Saturday, 20 June 2015

278. Vibhishana seeks refuge from Rama.

            Having said what he wanted to tell Ravana, Vibhishana,  along with his four pals flew towards north. When they reached the ocean, they halted. After a moment of thinking as to where to go, Vibhishana thought of a destination. Then he asked his pals silently and they nodded vehemently. Then they proceeded straight ahead and arrived almost immediately to the other side of that ocean where Rama was together with Lakshmana and others. Those leaders of vanaras standing on the ground saw Vibhishana, resembling the peak of the Mount Meru and shining like a thunderbolt in the sky. His four companions of terrific prowess were also there with him. They were wearing weapons and armour and were adorned with excellent ornaments. Vibhishana resembled a mass of cloud, like the God who wields the thunderbolt. He was holding excellent weapons and was adorned with wonderful jewels. Sugreeva also saw Vibhishana and his companions and was wondering why they had come over there. Seeing that all the five of them looked very strong and armed with excellent armours, he (Sugreeva) concluded his own reason as to why they had come. He then told his soldiers in general and Hanuman in particular: "See these rakshashas possessing all types of weapons, coming along to us. There is no doubt that they are coming to kill us or at least harm us."
      Hearing Sugreeva, all those valiant Vanaras equipped themselves with trees and mountains told Sugreeva "Do command us to slay these wicked rakshashas, O, king. We will strike these rakshashas down until they drop lifeless on the ground!"
        In the meanwhile, Vibhishana and his four chums reached the northern shore and  coolly looking at the vanaras from above.   Vibhishana, who  was highly  intelligent saw Sugreeva with his army of vanaras and guessed correctly what they were thinking about him and his friends. He, therefore shouted at them from above "Hi! There is a rakshasha called Ravana, the king of all rakshashas, having a bad conduct. I am his younger brother, known as Vibhishana. It is Ravana who, having killed the bird Jatayu, took away Seetha from Janasthana. That unfortunate lady is held captive against her will and she is now amidst the rakshasis who guard her jealously. I tried to persuade Ravana again and again to restore  Seetha honorably to Rama. That Ravana, impelled by fate, did not receive my sage advice, as a perverted person does not accept any prescribed medicine. Reviled by him and humiliated as a slave, I, leaving my sons and my wife, have come to take refuge with Rama. Inform immediately Rama, the protector of all the worlds, that I, Vibhishana, have come here."
       Sugreeva then hurriedly went to Rama who was with his dear brother Lakshmana and told "A guy from the enemy Ravana is now here wants refuge from you. It is obvious that his intention is  to slay us at the first opportunity like an owl destroying crows! You not only are aware of the design, distribution, leading of the army and the secret service of the vanaras but about your foes, also. May good come to you, always! These rakshashas can assume any form at will and can disappear. They are valiant and deceitful. We can not trust them at any time. He may be a spy of Ravana. If he is unable to kill us then he will try to create differences. Or  he will try to get the weak points in us. Having first gained our confidence by craft, he may even at any time attack us. An ally supplied by friends or an inhabitant of the woods (like our selves), or  by hereditary warriors or paid servants can be accepted but not that furnished by an enemy. He is indeed a rakshash by birth and a brother of an enemy from whom he has come to us. How can we trust him? The younger brother of the famous Ravana, called Vibhishana along with four other rakshashas has approached you for refuge. Know that Ravana is sending Vibhishana. I opine that Vibhishana is fit to be arrest. Being sent with a crooked intent, this rakshash came here to attack when you are going to repose faith in him. This Vibhishana is indeed the brother of that cruel Ravana. Hence, let him along with his ministers be killed."
         On hearing Sugreeva, Rama told all the vanaras before him, including Hanuman staying near by "All of you heard Sugreeva. It is possible that you may have other opinions in this matter. Please let me know them."
             The vanaras who were free from lassitude, wishing to do good and out of their politeness said "O, Rama! Nothing is unknown to you in the three worlds. You are consulting us with a friendly heart, as an honor to us. You are avowed to truth, a valiant man and a righteous man of firm fortitude. You take action only after proper investigation. You have good memory and a very astute brain. You are committed in your heart to your friends. Hence, your counselors, who are rich in their minds and are moreover efficient, one by one, will tell their opinion with reason."
           Then Angada said "Vibhishana who came from an enemy should not be accepted on his words alone. He is not to be made as a trust worthy person without proper examination. Deceitful persons move around, concealing their peculiar nature and attack at weak places. They will create a very great misfortune. One must take a decision, after ascertaining the pros and cons of it. One should take up the action, if there is an advantage and reject it, if it is faulty. If there are great faults in him, he should be rejected undoubtedly. If we recognize many good qualities in him, then he can be accepted."
       Sharabha on his part opined "Let a spy be set to shadow him. By setting out a spy and after a thorough investigation by a keen and intelligent spy, he can then be accepted if the spy reports favorably about him."
   Then, the discerning Jambavan said "This Vibhishana came from sinful Ravana who has contracted hostility with you and that too at a wrong place and time. He is to be suspected by all means."
       Then Mainda, skilled in discriminating good and bad conduct in others observed the matter carefully and spoke in his perfect oratory words: "O, king of kings! This Vibhishana is indeed the younger brother of that Ravana. Let him be questioned slowly by sweet words. Having read actually his mind whether he is dangerous or not, you should act according to your feelings."
      Then the well educated Hanuman said "Even Brihaspati, will not be able to surpass you in reasoning, arguments and the like. You, who is possessing an exalted intellect need no advice from any of us in this matter, too. You are known to be the powerful and the foremost man among those who are eloquent. I am talking neither for argument, nor for competition with other counselors, nor for superiority, nor out of passion for debate but on account of importance of this matter in hand. I perceive an error in what was advised by my friends regarding Vibhishana. It is not possible for such a judicious investigation into his character. Without entrusting any work, it is not possible to understand his ability. But at the same time, it occurs to me that it would be a mistake to entrust any work to a stranger about whom we know nothing. I feel that it is not at all possible or practicable to implement the suggestion to send spies to Vibhishana. It has been said that Vibhishana came into a wrong place and time. In that matter, I beg to differ. I feel that his place and time are absolutely right, for the reason that he obviously considered you to be superior to Ravana. It is evident he found merits in you and demerits in Ravana. It is indeed appropriate for him to arrive at this place and time, by seeing the prowess in you and the wickedness in Ravana. It is worthy of his judgment.
          "O, king! One of the suggestions of questioning Vibhishana by spies does not seem to be appropriate. A wise man  questioned suddenly would be wary of that questioning. In those circumstances, an easily obtained friend becomes faithless upon facing a deceitful questioning. Without possessing a high skill of reading his diversified tones, it is not possible  to quickly comprehend his intention. I do not see any bad intention at all in his talk. His face seems bright and honest, too. I do not see any viable reason to doubt him. A deceitful person does not approach so fearlessly and confidently. His expression too does not seem to be suspicious. Hence, I do not find any reasonable reason to doubt him. It is not possible to completely hide expression of the face, even if it is concealed. By force of habit, the internal intent of persons certainly gets popping up. An action endowed with proper place and time transacts successfully, if it is performed quickly. Seeing your perseverance and the improper conduct of Ravana as well as hearing about Vali having been killed and Sugreeva anointed as king, might have prompted him to come here, with a possible desire to get the kingdom of rakshasas. On consideration of this aspect alone, he is worthy of acceptance by us. I told you all this according to my ability to assess the sincerity of this rakshash. The final decision is, of course,  yours."

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