With Respect to Vali?

Many find it easy to cast Vali as a villain, and explain killing him. The idea of Rama shooting from behind is a bit difficult to explain. But that he is a villain and deserves punishment is accepted and not questioned. The only version of Vail’s villainy is as projected by Sugriva. The Discourse that Vali has with Tara makes it very clear that Vali is reasonable and does not wish to kill Sugriva (4-12-11) . Vali character as projected by Sugriva shows that he is strict and tough. That being the case, Sugriva closing the cave on assumed death of Vali is an unpardonable decision. To make the matter clearer the story goes as follows. When Maayaavi challenged Vali He immediately rushed to meet him. Though Sugriva and others pleaded him to desist Vali spurned all of them away and forged ahead (4-9-8) . Sugriva also follows him against instructions. Now when Maayaavi runs into a crater and disappears Sugriva is instructed to stand guard on the entrance. It is here that Sugriva makes the mistake of closing the hole for whatever reason that may seem to him to be right. For this he is only banished (4-8-32) from kingdom by Vali. So Vali is not criminal or Villain who needs to be killed. Rama must have known this that is why when Rama and Lakshmana approach him when lying with mortal wound they approach him with respect (4-17-12b, 13) . This respect shows that Vali is not one to be despised but respected and only by quirk of fate happens to be at the receiving end of Rama’s arrow.

List of Slokas

Sanskrit English
4-12-11
तम् अद्य एव प्रियार्थम् मे वैरिणम् भ्रातृ रूपिणम् |
वालिनम् जहि काकुत्स्थ मया बद्धो अयम् अंजलिः || ४-१२-११
Oh, Rama, today itself you eliminate that enemy of mine in a brother’s semblance for my happiness, for which I adjoin my palms in supplication.” Thus Sugreeva requested Rama. Back
4-9-8
स तु निर्धूय सर्वान् नो निर्जगाम महाबलः |
ततः अहम् अपि सौहार्दान् निःसृतः वालिना सह || ४-९-८
But Vali spurned all of us away and forged ahead, and then I also have started to go along with Vali in all my predisposition. Back
4-8-32
पुरा अहम् वलिना राम राज्यात् स्वात् अवरोपितः |
परुषाणि च संश्राव्य निर्धूतो अस्मि बलीयसा || ४-८-३२
Earlier he that forceful Vali deposed me from my kingdom, oh Rama, and speaking harsh words he even banished me. Back
4-17-12b,13
तम् तथा पतितम् वीरम् गत अर्चिष्मतम् इव अनलम् || ४-१७-१२
बहुमान्य च तम् वीरम् वीक्षमाणम् शनैरिव |
उपयातौ महावीर्यौ भ्रातरौ राम लक्ष्मणौ || ४-१७-१३
On seeing the brave Vali fallen like that, who by now is like fire with extinguished tongues of flames, and who is seeing droopily, those two valiant brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, neared him with due honour. Back

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All Sloka Translations are from the site Valmiki Ramayana

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rema A K
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 12:32:29

    Also when Vali is persumed to be dead it was duty of sugriva to make angatha as King not anoint himself Hence Sugriva definitely needs to be punished for misconduct

    Reply

  2. Kausik
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 20:45:58

    Look at Rama’s decision as one taken by a person who has lost his wife to another man and then comment on his judgement. in reading Vaali.

    Reply

  3. Pi Laminar
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 11:11:11

    Mr writer , I’m not sure why you are hiding atrocities of Vali like rape and tyranny.Half truth is like lie sir .

    Reply

    • mghariharan
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 11:49:50

      I told you he is an aataatayee. Probably the word (आतंकवादी )originates from this ( I am not a linguist). Having many queens is not a crime. Dasharatha had many queens and concubines 3 of them were prominent. Probably only Rama had एकपत्नी व्रत

      Reply

  4. Nayonika
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 16:53:58

    Vali was killed in man to man combat , you must crosscheck Sarga 19 Verse 12 of Kishkindha Kanda .

