Episode 182 – Lord Rama answers Vaali!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Vaali is asking a set of six questions to Lord Rama as to why is he meeting such a disastrous end to his life. He lists down the questions one by one as Rama observes each of the question keenly. After Vaali finishes his account, Rama slowly and patiently answers all of Vaali’s questions, one after the other. In today’s episode let us see what are the answers given by Lord Rama for each of Vaali’s questions.

Lord Rama says, “Oh Vaali! What was the first question that you asked me? You said that there is no enemity between you and me with respect to land or property. I say that there is a dispute between us in terms of land and property. All you think is that, Kishinta is your kingdom. It’s not like that! Our Ayodhya kingdom is not just restricted to the city of Ayodhya. It is spread far and wide till the southern tip of Bhaarata Desha.

“Ikshvaaku naam iyam bhoomihi sashaila vana kaananaa!

Thaam paalayithi dharmaathmaa bharathaha sathya vaakyathaha!!”

 Our brother Baratha is ruling over the urban part of the Ayodhya kingdom for a while and I’m ruling the forest part of the Ayodhya kingdom. Thus, all the urban area and the forests along with the mountains and the rivers are the property of Ayodhya (“Ikshvaaku naam iyam bhoomihi sashaila vana kaananaa!”) Thus, the moment you told that Kishkinta is your territory; there arose the dispute between you and me in terms of land and property!”

Rama continues.. “Fine! What was your second question? You said that both of us never knew each other before today and what was the reason for you to kill me?” Rama replies.. “Oh Vaali! Listen! If someone has to start fighting with another person, it is not necessary that he knows the other person before. You are a person who has committed the mistake and I’m a king. I’ve come here to give you the apt punishment. You are one among my subjects. For a king it is not necessary that he knows each and every person in his kingdom before he gives the punishment! Hence there is no necessity that I need to know you and your background before giving you the punishment.”

Rama continues again.. “What was the next question? Am I hunting you for your skin or tusk or flesh?” Let me answer you – You are an animal. I’m here to punish you for your wrongdoing. While hunting an animal will anyone come in front of the animal and fight? For instance, if you go to hunt a tiger, will you go in front of the tiger, give it a knife or a gun and go to fight equally with it? The tiger would crush you to pieces! Similarly since you are an animal, there is no necessity that I come in front of you and fight. Similarly, if a king has to give a punishment to the subject, he needn’t directly fight with that person and then give the punishment.”

Now Rama answers the important question – “What wrong did I do so as to kill me?” This was Vaali’s question. Rama answers, “Oh Vaali! You have done a great misdeed! Don’t you remember what you did? Here is your brother Sugriva who came crying to you with total surrender in your feet and was ready to handover the kingdom to you! But what did you do? Didn’t you chase him and abuse him physically and mentally? According to the “Raaja Dharma” this is a great mistake! The “Raaja Neethi” or “Raaja Dharma” says that if someone falls on your feet, as a king you should forgive him and accept him unconditionally. You’ve disrespected this Raaja Neethi and hence you are to be punished!

There is one more blunder that you’ve committed – You have abducted the wife of your own brother! That is another big fault in you! While Sugriva is alive, you abducted his wife Ruma. Do you know what our Manu Bhagawan has said in his Shastra? If you abduct your own daughter, sister or sister in law, you should be killed without even conducting an investigation! Thus, you have misbehaved and abducted with your sister in law! Hence, you are supposed to be killed on the spot! It is only because of these two mistakes that I’ve come here to punish you! Oh Vaali, let me tell you one more thing! If one has to be punished, he should receive the punishment without escaping. If someone has to give the punishment, he should give it away! If this doesn’t happen, both the people would be into the path of “Adharma” (Unrighteousness). It is for this reason – to maintain the “Dharma” I had to give you the punishment and you have to accept it. So Vaali! Don’t feel bad for it! I’ve done what is Dharma to you as well as to me and Sugriva!”

Hearing this from Rama, Vaali was in tears! Did he accept his mistakes? What was Vaali’s reply upon hearing Rama’s answers? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!

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Episode 181 – Vaali’s six questions to Lord Rama!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Vaali, after being hit by Rama’s arrow falls on the ground. Upon knowing that it was Rama who had hit him from his back, Vaali becomes furious and expresses his anger and frustration towards Rama upfront! Rama stands near Vaali with all his silence and is listening to Vaali patiently. Eventually following his fury, Vaali asks Lord Rama a set of six questions to know exactly the reason as to why he should attack him from the back! In today’s episode we shall discuss each of the questions and in the next episode we shall see the answers that Lord Rama gave for each of the questions!

So Vaali continues..

“Vishayevaa pure vaathe yathaa aapam karomyaham!

Na cha thvaam abhijaanevam tasmaathvam hamsa kilmisham!!”

The first question goes like this: “Oh Rama! Both of us do not have any kind of a dispute with respect to land or territory. You are from a different place and I’m from a different place. You are no way related to me. If this is the case, why should you kill me?”

Now comes the second question:

“Na kaajjaanekam tasmaarthvam hamsakilvajam!”

