Initially, in Ramayana, Vibhishana could be observed as a loving and devoting younger brother of the demon, Ravana. He is the son of Kaikashi and his father is Vishrava. Vibhishana is considered as a demon but his ancestral history is rooted to a Gandharva Princess. The mother of Kaikashi is Ketumati and the father is Sumali. Sumali’s father is Sukesha and Sumali’s mother is the Gandharva Princess Manimaya. Sumali had fourteen children and Kaikashi was one of them. Thus, the palace of the great grandmother of Vibhishana could be only guessed.

Rama, Sita and companios worshipping Rameshwara Lingam
Worshiping Rameshwara Lingam

Early Life and Childhood

The ancestral family root has influenced the life style of Vibhishana. Even though he has been with the demons, the frequent visits during the festival days to his great grandmother’s house had caused the young Vibhishana to think differently, mainly, by the fairy tales heard from the mouth of Manimaya, the Gandharva Princess. He learnt many things from her stories. She could appear as a very young lady even though she was very old and could imitate as a male also. He believed her words, and desired to see God face to face.

Life in Lanka

In the later days, after Vibhishana’s marriage with Trijata, he maintained a different type of family in the realm of demons. There was no wine, and no meat was used in his house. He believed, one should not touch the body of another person and opposed shake hand system in Lanka. Also, he told to his wife, Trijata, that no demon of Lanka should touch the body of Sita in Ashoka Vana, as the touching of the body of a lady by any other male against her will would cause a curse, and ruin his country. So, it had become the responsibility of Trijata to keep watching the Ashoka Vana so far as Sita has been housed there.

॥ धर्म एव हतो हन्ति धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः ॥

The meaning of the above verse is, ‘If Dharma is killed, then that attitude would ultimately lead towards the death of the killer himself. And if Dharma is preserved, then that attitude would ultimately lead towards the protection of the preserver himself’.  It is a moral lesson.

Refugee of Shree Rama

Vibhishana was polite in his communication with all. After the capture of Hanuman by Indrajithu, the son of Ravana, due to anger, Ravana ordered to kill Hanuman but it was Vibhishana who interfered and let him free. Vibhishana being friendly, as a loving brother, advised Ravana to make Sita free and return her to Rama, but Ravana had no idea of Dharma and started hating Vibhishana. On being expelled from the Lanka meeting hall of Ravana, Vibhishana approached Rama and declared himself as the refugee before Rama and later provided all required information of Lanka and details of his army to Rama. Hanuman had remembered all and prepared for waging the war against Lanka, but, tried to have a ceasefire between Rama and Ravana to avoid the loss of assets and nullifying casualties.   

The Curses of Ravana

Vibhishana once again met with Ravana and reminded about the three curses that would cause his death. The bull Nandi had cursed Ravana when he tried to steal the Atma linga from Kailasa Mountain that, Ravana would face death caused by a monkey.

Lakshmana again reminded the second curse of Vedavathy, a lady, when he tried to touch her body against her will. Vadavathy has cursed him that no demon should be able to kill Ravana. In Lanka, only demons lived so far, hence Ravana thought that his life is safe but Sita has been brought there and Rama has also has come there, who are not demons but manavas. The enemy army also does not contain any demons. The third curse is waiting and Ravana should not touch the body of Sita. By all means, it may be better for Ravana to free Sita and seek the pardon, from Rama, being an incarnation of God.

Ravana was intoxicated by his supreme power and told Vibhishana that he does not want to see his face again there.  

Kumbhakarna: The Other Brother of Ravana

He had another elder brother called Kumbhakarna. Vibhishana did not like him since he was very lazy and engaged either in eating or in sleeping always. During the war, Kumbhakarna was killed. After killing Ravana, Rama crowned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka there.

New King of Lanka

 Rama got tested Sita with the pyre of fire being arranged by Vibhishana. Rama wanted to return to Ayodhya with Sita at the earliest. For the return journey, Vibhishana offered his Pushpaka Vimana, for the use of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. Also, a few kinsmen of Vibhishana escorted them in it to Ayodhya. Rama invited Vibhishana also for his crowning ceremony.  Vibhishana attended the gorgeous ceremony with a lot of precious gifts.   

On return to Lanka, Vibhishana ruled his country with his wife Trijata, lifelong and continued a friendly relationship with Ayodhya.

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Let us humbly pray for the blessings of God Rama.

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