Posted Date : 06:00 (31/07/2018)  July 31, 2018  Sakthi Vikatan 

Author:  Indira Soundarrajan.  Images: M.S

Revised Nov 12, 2018

Ayodhya Palace Darbar Mandapam was a beehive of activity. In the center, a jeweled Lion Throne shined. On either side, there were two pairs of lion seats. There were seats for the eight Ṛṣis: Vasiṣtar, Vāmadevar, Jabāli, Kaśyapar, Kātyāyaṉar, Srīyakaṅjar, Gauthamar, and Vijayar. Reserved seats for the people of Mithilāpuri and Vibhishana were in place.
Kōsalai, Kaikeyi, and Sumithrai including Ravikula guests, many kings and chiefs were sitting on silver and copper seats. Besides these, Ayodhya’s Vedic scholars and general public sat on the gem-laden woolen carpets.
Rama Rajyam will begin shortly. Until now the Rama’s footwear (Pāthukai = பாதுகை) was the ruler as a stand-in for Rama. From now on, the owner of the Royal footwear will stand in to rule the kingdom.
Sita holding Rama’s hands appeared as if Mahalakshmi was stepping out of the milk ocean. On one side walked Bharata and Lakshmana and on the other side was Śatrughna holding the White Victory Parasol (வெண்கொற்றக்குடை).
That scene melted the heart of Hanuman with tears rolling down his face, and he uttered ‘Ram, Ram’ with rising emotion. The assembled people echoed.
Rama stood with Sita in front of gem-laded Lion Throne with Lakshmanan and Śatrughna by his side. Rama with humility paid homage to the assembled people. He went with Sita to the eight Ṛṣis, fell at their feet and received their blessings.