    Reply

    • mghariharan
      Mar 14, 2012 @ 23:38:14

      This is not correct As Angada’s anga sena Ran the women who were not witness to the fight are exaggerating and assuming Rama shot many arrows at Vali though Rama kills Vali with single arrow as promised This has been discussed in my blog, in many places including while reporting on SrinivasaShastri’s lectures

      Reply

  5. Nayonika
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 03:32:18

    Where did you find it was the female monkey who reported it . Verse 4-19-6 clearly indicates the monkey returning from the combat field reported it to Tara. People do not lie unless there is a motive. What was the motive of those who reported these incidences to Tara. Are you suggesting all the Vanar lied? They were frightened because Sugreev will avenge and they narrated it to her that they are looking for wives. Are you trying to say they showed valor of Vali by narrating might of Rama? Sorry I fail to see any connection. And it is not only the civilians of Kishkindha are reporting it . Hanuman reported the word combat to Sita ji at least twice . It is further repeated by Hanuman ji that Vali was killed in a combat fair fight not treacherously as some people want to infer in Sunderkanda Sarga 35 verse 50 and also in verse 51

    tatastaabhyaam kumaaraabhyaam viiraabhyaam sa hariishvaraH |
    kiSkindhaam samuupaagamya vaalii yuddhe nipaatitaH || 5-35-50

    “Thereafter, Rama and Lakshmana the two valiant princes reached Kishkindha. Rama killed Vali the king of monkeys there in a COMBAT

    tato nihatya tarasaa raamo vaalinam aahave |
    sarva R^iShka hari samghaanaam sugriivam akarot patim || 5-35-51

    “After killing Vali in COMBAT by means of his strength, Rama made Sugreeva the king for the entire multitude of bears and monkeys.”

    Can you show a verse in Valmiki Ramayana where Rama promised to kill him not in a combat though I can come with the promise to kill him in combat from Mahabharata ?

    Reply

    • mghariharan
      Oct 21, 2012 @ 20:21:51

      yes you are right. but they were monkeys fleeing from sugvia vali battle field. 2 saraga vali accuses Rama for shooting from behind still if you want to conclude Rama had a battle with Vali i cant help it. You have probaly not read all my postings so these confusions. The sloka’s quoted by you have also been written by me. The slokas are saying the same thing Probaly Hanuman ( see hanuman lying) did not want to elaborate so he used the word, tarassa which means effectively not combat.

      Reply

  6. Nayonika
    Oct 22, 2012 @ 04:12:17

    tam dR^iSTvaa raaghavam vaalii lakSmaNam ca mahaabalam |
    abraviit paruSam vaakyam prashritam dharma sa.mhitam || 4-17-14
    sa bhuumau alpatejosuH nihato naSTa cetanaH |
    artha sahitayaa vaacaa garvitam[b] RANA GARVITAM || 4-17-15[/b]
    On seeing Rama and the great mighty Lakshmana as well, he who fell to ground flatly hurt by arrow, and whose energy and lives are trifling and vigour trivialised thereby, that Vali spoke these sarcastic words in his proper pride to Rama, who is taking pride in this[b] conflict as a victor [/b], which words at the same time have meaning, politeness, and self-righteousness. [4-17-14, 15]
    The same Sarga mention the word ‘’ raNa garvitam ‘’ conflict taking pride in victory which cues it was a combat and not an assassination .

