Rama the …….executioner.

This posting is to be read after reading 1. Ethical & Moral Issues in Kishkinda Kanda , 2.Vali’s accusations………of Rama and 3.What’s morals …….What’s Ethics.
Rama answers to the Charges made stridently by Vali very effortlessly. In fact it is just open and shut case.
1. First he derides Vali for questioning the ethics of fighting after committing immoral act. sloka (4-18-04)
2. Rama first claims that Vali is just a king in the region ruled by Bharata. So He (Vali) is answerable to Rama.
3. Rama claims in the land ruled by Bharata nobody can do an immoral act sloka (4-18-10)and remain unpunished sloka (4-18-11)
4. Rama explains younger brother is like son and lustily indulging with his wife amounts to misbehaving with daughter-in-law.
5. This misbehavior is difficult to understand except by soul [AaTma] of principled people only. sloka (4-18-15)
6. Hence I eliminated you sloka (4-18-18) Clearly for no other reason
7. Therefore you are sentenced to death sloka (4-18-20) as No other punishment will be appropriate. sloka (4-18-21)
8. Rama quotes from Manusmriti justifying his action.
a. When the king imposes punishment or pardons the criminal is absolved of the sin sloka (4-18-31)
b. The king will receive the blot if he does not duly punish the crime. sloka (4-18-32)
9. To the question why cannot Vali be pardoned Rama quoted a precedent where the king pardoned a yogi in similar situation and inherited the sin sloka (4-18-33) the case of Maandhaata the ancestor to Rama.
10. So Rama had no alternative to killing Vali.
It is to be understood that the promise to Sugriva etc are redundant and killing Vali had nothing to do and about Rama’s immediate need of getting Seetha. Now let us check on other doubts that we had rased in above postings
1. Ethical & Moral Issues in Kishkinda Kanda
Point 1 Vali is not a criminal is wrong he is a criminal.
Point 2, 9,10,12 Sugriva’s story is not relevant
Point 3 sugriva did not ask Vali is to be killed . Yes but Rama will kill Vali for above reasons.
Point 4and 6 is accepted and Rama gets back to Sugriva What he wants.
Point 5 Vali is sinful as per Manusmriti
Point 7 Rama promises killing Vali as soon as Sugriva says his wife has been abducted
Point 8 Rama ensures Vali’s death as it is very important else the sin will accrue to Bharatha.
Point 11 Vali is criminal and sentenced to death How he is killed is not ethical question What Dhundhubi says is for normal fight ethics. Rama says killing a criminal is not sin
Point 13 Rama is not fighting a combat with Vali he is just executing him and as he later explains it can be in any mode.
2.Vali’s accusations………of Rama
Main point is Rama’s act is senseless crime. This is not acceptable for Vali’s crime punishment is Death and no sin in killing a criminal
Vali has not committed any crime is not correct. He has.
He says he is animal whose parts are of no use. Rama says hence he can be trapped or killed in any state.
He claims Rama is coward. No Rama need not show any respect to a criminal and vali is disposed off quickly at the earliest.
Rama could have got Seetha easily with Vali’s help. No. Rama will not take the help of criminal whom he has anyway got to kill, as justice demands.

Sanskrit English
धर्मम् अर्थम् च कामम् च समयम् च अपि लौकिकम् |
अविज्ञाय कथम् बाल्यात् माम् इह अद्य विगर्हसे ||
“Uncaring for probity, prosperity, pleasure deriving, and even for the social conventions, now how do you rebuke me childishly in this matter? Back
तस्मिन् नृपति शार्दूल भरते धर्म वत्सले |
पालयति अखिलाम् पृथ्वीम् कः चरेत् धर्म विप्रियम् ||
“While that Bharata, the kingly-tiger and a patron of virtue, is ruling the earth in its entirety, who is there to conduct himself in an unacceptable way to morality on it? Back
ते वयम् मार्ग विभ्रष्टम् स्वधर्मे परमे स्थिताः |
भरत आज्ञाम् पुरस्कृत्य निगृह्णीमो यथा विधि || 
“While that Bharata, the kingly-tiger and a patron of virtue, is ruling the earth in its entirety, who is there to conduct himself in an unacceptable way to morality on it? Back
सूक्ष्मः परम दुर्ज्ञेयः सताम् धर्मः प्लवंगम |
हृदिस्थः सर्व भूतानाम् आत्मा वेद शुभाशुभम् ||
“The probity practised by principled people is very subtle and highly imponderable, and the soul that abides in the hearts of all beings alone can differentiate between just and unjust. Back
तत् एतत् कारणम् पश्य यत् अर्थम् त्वम् मया हतः |
भ्रातुर् वर्तसि भार्यायाम् त्यक्त्वा धर्मम् सनातनम् ||
“Realise this reason by which I have eliminated you… you misbehaved with your brother’s wife, forsaking the perpetual tradition..;”> Back
तद् व्यतीतस्य ते धर्मात् काम वृत्तस्य वानर |
भ्रातृ भार्या अभिमर्शे अस्मिन् दण्डो अयम् प्रतिपादितः ||
“Thereby, oh, vanara, this punishment is imposed on you, for your dissolute sinning in abusing your brother’s wife, thereby for your transgression of tradition and virtue. . Back
कः क्षत्रिय कुलेजातः श्रुतवान् नष्टसंशयः |
धर्म लिंग प्रतिच्छन्नः क्रूरम् कर्म समाचरेत् ||
“I foresee no other kind of control other than punishment to him who conducts himself contrary to the society and who is deviant of conventions. Back
न हि लोक विरुद्धस्य लोक वृत्तात् अपेयुषः |
दण्डात् अन्यत्र पश्यामि निग्रहम् हरि यूथप || 
” ‘When kings impose proper punishment on the humans who have sinned, they become sinless and enter heaven as with the pious souls with good deeds.’ So says one verse of Manu. Back
शसनात् वा अपि मोक्षात् वा स्तेनः पापात् प्रमुच्यते |
राजा तु अशासन् पापस्य तद् आप्नोति किल्बिषम् ||
” ‘Either by punishment or by clemency a thief will be absolved from sin, but the king who does not impose proper punishment will derive the blot of that sin.’ So says the other verse of Manu. Back

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All Sloka Translations are from the site Valmiki Ramayana


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ram
    May 24, 2011 @ 19:58:31

    But listen you say vali got punishment of death what about sugriva who was with his wife and listen what about criminal concept in dharma if he had
    taken apology for what he did he should be forgiven after all forgiveness can
    also be done.


    • mghariharan
      May 27, 2011 @ 13:11:00

      It is common practice to adopt the dead brothers wife by brothers. This is not crime and accepted. Vali did the mistake of keeping Sugiva’s wife when sugriva was alsive. Regarding forgiving vali Rama says this is not possible for such crime. and quoted his forfathers who wrongly fogave a yogi and inherited the sin. More on forgiving I wish to post shall refer it to you Thanks for your inquisitive questioning


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