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VibhIshaNa SaraNAgathi and killing of Ravana

From: V. Chandrasekaran (
Date: Fri Oct 16 1998 - 04:30:32 PDT

Dear Members,
   My Namaskarams to one and all.
   It's been an interesting series of posts by learned members of 
this group about "vibhIshaNa SaraNAgathi" which is an illustrious 
portion of the epic, that elicits the Lord's ready admission to 
His Feet for pure and sincere bhaktas.
 My view is more in the lines of the posting of Sri Ramakrishnan 
Balasubramanian. Pls. read on.

   A gn~yani knows the Truth, the Truth that Body being material
is `immaterial' and it's the jIvan that "Is". So when the Lord who 
is the Ultimate of gn~yanis, in His avatar, punishes a particular so 
called `individual', His intention is not to inflict pain on the sthUla 
SarIram of that individual entity. He only puts a `period' to the play 
of that sthUlam on this earth which would otherwise go on causing damage 
to dharma. This act of His doesn't smack of any lack of mercy. 
   So actually, Lord's mercy comes to be talked and enjoyed about,
only when He grants or not grants His Holy Feet to a jIvan and not 
when he chooses to strike or not strike with His Great weapons, 
which in my opinion are only symbols of His Omnipotent Nature.
   After all, why should we think that the kAruNya rAman did not 
show mercy to the asuras like Ravana etal., when he is Omniscient 
and is in the know that Ravana is noone but the Mighty Guard of His 
Divine Abode who took such abject birth after incurring the sin of 
causing apachAram to sanakAdhi munIs. So if He really meant to not 
show mercy to Ravana would he not have dumped the jIvan into the 
nether lOkAs besides afflicting severe pain to his sthUlam. But he 
took Ravana back to parama padham after waiting for one (??) more 
samhAram during krishna avathAr abiding by the curse on the jIvan. 
This shows that rAma's or krishNa's striking or not striking somebody 
won't mean He didn't show mercy etc., because He never considers the 
bodies that He fells as anything more than flesh, blood and bones. 
Would it not be a misunderstanding of the essential nature of the 
Lord to think otherwise, He being the Supreme gn~yani who preached
and made Arjuna realise that:
 "what gets destroyed by your bow is only the bodies which don't 
  have existence after the soul parts it; but know that, that which 
  pervades these bodies and all, that jIvA, is eternal and cannot
  be destroyed...."

  In this light of thoughts, can we still continue to think that 
rAmA intended to punish the asurAs by striking their bodies by
his kOdhandam and didn't possess mercy in doing so?!

In this same line of discussion, one more thing could be thought of:
  We call this event as "gajEndra mOksham". This is because we don't 
think that the Lord saved the elephant only from the physical pains 
of getting horribly bitten by the reptile but saved from the earthly 
ills and granted it mOksham.
  So Lord's mercy is aptly talked about and enjoyed only in terms 
of His granting mOksham to a jIvan.