Vibhishan's diary entry just after he is accepted by Shri Ram
Jai Shri Ram.
Even the freedom to utter or pen down those three words –
those three heart-warming, soul-stirring, liberating words – without the threat
of admonition or persecution is truly a blessing. What, then, can I say about the other
benedictions this day has bestowed on me? I am aware that words are acutely incapable
of capturing what all I have gained today; the limits of language cannot convey
the emotions that have filled every fiber of my being since what was verily the
greatest moment of my existence – in this lifetime, or any prior one.
Still, I will try, for the joy is far too overpowering for
me to simply contain within myself, and far too uplifting for me to selfishly
hold onto without sharing of it with whoever may read this in the future. Text
after sacred text has foreshadowed the tragic state of the coming yugas, particularly
Kaliyug. Who knows how many Vibhishans
will find themselves trapped in evil, ignorant company as the gentle tongue
between sharp teeth, buckling under peer pressure and abide by the toxic philosophy of "if you
can't beat them, join them". It pains me
to imagine how they will prioritize loyalty towards transient ties of blood and
country and the term religion in the manmade sense, which change from birth to
birth, over the higher calling of the conscience and that Eternal Consciousness
of which it is an instrument.
Thus here I am, to bear witness to virtues of doing
otherwise. And what did I even do,
actually? Simply stood by what I felt
was right rather than bowing before the pressures of the moment, and Shri Ram
himself did the rest. I barely took one step towards Him, and He Himself came the
rest of the way. I left my motherland in the morning, thinking I had lost
everything. I gave my mother Kaikasi, my wife Sarma and our sweet children what
I thought would be one last embrace, headed towards an uncertain fate at the
hands of a mighty army who would view me as nothing but a spy from the enemy
camp. While the great Hanumanji had assured me of the Lord's unconditional
mercy, I had to experience it to actually believe it, and surely His other
associates would not be so trusting.
So yes, I left Lanka feeling like an outcaste, a pauper, and
even a fool for thinking there might be a chance that I would someday find a
place where I would belong . I was merely content that I practiced my
principles rather than simply preaching about "neeti" in that pitiful so-called
court, where only sweet-tongued puppets were allowed to speak. Content, but not happy and secure, and most of
all, I felt painfully alone. I was glad
to be heading in the right direction, but unsure of whether I would actually reach
the destination (not merely his encampment, but His Lotus feet).
But from the very
first glimpse of that Nayan-anand, all these doubts vanished just as morning mist
does in the light of the rising sun.
From the moment I saw His face, my eyes could not be made to look away.
It was not because I was awestruck by some 'viraat' otherworldly form, but
because He was just the opposite! Brahmaji had told me that the Lord of the
three worlds would be taking this incarnation, but nothing about Him suggested
that He was "THE MAN ABOVE". He looked,
quite simply, like one of us! So gentle,
so serene, so benevolent, so welcoming, so humble! He sat on the same grass platform as his
associates, not a finger's width higher.
He wore the simple attire of a forest dweller and not a trace of wealth
or superiority or difference… for instance, my brother wears his tilak to
proclaim to the world that he is a devotee of Lord Shiv Shankar, but sure doesn't
behave accordingly. Shri Ram bears no such ritualistic symbol, and yet he
radiates with those virtues attributed to pure Shaivas more intensely than I've
ever seen in my life.
I guess that is what this form of Shri Hari is all about; He
is taking on the role of an equal and at times even a devotee of his own devotees. Tribhuvan ka swami bhakton ka das hai! I went to take refuge at His feet; instead He
embraced me, sat me at the same level as Himself, and admired me for the
strength I showed by holding onto my beliefs a in city of sin… strength that He Himself kept on giving
me! He promised this exiled outcaste an
opportunity to not only return to my homeland with full respect, but in fact
serve as its leader and restore its place as a just and virtuous kingdom. Most importantly, He made me one of His
own. From having to sever my ties with
everyone I considered my own and thinking myself to be alone, I now have
somewhere I belong… and someone to whom I belong. He knows that His divine army has the
strength to bring evil to justice without any help from me; not only that but
He Himself is sufficient to do so, even without any army. But still, He included me, gave me a way to
constantly see and serve Him and make my life worthwhile. Ek akinchan pe bada upkaar kiya; nij pad seva
ka avsar mohe diya! Now I haven't a fear
on concern in the world – He has me all taken care of.
For those of you whose hands this diary might find itself in
the future, THAT is what can result from resisting the pressures of sinful
company in a world full of dangerous temptations. All you have to do is stay away from evil,
and God Himself will take you by the hand and lead you towards good. And on the side of good, there are no fears,
no insecurities, no worries, and no loneliness.
You, too, will be all taken care of.
With that, I sign off on this entry. Until next time,
Jai Shri Ram!