Lord Rama crossed the ocean and surveyed the enemy territory. Above the gateway of the city of Lanka, stood Ravana, with all his royal paraphernalia. The scars he had acquired in his battle against Indra were visible. These were the scars from wounds inflicted by Airavata, Indra’s elephant. On seeing Ravana, Sugriva was infuriated, and he informed Ravana that he was Sugriva, friend and servant of Rama. He then flung himself on Ravana.

The two engaged in wrestling for a long time, neither gaining the upper hand. Finally, Ravana decided to resort to magic to defeat Sugriva. Sensing this, Sugriva leaped back to where Rama was. Rama was concerned about the recklessness of Sugriva’s action and told him that if harm had befallen Sugriva, then Rama would have had no use for Sita or Lakshmana. In fact, after vanquishing Ravana and rescuing Sita, He would have installed Bharata on the throne of Ayodhya and given up His life. Such was the regard Rama had for Sugriva, said Navalpakkam Vasudevachariar, in a discourse. Earlier, Rama Himself had referred to Sugriva as an incomparable friend.

When Vibhishana approached Rama to seek refuge at His feet, everyone, except Hanuman, suggested that Vibhishana be turned away. Sugriva even said that one who turned against his own brother should not be trusted. Coming from Sugriva, this was ironical, for Sugriva himself had come to Rama seeking His help to destroy Vali, his own brother. Anyway, Rama smiled, when He heard Sugriva’s words, and told him that not all friends could be compared to Sugriva.

Not all brothers were like Bharata and not all sons were like Rama. Bharata had already come in for praise from Guha, who said that in the whole world, there was none to equal Bharata, and that even a thousand Ramas could not equal himRama was an incomparable son, because He was perfectly calm, when His father offered Him the kingdom and perfectly calm when He was exiled. How many sons have the good fortune to have so devoted a father like Dasaratha who died after separating from Rama? Hence Rama called Himself an incomparable son.

Keywords: RamayanaRamaRavanaSugriva

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