Vibhishana Articulates…… accordingly!!

This is an adjunct to Rama Vibhishana …Strategic Partners

We saw in the previous postings how Vibhishana eulogizes Rama in Ravana’s Durbar and extols Ravana’s men in the presence on Rama and gets absorbed in Rama’s Army with the promise of Kingdom. Another place where Vibhishana plays a pivotal role is when Ravana wants to kill Hanuman. Vibhishana dissuades him by eloquently praising Ravana and demanding justice and speaking disparagingly of Rama and Lakshmana ( without mincing words). In other words tactfully as ever.

He spoke skillfully and softly [ 5-52-04]. Praises Ravana and forcefully demands forgiveness [ 5-52-05]. Emphasises Dharma against killing Ambassador [ 5-52-06]. Praises Ravana as embodiment of virtues[ 5-52-07]. Ravana rebuts him [ 5-52-11]. But Vibhishana persists[ 5-52-13]. Condemns Hanuman[ 5-52-14]. Suggests alternative punishments [ 5-52-15]. Demands composure and just action [ 5-52-16]. Praises Ravana as very just follower of Scriptires [ 5-52-17]. Here is the surprise. Condemns Rama and Lakshmana as arrogant princes [ 5-52-23]. Calls them stupid (मूढौ ) deserving subjugation [ 5-52-26]. This convinces Ravana [ 5-52-27].
Let us peep into Manusmriti and see how this is justified.
7.8 बलो अपि न अवमातव्यो मनुष्य इति भूमिपः महति देवता ह्रोषा नररूपेण तिष्टति
7.8. Even an infant king must not be despised, (from an idea) that he is a (mere) mortal; for he is a great deity in human form.
7.9. एकम् एव धहत्यरि नरं दुरु पसर्पिणम् | कुलं धहति राजा आसीःपशु द्रव्यसं चयम्
7.9. Fire burns one man only, if he carelessly approaches it, the fire of a king’s (anger) consumes the (whole) family, together with its cattle and its hoard of property.
Also it is to be noted that No where does Vibhishana condems Ravana’s action as Adharma. Though while introducing himself to the monkeys “There is a demon called Ravana, the king of demons, having a bad conduct. I am his younger brother, known as Vibhishana.”

List of Slokas

Sanskrit English
5-52-04
निश्चित अर्थः ततः साम्ना आपूज्य शत्रुजित् अग्रजम् |
उवाच हितम् अत्यर्थम् वाक्यम् वाक्य विशारदः || ५-५२-४
Then, deciding about a right action, Vibhishna, who was silled in communication and a conqueror of enemies, spoke softly the following very meaningful and useful words to Ravana, his venerable borther. Back
5-52-05
क्षमस्व रोषम् त्यज राक्षसेन्द्र |
प्रसीद मद्वाक्यमिदम् शृणुष्व |
वधम् न कुर्वन्ति परावरज्ञा |
दूतस्य सन्तो वसुधाधिपेन्द्राः || ५-५२-५
“O king of demons! Forgive and give up your anger. Be gracious and hear my words. Virtuous kings of excellence, knowing the distant and the near, do not cause killing of an envoy.” Back
5-52-06
राजन् धर्म विरुद्धम् च लोक वृत्तेः च गर्हितम् |
तव च असदृशम् वीर कपेः अस्य प्रमापणम् || ५-५२-६
“O hero! Killing of this monkey is against a royal virtue and any universal custom condemns it. Hence, it is improper for you also to do it.” Back
5-52-07
धर्मज्ञ्श्च कृतज्ञ्श्च राजधर्मविशारदः |
परावरज्ञो भूतानाम् त्वमेव परमार्थवित् || ५-५२-७
“You are indeed the knower of what is right. You are a person of gratitude. You are well-versed in royal virtues. You know both the distant and the near in beings. You know the highest truth.” Back
5-52-11
न पापानाम् वधे पापम् विद्यते शत्रुसूदन |
तस्मादेनम् वधिष्यामि वानरम् पापचारिणम् || ५-५२-११
“O Vibhishana, the annihilator of enemies! There is no sin, even if the sinners are killed. So, I shall kill this monkey, who performed sins.” Back
5-52-13
प्रसीद लङ्केश्वर राक्षसेन्द्र |
धर्मार्थयुक्तम् वचनम् शृणुष्व |
दूतानवध्यान् समयेषु राजन् |
सर्वेषु सर्वत्र वदन्ति सन्तः || ५-५२-१३
“O king of demons! 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.” Back
5-52-14
असंशयम् शत्रुः अयम् प्रवृद्धः |
कृतम् हि अनेन अप्रियम् अप्रमेयम् |
न दूत वध्याम् प्रवदन्ति सन्तो |
दूतस्य दृष्टा बहवो हि दण्डाः || ५-५२-१४
“There is no doubt that this enemy is arrogant. He has created an unlimited displeasure to us. But, sages do not talk about the killing of an envoy There are indeed severeal punishments, intended for an envoy.” Back
5-52-15
वैरूप्याम् अन्गेषु कश अभिघातो |
मौण्ड्यम् तथा लक्ष्मण सम्निपातः |
एतान् हि दूते प्रवदन्ति दण्डान् |
वधः तु दूतस्य न नः श्रुतो अपि || ५-५२-१५
“Some of the punishments to an envoy are-deforming the limbs, 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.” Back
5-52-16
कथम् च धर्म अर्थ विनीत बुद्धिः |
पर अवर प्रत्यय निश्चित अर्थः |
भवत् विधः कोप वशे हि तिष्ठेत् |
कोपम् नियच्छन्ति हि सत्त्ववन्तः || ५-५२-१६
“How can a person like you, holding an intellect trained in religious merit and purpose and a right judgement on cause and effect, subject to anger? Wise people indeed contain their anger.” Back
5-52-17
न धर्म वादे न च लोक वृत्ते |
न शास्त्र बुद्धि ग्रहणेषु वा अपि |
विद्येत कश्चित् तव वीर तुल्यः |
त्वम् हि उत्तमः सर्व सुर असुराणाम् || ५-५२-१७
“O hero! There is no one equal to you, who can discuss about the law or duty, none about universal custom and none in capturing the essence of scriptures. You are indeed excellent among all the celestials and demons in these matter.” Back
5-52-23
अस्मिन् विनष्टे न हि दूतम् अन्यम् |
पश्यामि यः तौ नर राज पुत्रौ |
युद्धाय युद्ध प्रिय दुर्विनीताव् |
उद्योजयेत् दीर्घ पथ अवरुद्धौ || ५-५२-२३
“O Ravana, who is fond of war! If he is dead, I do not find any other hero, who can incite those two arrogant princes, who are hindered by a long distance, for war.” Back
5-52-26
तत् एक देशेन बलस्य तावत् |
केचित् तव आदेश कृतो अपयान्तु |
तौ राज पुत्रौ विनिगृह्य मूढौ |
परेषु ते भावयितुम् प्रभावम् || ५-५२-२६
“Therefore, let some who follow your command, by talking a portion of your army, subjugate those two stupid princes, in order to make your power known to your adversaries.” Back
5-52-27
निशाचराणामधिपोऽनुजस्य |
विभीषणस्योत्तमवाक्यमिष्टम् |
जग्राह बुद्ध्या सुरलोकशत्रु |
र्महाबलो राक्षसराजमुख्यः || ५-५२-२७
Ravana, the mighty and the eminent king of demons as also the lord of ogres and the adversary of the world of celestials, understood the cherished and excellent message of Vibhishana his brother with his due presence of mind.” Back

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All Sloka Translations are from the site Valmiki Ramayana

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