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Chapter 18: Rama Decides to Accept Vibhishana

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Rama Decides to Accept Vibhishana


Hearing Hanuman’s words, Rama says that he cannot desert Vibhishana who is seeking a refuge in him. Initially Sugreeva disagrees with Rama’s opinion. But when Rama explains the different circumstances under which Vibhishana is acceptable, Sugreeva also agrees with that view. Finally Vibhishana joins as an associate in Rama’s side.

Chapter [Sarga] 18 in Detail

atha raamah prasanna aatmaa shrutvaa vaayu sutasya ha |

pratyabhaasata durdharsah shrutavaan aatmani sthitam ||6-18-1

Thereafter the inviolable [secure from assault or trespass] Rama, who possesses sacred knowledge, after hearing Hanuman’s words, spoke with a clear understanding, the following opinion that was firm in his mind:

mama api tu vivaksaa asti kaacit prati vibhiisanam |

shrutam icchaami tat sarvam bhavadbhih shreyasi sthitaih ||6-18-2

 “I also wish to tell my opinion about Vibhishana. I want it to be heard by you, who are firmly established in our welfare.”

mitra bhaavena sampraaptam na tyajeyam kathamcana |

doso yadi api tasya syaat sataam etad agarhitam ||6-18-3

 “By any means, I do not desert anyone who arrives with a friendly appearance; even if he has a defect .His acceptance is irreproachable in the eyes of good men”

sugriivastvatha tadvaakyamaabhaasya ca vimrishya ca |

tatah shubhataram vaakyamuvaaca haripungavah ||6-18-4

Then, Sugreeva the chief of monkeys closely analyzed and examined the aforesaid words of Rama and thereafter spoke the following most auspicious words:

sudusto vaapyadusto vaa kimmesa rajaniicarah |

iidrisham vyasanam praaptam bhraataram yah parityajet ||6-18-5

ko vaama sa bhavettasya yamesa na parityajet |

 “What matters if this ranger of night is very dangerous or other wise, if he can desert his own brother at a time of peril? Whom will he not betray subsequently?”

vaanaraadhipate rvaakyam shrutvaa sarvaanudiiksya tu ||6-18-6

iisadutsmayamaanastu laksmanam punyalakshanam |

iti hovaaca kaakutthso vaakyam satyaparaakramah ||6-18-7

Hearing the words of Sugreeva, Rama who was truly mighty looked round all of them , smiled a little and spoke the following words to Lakshmana, of virtuous characteristics:

anadhiitya ca shaastraani vriddhaananupasevya ca |

na shakyamiidrisham vaktum yaduvaaca hariishvarah ||6-18-8

 “Without studying scriptures and without serving elders, it is not possible to speak such words as Sugreeva spoke.”

asti suukshmataram kimcidyadatra pratibhaati maa |

pratyaksham laukikam caapi vartate sarvaraajasu ||6-18-9

 “It appears to my mind that there is however something peculiar in these circumstances which are clearly to be seen in all lives of kings and even occurring in ordinary life.”

amitraastatkuliinaashca praatideshyaashca kiirtitaa |

vyasanesu prahartaarastasmaadayamihaagatah ||6-18-10

 “It is told that persons of the same family and rulers belonging to adjoining territories become enemies and strike in times of adversities. For this reason, he came here.”

apaapaastatkuliivaashca maanayanti svakaan hitaan |

esa praayo narendraanaam shankaniiyastu shobhanah ||6-18-11

 “Even if belonging to the same family, persons who are virtuous do respect their own well wishers in that family. Generally among kings, even a virtuous person is apprehended.”

yastu dosastvayaa prokto hyaadaane.ribalasya ca |

tatra te kiirtayusyaami yathaashaastramidam shrinu ||6-18-12

 “With regard to the draw back you told me in the matter of accepting a person coming from the side of an adversary, hear from me what the scriptures say.”

