A Blog on Mythology and occasionally on Reality.

This is a Blog on Mythology, both Indian and World and especially the analysis of the myths.

In effect, the interpretation of the inherent Symbolism.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ravan’s Family – Vibhishan

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 temple of Mata Nikumbala, 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.

Well one can only say – Morality pays, and it pays pretty well!


  1. Many years ago when I was in school, I read Ramayan and I still remember few things about Vibhishan. I am not sure how true or un-true that is. Vibhishan had a secret desire to become the king of Lanka. When Ravan kidnapped Sita, he saw the opportunity and took full advantage of it. He broght the whole house down and got all killed. He really wanted Ravan, Kumbhkarn and Meghnaad all dead so he could become king and he really did.
    Also he could have taken an easy and more sensible route by taking Sita from Ahokvatica and handed her to Ram by himself. He could have easily done that.

  2. Across the country and even abroad, there are different versions of Ramayan and every writer has interpreted it the way he say the story or characters. So what you recollect could just have been a version. There is no denying any version, but one must remember, that it is another version and it is for us to take it or leave it.