We are now at a stage wherein on one side, Vibhishana wants to surrender unconditionally to Lord Rama’s feet and take refuge and on the other side we have Sugriva and Co. who are skeptical about Vibhishana’s request. They think that this might be a ploy of Ravana to cheat Rama and use this opportunity to get insider information of the Vaanara army. In short, Sugriva is of the opinion that Vibhishana is a spy. Thus he represents his opinion that Vibhishana should not be let off and should be taken to task immediately!
Lord Rama listens patiently to Sugriva’s argument and then turns towards Hanuman to ask his version of this situation. As Hanuman narrates his version, he explains to Rama and the Vaanaras how Vibhishana was the only person who spoke in favour of Hanuman amidst all the ministers in Ravana’s court and how Vibhishana saved his life. Moreover, Hanuman also explains that Vibhishana is an “odd man out” in the entire Lanka city who is a “Dharmaathma” (A person who always thinks and does things in the righteous manner). As Sugriva and Co. listen to Hanuman’s accord, they’re surprised!
Now, Lord Rama has to take the decision and the onus lies on him! He has now heard from both sides – Sugriva and Hanuman. What is going to be the decision? Should he accept or reject Vibhishana’s surrender? He now analyses within himself as to why Sugriva is against Vibhishana. As Rama thinks, he realizes that Sugriva is not actually against Vibhishana, but he is afraid if there might be any danger to Rama’s life in the form of Vibhishana.
This is a very important point here – If we call ourselves as “devotees” of Bhagawan, we should always focus on the well-being of Bhagawan and not ours! This is what is called “Ardent Devotion”. Hence to calm down Sugriva, Rama now shows his immense strength and invincible powers to Sugriva:
“Mithra bhaavena sampraaptham nathvajeyam na kanchana!
Doshoyadhyabhi kasyasyaath sathaamethath anarhitham!!
Vishaachaan dhaanavaan yakshaan prithivyaanchaiva raakshasaan!
Angulyagrena thaanhalyaan icchan hari ganeshwara!!”
Thus Lord Rama explains to Sugriva, “Oh Sugriva! You don’t worry about me! Let anybody in this world come to fight me or kill me. I know how to handle them. Forget bows, arrows, swords, etc. I can kill them even with the tip of my finger (“Angulyagrena thaanhalyaan”)! That is my level of powers. Hence, oh Sugriva! Be confident. I shall take care of myself, even if there is a catastrophe!”
As Rama says that he is extremely invincible, Sugriva thinks for a fraction of a second – “If Rama is this powerful, he could have taken on Ravana singlehandedly! Why is he troubling all of us?”
As Sugriva thinks thus for a split of a second, Rama immediately changes his way of addressing him. He includes the phrase, “Hari ganeshwara!!” It means, “Leader of the Vaanara army!!” Now why is Rama saying this to Sugriva? It is just to remind him that Sugriva is the leader of the Vaanara army today, only because of Rama’s killing of Vaali! So it is the duty of Sugriva to reciprocate Rama’s help and this is why all of them have come along, to fight Ravana in the battle!
This is another characteristic of a Charismatic leader – “A leader should be able to forsee what kind of thought process the other person goes through and immediately change and modify his/her talking!” Lord Rama does exactly this here! The moment Sugriva thinks as to why is Rama troubling all of them, Rama immediately changes his sentence so as to remind Sugriva of his past! 🙂
Now having heard this from Rama, Sugriva is slowly getting convinced! But does he fully get convinced? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!