"Sri Rama is true to His resolve and all-powerful; while your councillors are all doomed. I, therefore, now betake myself to the Hero of Raghu's line for protection; blame me no more."

No sooner had Vibhisana left with these words than the doom of them all was sealed.Disrespect to a saint, parvati, immediately robs one of all blessings. The moment Ravana abandoned Vibhisana the wretch lost all his glory. Indulging in many expectations Vibhisana, however, gladly proceeded to the Lord of the Raghus. "On reaching there I will behold those lotus-feet with ruddy soles, so soft and so delightful to the devotees. Nay, Iwill behold those feet whose very touch redeemed the Rsi's wife ( Ahalya ), that hallowed the Dandaka forest, that Janaka's Daughter has locked up in her bosom, that chased the delusive deer and that dwell as a pair of lotuese in the lake of Siva's heart. I am really blessed that I am going to see those very feet.

"I will go today and presently behold with these eyes of mine hose very feet in whose wooden sandals Bharata's mind remains absorbed !"

Cherishing such fond expectations Vibhisana instantly crossed voer to the other side of the ocean ( where SriRama had encamped with His host ). When the monkeys saw Vibhisana coming, they took him for some special messenger of the enemy. Detaining him outside they approached Sugriva ( The lord of the monkeys ) and told him all the news. Said Sugriva. "Listen, O Lord however, asked, "What do you think of the matter, my friend ?" The lord of the monkeys replied. "Listen, O Ruler of men : tge wiles of these demons are beyond one's comprehension. One does not knaow wherefore he has come, capable as he is of taking any from he likes. Obviously the fool has come to spy out our secrets; what appeals to me. therefore, is that he should be taken prisoner and detained." "Friend, you have thought out a wise course : but My vow is to dispel all fears from the mind of those who seek refuge in Me." Hanuman rejoiced to hear these words of the Lord. who cherished paternal affection for His protege.

"Those people who forsake a suppliant. apprehending eil from him are vile and sinful; their very sight is abominable."

"I will not abandon even the murderer of myriads of Brahmanas, if he seeks refuge in Me. The moment a creature turns its face towards Me the sins incurred by it through millions of lives are washed away. A sinner by his very nature is averse to My worship. had Vibhisana been wicked at heart. could he ever dare to approach Me ? That man alone who has a pure mind can attain to Me; I have an aversion for duplicity, wiles and censoriousness. Even if Ravana has sent him to find out our secrets, we have nothing to fear or lose. O lord of the monkeys. Laksmana, O my friend, can dispose of in a trice all the demons the world contains. And if he has sought shelter with Me out of fear, I will cherish him as My own life.

"In either case bring him here," the All-merciful laughed and said "Glory to the merciful Lord," cried the monkeys and proceeded with Angada and Hanuman ( to usher in Vibhisana ).

The monkeys respectfully placed vibhisana ahead of them and proceeded to the place where th all-merciful Lord of the Raghus was. Vibhisana beheld from a distance the two brothers who ravished the eyes of all. Again as he beheld Sri Rama, the home of beauty, he stopped winking and stood stockstill with his gaze intently fixed on the Lord. He had exceptionally long arms, eyes resembling the red lotus and swarthy limbs that rid the suppliant of all fear. His lion-like shoulders and broad chest exercised great charm, while His countenance bewitched the mind of countless Cupids. The sight brought tears to his eyes and a deep thrill ran through his body. He, however, composed his mind and spoke in gentle accents : "My lord, I am Ravana's brother. having been born in the demon race. O Protector of gods, my body has the element of Tamas ( inertia and ignorance ) preponderating in it and I have a natural affinity ofr sins even as an owl is fond of darkness.

"Having heard with my own ears of Yourfair renown I have come to You with the belief that my lord ( You ) dissipates the fear of rebirth. Save me, save me, O Hero of Raghu's line, reliever of distress, delighter of those who take refuge in you."

When the Lord saw Vibhisana falling prostrate with these words, He immediately started up much delighted.The Lord rejoiced at heart of hear his humble speech and. taking him in His long arms. clasped him to His bosom. Meeting his with His younger brother ( Laksmana ) He seated him by His side and spoke words that dispelled the fear of His devotee : "Tell me, King of Lanka, if all is well with you and your family, placed as you are in vicious surroundings. You live day and night in the midst of evil-minded persons; i wonder how you are able to maintain your piety, my friend, Iknow all your ways : you are a past master in correct behaviour and are averse to wrong-doing. It is much better to live in hell, dear Vibhisana; but may Providence never place us in the company of the wicked." "All is well with me now that I have beheld Your feet. O Lord of the Raghus. and since You have shown Your mercy to me, recognizing me as Your servant.

"There can be no happiness for a creature nor can its mind know any peace even in a dream so long as it dose not relinquish desire, which is an abode of sorrow, and adore Sri Rama ( Yourself )."