na vayam tatkuliinaashca raajyakaamkshii ca raakshasah |

panditaa hi bhavisyanti tasmaadgraahyo vibhiisanah ||6-18-13

 “We do not belong to the same family. Further, Vibhishana the demon is desirous of acquiring the kingdom. A few of the demons also may be rather learned ones. That is why, Vibhishana is acceptable.”

avyagraashca prahristaashca na bhavisyanti samgataah |

pranaadashca mahaanesa tato.asya bhayamaagatam ||6-18-14

iti bhedam gamisyanti tasmaatpropto vibhiisanah |

 “Kinsfolk do not live together in a fearless mode and in a delightful manner. Hence, they get a split among themselves. For this reason, a fear has come to him. This loud appeal is also major cause. That is why, Vibhishana can be accepted.”

na sarve bhraatarastaata bhavanti bharatopamaah ||6-18-15

madvidhaa naa pituh putraah suhrido vaa bhavadvidhaah |

 “My dear one! Neither all brothers are like Bharata, nor all sons of a father like me nor all friends are like you.”

evamuktastu raamena sugriivah sahalaksmanah ||6-18-16

utthaaayodam mahaapraajjnah pranato vaakyamabraviit |

Hearing Rama’s words Sugreeva who was together with the highly wise Lakshmana stood up saluting and spoke these words:

raavanena pranihitam tamavehi nishaacaram ||6-18-17

tasyaaham nigraham manye kshamam kshamavataam vara |

 “O, Rama the excellent among the tolerant! Realize that Ravana has sent Vibhishana, the demon. I think of him to be worthy of being taken as a captive.”

raakshaso jihmayaa buddhyaa samdisto.aya mihaagatah ||6-18-18

prahartum tvayi vishvaste vishvaste mayi vaanagha |

lakshmane vaa mahaabaaho sa badhyah sacivaih saha ||6-18-19

raavanasya nrishamsasya bhraataa hyesa vibhiisanah |

 “O, the mighty armed Rama! The faultless one! This demon is being sent to kill you who are unsuspecting, or to kill Lakshmana or me in trust. He came here with a crooked mind. He with his counselors is fit to be imprisoned. Is not Vibhishana the brother of cruel Ravana?”

sa sugriivasya tad vaakyaym raamah shrutvaa vimrishya ca ||6-18-20

tatah shubhataram vaakyam uvaaca hari pumgavam |

Speaking thus to Rama, the best of Raghu dynasty, Sugreeva who knew the mode of expression, thereafter kept silent.

sudusto vaa api adusto vaa kim esa rajanii carah ||6-18-21

suuksmam api ahitam kartum mama ashaktah kathamcana |

Hearing those words of Sugreeva, Rama pondered over the words and thereafter spoke more auspicious words to Sugreeva as follows:

pishaacaan daanavaan yaksaan prithivyaam caiva raaksasaan ||6-18-22

anguli agrena taan hanyaam icchan hari gana iishvara |

 “What does it matter whether that demon is very bad or not bad? He is incapable of doing even a little harm to me.”

shruuyate hi kapotena shatruh sharanam aagatah ||6-18-23

arcitah ca yathaa nyaayam svaih ca maamsair nimantritah |

 “O, Sugreeva, Lord of monkey-troops! If I wish, I can kill those devilish beings, demons, supernatural beings and ogres living on earth with just a tip of my finger”

sa hi tam pratijagraaha bhaaryaa hartaaram aagatam ||6-18-24

kapoto vaanara shrestha kim punar mad vidho janah |

 “It is narrated how by a dove, its enemy( a fowler) when it came for a refuge, was received according to rules of hospitality and was invited for a feast with its own flesh.”

riseh kanvasya putrena kandunaa parama risinaa ||6-18-25

shrinu gaathaam puraa giitaam dharmisthaam satya vaadinaa |

 “O, the excellent of monkeys! The aforesaid dove indeed accepted as a guest, the fowler as he came, although he killed its wife .How much more a man like me has to do?”

baddha anjali putam diinam yaacantam sharana aagatam ||6-18-26

na hanyaad aanrishamsya artham api shatrum param pata |

 “Hear the verses inculcating virtue so long ago, by Kandu, the son of a sage called Kanva, a great sage and a speaker of truth.”

