. As soon as Vibhishana gave the command, the Pushpaka plane flew to Ayodhya.

The story of the virtuous Vibhishana who was a great devotee of Sri Rama is narrated in the 'Ramayana' written by the ancient sage Valmiki. Vibhishana, as a younger brother, had great affection and respect for his elder brother. But when Ravana erred, Vibhishana boldly pointed it out. He stuck to the path of virtue even when there was danger to his life. When his angry brother banished him from Lanka, he joined the side that wasrigteous. Yet when the brother died, his grief was boundless. He was a great soul who held 'Dharma' or righteousness higher than personal relationships and family ties.



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