    Vali said ‘’ tvam naraadhipateH putraH prathitaH priya darshanaH |
    paraa~Nmukha vadham kR^itvaa ko atra praaptaH tvayaa guNaH |
    yadaham yuddha sam.hrabdhaH tvat kR^ite nidhanam gataH || 4-17-16
    “You are a renowned prince with pleasing looks… but, which kind of death I am getting now, that too when I was in the commotion of conflict with another, alas, that ignoble death is owing to you, and what merit is achieved by you in this undertaking of yours to kill someone who is facing away from you… [4-17-16] and this can be easily refuted with circumstantial evidence

    Next verse will cues Vali was expecting Rama and his attack was a surprise . Here is the verses

    na maam anyena sa.mrabdham pramattam veddhum arhasi |
    iti me buddhir utpannaa babhuuva adarshane tava || 1-17-21

    “When you have not appeared before me when I confronted Sugreeva my concept was, ‘it will be inapt of Rama to hurt me while I am combating with another combatant, besides, when I will be [red]UNVIGILANT[/red] in that fight…’ [4-17-21]

    Do you see how Vali is contradicting his own statement ? It’s normal for a person who is at bed bed and rage to be self contradictory but this verse makes a lot of sense than the previous one which confirms the probability of 4-19-12.
    Word web says unvigilant means ‘Not alert to what is potentially dangerous .

    Then Sarga 16, Shloka 33, 34, 35. Lord Ram puts an arrow on His bow to kill Bali and there is such a tremendous sound of the bow-string that even birds and animals ran away frightened. If Lord Ram had the slightest intention of killing treacherously, He would not have made that tremendous sound.

    And then arises the most important question- Why would Lord Ram need to hide from Bali? What would stop Him from coming in front of Bali? No reason whatsoever…..Again this is just a myth that strength of Bali’s opponent used to get half. Neither Valmiki Ramayana nor any Puranas mention about this boon of Bali.

    muk{}tastu vajra nirghoSaH pradiipta ashani sa.mnibhaH |
    raaghaveNa mahaa baaNo vaali vakSasi paatitaH || 4-16-35
    The arrow released by Raghava that has the boom of thunderbolt’s thunderclap and the flashes of a [b]lightning fell on the CHEST OF VALI. [4-16-35][/b]
    An arrow cannot hit chest if launched from back .

    tam dR^iSTvaa raaghavam vaalii lakSmaNam ca mahaabalam |
    abraviit paruSam vaakyam prashritam dharma sa.mhitam || 4-17-14
    sa bhuumau alpatejosuH nihato naSTa cetanaH |
    artha sahitayaa vaacaa garvitam[b] RANA GARVITAM || 4-17-15[/b]
    On seeing Rama and the great mighty Lakshmana as well, he who fell to ground flatly hurt by arrow, and whose energy and lives are trifling and vigour trivialised thereby, that Vali spoke these sarcastic words in his proper pride to Rama, who is taking pride in this[b] conflict as a victor [/b], which words at the same time have meaning, politeness, and self-righteousness. [4-17-14, 15]
    The same Sarga mention the word ‘’ raNa garvitam ‘’ conflict taking pride in victory which cues it was a combat and not an assassination .

    Vali said ‘’ tvam naraadhipateH putraH prathitaH priya darshanaH |
    paraa~Nmukha vadham kR^itvaa ko atra praaptaH tvayaa guNaH |
    yadaham yuddha sam.hrabdhaH tvat kR^ite nidhanam gataH || 4-17-16
    “You are a renowned prince with pleasing looks… but, which kind of death I am getting now, that too when I was in the commotion of conflict with another, alas, that ignoble death is owing to you, and what merit is achieved by you in this undertaking of yours to kill someone who is facing away from you… [4-17-16] and this can be easily refuted with circumstantial evidence

    Next verse will cues Vali was expecting Rama and his attack was a surprise . Here is the verses

    na maam anyena sa.mrabdham pramattam veddhum arhasi |
    iti me buddhir utpannaa babhuuva adarshane tava || 1-17-21

    “When you have not appeared before me when I confronted Sugreeva my concept was, ‘it will be inapt of Rama to hurt me while I am combating with another combatant, besides, when I will be [red]UNVIGILANT[/red] in that fight…’ [4-17-21]

    Do you see how Vali is contradicting his own statement ? It’s normal for a person who is at bed bed and rage to be self contradictory but this verse makes a lot of sense than the previous one which confirms the probability of 4-19-12.
    Word web says unvigilant means ‘Not alert to what is potentially dangerous .

    Then Sarga 16, Shloka 33, 34, 35. Lord Ram puts an arrow on His bow to kill Bali and there is such a tremendous sound of the bow-string that even birds and animals ran away frightened. If Lord Ram had the slightest intention of killing treacherously, He would not have made that tremendous sound.

    And then arises the most important question- Why would Lord Ram need to hide from Bali? What would stop Him from coming in front of Bali? No reason whatsoever…..Again this is just a myth that strength of Bali’s opponent used to get half. Neither Valmiki Ramayana nor any Puranas mention about this boon of Bali.

    muk{}tastu vajra nirghoSaH pradiipta ashani sa.mnibhaH |
    raaghaveNa mahaa baaNo vaali vakSasi paatitaH || 4-16-35
    The arrow released by Raghava that has the boom of thunderbolt’s thunderclap and the flashes of a [b]lightning fell on the CHEST OF VALI. [4-16-35][/b]
    An arrow cannot hit chest if launched from back .

    Reply

    • mghariharan
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 11:34:35

      I did not read your long letter. I dont understand this why so many people try to ethically justify Rama by claiming he fought with vali.
      Vali demands justice from Rama asking him why Rama attacked him from behind. and challenges him if he had fought he would have been despatched to death.
      How can Rama and vali have a combat without the knowledge of Vali. First answer this then I will read your letter beacuse you are not the first one who claims this. Entire 2 sargas where Vali questions Rama will have no meaning if Rama has direct combat with vali.

      Reply

      • Nayonika
        Oct 25, 2012 @ 19:44:23

        Your argument is based on an assumption and prejudiced . Vali didn’t say he was killed in no combat and his own verdict is contradictory . Vali said he was killed while he was in combat with Sugreeva and unprepared which itself is derisory since Lord Ram puts an arrow on His bow to kill Bali and there is such a tremendous sound of the bow-string that even birds and animals ran away frightened in a Sarga before it . The arrow hit his chest as in verse 4-16-35. You also ignored reports of his own follower and Hanuman which confirm . You somehow believe that followers of Vali and Hanuman were unaware about his combat and lied and you somehow believe the sole owner of truth . You use assumption only when you don’t have evidence but here we have ample evidence .

  7. Nayonika
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 20:00:41

    You said ” Vali demands justice from Rama asking him why Rama attacked him from behind. and challenges him if he had fought he would have been dispatched to death” I am not trying to be rude but this is nonsense . Read the whole saga
    again particularly verses 21 .

    dR^ishyamaanaH tu yudhyethaa mayaa yudhi nR^ipaatmaja |adya vaivasvatam devam pashyeH tvam nihato mayaa || -17-47

    47. nR^ipa aatmaja= oh, king’s, son; yudhi dR^ishyamaanaH= in war, while you are being seen – confronting me; mayaa yudhyethaa= with me, if you have combated; mayaa nihataH= by me, killed; adya tvam vaivasvatam devam pashyeH= by now, you, Yama, god, would have seen.

    Where is the word hiding behind as you percieve ? Even if we assume he was killed from back how the arrow hit his chest as in verses 16-35 . Your assumption defies all logic.

    When Tara said Rama cannot be vanquished he didn’t object confirm his words were ranting of a dying person ?

    Reply

    • mghariharan
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 21:32:20

      I agree so where was the combat. I did not use the exact word. I am sorry I forgot to apologise in my previous letter. I am ready to understand So let us be calm I have done mistakes in this blong i am not claiming I have superior knowledge. The bottom line is both you and me are Rama bhakthas probably with some different understandings let us patch it up.
      Regret if my previous letter sounded offensive.
      There was no combat that is what you are also saying So then what is our difference

      Reply

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