|| Sarga 52 ||

|| Tattva Dipika ||

|| om tat sat||

Sarga 52

"क्षमस्व रोषं त्यजराक्षसेंद्र"

"क्षमस्व रोषं त्यज राक्षसेंद्र"
means 'Oh, King of Rakshasas, please forgive. Give up your anger'

These are words of Vibhishana.
In Sundarakanda this is the first time we see Vibhishana.
Trijata in detailing her dream, mentions Vibhishana.
'एकः तत्र मया दृष्टः श्वेतःछत्रो विभीषणः'
'I saw one with white umbrella, that is Vibhishana'.

White is an auspicious color.
That means that dream of Trijata indicates good for Vibhishana.

Sita too mentions Vibhishana.
Sita said that Vibhishana tried to advise Ravana to return Sita.
This tells us that Vibhishana is one who is aware of Sita's abduction.
He is one who knows the right and wrong.
He was unsuccessful in pushing Ravana to return Sita.
Now we see him in an active role.

So, we hear the story of Sarga 52.

Sarga starts with,
"वधे तस्य समाज्ञप्ते रावणेन दुरात्मनः",
"When the evil Ravana ordered that one to be killed".
Then Vibhishana springs to action.

Vibhishana did not agree with the wicked Ravana's order.
The order was to kill the one who announced himself as a messenger.
Vibhishana, who stands by the right course of action,
having realized that the Rakshasa king was angry,
started thinking about his course of action.

Vibhishana, skilled in speech having made up his mind,
then spoke to his reverential elder in meaningful and wholesome manner.

'Oh, King of Rakshasas!
Forgive him.
Give up your anger.
Please hear my words.
Rulers of the Earth, good men who know the exalted and the mean,
do not kill a messenger'.

'Oh, Mighty one!
Killing this Vanara is against the right conduct of kings.
It is deprecated in diplomacy.
It is unbecoming of you.
You alone are the knower of Dharma.
You have a sense of gratitude.
You know the statecraft.
You know the right and wrong practices among all beings.
You also know the supreme truth'.

'If a wise one like you is overpowered with anger,
then the study of scriptures is a fruitless exercise.
Oh King! Oh, destroyer of foes! Oh, unassailable one! calm down.
Only after carefully considering what is proper and improper
then impose the punishment on the messenger'.

The king of Rakshasas, Ravana, hearing those words of Vibhishana,
still overcome with anger replied to him.
'Oh, slayer of foes!
Killing sinners is not a sin.
This Vanara is a sinner.
So, I shall have him killed'.

Vibhishana foremost among the wise,
hearing the unrighteous words,
which are false and unacceptable to noble souls,
spoke words of supreme truth.

'Oh King! Please calm down.
Hear these words of Dharma and Artha.
Oh King! The knowledgeable people everywhere say this.
At all times the messengers are not to be killed'.

'Those well versed in Dharma and Artha decide about good and bad.
How can learned ones like you be swayed by anger.
Courageous one, keep the anger under control.
Oh, Great warrior, there is none to equal you in the discussion of Dharma.
None in the conduct of affairs.
None in grasping the essence of Sastras.
You are the best among all Suras and Asuras'.

'Oh Lord of night beings! You are invincible by the brave,
invincible by the courageous, by Suras and Asuras.
Hosts of loud mouthed Suras and Daityas have been won over by you repeatedly.
I am not seeing any merit in killing this Vanara.
This punishment has to be on those by whom he was sent'.

'Good or bad he was sent by others.
Speaking for others,
the messenger does not deserve to be killed".

'Oh King! Supposing he is killed,
I do not see another creature
who can cross the great ocean and come through the skies here.
So, effort in killing him should not be made.

'Oh, Lover of war! If he is slain,
I do not see anybody who can incite those two ill-mannered princes
who are obstructed from reaching this place.
it is not proper for you to lose a chance for war.'

Here Vibhishana tries to change the focus of Ravana.
He talks of not losing a chance for making war.
युद्धायतिर्नाशयितुं न युक्ता'।
He calls Rama Lakshmana as 'दुर्विनीतौ', 'मूढौ'.
It means ill-educated, mean, wicked etc.
Pleasing words for Ravana's ears.

It is no longer about doing the right thing.
Here Valmiki is showing us the tendency of crooked minds.
Crooked ones too may be prompted to do the right thing for wrong reasons
Here to avoid losing a chance for war the messenger is to be let off!

Vibhishana continues,

'You have well-wishers,
well established courageous ones,
intellectuals born in noted families with good qualities,
well paid wielders of weapons, in your presence.
By your order let some powerful ones
march out for war with a part of the army,
defeat the two princes exhibiting your power among your enemies.'

The mighty chief of the Rakshasas,
the king of night roamers and enemy of gods,
Ravana accepted the words of excellent advice from Vibhishana.

Thus, ends Sarga fifty-two of Sundarakanda in Ramayana

||om tat sat||
|| This is what we understood from Tattva Dipika of Shri Bhashyam, Appalacharyulu garu"||
|| om tat sat||