Killing Vali- Motive?

One major Reason Rama killed Vali is because Sugriva’s wife was taken over by Vali. Ram also had similar problem as his wife was kidnapped by Ravana and he needed the help of Sugriva to find her. Kabandha says it in few words. 3-72-7b&8– When kings are in trouble they employ one of the 6 tactical moves (The six ideations employed by kings in kingship are 1] sandhi (सन्धि)a covenant with adverse kings; 2] vigraha (विग्रह)continuing hostilities; 3] yaana(यान)waging war; 4] aasana (आसन )sit out for proper time; 5] dvaidhii bhaava(द्वैध भाव) creating factions and vicissitudes in enemy groups; 6] samaashraya (समाश्रय)taking shelter under a coequal.) The one suggested by Kabandha is the 6th one, joining force with a person of equally vulnerable position. Both Rama and Sugriva have lost their kingdom and their wives.
But there is difference. Whenever Sugriva identifies his problem he says regaining my wife and Kingdom. Kingdom was never his but at least he loves his wife and is bereaving for her,may not be to the same extend as Rama. Sugriva himself says I did not despair like this for my wife 4-7-6. So when Vali gets killed what would you expect. Sugriva is having nice time with her. No. When angry Lakshmana goes to Kishkinda to express his anger 4-31-22 the lustful Sugriva is with whom? Tara (Vali’s wife). So what exactly is Valmiki telling us. In fact the whole of Kishkinda kanda is a Jigsaw puzzle of Justice in quandary (Dharma sankat). Now the explanation of Killing Vali is going to be more difficult!

List of Slokas

Sanskrit English
शृणु राघव तत्त्वेन यथा सीमाम् अवाप्स्यसि || ३-७२-७
राम षड् युक्तयो लोके याभिः सर्वम् विमृश्यते |
परिमृष्टो दश अन्तेन दश आभागेन सेव्यते || ३-७२-८
Oh, Raghava, how you will regain Seetha, that you listen from me in its essence… oh, Rama, by which and which analyses everything will be analysed, six of such ideations are available in this world… and when a person is touched down by a spell of nemeses, he shall adore one who is equally in such spell of nemesis… Back
मया अपि व्यसनम् प्राप्तम् भार्या विरहजम् महत् |
न अहम् एवम् हि शोचामि धैर्यम् न च परित्यजे ||
Upon me too this yearning caused by the separation of wife has chanced, but I did not despair this way, nor I have forsaken my courage… Back
तारया सहितः कामी सक्तः कपिवृषः तदा |
न तेषाम् कपि वीराणाम् शुश्राव वचनम् तदा ||
At that time, he who is in a lustful mood, who is in the company of Lady Tara and who is enmired in privacy, that foremost monkey Sugreeva is unheedful of the words of those bold monkeys who brought the message. Back

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All Sloka Translations are from the site Valmiki Ramayana


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pi Laminar
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 11:56:11

    Tara had relationship even when Vali was alive with Sugreeva and Angad despised Sugreeva for it . But Ruma was forcefully coveted by Vali and there was nothing forcefull in Sugreeva.


    • mghariharan
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 12:32:37

      Tara had relation with sugriva thinking vali was dead. When Vali came she went kack to Vali. After Rama killed Vali Tara came to Sugriva. There is no Adharma about this. Please quote from where you said Angada despised Sugreeva.


  2. venkat
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 16:26:28

    Vali and Sugreeva need not follow the rules laid for human being. They were not human beings and they acted within their dharma.


  3. Great Ape
    Jul 22, 2012 @ 13:34:18

    Animals cannot be killed keeping in mind…human dharma…Rama did a wrong thing by interfering in dharma sthapana of animal kingdom…Such justification of killing animals from behind…whe they are in combat…cannot be justified…no matter how hard…vaishnavs and other mythology fans try and appreciate..


    • mghariharan
      Jul 23, 2012 @ 22:17:14

      Would Obama and USA apologize for killing unarmed Bin Laden after coming stealthy. Please read my blog carefully and if you find any logical or otherwise mistakes point it out.


      • Great Ape
        Jul 23, 2012 @ 23:32:47

        Obama and USA are not considered GOD..nor did they kill animals who are not fully evolved. That is the key difference. As a human being Rama’s action is fine. It is human nature to act something for gain. But to say that he is incarnation of God and then say God is perfect does not go well….Logically. Killing of Ravana is justified, but not Vali.

        By the way…every action of anyone can be justified from a singular point of view. I am not saying you are justifying…I just read the blog and commented. thanks..

      • mghariharan
        Jul 26, 2012 @ 22:06:22

        Yes i agree with you so also Rama is not god he has come as human and sets us examples to follow. dont pray to him understand and follow him.
        Both ravana and vali are aatatayees( Atangavadis). using their strength to cause misery to people.

    • Venki
      Feb 01, 2013 @ 13:51:37

      “nor did they kill animals who are not fully evolved.” – I don’t think Dharma has anything to do with how evolved a species is. There is a dharma for even rocks, fire, water, ocean, river… likewise vanaras also had a dharma to be followed.

      If you say those vanaras were not fully evolved, how about other characters like Hanuman, Jambuvantha, Jataayu ?


      • mghariharan
        Feb 01, 2013 @ 15:42:26

        Your comment is not clear. Please clarify. I never said anything about killing animals evolved or not. Where did you take this comment from? Yes otherwise you are correct there is dharma for evrything. Vali rants for 2 saragas accusing Rama of adharma by killing Vali. The answer cannot be that Vali is not eveolved etc. Infact I have already said Vali is going to be our next Indra.

      • Venki
        Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:28:14

        sir, my comment was not against your views, but was to the person by name “Great Ape”

  4. syama sundera rao
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 22:11:44

    as far as my knowledge concerned, Sugreeva told his story to Rama when they met, but Sugreeva not asked/requested Rama to get back his wife, kill Vali. After hearing the story of Sugreeva , Rama instantly promised to Sugreeva that he will kill Vali, bring back his wife and kingdom.


    • mghariharan
      Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:01:19

      The moment Sugreeva says Vali has taken his wife Tara the, In the next sloka Rama says ‘Bring him in front of me and consider him dead’. This is because by taking another man’s wife ( In this case his own brothers wife Vali has become atatayee). and king is duty bound to kill him instantly without investigation overtly or covertly. That is why Rama kills him. The word is ‘dwritham gathva’ * mening rushed to Kill Vali. These are explained in my postings under vali wadh. Everything you said is correct.


    • mghariharan
      Jul 19, 2015 @ 22:48:19

      Correct. If Rama did not kill Vali , Na;i’s sin will accrue to Bharatha


  5. syama sundera rao
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 22:18:11

    replace the word Ravana with Vali in my previous post. pardon


  6. hema
    Jan 23, 2015 @ 08:09:17

    vali was Indra, who went to Lord Vishnu for help against ravana.. But instead he became ravanas friend and sided with adharma. He forcefully lusted after ruma and harassed sugriva endlessly. He did all things against dharma and so had to be killed. Tara lived with sugriva voluntarily.


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