Will to protect

Scriptural teachings endorse that the highest duty lies in

protecting one who seeks help or refuge; and this plea for

help does not go in vain especially when the person approached has the compassion towards the seeker, besides

the ability and willingness to help.

Rama takes up this argument to show that He is only following these principles upheld by His illustrious forbears

and preceptors such as Vasishta and Vishwamitra when He

wishes to accept Vibhishana’s plea to be protected, pointed

out Sri V. Karunakarachariar in a discourse. The episodes of

Trisanku and Sunaschepa show how Vishwamitra does not

hesitate to sacrifice the benefits of all his hard earned penance to keep up his word of protecting these two who seek his help. The sage, who realises the superiority of Brahma Tejas over all the entire Kshatriya power, renounces his kingdom and decides to purify his senses and mind through severe penance.

At that time, Trisanku, driven by a preposterous desire to

attain swarga loka with his physical body, seeks the help of

the sage. Vishwamitra promises to intervene and conducts a

yaga to this end. Against stiff resistance from Indra, the sage

makes Trisanku rise heavenward with his chandala body. Indra then does not allow entry and pushes him down. Vishwamitra, in great rage, then starts to create a new heaven in mid air exclusively for Trisanku and Indra seeks to pacify the sage’s anger through compromise. The sage accedes, but in the course of all this loses the power of his penance.

In the case of Sunaschepa, who seeks Vishwamitra’s help

when he is to be offered as a human sacrifice in a yagna, the

sage teaches him a powerful mantra that would surely save

his life if chanted with total faith at the time of the sacrifice.

Sunaschepa does so and is saved by Lord Narayana Himself

who comes in person mounted on the Garuda.