Friday, 22 July 2016

372. Vibhishana performed the obsequies to Ravana.

              All the consorts became very tired lamenting aloud. They were then weeping silently. Mandodari, the principal and most beloved wife and queen of Ravana,  staring at her husband in the silent atmosphere could not control her feelings. And she started lamenting  "O the great armed brother of Kubera! Even the mighty Indra would not not dare to come before you, when you were enraged.
        "O the lord of rakshashas! O king! How is it that you allowed yourself to be conquered in battle, by Rama, a mere human? How did a human, wandering in a forest, killed you, who had overcome the three worlds by dint of your prowess?
        "When you came to know that Khara was killed by Rama in Janasthana, you should have realized that Rama was really no mortal. We felt painful, the moment Hanuman penetrated, by dint of his prowess, deep into the City of Lanka, which was difficult to be entered even for gods. 
     “Alas! It is difficult to believe that you are dead when you were the death, even to the Death himself. How did you depart from this world, falling under the sway of Death? 
      “It was indeed a display of your cowardice that Rama’s consort was borne away by you, after luring away Rama from his hermitage. However, I do not recall your faint-heartedness at any time on the battle-field. 
            "You did not heed the sane and sensible advice of your friends. Nor did you like the advice of your brothers.
         "The counsel, which was endowed with reason, meaningful rule of conduct, wholesome, gentle and well-founded,  offered by Vibhishana,  was repudiated by you. The advice offered by Mareecha, Kumbhakarna, myself and my father were not heeded by you, who was arrogant of your prowess. What is followed is a bitter consequence of your perversity.
     "Why are you lying down, embracing the battle-ground, as one would embrace a loved one? Why do you not feel inclined to reply me, as though I were abhorrent to you? Woe be to me, that my heart is not bursting into pieces, tormented as I am with grief, seeing you like this.”
        Mandodari, affected by intolerable grief, fell down swooning on the chest of her dear hubby. All the vanaras seeing her in this condition felt that she was looking like a vivid flash of lightning across a rainy cloud, reddened by the flow of twilight.
     The other wives of Ravana gently took up Mandodari, who was bitterly weeping, tried to console her "Don't you know the uncertain state of the worlds, O queen, that the wealth of kings is unsteady, when there is a change in the tide of their fate?"
    Rama then told Vibhishana "Let the obsequies of your brother be performed and let these crews of women be consoled.”
      Vibhishana on second thoughts replied "I feel that am not obliged to perform the obsequies to him, who had abandoned the vow of virtue, was cruel, killed human beings, a cheat and who had longed for others' wives. This Ravana, who was interested in wishing evil to all, though venerable as a respectable elder, is not fit for that honor. He is my enemy, in the guise of a brother.
        "If I do not perform obsequies, O Rama, all the human beings on earth will speak about me as ruthless. But, on coming to know about his bad qualities all of them will speak of it as a good act.”
           Rama, though not entirely disagreeing with the view of Vibhishana,  replied "O king of rakshashas!  I feel that it is my duty to give you the appropriate advice. This rakshash may be full of unrighteousness and falsehood. But, he was brilliant, strong and a brave warrior in battles.
        "It is very well known to everyone that Ravana, who was mighty and endowed with strength and who was causing people to cry, was not defeated by anyone including Indra and other devas. Hostilities end with death. Our purpose has been accomplished. Let his funeral rites be performed. According to rule, Ravana is eligible to get the last rites on his dead body from you. You will also become fit for glory."
        Vibhishana accepted the advice of Rama and began to do obsequies to Ravana, his dead brother. Entering the City of Lanka, Vibhishana concluded all the rites of obsequies to Ravana.

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