Episode 266 – Lord Rama illustrates “Democratic Leadership”!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important event wherein Sugriva rushes to Lord Rama and narrates his accord about Vibhishana. We had seen that Vibhishana is eagerly waiting to see Rama and announce his surrender to him. Sugriva is of the opinion that Vibhishana has come as a spy from Ravana’s Lanka and he is here to study the strengths and weaknesses of the Vaanara army, only to make Ravana stronger! As Sugriva narrates his accord, the other seniors of the Vaanara army like Jaambhavan, Angadha, etc. approve his view point!

As the narration happens, Lord Rama is silently and patiently listening to Sugriva, Jaambhavaan and Angadha, one by one, without interrupting any of them in the middle. This is an essential leadership quality wherein a leader should allow his subordinates to speak freely. This itself would nurture the trust that the subordinates would have for their leader. Lord Rama is an epitome of this quality – We’ve already witnessed the exhibition of this important quality during the killing of Vaali and how Lord Rama allowed Vaali to ask all his doubts without interruption!

Thus moving on, Sugriva’s argument is that Vibhishana should not be allowed to get away and should be put to death. However, when Lord Rama listens to this conclusion from Sugriva’s mouth, his eyes become moist with tears! As the other Vaanaras see Rama’s sad face, they become puzzled as to what is going on!

As Sugriva, Jaambhavan, etc. finish their accords, Lord Rama immediately turns towards his trusted aide, Hanuman.

“Atha samskaara sampannah hanuman sachivotthamaha!

Uvaacha vachanam slakshnam arthavam madhuram laghu!!”

As Rama calls for Hanuman, he slowly gets up from his seat and goes with folded hands in front of Lord Rama. Lord Rama asks Hanuman, “Oh my dear Hanuman! What is your take on this Vibhishana? What do you know about him? Should we go with Sugriva’s accord?”

As Rama asks, Hanuman starts replying in a confident tone, “Oh Rama! Vibhishana is not a bad person as all of them think! He is one of the noblest persons I’ve ever witnessed on this earth! Hence, we should accept Vibhishana with our warm welcome! We should not harm a “Dharmaathma” like him! I’ve seen Vibhishana when I had been to Lanka a few days back. He is the one who stood for “Dharma” in the whole of Ravana’s cabinet!”

Hearing this from Hanuman, Sugriva and Co. are puzzled. Lord Rama listens to Hanuman’s version carefully.

“Raajyam praarthayamaanasthu buddhi poorvamihaangathaha!

Yethaavarthu punaskruthya vidhyathe tasya sangrahaha!!”

Thus after Hanuman finishes his accord, Rama starts to analyze the situation. Here is an example of how Lord Rama is an epitome of a “Democratic Leader”. He has now given opportunities for all of his followers to voice out their opinions. It is now the time for the leader to analyze the different accords and take a collective decision.

Now Rama asks Sugriva, “Oh Sugriva! Why do you say that Vibhishana should not be accepted?” Sugriva immediately quipps, “Oh Rama! Vibhishana has come here, just because he wants to rule Lanka! He has desire on the kingdom and on being a king! If we go by what Hanuman has said, I infer that Vibhishana has come here to seek our help in killing his brother Ravana and thus getting to be the king of Lanka. He is an opportunistic person!”

Now Lord Rama laughs for a moment and immediately replies Sugriva, “Oh Sugriva, if that’s the case, I should leave you first!” 🙂

Sugriva couldn’t understand what Lord Rama is trying to say. Now Lord Rama continues, “Oh Sugriva! Just think for a moment – When I had come to Kishkinta, why did you accept my friendship? You wanted me to kill your brother Vaali and in turn, become the next king of Kishkinta isn’t it? 🙂

Rama continues further, “Oh Sugriva, listen here! Even if we assume that Vibhishana has come for a selfish motive to attain the Lanka kingdom, atleast till he satisfies his aim, he would be loyal to us, isn’t it? If he gets the Lanka kingdom, we would also get Sita back, isn’t it? So after that, what bothers us if he is the king of Lanka or not? Our aim is to kill Ravana and get back Sita! If that is satisfied, what bothers us after that?”

Sugriva listens to all this from Lord Rama. But did Rama’s reply convince him? What happened next? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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