Sugriva doubts the strength of Sri Rama
जब कब निज करुणा-सुभावतें, द्रवहु तो निस्तरिये |
तुलसिदास बिस्वास आन नहिं कत, पचि-पचि मारिये ||
What to speak of Sugriva? Even after Sri Rama personally approached him for friendship he doubted His powers. So, to eliminate his doubts, Sugriva decided to test Bhagavan. He told Sri Rama to prove his supremacy. For that Sri Rama must pierce 7 Tal trees at a single stretch and with the nails of his foot cast the bones of the demon Dundubhi miles apart.
At such an unreasonable request, Bhagavan could have easily shown is resentment. He could have felt that ‘This person along with all his defects also lacks the quality of faith. He is unnecessarily doubting me. I don’t need to prove myself to Him.’
But Bhagavan immediately says- “I shall do as you say.” Being very calm and patient with Sugriva, he happily gave in to his demands. “I will explain to you the way you shall understand.” Then Bhagavan gives the test.
दुंदुभि अस्थि ताल देखराए |
बिनु प्रयास रघुनाथ ढहाए ||
देखि अमित बल बाढ़ी प्रीती |
बालि बधब इन्ह भइ परतीती ||
Sugriva scared to fight Vali
Now, when Sri Rama asked Sugriva to challenge Bali for a duel, Sugriva immediately backed out. He said-
सुख सम्पति परिवार बड़ाई | सब परिहरि करिहहुँ सेवकाई ||
‘I do not want anything, you kindly shower your mercy on me so that I leave everything and start doing your Bhajan.” By speaking such elite subjects, Sugriva started to demonstrate fake renunciation.
Shri Ram laughed a lot within himself. He had told Sugriva to challenge Vali.
So, Sugriva asked Rama- “Tell me, who is going to kill Vali?” Sri Rama said- “I will be killing him.” Sugriva again asked- “Who shall fight him.” At this, Sri Rama said- “This time, you shall fight him. I don’t want you to feel later on, that you could have killed Vali. So you go and try your best and then if you start dwindling I am always there.”
Before combatting with Vali, Sugriva was in praise of Vali. He said to the extent that- “Vali is actually my Well-wisher, it is only due to him that I got the chance to meet Sri Rama.”
तब सुग्रीव बिकल होइ भागा | मुष्टि प्रहार बज्र सम लागा ||
But now when Sugriva entered the waters and faced Vali, he forgot all his assertions. Just the first punch of Vali, was enough for Sugriva to come running to Sri Rama.
Seeing this scene, Lakshmanji said- “Prabhu, see, a man’s nature can never change. You have honored him with your friendship and yet look at the way he is running.” Sri Rama laughed at Lakshmana’s words and said- “You forget to see something. He is certainly running. But see in times of distress who is he running to? He is only coming to me and nowhere else. Your mind should go there. Why do you only look at his running?”
Sugriva was at least aware of his defects. Hanumanji, is enlightened, he could clearly see how lenient Bhagavan was with Sugriva. Sugriva was a weakling and lacked strength. By displaying anger and love, Bhagavan would always keep Sugriva close to his heart. He would display concern for him.
Vibhishana- the ideal Sadhaka
On the other hand, the Lord was equally desirous of meeting Vibhishana. Sri Rama stands at the opposite shore and is waving his hands at Vibhishana. He says- “Vibhishana, You are a Sadhaka, You have been practicing Sadhana since childhood. You have the strength of Sadhana. I have walked so far for you but now you have to take the call and cross this ocean to meet me.”
The ocean that acted as a bridge between Lanka and Sri Rama represents Bodily attachment or Dehabhiman. If Vibhishana identifies himself as the body, he shall take Ravana as his brother. And with this identification, it is impossible for him to forsake attachment for him. Unless Vibhishana discards his bodily attachment for Ravana as his brother, he can’t meet Sri rama. The Lord wants Vibhishana to take the call and approach Him.
The Lord says that you have performed Sadhana, you can atleast break off that bond for me.
Now a Jeeva requires an indication to discard his attachment. When Ravana literally stamped Vibhishana and humiliated him in the open court, Vibhishana heard the silent message of Bhagavan. Ravana’s attack made Vibhishana realize the futility of his pursuit and pushed him to surrender unto Bhagavan. He could hear the message that Sri Rama wanted to deliver. It is a symptom of mercy when you recall the Lord when struck by the ruthless world. This shows Sadhan Vritti. When a materialist is thus attacked, he shall become restless to take revenge. But, those who are on the Spiritual path, shall always see the hidden message of Bhagavan. What Bhagavan wants to convey to us. Being a Sadhaka, Vibhishana easily recognized the hidden signal of his mistreatment, and he openly announced in the court-
रामु सत्य संकल्प प्रभु सभा कालबस तोरि |
मैं रघुबीर सरन अब जाऊँ देहु जनि खोरि ||
Vibhishana had held such intense faith in Bhagavan.
