In the previous episode we had witnessed the fall of the mighty Ravana and how Lord Rama managed to make inroads into the war proceedings and take on Ravana thereafter. Finally Ravana falls on the ground and eventually we also witnessed that Lord Rama had the magnanimity to ask Lakshmana to learn the scholarliness of Ravana with folded hands! As Lakshmana obeys his brother’s words, Ravana breathes his last, as he realizes that it is none other than Lord Vishnu who has come all the way to send him back to Vaikunta.
Now moving on further, as Ravana breathes his last, news spreads very quickly to the entire Lanka city that their mighty king Ravana is no more! Rama has defeated Ravana successfully and killed him! Unable to bare the shocking news, Ravana’s wife Mandodhari rushes out of the palace in search of her husband. As she sees Ravana on the floor, she hugs him and cries aloud! It is such a ghasty and an emotional moment for Mandodhari as she has lost her beloved husband forever.
“Vyaktha vesha mahaa yogi paramaathmaa sanaathanaha!
Shrivatsa vakshaaha nithyashreehi ajaiyaha shaashwathaha dhruvaha!!”
Through the above sloka, Mandodhari cries aloud and says helplessly to the corpse of Ravana thus, “Oh Ravana!! My dear husband! You failed to realize who this Rama is! Rama is a “Paramaathma” and you failed to realize this fact even after my repeated advice! Now how am I going to live my life without you?”
Here in this context, we can see that Mandodhari is praising Lord Rama. Previously we had seen Soorpanaka praising Lord Rama, Thaara praising Lord Rama – This is the speciality of Lord Rama, wherein even his enemies take a moment to praise him!
“Appraapyathanchaiva kaamam mythili sangamekrutham!
Pathivvrathaayaastapasaa noonam dadhhoosime prabho!!”
Mandodhari thus continues further, “Oh Ravana! You were actually so invincible in nature that even this Rama would have found it difficult to take you on in a war. I can assuredly say that even Lord Rama is not good enough in front of you during war. You were defeated not because of Rama, but because of Sita’s “Paathivrathyam” (Ardent devotion towards husband). You failed to control your senses and thus Rama defeated you. Else, who on earth is as powerful as you, to take you on this easily?”
Upon uttering these words, Mandodhari is crying unconsolably. Vibhishana who is standing amidst the Vaanara army is also in tears upon seeing his sister in law crying profusely. Although Vibhishana had changed sides before the war began, he couldn’t control his emotions upon seeing his brother Ravana dead!
As all of this is going on, Lord Rama turns to Vibhishana and says, “Oh dear Vibhishana! Please take up the responsibility to perform the last rites of your brother Ravana!” However, since Vibhishana is now on Lord Rama’s side, he initially refuses to do it! Now Lord Rama again says firmly to Vibhishana, “Oh Vibhishana! You can be an enemy of a person only till he is alive. Once the person is dead, there is no more friend-enemy concept. Hence, are you doing the last rites or should I do it by myself? Oh Vibhishana! Performing last rites is never new to me! I’ve performed last rites to innumerable people during this fourteen-year tenure of my forest life, except for my father!”
As Vibhishana hears these emotion-packed words from Lord Rama, he has tears in his eyes. He gets ready to do the cremation and other last rites for his brother Ravana. What happens next? The action continues in the next episode!!