Introduction : 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
Among the devotees of Sri Rama who helped him, Hanumanta and Vibheeshana are
well known. The message of Sitadevi was conveyed to Sri Rama by Hanumanta.
Vibheeshana went to Sri Rama's aid in his fight with Ravana. Hanumanta and
Vibhee- shana are among the seven immortals of
Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana.
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 - "0 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
Too Gets A Boon
Vibheeshana 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
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," Vibheeshana entreated.
Brahma blessed him thus - "Beloved Vibheeshana, 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."
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
Vibheeshana married Sarama, daughter of the Gandharva king Shailusha. Sarama
also was of a virtuous bent of mind like Vibheeshana, and full of good
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
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."
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.
Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana, 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."
Vibheeshana 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
Ravana too grasped Vibheeshana's opinion. He said, "Brother, so you do grant
that hanumanta is guilty. So he shall be imprisoned. Is that all right?"
Vibheeshana 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
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
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, Vibheeshana and all others
attended. Kumbhakarna was in a deep slumber.
Ravana said, "Court consultations are to lead to victory. So I have summoned
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
unfolds his magic weapons and powers, the enemies would be heIpless. If
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.
Blood began to boil in the Rakshasa hordes. They all hungered for a fight.
Vibheeshana 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.
Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana's words of advice. He
ended the Rakshasa conclave abrubtly, without any decision.
Brother Is Unjust
Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana
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
As the morning dawned, Vibheeshana 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, Vibheeshana saluted him and both went to
the royal court hall. Already Prahasta, Indrajit and other Rakshasa chiefs
were waiting for Ravana. The discussions began.
Vibheeshana's Advice Rejected
Vibheeshana 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
Vibheeshana'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,
"Vibheeshana, 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!"
Vibheeshana 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.
Vibheeshana 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
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
And the Rakshasa assembly in one loudly shouted - "Vibheeshana, you are an
accursed one. May you be cursed our being false to our Rakshasa family for
your treachery to Ravana!"
The Bond Is
Vibheeshana 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
"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 Vibheeshana flew into the sky. His four ministers also did
so. Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana 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.Vibheeshana 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, Vibheeshana 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. Vibheeshana must have come as a spy of Ravana. He perhaps
intends to kill us by some ruse."Jambavanta also doubted Vibheeshana's
honesty. He said "Vibheeshana'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 Vibheeshana earlier in
the Rakshasa conclave in Lanka. Hanumanta gave his opinion - "Lord
Ramachandra, just because Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana might be thinking that you would eliminate Ravana and
put him on the throne. There is a lot of difference betweenVibheeshana and
those other Rakshasas like Ravana in their nature. I would say that it would
be no mistake to take Vibheeshana under our protection and give him refuge."
Sri Rama weighed all these opinions for a while, and then pronounced his
decision - "Vibheeshana 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."
Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana - "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 Vibheeshana the King of Lanka
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 Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana 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.
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.
Vibheeshana 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,Vibheeshanasuggested, that Kumbhakarna was only a huge mechanical
scare-figure. Then one of Rama's arrows
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 Vibheeshana 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.Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana knew
As advised by Vibheeshana, Sri Rama sent a large army led by Lakshmana and
Vibheeshana took them to the temple of Nikumbhila. Lakshmana's army
confronted lindrajit, who even as he set his eyes on Vibheeshana, 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."
Vibheeshana 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.
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
But now, seeing his brother
fallen dead, Vibheeshana 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
Sri Rama himself came and
consoled him. And Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana 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, Vibheeshana was
crowned the King of Lanka by Lakshmana.
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.
Vibheeshana 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 Vibheeshana and his ministers. They were
all very eager to witness the coronation of Sri Rama. As soon as Vibheeshana
gave the command, the Pushpaka plane flew to Ayodhya.
The story of the virtuous Vibheeshana who was a great devotee of Sri Rama is
narrated in the 'Ramayana' written by the ancient sage Valmiki. Vibheeshana,
as a younger brother, had great affection and respect for his elder brother.
But when Ravana erred, Vibheeshana 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