When Sugriva advises Lord Rama against admitting Vibhishana into their camp, Rama uses many arguments to convince Sugriva that Vibhishana should be welcomed, explained Navalpakkam Vasudevachariar, in a discourse.
In this context, He quotes the words of sage Kandu, whom Rama refers to as Paramarishi. If an enemy comes to one offering supplication and seeking refuge, then he should not be turned away. Even if there is the possibility that the enemy will turn against his saviour, after having obtained his mercy, still, if the enemy surrenders, one should not turn him away.
No excuses can be offered for not offering protection to the one who has sought it. If one were to turn one’s back on a person who seeks protection, then the sins of the one turned away will accrue to the one who has adamantly refused to offer protection, and the merits of the one who refuses to save, will go to the one who has surrendered, the sage is quoted as saying. Therefore to accept Vibhishana’s surrender is important, argues Rama, for whom it is enough if a person surrenders once. Rama will take a pledge to save that person.
Rama wanted to show that accepting one who surrenders was a practice that had been in vogue for millennia, and that He was only following the tradition.
We commit many sins in our lives, but we are not punished severely because, as children, we would have offered anjali to the Lord. He remembers our innocent gesture and lets us off lightly. Take the case of Kakasura. When the Lord sent His arrow after the demon, there was none to offer him protection. So Kakasura ran into the Lord’s abode, with the arrow still pursuing him. He fell at the Lord’s feet in exhaustion. He did not even do a proper saranagati, and yet the Lord did not punish him severely. Had Kakasura been let off without any punishment, he would have been tempted to repeat his sinful acts. But the punishment he received would serve as a reminder that he should not harass anyone else, as he had harassed Sita. So, for Kakasura’s sin, the punishment was light, and that was because he happened to fall at the Lord’s feet.