arto vaa yadi vaa driptah paresaam sharanam gatah ||6-18-27

arih praanaan parityajya raksitavyah krita aatmanaa |

 “O, king the terminator of enemies! Even an enemy, who formed a cup with his hollowed hands, a miserable person, a person who is begging and who is seeking a refuge should not be killed with the aim of not being cruel.”

sa ced bhayaad vaa mohaad vaa kaamaad vaa api na raksati ||6-18-28

svayaa shaktyaa yathaa tattvam tat paapam loka garhitam |

 “An enemy who comes for protection against others, even if the aforesaid enemy is oppressed or arrogant, is to be protected by one who has a disciplined mind, even by abandoning one’s life.”

vinastah pashyatas tasya raksinah sharana aagatah ||6-18-29

aadaaya sukritam tasya sarvam gacched araksitah |

 “If he does not protect rightly through his strength, by fear or by ignorance or by desire, it is a sin to be reproached by the world.”

evam doso mahaan atra prapannaanaam araksane ||6-18-30

asvargyam ca ayashasyam ca bala viirya vinaashanam

 “If having not been protected, a refugee dies before the eyes of a man who is able to protect him, the former takes along all his moral merit and goes.”

karisyaami yathaa artham tu kandor vacanam uttamam ||6-18-31

dharmistham ca yashasyam ca svargyam syaat tu phala udaye |

 “In not protecting thus the persons who take refuge, there is a great blemish involved in it. It does not bestow heaven. It destroys reputation. It devastates strength and valor”

sakrid eva prapannaaya tava asmi iti ca yaacate ||6-18-32

abhayam sarva bhuutebhyo dadaami etad vratam mama |

 “I will follow the excellent words of Kandu. It becomes a very righteous thing, gives reputation, leads to heaven and the rewards appear consequently.”

aanaya enam hari shrestha dattam asya abhayam mayaa ||6-18-33

vibhiisano vaa sugriiva yadi vaa raavanah svayam |

 “He who seeks refuge in me just once, telling me that ‘I am yours’, I shall give him assurance of safety against all types of beings. This is my solemn pledge”

raamasya vacanam shrutvaa sugriivah plavaga iishvarah ||6-18-34

pratyabhaasata kaakutstham sauhaardena abhicoditah |

 “O, Sugreeva, the chief of monkeys! Let him either be Vibhishana or even Ravana himself; I have given an assurance of safety to him. Bring him here.”

kim atra citram dharmajna loka naatha shikhaa mane ||6-18-35

yat tvam aaryam prabhaasethaah sattvavaan sapathe sthitah |

Hearing Rama’ s words, Sugreeva the lord of monkeys, overwhelmed as he was with cordial friendship, replied to Rama as follows:

mama ca api antar aatmaa ayam shuddhim vetti vibhiisanam ||6-18-36

anumanaac ca bhaavaac ca sarvatah supariiksitah |

 “O, Rama, who knows righteousness, the crest jewel among lords of the world! What surprise is there in thinking that you, duly endowed with true essence of life and established in a right path, speak these venerable words?”

tasmaat ksipram saha asmaabhis tulyo bhavatu raaghava ||6-18-37

vibhiisano mahaapraajnah sakhitvam ca abhyupaitu nah |

 “My inmost spirit also feels Vibhishana to be a genuine person, he being well examined from all angles, by act of inference and by his appearance.”

tatas tu sugriiva vaco nishamyata|

hari iishvarena abhihitam nara iishvarah |

vibhiisanena aashu jagaama samgamam |

patatri raajena yathaa puram darah ||6-18-38

 “O, Rama! Hence, let the highly wise Vibhishana be equal among us soon together. Let him get our friendship too”

ityaarse shriimadraamaayane aadikaavye yuddhakaande astaadashah sargah

Thus completes 18th Chapter of Yuddha Kanda of the glorious Ramayana of Valmiki, the work of a sage and the oldest epic.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate


K. M. K. Murthy. (2002). Yuddha Kanda - Book Of War.

Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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