Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 18

18. Rāma Accepts Vibhīṣaṇa

[Sugrīva is against giving protection to Vibhīṣaṇa. Rāma makes him agree quoting Śastras as well by telling several incidents. Sugrīva agrees and they decide to accept the surrender of Vibhīṣaṇa.]

The unconquerable Rāma who was pleased after hearing what was told by the son of wind God replied with a firm mind, his opinion. 18.1

"I also desire to tell you my opinion about Vibhīṣaṇa and I want you all who are interested in my welfare to hear it." 18.2

"I do not forsake anyone who comes to me with friendship in spite of his having any defect because learned people say that acceptance of such a person is irreproachable." 18.3

Sugrīva examined and analysed the words spoken by Rāma and that monkey chief gave this auspicious reply. 18.4

"It seems that this night traveller who forsook his elder brother when he was in deep trouble is very dangerous for he may betray any one at any time." 18.5

When that son of Kākutstha clan, who is really valorous, heard the words of the king of monkeys, he looked round everyone, smiled a little and spoke to Lakṣmaṇa who has an auspicious look. 18.6- 18.7

"Without reading the Śāstras and without serving old people, it is not possible to speak such words as spoken by the king of monkeys." 18.8

"If we examine it with concentration, it appears to me that there is something peculiar in these circumstances and it occurs among kings and ordinary people." 18.9

"It is told that persons of the same family and kings of adjoining kingdom become enemies due to some adversities and that one has come here because of it." 18.10

"But people of the family who are not sinners do respect the interests of their own family members who are their well-wishers but in case of kings even a virtuous person also is under suspicion." 18.11

"Regarding the defect that you told about his being coming from the side of the enemy, I will quote what shastras say about it and please hear." 18.12

"We do not belong to the same family and one who desires to be a king is also a Rākṣasa and he appears to be greatly learned and that is why he is acceptable." 18.13

"People who are of the same family do not live together happily and without fear of each other and due to this a split occurs between them and a great sense of fear prevails among them. That is why Vibhīṣaṇa should be accepted." 18.14

"Not all brothers are similar to Bhārata, not all people are sons and fathers like me and not all people are friends like you." 18.15

When Rāma told like this Sugrīva along with Lakṣmaṇa the wise stood up and saluted him and Sugrīva told him like this." 18.16

"Oh best among those who have patience, please realize that this night traveller might have been sent by Rāvaṇa  and it is better to imprison him." 18.17

"Oh mighty armed Rāma, The faultless on, This Rākṣasa has been sent to kill you who are unsuspecting, or to kill Lakṣmaṇa or me in trust. He came here with a crooked mind. He with his counsellors is fit to be imprisoned. Is not Vibhīṣaṇa the brother of cruel Rāvaṇa?" 18.18-18.19

After saying like this to the best of Raghu Dynasty, Sugrīva, the chief of the army, who was expert in speech kept silent. 18.20

Rāma heard these words of Sugrīva and after analysing it, told these auspicious words to the chief of the monkeys. 18.21

"What does matter if this night walker is a good one or a bad one as he is incapable of causing even a little harm to me." 18.22

"Oh king of the monkeys, if I desire, I can kill these ghosts, Dānavas and Yakṣas who are living in this world by using the tip of my finger." 18.23

"It is heard that a dove received his enemy who came seeking its protection as per rules oh hospitality and offered him, his own self as food." 18.24

"Oh Lord of the monkeys, if that dove can receive the hunter who has killed his wife with hospitality, how much more a man like me should do?" 18.25

Please hear the verses composed by sage Kandu who was son of sage Kanva who was wedded to Dharma and a votary of truth. 18.26

"Oh tormentor of enemies, if a person begs making a cup out of his hand, if a person is miserable and if a man comes seeking refuge, even if he is your enemy, he should not be killed, with the aim of not being classified as cruel." 18.27

"Even if an enemy is arrogant or is oppressed, if he comes seeking your protection, with a greatly disciplined mind he should be protected even by forsaking our own life." 18.28

"If he does not protect him due to fear, passion and desire, using his own strength, he would be reproached by the world as a sinner." 18.29

"If a man who sought protection is not protected and dies before the eyes of a person who could have protected him, that person who dies takes away all the reward for good action from the man who did not protect him and dies." 18.30

"There is a great defect in not protecting those who surrender to you for he will lose heaven as fame and his strength and valour would be destroyed." 18.31

"I will do according to the great words of Kandu for I will become a votary of dharma, famous and would go to heaven." 18.32

"If any one surrenders to me once and begs me saying, ‘I am yours’, I would protect him from all beings and this is my pledge." 18.33

"I have given him protection whether he is Vibhīṣaṇa or Rāvaṇa himself. And so monkey chief, bring him here." 18.34

When the Lord of monkeys heard the words of Rāma, due to his close friendship with Rāma, he told like this. 18.35

"Oh Rāma, who knows Dharma, 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?" 18.36

"My inner self also tells me that Vibhīṣaṇa is a pure soul, after I examine him from all angles, his appearance and from my inference." 18.37

"Oh Rāma let speedily that greatly wise Vibhīṣaṇa also become equal to us and let him be blessed with our friendship." 18.38

After hearing the words of the king of monkeys Sugrīva, the king of the men acknowledged it and held a meeting with Vibhīṣaṇa which was like the meeting between Indra and Garuda. 18.39

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