One of those who were supremely happy with the auspicious turn of events was Lakshamana, who looked a picture of peace and contentment, besides exuding a rare glow befitting an immediate brother of Sri Rama. In the army barrack, the great ones were together. Rama took the earliest opportunity to tell Lakshmana something which had been engaging his mind from a long time.
“Soumya!” said Rama to his loyal brother, “I would like you to make immediate arrangements for the coronation of Vibheeshana who is attached and loyal to us and who has helped us a great deal right up to this moment. I have been longing to see him coronated as the king of Lanka. As the younger brother of Ravana, it would be right to install him.”
Sri Rama’s command was always a benediction from Lakshmana’s angle. He was equally glad that the great one chose to act briskly to install Vibheeshana on the royal throne. Obeying his directions, Lakshmana sent for a gold vessel (kalasham) at once. As it arrived, he placed it in the hands of Vaanara chiefs, who were noted for their extraordinary swift movements and asked them to fetch holy water from the ocean. They brought pure water from the ocean as ordained, sparing no time whatsoever.
Meanwhile, all arrangements had been made for Vibheeshana’s coronation. Surrounded by all the rakshasas, Vibheeshana adorned the gem-studded royal throne that had been installed. On an elevated platform, Lakshmana had kept the gold kalasha containing the holy water brought by the Vaanara chiefs and offered puja to it, invoking the blessings of Gurus and Gods. At the end of the ceremony, as commanded by Sri Rama, he sprinkled the holy waters on Vibheeshana to the accompaniment of prescribed Vedic chants, many of the well-meaning rakshasa leaders and Vaanara chiefs also followed suit in sprinkling the sacred waters on him. All the ministers and devotees of Vibheeshana were elated at the coronation of the supreme head of the rakshasa clan, as the new king of Sri Lanka. In their ecstasy, they all sang in praise of Sri Rama himself! But the one who was overjoyed was none other than Rama himself. So was Lakshmana. Rama’s joy knew no bounds as he had nurtured the idea of seeing Vibheeshana on the Lankan throne.
Vibheeshana knew that the great Rama had offered the vast empire of Lanka as a token of blessing. He accepted it with reverence and gratitude. After making peaceful gestures to the people who had gathered, he went to Rama. The rakshasas who were delighted paid respects to their king with all auspicious things and articles. Vibheeshana for his part, made over all of them to Sri Rama and Lakshmana at once! It was a moment of fulfillment for Vibheeshana. It was an hour of achievement and a day of realization for him. In order to make him feel as happy as the occasion demanded, both Rama and Lakshmana accepted the auspicious offerings.
Message to Sita
Hanuman was standing politely with folded hands. Rama called him and asked him to carry the welcome message of Ravana’s death to Sita and the message of mutual welfare. Rama, however, did not forget the protocol. “Take Vibheeshana’s permission” he said to Hanuman, “and enter Lanka. Meet Mythili and make enquiries about her health. Thereafter, tell her that Sugreeva, Lakshmana and I are safe. Bring a message from her as you return”.
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