Vibhishan was the youngest brother of Ravan and he is the only one who had defected on Ram’s side before the final battle between Ram and Ravan. Vibhishan, though being Ravan’s brother, led a life of a Brahmin and his ways were not similar to his brother’s.
It is said, that Vibhishan, also did penance to Lord Brahma and when he too was offered a boon, he simply asked for being close to the Lord’s (Lord Vishnu) feet. Ravan was extremely disappointed with him for ‘wasting’ a boon when he came to know about it. Ravan and Vibhishan never agreed on many issues, the conflict came to a decisive point when Vibhishan suggested that Ravan should return Sita with all the due courtesy and honour, needless to say, that he should apologise too. This irked Ravan to no end, and the two decided to part, with Vibhishan, going over to Ram’s side.
Many see this conflict as a conflict of right vs. wrong, a moral dilemma. Should one stay with the King and support him even if he is on the path of delusion leading to a mass destruction or should one chalk one’s own path of righteousness? Should one risk one’s life for the King’s immoral ways or should one follow the path of ethical conduct?
In my opinion, Vibhishan was partly correct. Yes one should not be party to unethical conduct, whosoever it is and protesting is in order. But I disagree with his joining the enemy (in this case of the State) and further down, divulging all the secrets of his family’s invincibility. Without him, it would not have been possible to find the secret path to the
, the place where Meghnaad, his nephew, was performing his Yagna which needed to be disturbed to kill him. Again without his divulging the secret of where to strike to kill Ravan, Ram could not have been able to vanquish his opponent. It is not for no reason that we say in Hindi - घर का भेदी लंका ढाए, meaning that it takes a traitor from the family to bring destruction, even to an empire like Lanka! It is not a surprise, that at the end of it all, he was crowned the King of Lanka. temple of Mata Nikumbala
Well one can only say – Morality pays, and it pays pretty well!