Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This page describes Break between Ravana and Bibhishana which is the second part of chapter VII of the English translation of the Jain Ramayana, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. This Jain Ramayana contains the biographies of Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana, Naminatha, Harishena-cakravartin and Jaya-cakravartin: all included in the list of 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 2: Break between Rāvaṇa and Bibhīṣaṇa

Then Bibhīṣaṇa went to Daśāsya, bowed, and said: “Be gracious for a moment. Consider my speech which would have good results. Before, without reflecting you kidnaped another’s wife, causing destruction of two worlds. Your family was shamed by that. Kākutstha has come to take his wife with him. This alone is hospitality—surrender his wife. Otherwise, Rāma will take Sītā from you and will destroy your whole family with you. To say nothing of Rāma and Saumitri who caused the death of rash Khara, did Your Majesty not see Hanumat, one of his soldiers? Your glory is greater than Indra’s glory. Do not destroy it because of Sītā. In this way your ruin of both kinds[1] would take place.”

Then Indrajit said: “Our whole family has been disgraced by you timid from birth. You are not my father’s brother. Thinking our father, who is the conqueror of Indra even, the leader of complete success, capable of such conduct, you certainly wish to die, fool. Formerly our father was tricked by you telling lies, since you did not kill Daśaratha after promising to do so. * You wish to protect Dāśarathi, who has come here, from our father, you who show fear, born from earth-dwellers, shameless. I think you are a partisan of Rāma. Even in counsel you are not superior. Counsel by a wise minister has good results for kings.”

Bibhīṣaṇa said: “I am certainly not a partisan of the enemy. But you have sprung up, an enemy in the form of a son, causing the destruction of the family. While your father here is blind from power and love, what do you, as if blind from birth, know, O foolish suckling! King, soon you will perish because of this son and your own conduct. I grieve in vain on your account.”

Extremely angry, Rāvaṇa drew his terrifying sword and, corrupted by fate, got up actually to kill Bibhīṣaṇa. Bibhīṣaṇa, terrifying from a frown, pulled up a long post, like an elephant, and got up to fight Rāvaṇa. They were prevented from fighting by Kumbhakarṇa and Indrajit, who intervened quickly, and were led to their respective places like elephants to stables.

“Get out of my city. You are consuming your shelter like a fire.” So ordered by Rāvaṇa, Bibhīṣaṇa went near Rāma. Thirty proud army divisions of Rākṣasas and Vidyādharas deserted the lord of Laṅkā at once and followed Bibhīṣaṇa. Seeing him approaching, Sugrīva and others trembled. For there is no confidence in an enemy like a witch. He announced himself by sending one of his men to Rāma first and Rāma looked at Sugrīva’s face, a vessel of confidence. Sugrīva said: “Even if these trifling Rākṣasas are deceitful from birth by nature, nevertheless let him come here. We will learn from spies his intentions good or bad and we shall act here in accordance with his ascertained intention, lord.”

A Khecara, named Viśāla, conversant with these affairs, said: “Bibhīṣaṇa alone among the Rākṣasas is noble and righteous. He was banished by his brother who was very angry because he spoke for Sītā’s release. He has come to you for protection. This is not otherwise.”

Hearing this, Rāma had Bibhīṣaṇa admitted by the door-keeper and hastened to embrace him whose head was bowed at his feet. Bibhīṣaṇa said: “I have left my elder brother who is unethical and have come to you. Command me devoted, like Sugrīva.” Then Rāghava conferred on him the realm of Laṅkā. Sometimes sub-mission to the great is not in vain.

Footnotes and references:


Life and glory.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: