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The meaning of «vibhishana»

Vibhishana (IAST: Vibhīṣaṇa or Bibhishan) is the younger brother of Ravana, the king of Lanka in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana.[1] Though a Rakshasa himself, Vibhishana deserted Ravana and joined Rama's army. Later, when Rama defeated Ravana, Rama crowned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka before returning to Ayodhya.

Vibhishana had a sattvic (pure) mind and a sattvic heart. From his early childhood, he spent all his time meditating on the name of the Lord. Eventually, Brahma appeared and offered him any boon he wanted. Vibhishana said that the only thing he wanted was to have his mind fixed at the feet of the Lord as pure as lotus leaves (charan kamal). He prayed that he should be given the strength by which he would always be at the feet of the Lord and that he would receive the darshan (holy sight) of Lord Vishnu. This prayer was fulfilled when he was able to give up all his wealth and family, and join Rama, who was Avatar of Lord Vishnu (God incarnate).

Vibhishana was the youngest son of Kaikesi and Sage Vishrava, who was himself a son of Sage Pulatsya, one of the Heavenly Guardians. He (Vibhishana) was the younger brother of the Lord of Lanka, Ravana and Kumbakarna. Even though he was born in the demon race, he was alert and pious and considered himself a Brahmin, since his father was intuitively such. When Kaikesi, daughter of the demon Sumali, expressed to Vishrava her wish to become his wife, Vishrava said that due to her asking this wish at such an inauspicious time that their children would be born with horrible body structure and cruel nature. Hearing this, Kaikesi fell at the Brahmin's foot and began crying. Observing this, Vishrava said that destiny could not be changed, but due to Kaikesi's devotion and actions as a dutiful wife that their youngest son would be born with normal body structure and a pious mind though the others would remain same.

Due to Vibhishana's differences with Ravana, because he was against the act of kidnapping Sita and most of all because Ravana wanted the throne for himself, he fled Lanka. His mother, Kaikesi, advised him to go and serve Shri Rama, who was at that time assembling an army to conquer Ravana and to recover Sita. He divulged the secrets of Ravana's army and made sure Rama was victorious in the great battle. Lord Rama accepted Vibhishana's service and anointed him the Lord of Lanka after Ravana's death.

In the Lanka War, Vibhishana's knowledge about the secrets of Lanka proved invaluable to Shri Rama. Vibhishana freely divulged many secrets that became key to the success of Rama's attack, including revealing the secret path to the temple of Mata Nikumbala, the family deity of the Pulatsya Clan. In the climactic battle between Rama and Ravana, when Rama was unable to kill Ravana, he revealed the secret of Ravana's death to Rama. He told Rama that Ravana has stored the nectar of immortality in his belly and it is necessary to dry it. With this knowledge, Rama was finally able to kill Ravana.

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