Friday, 27 March 2015

247. Vibhishana intervenes.

           Vibhishana, an younger brother of Ravana was also there in the court. That guy, though a rakshash, was quite different. He was a moralist.  As such it was quite an anathema for him to even harm someone who claimed to be a messenger from so-and-so. It is, therefore, quite needless to mention that he, Vibhishana did not agree to the order of his brother Ravana to execute Hanuman, who claimed to have come as a messenger.
         After pondering for a little while, Vibhishana decided to prevail upon his dear, but evil brother to be restraint. Vibhishana, told Ravana, his venerable brother softly "O king of rakshasas! Forgive and give up your anger. Be gracious and hear my words. Virtuous kings of excellence, knowing the far and the near, do not cause the killing of an envoy. Killing of this animal is against a royal virtue and any universal custom condemns it. Hence, it is improper for you also to do it.
         "You very well know all these. You are a person of gratitude. You are well-versed in royal virtues, too. In your anger you forgot these things. Therefore, be graceful. After contemplating the right and wrong, order an appropriate punishment to this envoy."
           In his anger Ravana shouted at his brother "O Vibhishana! There is no sin to kill sinners. So, I shall kill this vanara, who committed sins."
      Vibhishana did not agree with his brother. He replied him "O king of rakshasas! O lord of Lanka! Be gracious enough. Hear my words endowed with righteousness and significance. O king! Sages say that messengers should not be killed at all places and at all times.
         "There is no doubt that this animal is arrogant. He has created an unlimited displeasure to us. But, sages do not talk about the killing of an envoy. There are indeed several punishments intended for an envoy. Some of the punishments to an envoy are deforming a limb, striking with a whip, shaving the head and impressing marks on the body. Indeed, we have not heard at any time of killing a messenger.
       "How can a person like you subject to anger? Wise people indeed contain their anger. There is no one who knows more than you about the law, duty and universal customs. There is no one who knows the essence of scriptures better than you. You are undoubtedly the best among all the celestials and rakshasas in these matters.
       "O king of rakshasas! You are valiant. You are heroic. Even celestials and asuras cannot conquer you. You conquered a multitude of proud celestials and asuras together with their kings in battles several times. I do not see any merit in killing this animal. Let this capital punishment  be employed on those by whom this vanara was sent. He is a person, irrespective of the fact whether he is good or bad, was sent by our enemies. It is not worthy of killing him, who is an envoy, who is dependent on others and who talks for the cause of others.
          "O king!  If he is dead, I do not find any other animal or a human, who can incite those two arrogant princes, who are hindered by a long distance, for war. Then this action of yours is liable to be construed as an act of cowardice for the reason that you are afraid to face those two humans, Rama and Lakshmana.
       "O Ravana! As you cannot be conquered by even celestials and rakshasas having a lot of prowess, energy and courage let this vanara go alive to his senders who, if they have the courage, can come over here to Lanka to face you.
       "There are more than a crore of valiant warriors in your charge, who are well-maintained and who desire your welfare, quite devoted to you, having colossal merits, born in a good tribe, holding high spirits and excellent wielders of weapons. Therefore, send someone with a portion of your army to subjugate those two stupid princes, in order to make your power known to your adversaries,"

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