Vasiṣtar took him to Jeweled Lion-throne and made him sit on it. In that seated condition, the white victory umbrella was stationed above his head as a Pandal or canopy over Rama’s head. Śatrughna stood there holding it. Rama’s mother Kōsalai with happy tears in her eyes, Lakshmana’s mother Sumithrai with horripilation and Kaikeyi witnessed the memorable scene.
சாமரம்2 cāmaram, n. < cāmara. Chowry, bushy tail of the yak, used as a fly-flapper for idols or as a royal insignia;
The Royal Ablution began in the right earnest. Jāmbhavān, Hanuman, Vēkadharsi, Siṣapan, and others brought the waters from all the flowing rivers in the world. The eight Ṛṣis blessed the waters by touching them with their hands, and Vasiṣtar used the waters for the ablution of Rama. Śatrughna held the white Victory umbrella. Sugriva used the fly-flapper. Vayu Bhagavan applied on Rama a garland made of golden lotus flowers, and nine gems alternating with pearls. Uttering the Veda Mantras, Vasiṣtar placed the gem-laden crown on Rama’s head. The roar of the Mantras abounded as if it tore the firmament and subsided over Ayodhya. Hanuman was the one to roar first.
Next, they got ready to confer the title of heir-apparent on Lakshmana; but the latter rejected the honor and recommended Bharata for the title, which Bharata received. Among the ecstatic witnesses, Vibhīṣaṇa was one. He reflected on Rama, the events that Rama experienced, and the subtle inner meaning of those events. Rama was not just an ordinary person. He was Vishnu’s Avatara! If Ayodhya was mokṣa (heaven), Dasaratha was the central figure. His three wives stand for the three Māyais.
Kōsalai stands for Suddha Māyā (Pure Māyā). Rama was the Pure Ātmā born of her. Rama through his Guru Vasiṣtar realized who he was, entered the forest of ignorance helped by Viśvāmitra, destroyed Tātākā who stood for Arakka Māyā (demoniacal Māyā) and safeguarded the sacrificial fire named Jñāṉam. Vibhishana’s mind analyzed with rapture each event and their subtle meanings in Rāma’s voyage in life.
Vibhishana reflected on Rama’s journey through life and their subtle meanings.
1. Srirama spurned Kāma in the name of Mārīca.
2. He got rid of anger in the name Subahu.
3. He morphed the Akalikai-stone, a mark of ignorance, into a woman.
4. He attained Bliss-Sakthi in the name of Sita by breaking the ‘Mamakāram’ bow.   (= Self-conceit, Vanity, Haughtiness.)
5. He suffered because of Kaikeyi’s instigation by Gūṉi’s anger to ask for a boon.
6. He performed Tapas in the form of a forest exile.
7. He developed a friendship with Nishkāmyam in the name of Guha. Nishkāmyam = Without desire or expectation of something in return.
8. He traversed desire in the name of Ganga.
Vibhīṣaṇa was in a state of horripilation when he thought of Rama and the life events.
9. Rama’s determination was like the Ćitrakūta mountain.
10. He gave his pair of footwears to Bharata: Parajñāṉam (Supreme knowledge) and Aparajñāṉam ( = Secular or inferior knowledge).
11. He vanquished ‘enmity’ in the name of Virātaṉ.
12. He proved that universal compassion applies to all life forms, by showing love to Jadāyu, a bird.
13. He avoided the fire (of infatuation) that was a seductive demoness Sūrppaṇakai.
14. He lost Bliss named Sita by Ravana’s abduction (of Sita).
15. Rama went in search of the ignoramus the black iron-lady Ayōmukhi (a demoness) and released his brother Lakshmana from her.
16. He Vanquished worry in the name of Kavandhan.
17. He offered Mokṣa to Nirvikalpam in the name of Sabari.
18. He subdued Vāli, the epitome of belligerence.
19. He installed Purity named Sugriva as the king.
20. Rama found blessed Sita’s location of internment helped by Hanuman, the personification of True Knowledge or Spiritual Wisdom.
21. Rama built a dam against the ocean of metempsychosis and destroyed evil qualities named Rākṣasas.
22. Rama destroyed Tāmasa Guṇa (mode of darkness) named Kumbakarṇa.
23. Rama killed Ravana with Rākṣasa Guṇa.
24. Rama installed Sattva Guṇa Bhūṣaṇa (the jewel among the Virtuous) as the king in the name of Vibhīṣaṇa.
25. Rama rescued Blissful Sita, took her to the world of Mōkṣa, Ayodhya and became the king.
Vibhīṣaṇa thinking of Rama’s deeds melted. Rama was ready to honor all those who were responsible for his ascent to the throne as the king.
The people who deserved the highest honor came in line upon the roll call. Sugriva, Jāmbhavān, Nīlan, and Vibhīshaṇa were the guests. Vibhīshaṇa came with opposed palms and humility before all the assembled people. A thousand inner meanings and substance transpired when Rama and Sita looked at Vibhīṣaṇa. The assembled people were wondering about the prize appropriate to his honor and achievement he would get on this occasion.
Hanuman carried the Praṇavākāra Perumal’s golden Vimanam and placed it in the view of the assembled people. The eight Ṛṣis showed shock and awe at the sight of Perumal as if they never expected it to arrive before them. Vibhīṣaṇaṉ performed eight-limb prostration upon seeing the Perumal.
As everybody was watching and listening to his homage, Rama addressed the gathering. “My dear guests! People of Ayodhya. Srīsrī Vibhīṣaṇa was a fast friend of mine in Lankapuri. On account of Dharma and in support of me, he opposed his brother Ravana boldly. Because of it, he was chased out of the country and took refuge in me.
He not only identified and revealed Ravana’s illusion but also gave sage advice to Ravana. The sage advice he gave to Ravana with love and compassion did not find acceptance. My deed with the launch of the arrow in anger suppressed and destroyed Ravana. Though Vibhīṣaṇa was shocked to see the death of his brother Ravana, his love and friendship for me overrode his loss and he was the reason I returned victorious to Ayodhya.
When Vibhīṣaṇa had my interest in his mind, no one can oppose it. Vibhīṣaṇa cut his sibling ties with Ravana, became a Muni of impeccable character and earned accolades from all. He is an embodiment of virtue as stated by the Laws of Ethics and justice when it came to the question of how a king should behave. A duty awaits him now: The reconstruction and restoration of Lanka to its greatness. That demands human endeavor and God's help. Wherever temple service and worship exist, passion and anger self-destruct and Bakthi and Buddhi come to the forefront.
As the body becomes strong by exercise, the mind gains strength and wisdom by the path of Bhakti and its observances. Lanka’s first need is that. Ravana’s base behavior brought ruination of Lanka. I had a role in it. Because of it, I must do something for its greatness. I like to offer to Vibhīṣaṇa the erstwhile Ravikula’s God of worship Praṇavākāra Perumal as preeminent repository of grace and desirable gift. I wish no one has any objection and no one should have any objection.
Rama’s lofty speech and its ideas made all silent but horripilated Vibhishana had tears of joy in his eyes.
Rama is the best and the loftiest. There is no one on earth equal him. There will be no one. He has the compassion and consideration as to whom, what and when to offer a gift. It is impossible in this world of Māyā (illusion) to pursue this stance in its perfection.
Some are of the mind to offer their lives. Some people gave life to others. However, to provide something higher than life itself is a rare event.

That is happening now!
To give what one owns and still thinks it is his, is antithetical to the spirit of giving. The assembled people tried to change their mind with great sorrow to the new reality that Praṇavākāra Perumal was not theirs anymore. They decided that in place of Perumal, Srīrāma himself will be their new Perumal.
That is true! Rama is the original and the owner of Praṇavākāra Perumal. That being so, what he made was only a duplicate of the original.
It appeared to Vibhīṣaṇa that Srīrāma gave himself in the form of Praṇavākāra Perumal for safe-keeping. He felt confident that his country would be a Dharmapuri (a place ascendant in Dharma) like Ayodhya.
Vasiṣta Maharishi, keeping silent but watching the events looked at Vibhīṣaṇa with a smile and spoke to him. “King of Lanka! You are a man with great merit. The Perumal that you received as a gift was worshipped in heavens by Brahma.
Later, Ravikulam worshipped Perumal on this earth, and at the end, Srīrāma himself worshipped the Mūrthy. He is endowed with multiple subtilities as the atom is. All received the Mūrthy by the strength of their Tapas. You earned it as a gift! Not that it is great to accept it. It is greater to cherish it properly. Be careful in that effort.
If not…
Will Continue.