"That villainous crew-greed. infatuation, jealousy, arrogance and pride-haunts the mind only solong as the Lord of the Raghus does not take up his abode there, armed with a bow and arrow and with a quiver fastened at his waist. Attachment to the world is like a dark night fully advanced, which is so delightful to the owls of attraction and aversion; it abides in the heart of a creature only so long as the sun of the Lord's glory does not shine there. Having seen Your lotus feet, O rama, I am now quite well and my grave fears have been set at rest The threefold torments of mundane existence cease to have any effect on him who enjoys Your favour, my gracious lord. I am a demon vilest of nature and have never done any good act. Yet the Lord whose beauty even sages fali to perceive with their mind's eye has been pleased to clasp me to His bosom.

"Ah, I am blessed beyond measure, O all-gracious and all-blissful Rama, in that I have beheld with my own eyes the lotus feet which are worthy of adoration even to  Brahma and Sive."

"Listen, My friend : I tell you My nature, which is known to Bhusundi, Sambhu ( Lord Siva ) and Girija ( Parvati ) too. If a man, even though he has been an enemy of the whole animate and inanimate creation, comes terror-stricken toMe, seeking My protection and discarding vanity, infatuation, hypocrisy and trickeries of various kinds. i speedily make him the very like of a saint. The ties of affection that bind a man to his mother, father, brother, son. wife, body, wealth, house, friends and relations are like somany threads which a pious soul gathers up and twists into a string wherewith he binds his soul to My feet. Nay, he looks upon allwith the same eye and has no craving and his mind is free from joy, grief and fear. A saint of this description abides in My heart even as mammon resides in the heart of a covetous man. Only saints of your type are dear to Me; for the sake of none else do I body

"Those men who worship My personal form, are intenton doing good to other. firmly tread the path of righteousness. and are steadfast in their vow and devoted to the feet of the Brahmanas are dear to Me as life."

"Listen, O king of Lanka; you possess all the above virtues; hence you are extremely dear to Me." On hearing the words of Sri Rama all the assembled monkeys exclaimed, "Glory to the All-merciful !" Vibhisana's eagerness to hear the Lord's speech, which was all necar to his ears. knew no satiety. He clasped his lous feet again and again,his heart bursting with boundless joy. "Listen, my lord, Rular of the whole creation-animate as well as inanimate.protector of the suppliant and Knower of all hearts: I did have some Lurking desire in my heart before; butthe same has been washed away by the stream of devotion to the Lord's feet. Now,my gracious Lord, grant me such pure devotion ( To Your feet )  as that which gladdens Siva's heart." "So be it", replied theLord, staunch is fight, and immediately asked for the water of the sea. " Even though, My friend, youhave no craving, My sight in this world never fails to bring its reward." So saying, Sri Rama applied on his forehead the sacred mark of sovereignty and a copious shower of flowers rained down from the heavens.

Thus did the Lord of the Raghus save Vibhisana from being consumed by the fire of Ravana's wrath, fanned to fury by his owh ( Vibhisana's ) breath ( words ), and bestowed on him unbroken sovereignty. Nay, He conferred onVibhisana with much diffidence th same fortune which Lord Siva had bestowed on Ravana after the latter had offered his ten heads to Him in a sacrifice.

Those men who worship anyone else, giving up such a ( Benign ) lord, are mere beasts without a tailand a pair of horns. Recognizing Vibhisana as His own man the Lord accepted him im His service; the amiability of His disposition gladdened the heart of the whole monkey host. Then the All-wise, who dwells in the heart of all, is manifest in allforms, though bereft of all and unconcerned, and who had appeared in human semblance with a specific motive and as the exterminator of the demon race, spoke words strictly observing the rules of decorunm: "Listen, o lord of the monkeys and O valiant sovereign of Lanka, how are we to cross the deep ocean full of alligators, snakes and all varieties of fishes, most unfathomable and difficult to cross in every way ?" "Listen, O Lord of the Raghus." replied the king of Lanka, "Although Your arrow itself can dry up innumerable oceans, yet propriety demands that You should approach the ocean and requet the deity presiding over it ( to allow You a passage ).

'My lord, the deity presiding over the ocean is an ancestor of Yours; hence he will think over the question and suggest some means ( of crossing the ocean ). The whole host of bears and monkeys will thus be able to cross the ocean without much ado."

"Friend, you have suggested an excellent plan; let us try it and see if providence helps it." This counsel. however, did not find favour with Laksmana who was greatly pained to hear Sri Rama's words. "No reliance can be placed on the freaks of fortune. Fill your mind with indignation and dry up the ocean. Fate is a crutch for the mind of fortune. Fill your mind with indignation and dryup the ocean. Fate is a crutch for the mind of cowards alone; it is the indolent who proclaim their faith in fate. "Hearing this the Hero of Raghu's line laughed and said "We shall do accordingly: pray, ease your mind." Reassuring His younger brother ( Laksmana ) with these words the Lord of the Raghus went to the seashore. First of all He bowed His head and greeted the ocean and then, spreading some Kusa grass on the shore, took His seat thereon. As soon as Vibhisana proceeded towards the Lord, Ravana sent spies after him.


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Last Updated : March 06, 2011

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