“One might live with a confirmed adversary, or even with an enraged snake, but should never befriend somebody who claiming friendliness helps the enemy,” Ravana chided Vibhishana, propelled by a fate that foresaw his demise. “I understand how such individuals think. They like seeing their family members suffer. The threat from family is the worst of all threats since they are dishonest and unreliable. You are my relative, Vibhishana, which explains why you are so envious of me. You, who have had every convenience because of me, are now attempting to damage me. You deserve to die, but since you’re my brother, I forgive you. You represent a stain on our race! Go! Move on!”
Along with four other rakshasas, Vibhishana grabbed up his mace and sprang into the air. He became bright and spoke, “Ravana, you are my older brother and worshipful like my father, yet you no longer travel the road of dharma,” as he turned away from Ravana and yearned for Rama’s shelter. “Whatever you have to say, I’ll listen, but your allegations are unjust, unfounded, and nasty. I won’t begrudge you that! Many people will charm you with their sweet lies, but very few will tell you the bitter reality, and even fewer will pay attention to it. Rama’s arrows’ fire makes me cringe, and I am saddened by the loss of Lanka’s powerful and magnificent people. All the best to you. Take care of Lanka and yourself. I wish you success and happiness when I’m gone. You may not like what I have to say, but people who are destined to die disobey advice and are so already like the dead.”
“I shall never desert someone who wants my protection nor turn him away who comes to me as a friend, whether he is good or bad,” Rama declared after hearing them all. Men of honour adore it because it is a global dharma. Sugriva objected, asking who else would Vibhishana be willing to betray if he could leave his own brother behind in the most severe of circumstances. Sugriva’s anxiety was acknowledged by Rama, who said, “How can Vibhishana hurt me when I can destroy pisachas, rakshasas, and yakshas with the tip of my finger? Never kill someone who is holding out his hands in a pleading manner; instead, give him the refuge he needs. Even at the risk of his life, the knowledgeable should grant it. Instead, denying it will result in not only an irreparable stain but also notoriety and the loss of the merit of even prior positive karmas. When the weak approach me and say, ‘I’m yours, and I need you,’ I won’t ever turn them away. They must be given unrestricted protection from anything and everyone they fear. Have you not heard of the legendary dove who, overcoming his dread and hatred, welcomed the person who killed his partner and fed him with his own flesh? Giving refuge to those who want it is the highest kind of dharma. Don’t even bother to figure out if it’s Vibhishana or someone else posing as him. My sanctuary has been offered, even if it comes from my worst adversary, Ravana. Bring him right now.”
Here one important inference is important. Vibhishana being Rakshasa was following Dharma. Bhagwan Rama protected him and gave refuge because he was following path of Dharma. Refugee status is not given to Adharmics, terrorists, terrorism sympathisers and cult followers who hate humanity and fellow human beings by advocating hate doctrine of Quran or Bible that teach to harm non-cult members deeming them kafirs or infidels.
The rakshasa Sardula, a spy for Ravana, saw them even as Rama sat to worship the ocean and the vanaras stood by. He made a quick turn and raced back to inform his monarch, who chose to send Suka to negotiate with Sugriva. Tell him “Vali was my close ally and that we are linked due to his father Riksharajasa,” Ravana commanded. “Inform him not to look for my hostility. What does someone so powerful have to do with a dunce like Rama? It doesn’t matter to him that I took away his consort Sita. How can mankind and monkeys enter Lanka if even the devas and gandharvas cannot?”
Suka delivered Ravana’s message to Sugriva by transforming into a bird and circling above the sea. When the angry vanaras heard that, they pounced over to beat the poor rakshasa who was pleading for Rama’s mercy. Sugriva informed Ravana that his request had been approved, saying, “Ravana! You are also my adversary and deserving of death because you are a friend of Vali and an enemy of Rama. Do you consider yourself a hero only because you murdered Jatayu? Do you know the person who is ready to kill you?”
Suka hastily and painfully flew back to Ravana after Rama saved him from the enraged vanaras.
Samudra (ocean) initially ignored request of Bhagwan Rama. Rama roared, “My arrows shall incinerate the creatures that inhabit your waterways, and your abode shall be filled with sand,” furious at the still unseen Samudra. The earth trembled, the mountains shook, and a tremendous darkness descended upon the world as Rama shot his most potent arrow. Shouts of panic could be heard emanating from all directions as raging winds broke tall mountain summits and destroyed large trees.
