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45-Sugreev on Raavan

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Did Sugreev Lie About Raavan?
[Valmiki Ramayan 4/41]

A controversy is there in this statement of Sugreev that "That is the province of Raavan whose glow equals to thousand-eyed Indra."

Earlier Sugreev said, "Not known is the domain of that sinning demon at all, nor his capabilities... or valor...or even about his sinister dynasty or lineage..." [Valmiki Ramayan, 4/7/2] And he is now specifically stating where Raavan will be. Then it may be asked whether Sugreev bluffed Raam as at Valmiki Ramayan, 4/7/2, for which it is that Sugreev being an intelligent kingly being he did not reveal the truth as an 'official secret...'.

Otherwise if Sugreev had told all this to Raam in the first instance that where Raavan was, Raam might have gone straight to Lankaa to eliminate Raavan, thereby Sugreev's politics, ie, the elimination of Baali or getting to Kishkindhaa, wouldn't work. It is correct that Sugreev knew that Raavan dwelt in Lankaa but on abducting Seetaa "where was he" was not certain. Hence a doubtful situation cannot be stated assertively, that to, to a friend, for it ensues Mitra Droh "cheating a friend..."

On the other hand, it is said that Sugreev came to know about the details of Raavan through Taaraa only, when Taaraa explained Lakshman about the establishment of Raavan. But Sugreev as the prince regent of Kishkindhaa and participant in all the activities of the kingdom should have known this before. Knowing about Raavan through Taaraa is an evasive statement. Hence, it is said that Sugreev purposefully did not reveal the details about Raavan to Raam, because he wanted his own interests should be met with first.

In turn it is asked as to why Sugreev should send so many monkeys to all corners of compass when the kidnapper and his location were known to him, for which it may be said that no thief hides his booty in his place, like cat changes the places of kittens, a thief also changes his own place, as well as the stolen thing. So might have Raavan too. That is why throughout this, the previous, and the next chapters, Sugreev went on repeating his order, "search for Seetaa and for the residency of Raavan...".

Even here, Sugreev is not able to describe the interior of Lankaa as he is not well acquainted with it. Raam, who is astounded at the geographical description of Sugreev, himself does not ask Sugreev as to why this particular place of Raavan was not indicated to Him earlier. So, the denial of information earlier by Sugreev is completely political, and the dealings presently being done to search Seetaa are his friendlily requital.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 04/13/13