In the previous episode we had witnessed that Hanuman is giving some extremely important advice to Ravana. He requests Ravana to re-consider his stance on Sita and asks him to return her back to Rama. In the due course, he also warns Ravana about the invincible powers of Rama and Lakshmana. Along with Sugriva and the other Vaanaras, Hanuman also demonstrates the immense strength of all of them put together.
After hearing all this from Hanuman, is Ravana going to relent? No! The contrary happens! Ravana’s ego is heavily hurt by Hanuman’s talk! He thinks no end of himself! He discards the fact that Rama’s invincible powers cannot be taken lightly! His overconfidence and ego takes center-stage at this point, as Ravana decides to punish Hanuman. What can he do? The best possible punishment for whatever Hanuman has inflicted on Lanka is to put him to death! And Ravana does exactly that! He immediately orders Hanuman’s death without even thinking for a moment!
It is at this crucial moment that Vibhishana – Ravana’s brother intervenes!! He stands up from his seat and requests Ravana to calm down a little bit. Vibhishana is an expert in talking and putting forward his points in a beautiful way. He says, “Oh Lanskeshwara! Please be a little bit patient. According to the ‘Raaja-Dharma’, it is wrong to kill a messenger! I’m sure that you know in and out of the ‘Raaja-Dharma’. If learned people like you give way for anger, then what is the use of learning all our scriptures? Hence, oh brother! Let us wait a little bit and then assign a suitable punishment for this fellow!”
Upon hearing this from Vibhishana, Ravana asks back in great anger: “Oh Vibhishana! I know you are an intelligent person, but you are also talking things that don’t make sense! What is wrong in killing a person who has inflicted so much of damage and death of innumerable people in our Lanka? Moreover, he has killed my own son Akshakumara! Hence, we should definitely kill this treacherous monkey!”
As Ravana is venting out in frustration, Vibhishana tries to calm him down. He says, “Oh Ravana! I agree to what you are saying! I totally understand your emotions and feelings! However, all said and done, this monkey is a messenger. Please realize that the ‘Raaja-Dharma’ is beyond emotions. A leader should not give room for emotions while taking important and crucial decisions! Hence, please calm down!”
Vibhishana continues further: “Oh Ravana! You are right that this messenger has not just been a messenger but has killed innumerable people. But there is no place in the ‘Raaja-Dharma’ that a messenger has to be killed! Instead, there are other ways of punishing a wicked messenger – You can beat him and inflict heavy injuries to his body, or, you can inflict some permanent marks of insult on his body, or, you can adopt any other mode of punishment except killing! Moreover, think about this too: Our real enemy is not this messenger. Our real enemy is the person who has sent this messenger. The real enemy in Rama and Lakshmana are unable to come to Lanka and fight with you, owing to the geographical inconvenience. If we let this monkey go, he would somehow bring those two enemies to Lanka. Once they reach the shores of Lanka, you can fight and win over them! This would be a wiser thing to do, isn’t it? So, instead of killing this monkey, send him back with an insulting injury, along with a small portion of our mighty army to Rama and Lakshmana and threaten them! Let us see how they react to that! Oh Ravana! You are the greatest king in this world. Nobody can ever dare to come and stand in front of you during a war. Rama and Lakshmana are afraid of your great powers and this is the reason they’ve sent a messenger to provoke you! Hence please be careful and do not fall into this trap! As I had mentioned before, please give this messenger a different punishment, rather than killing him! I request you to consider this suggestion!”
Vibhishana’s excellent speech makes Ravana to have a second thought! Now what is he going to do? Is he still going to persist with his decision of killing Hanuman? Or, is he going to change is stance? Based on Ravana’s decision, we are going to witness how important is “Communication” for a leader. The action continues in the next episode! 🙂