Saranagati dharma means that even if an enemy seeks protection, it must be offered. If a person refuses to help one who seeks help, all the sorrows of the one who has sought help will accrue to the one who refuses to help, said Navalpakkam V. Vasudevachariar, in a discourse. It sometimes happens that a person might have wronged us. But if the same person were to apologise, one must not remind them of their faults but must graciously accept their apologies.

In the Ramayana, Lord Rama does not probe the reasons for Vibhishana’s crossing over to His side. It is enough that Vibhishana has surrendered to the Lord. While welcoming Vibhishana, the Lord says that He will welcome anyone who surrenders to Him.

Rama does not utter even a word of criticism against Kaikeyi who is responsible for His exile. He has no ill feeling against Bharata, who is going to reign in His stead. He tells Sita to be respectful towards all the queens, including Kaikeyi. He asks Her to think of Bharata and Shatrugna as Her brothers and sons.

Later when Sita is kept captive in Lanka, She is unable to bear Her separation from Rama. But the demoness Trijata comforts Her saying she has seen the triumph of Rama and Lakshmana in a dream. In the dream, Vibhishana is the only one among the asuras who has been left unharmed. Trijata urges the other demon women to surrender to Sita, for Her mercy will save them from Rama’s wrath.

Hanuman, perched on a tree, has overheard Trijata’s words. When Hanuman reveals that he is the messenger of Rama, Sita describes Her life in Ayodhya. She emphasises a sterling quality of Rama’s, namely His kindness. Rama will never utter a harsh word, She says.

Once the war is over and Ravana slain, Hanuman carries the message of Rama’s victory to Sita. He requests that Sita permit him to kill all the demonesses. But Sita stops him. She tells Hanuman that there is no one who is totally sinless. Thus, Sita proves that She too, like Rama, forgives even those who cause Her sorrow. The capacity to forgive is the best virtue a person can have, and the Ramayana clearly shows this.

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