The booming, lashing waves abruptly started to subside. Rama halted his onslaught and the glorious figure of the ocean swami Samudra dev emerged from the tumultuous river, rising like the sun over mountain peaks. The amazing, jewel-encrusted form then walked out, bowed before Rama, and cried out, “Rama! The nature of the earth, wind, sky, water, and fire binds them all together inextricably. I have depth and restlessness. I can’t swim or cross over them with me in tow. Nothing will calm my crocodile-infested waters—not want, not greed, nor terror. I can only pledge to watch out to make sure the sea monsters don’t pray on the arm while they travel to the other shore. I’ll assist them with the bridge as well.”
Rama was also told by the sea deity that the bridge will be built by Nala, Vishvakarma’s son. Nala collected a large number of Vanars (monkey shaped beings created by Brahma) to assist him after making a solemn promise to do so. The strongest of the vanars carried stones the size of elephants as they descended upon the countless woods of the planet to remove the biggest and tallest trees and throw them into the sea. A bridge that was ten yojanas wide and ten yojanas long rose in five days. Gods and gandharvas flocked to witness the greatest of miracles as the commotion reached the heavens. The mass movement towards Lanka then started, with Lakshmana being carried by Angada and Rama being carried by Hanuman. The army marched, drowning the sound of the ocean itself. Some people strolled the bridge while others leapt in and out of the water and into the air. The celestials came to bless Rama as they watched the magnificent show, saying, “May you vanquish all foes and govern this sea-girt world forever!”
When Suka arrived to his king, Ravana observed, “Your feathers are tattered and your wings appear tied,” and he laughed aloud. “Perhaps you were a victim of the capricious vanaras.”
“Yes, even as I was conveying your message, they grabbed me, pushed me to the ground, and beat me with their fists,” Suka retorted. “Rama, who defeated the strongest rakshasas, has arrived on this island in search of Sita and is now standing at the entrance of Lanka. The bear and vanar armies appear to inhabit the whole planet, being as massive as mountains and taller than clouds. Sita must be abandoned or prepared to fight; choose one immediately.”
In contrast, Ravana roared, “I will wage war against Rama,” his eyes showering down fire from his rage. “When will I engulf his might like the sun engulfs the constellations and when will my arrows penetrate him?”
“He is desperate to combat me since I am stronger than even Indra and Varuna. I can take on any deity, gandharva or deva, for I am as unstoppable as the sea and as fast as the flight of the tempest. Rama seeks battle with me while knowing that I am unbeatable.”
Rama arrived with his armies after crossing the impassable ocean, Ravana announced when summoning his ministers Suka and Sarana. It also appears implausible that he built a bridge that has never been seen or heard about before. “Investigate the vanara army to learn how the bridge was constructed, about their arsenal, and about Rama and Lakshmana’s might.”
The rakshasas arrived as vanars to see the thronging crowds from the other side of the sea. They were crowding every garden, woodland, coast, and mountain, and their flood into Lanka appeared to never cease. The rakshasas watched in disbelief as the sea itself was teeming with raucous warriors who had not yet arrived. Vibhishana saw them as the spies they were even as they stood there speechless.
The contrite demons begged Rama for forgiveness after being caught, frightened, and given little chance of survival. Rama, a noble Dharmic prince who was always kind and upright, grinned at the offenders and commanded them to go. “View all you came to see. Follow every instruction from your teacher, then freely return to Lanka. Vibhishana himself will tour you around if there is anything further you need to know, and when you get back to Lanka, repeat this identical message to your king, Ravana! When you took Sita away from Rama, what kind of power did you use? Save your troops, family, and clan by using that same ability right now. Tomorrow morning when the sun comes up, Rama will be standing at the entrance of your city, and his arrows will burn Lanka and its creatures to ashes.”
The spies from the court of Ravana were moved by Rama’s righteousness and returned to inform their king, “Lord of Lanka! We were spotted, apprehended, and carried to Rama when we were in the middle of the Kishkindha army’s soldiers. The most amazing of all, Rama with all his generosity freed us while we deserved to die. He is a unique example of magnificence combined with charity. In that group of the most potent beings on earth, we also observed Lakshmana, Vibhishana, and Sugriva. They are so powerful that they can destroy Lanka without the aid of any of their innumerable legions. Even Lakshmana, Vibhishana, and Sugriva’s abilities appear to be ineffective in the presence of Rama and his bow. Even the united troops of the devas and danas cannot defeat the vanaras because of his protection. Ravana, then! Give up your hostility toward Rama, your rage, and most importantly, give up Sita. This will keep you and your kingdom safe.”