(Last Updated on : 19-03-2010)
Vibhishana is a significant character in the epic Ramayana, who served Rama during the fight of Rama and Ravana though he was the brother of Ravana, the king of Lanka. Although Vibhishana was born in Rakshasa dynasty he was a noble character. Vibhishana was against the kidnapping and abduction of Sita. He advised his elder brother Ravana to return Sita to her husband Rama. He was exiled by Ravana and joined Rama's army.Later, when Rama defeated Ravana, he coroneted Vibhishana as the king of Lanka.
Vibhishana was a 'Sattvic' person with pure heart and soul. From his early childhood he was a pious man and spent all his time in meditation on the name of Lord. Brahma was propitiated by his devotion. He appeared eventually and offered Vibhishan any boon he wanted. Vibhishana said that only thing he wanted was to fix his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord. He also prayed to have strength so that he could always remain in association with Lord Vishnu and also wanted a 'Darshan' (holy sight) of the Lord. Vibhishana's prayer was granted. He gave up his wealth and family and joined Rama, who was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Vibhishana was the youngest son of sage Vishrava, the son of sage Pulastya, who was one of the heavenly Guardians. The two elder brothers of Vibhishana were Ravana, the king of Lanka and Kumbhakarna. Although Vibhishana was a descendent of demon race, he was alert and pious and always considered him as a Brahmin, as his father was one.
Vibhishana had difference of opinion with his elder brother Ravana. He protested against the kidnapping of Sita. For this reason, Ravana exiled him from Lanka. Vibhishana's mother Kaikesi advised him to seek the shelter of Rama and to serve him. Rama at that very moment was assembling an army to conquer Ravana and rescue Sita. Lord Rama accepted Vibhishana's service and then on Vibhishana was his companion during the war.
In the Lanka war Vibhishana became a valuable asset to Rama and his army as he had many secret knowledge about Lanka. Vibhishana without any hesitation disclosed many secrets and thus became the key factor for Rama's success in the war. Vibhishana revealed the secret path to the temple of Mata Nikumbala, the family deity of Pulastya clan, and Lakshman went there to destroy the Yajna of Indrajit before his fight with Indrajit. However, Vibhishana is also known as a great traitor for this act.
Vibhishana is a symbol of devotion to Shri Rama. He established the fact that a person from any birth and any clan can be the devotee of supreme lord in any circumstances of life.
After Ravana's death in the war Rama anointed Vibhishana as the King of Lanka. Vibhishana transformed his subjects from the path of evil to the path of Darma (righteousness). His wife Queen Sharama was also a pious lady and helped Vibhishana in his effort.
When Shri Rama left Ayodhya at the end of his reign, he revealed his original form as Vishnu and asked Vibhishana to stay on earth to show people the path of truth and righteousness. Hence Vibhishana is said to be one among the eight immortals or Chiranjeevins. Lord Vishnu also ordered Vibhishana to worship Lord Ranganatha ,the family deity of Sun Dynasty, to which Shri Rama belonged.