I have recd a comment that I am exaggerating the importance of Sugriva. This is understandable. For people believing Rama is God he going and begging to sugriva saying Sugrivam sharam is unpalatable. But as I have been saying in this blog Rama is just human and makes mistakes like all of us and is very close to us. But when it comes to following Dharma even gods will envy him and thus the message is clear if we are ready to listen.
Now coming to point regarding Sugriva, it will be worthwhile comparing Sugrive and Vibhishana. Main difference between them is Vibhishana surrended to Rama. But Rama surrendered to Sugriva. The difference is brought under microscope in Yudhakanda when Rama returns to Aydoya.
Bharata says to Sugriva
त्वमस्माकं चतुर्णां वैभ्राता सुग्रीव पञ्चमः || ६-१२७-४५
सौहार्दाज्जायते मित्रमपकारोऽरिलक्षणम् | |
“You are a fifth brother, for all the four of us, O Sugreeva! A friend is born of affection, while malifience is the attribute of an adversary.”
So the status of Sugriva is the Brother of Rama
and in the next Sloka Bharata says to Vibhishana
विभीषणं च भरतः सान्त्वयन्वाक्यमब्रवीत् || ६-१२७-४६
दिष्ट्या त्वया सहायेन कृतं कर्म सुदुष्करम् |
Thereafter, Bharata spoke the following kind words to Vibhishan: “Thank heaven! A very difficult task was accomplished by you, as a companion of Rama.”
Vibhishana status is equal to an ally.