Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 17

17. Vibhīṣaṇa Seeks Protection

[Vibhīṣaṇa along with his four ministers seeks protection from Rāma. The monkeys suspect hi,. Rāma asks the opinion of monkey chiefs. Only Hanuman feels that he should be accepted.]

After the younger brother of Rāvaṇa spoke these harsh words to Rāvaṇa, immediately he arrived at the place of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. 17.1

The monkey lords standing on the ground saw on the sky him who was like Meru Mountain and who was shining like lightning. 17.2

They also saw his four assistants who were huge and valorous, They were also carrying weapons and were wearing ornaments. 17.3

He was looking like a mountain of clouds and having shine like Vajra and valorous one was having divine weapons and wearing divine ornaments. 17.4

Sugrīva the king of monkeys seeing Vibhīṣaṇa among those five people, being intelligent became worried along with other monkeys. 17.5

After thinking for a moment, he spoke to the monkeys along with monkey lords including Hanuman. 17.6

"See these well-armed Rākṣasa along with four others and there is no doubt that they are coming to kill us." 17.7

When the best of the monkeys heard the words of Sugrīva, he lifted Sāla trees as well as mountains and spoke as follows. 17.8

"Oh king, quickly order us, so that we can kill those wicked ones so that those fools will fall on the ground dead." 17.9

When they were talking to each other like this Vibhīṣaṇa reached the northern shore and comfortably stopped there. 17.10

That very intelligent one, staying comfortably in the sky itself, spoke in a loud voice to them after seeing Sugrīva and other monkeys. 17.11

"There is Rākṣasa with bad conduct who is the king of the Rākṣasas and I am the younger brother of that bad one and known as Vibhīṣaṇa. 17.12

"He is the one who abducted Sītā from Janasṭhāna after killing Jatāyu and that pathetic lady who is being held captive is being held against her will and is guarded by Rākṣasīs." 17.13

"I persuaded Rāvaṇa again and again by various type of words and arguments to return Sītā safely to Rāma." 17.14

"Being encouraged by God of death, he did not accept my advice just like a perverted person does not accept medicine." 17.15

"He told harsh words to me, treated me as his servant and also insulted me and I forsaking my son and wife, have come to surrender to Rāma." 17.16

"Please inform quickly that great soul Rāma, who protects the entire world, that Vibhīṣaṇa has come." 17.17

Hearing these words Sugrīva who does things swiftly hurriedly told these words to Rāma in front of Lakṣmaṇa. 17.18

"Unexpectedly he who is an enemy belonging to the enemy army has come here to kill all of us like owls destroying the crow." 17.19

"O, destroyer of enemies! You should be aware of the design, distribution, leading of the army and the secret service of the monkeys and also of your foes. May good come to you!" 17.20

"The Rākṣasas who can take any form they like can vanish too and they are heroic as well as deceitful and so we cannot trust them. 17.21

"He may be a spy sent by Rāvaṇa the King of Rākṣasas and there is no doubt that he can become one of us and create differences between us." 17.22

"Otherwise that intelligent one can find out our weaknesses or having gained our confidence, he may even attack us." 17.23

"We can accept the army provided by friends of the forest or accept the help of hereditary paid warriors but we should avoid taking help from the enemy." 17.24

"He is by nature a Rākṣasa who is the brother of our enemy who has directly come over from him and so how can we trust him?" 17.25

"The younger brother of Rāvaṇa whose name is Vibhīṣaṇa along with his four assistant Rākṣasas has approached you for protection." 17.26

"Oh Rāma who can judge what is right, I feel that this Vibhīṣaṇa has been sent by Rāvaṇa  and we have to first arrest him." 17.27

"Oh faultless one, he has come here sent by a crooked Rākṣasa and when you start trusting him, he would attack you using his powers of illusion." 17.28

"This Vibhīṣaṇa is definitely the brother of the cruel Rāvaṇa and so let us kill him and give severe punishment to his assistants." 17.29

"After the chief of the army who was an expert in talk expressed his views hurriedly, Rāma the master of words thereafter preferred to be silent." 17.30

The very strong Rāma after hearing these words of Sugrīva told the monkeys sitting in front of chief Hanuman who was near him." 17.31

"The very reasonable opinion about the brother of king Rāvaṇa spoken by Sugrīva was also heard by you." 17.32

"An efficient and intelligent person desirous of the everlasting welfare of his friend, should advise him, when he faces difficulties." 17.33