Difference between Sugriva and Vibhishana
The degree of faith demarcates the difference between Sugriva and Vibhishana. The Lord Himself approached Sugriva and became his friend, yet Sugriva doubted Him. Ultimately, Bhagavan had to prove himself to appease his friend.
On the other hand, Vibhishana had just heard of Sri Rama and had never met him in person, yet he held such great faith in him. He thought- “Sri Rama is my Ishwar, I shall go and surrender unto him.” With this thought he proceeded to meet Bhagavan.
The sequence of the Sadhana process is hidden in Vibhishana’s approach– First Vibhishana detached himself from the bodily relationships of a brother, which was the toughest undertaking. He then approached Bhagavan by crossing the ocean of bodily attachment.
Sugriva suspects Vibhishana’s intentions
Now there is an interesting turn. When Sugriva heard about Vibhishana’s arrival, he couldn’t digest this fact. So in front of Bhagavan, he immediately introduced him as-
आवा मिलन दसानन भाई | Ravana’s brother has come to meet you
Some people expect Bhagavan to behave nicely with them but when it comes to others, they turn stone-hearted. For their own selves it is mercy while for others it is justice. Like Sugriva there are many people who expect a soft spot for their own selves but when others come expecting the same, they turn them down.
So Sugriva immediately pointed out to Bhagavan, and said- “Prabhu see, Dashanan’s brother has come.”
If Shri Rama were not of the calm and peaceful nature he would have immediately scolded Sugriva and said- ‘If Vali’s brother can come to me, then why can’t I accept Ravana’s brother?’ But, the Lord refrained from such talks. He said- “What do you want?” Sugriva said-
जानि न जाइ निसाचर माया |
कामरूप केहिं कारण आया ||
भेद हमार लेन सठ आवा |
राखिअ बाँधि मोहिं अस भावा ||
“He is a spy of Ravana. Tie him up.”
Then Sri Rama asked Sugriva- “Friend, you didn’t feel the need to ask me what I feel.”
Then Sugriva said- “Lord Rama, you have all excellent qualities, But you are very innocent, you don’t know to differentiate between pure-impure.”
When Hanumanji heard Sugriva speak like this- He immediately realized that if Bhagavan knew how to differentiate between pure and impure would he have accepted Sugriva’s submission.
Then Sri Rama in a humorous tone said- “Sugriva, you say I can’t differentiate between pure-impure but you are no less. When I came to meet you for the first time you mistook me to be a spy of Vali. You very quickly see a spy in everyone. At that time, you told Hanumanji to find out the actuality. So Hanumanji has the right vision. It would be appropriate to ask his opinion on the same.”
Hanumanji recommends Vibhishana
Now Hanumanji was placed in a dilemma. If he says, ‘Vibhishana is pure’, then Sugriva’s words shall falsify. If he says, ‘Vibhishana is impure’, he shall crash Sri Rama’s expectations. So he very carefully balances the situation. He says- The question is in itself incorrect- Is Vibhishana pure or impure?”
“Is the act of surrender a court or a hospital. If it is a court then you should give justice, while if it is a hospital prescribe the right medication for him. Now if a patient has come walking to the hospital, don’t ask him whether he is in good shape or not. If he were alright, would the poor soul come walking so far? On seeing a patient it our duty to give him the medicine. I would say to the extent that–
खोटो खरो सभीत पालिये सो, सनेह सनमान सों |- Whether he is pure or impure, he has come to you, so you must accept him.
Sri Rama accepts Vibhishana
Bhagavan comes walking to Vibhishana, but he stops mid-way. He then sends Hanumanji and Angad to receive him. Now, Vibhishana is well-received. He pays his respects at the feet of Sri Rama. Shri Rama stands up and-
भुज बिसाल गहि हृदयँ लगावा || He holds him in a tight embrace.
Sugriva feels left out since his views had been rejected. He had proposed Sri Rama to tie up Vibhishana but now Sri Rama is hugging him. Then Sri Rama looks at Sugriva and says- “Friend, don’t take me wrong. You didn’t tell me to kill him, you also didn’t tell me to drive him off. You wanted me to tie him up. Now if I must tie him, then my arms are the best rope. On being tied up by a rope, one tries to free oneself from its grip, but the binding of the arms is such a loving gesture, that one shall never wish to get free from it. Ultimately Vibhishana feels blessed to have attained Bhagavan.
जासु नाम भाव भेषज हरन घोर त्रय सूल |
सो कृपाल मोहि तो पर सदा रहउ अनुकूल ||