When Rāma asked them like this, those monkeys who wanted to do good to Rāma, without any hesitation freely told their respective opinion. 17.34

"Oh Rāghava, in these three worlds, there is nothing that you do not know but with a view of honouring us, you are asking our opinion." 17.35

"You are wedded to Dharma, you consider truth as your penance, you have unfailing valour, you have unfailing memory, you are committed to the welfare of your friends and you take action only after proper investigation." 17.36

"And so one by one your intelligent and very efficient ministers would tell about their opinion about this matter." 17.37

Then the very intelligent monkey Angada told first Rāma that Vibhīṣaṇa should be tested first before taking any decision. 17.38

"Vibhīṣaṇa who has directly come from our enemy should always be suspected and so soon, he cannot be considered as a trustworthy person." 17.39

"The people who cheat move about hiding their real nature and attack us at our weak places and lead to great misfortune." 17.40

"One should take decision only after examining the possible merits and demerits and accept a particular action if it is likely to lead to good and reject it if it is likely to lead to bad." 17.41

"If we find lot of faults in him let us reject him but if we find only good in him let us accept him." 17.42

Then Sarabha told the following meaningful words. "Oh tiger among men, let us send a spy to follow him and report to us." 17.43

"Suppose we send a spy who is extremely intelligent who would examine his activities, then we can take a decision according to justice." 17.44

Jambhavan who could see this matter with the sayings of scriptures advised in a faultless way after examining the good and bad of it. 17.45

"This Vibhīṣaṇa has come from the king of Rākṣasas who is our greatest enemy and is a great sinner and has arrived at an improper place and time and so by all means he should be suspected." 17.46

Then Mainda who is an expert in discriminating bad from good and who has great command over his words spoke these reasonable words. 17.47

"Oh king of kings This Vibhīṣaṇa is indeed the younger brother of Rāvaṇa and so let us find about him by questioning him using sweet words." 17.48

"Oh bull among men, then after knowing his mind and concluding whether he is bad or good one, we have to take decision as per our intelligence." 17.49

Then the best among ministers who was highly civilized Hanuman told smooth, meaningful, sweet and brief words. 17.50

"Even Bruhaspathi cannot excel you in your capacity to talk as you possess exalted intelligence. You are also powerful, best among men, intelligent and efficient." 17.51

"I am not talking to cause a fight and not to excel over others and Oh Rāma, I am talking about this due to the importance of the matter." 17.52

"I am seeing error in the judgment of ministers regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the matter and I feel that a judicial investigation is not possible." 17.53

"Without entrusting a work, it is not possible to judge the ability of any one and I feel that it is too early to entrust any job to this stranger." 17.54

"The idea of some ministers to send a spy on him is impracticable as that particular method is greatly impractical." 17.55

"It has been said that Vibhīṣaṇa came at the wrong time and place. I desire to tell my opinion on this and so kindly listen." 17.56

"He has taken this decision after comparing merits and demerits between you and Rāvaṇa and has decided you are superior to him now only and hence the time and place seems to be all right." 17.57

"After seeing the wickedness in Rāvaṇa  and the great valour in you, it is worthy of his judgement to decide to come to you." 17.58

"Some ministers told that since he is a stranger, it is only proper to question him before accepting him. But please hear my views." 17.59

"When he who is wise man is being questioned, he would start doubting you and one who comes as a friend becomes faithless, if he is questioned." 17.60

"Oh king without great skills in judging between different voices and tones, it is not possible to judge speedily about his intention." 17.61

"I do not see any bad intention in him or in his talk. And his clear and composed face makes me not to have any doubt in him." 17.62

"A person intent on cheating does not approach fearlessly and with confidence and he does not look like a bad one and so I do not have any doubt in him." 17.63

"It is not possible to hide the emotions in one's face and even if it is hidden, his deeper intentions get revealed through the face." 17.64

"Oh expert in action, an action has to be done at the proper time and place and leads to fruitful results only if it is done speedily." 17.65

"Seeing your perseverance, noticing the improper behaviour of Rāvaṇa , hearing about death of Vali. hearing about crowning of Sugrīva, intelligently desiring for this kingdom, he has come here. Taking into consideration, this aspect alone, it is proper to accept him." 17.66-17.67

"I have told you this to the best of my ability after noting the sincerity of this Rākṣasa and after hearing the words of mine, you have to judge on this matter." 17.68

This is the end of Seventeenth Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.