 Vaali continues, “Oh Rama! Both of us never knew each other before, until today! Given this case, why do you want to kill me?”

Now, the third question: Vaali asks, “Oh Rama! We are monkeys! We roam around in jungles like these, whereas, you are from a very high clan of human beings. Given this huge difference, what is the necessity to kill me?”

The fourth question: Vaali continues, “Even if there is something to kill me, why should you kill me from the back? You should have come forward and fought with me legitimately. Why did you do this?”

Now, the fifth question: “Assuming that you are killing me for a cause, of what benefit is killing a monkey? Normally people hunt deers for their skin, rabbits, birds, etc for their flesh, elephants for their tusks, etc. As monkeys, we do not fall under any of the above list. Why should you kill me?”

And now the sixth & the last question: Vaali continues, “Oh Rama! Assuming that you are killing me for a mistake that I’ve committed. If that’s the case, what is that mistake for which you’re giving me such a big punishment? Did I kill a cow? Did I kill a woman? I’ve never done such mistakes ever in my life. Hence, why should you kill me?”

Thus, Vaali puts forth the above-mentioned six questions to Lord Rama and waits for him to answer them! As discussed already, Rama is silent till Vaali completes all his questions and then slowly starts answering one question after the other! What were the answers that Lord Rama gave? Were they convincing enough for Vaali? Let’s find out in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 180 – Vaali questions Lord Rama’s approach!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed a very important event wherein, Lord Rama successfully defeats Vaali, but raised few eyebrows with regards to his approach for the same. We witnessed that Rama, instead of going in front of Vaali and fighting, remains hidden and points one sharp arrow towards Vaali and eventually pushes him off to the ground!

When Vaali comes to know that it was Rama who did this, he becomes stunned and shocked beyond words! He couldn’t believe as to what had just happened! He suddenly realizes that he has gone too far ahead with arrogance when his wife Taara had warned him! At the same time he was furious as to why did Rama perform such an act of cowardice! He had many unanswered questions in his mind! Today let us see what are the various questions that Vaali puts forth to Lord Rama, seeking answers.

“Papaadha sahasaa vaali nikruthhaiva paadhapaha!”

Thus, Vaali was pushed to the ground, hurt by Rama’s sharp arrow.

“Aadithyamiva kaalena yugaanthe bhuvi bhaadhitham!

Mahendramiva dhur dharsham upendramiva dussaham!!

Lakshmanaamuchamo raamo dadarsha upasvasvarpa cha!

Tham dadhathvapi tham veeram gathaakshichamivaanaram!!

Tham drushtva raaghavam vaali lakshmanam cha mahaa bhalam!!”

 Thus from the above slokas, Vaalmiki Maharishi clearly brings out the scene wherein Vaali was shocked upon realizing that it was Rama who had sent the sharp arrow from his back to kill him! He asks Rama a set of six questions as follows: But before that, Vaali brings out his anger and fury towards Rama for the act that he had done! “Oh Rama! By killing me from the back, what kind of fame are you going to achieve? Oh Rama! Your entire clan is known famously for meticulously following the principles of the ‘Manu Dharma Shaastra’! You’re from the great Ikshvaaku Dynasty isn’t it? Is this the Dharma that Manu Bhagawan had taught you? Did Manu Bhagawan teach you that you could kill someone from his back? Oh Rama! I don’t understand one more thing – Just because some “Raakshasa” had abducted your wife, will it be compensation that you come here and kill a monkey? Rama! Till date I was thinking that you were an intelligent person, but today I realized that my notion about you was wrong!”

Vaali continues to pour out his anger towards Lord Rama: “Oh Rama! You know what? Ravana, who has abducted your wife, will listen to each and every word of mine! He has such a lot of fear for me! If you wanted to reclaim your wife, you should have come to me – The moment I say one word to Ravana, the next minute he would immediately bring your wife here! However without doing this, you went and made friendship with Sugriva, who isn’t capable of doing all this! Oh Rama! I don’t understand what is your intention behind this approach of yours!”

Vaali continues,, “Oh Rama! Moreover, you were born as the brother of the great Bharata! He is one who doesn’t know anything else other than Dharma or the righteous path! As a brother of Bharata, how can you ever do this way? Moreover, now I know why you’re doing all wrong things – Now you are without your wife Sita Devi! If she is always there near you, you’ll do all the right things! But just because Sita is not with you at the moment, there is nobody to advise you on which is right and which is wrong!”

As Vaali was asking questions one after the other, Rama was standing in front of Vaali without opening his mouth! He never spoke a word in the middle! This is a very important learning for modern day leaders – If someone is talking with us, we should allow them to complete their point fully without interrupting them in the middle! Especially in the modern day media channels, while conducting the so-called “debates”, the news anchor frequently keeps interrupting the person who is putting forward his/her points on the table! This is totally an absurd practice of conducting a debate! If someone is constantly interrupting and trying to shout over others, it means that they do not have the adequate knowledge or preparation on the subject! Only if someone is steady in his/her approach, it can be understood that they have the requisite knowledge. I’m emphasizing this point because, during a debate if the opponent has a steady approach, it becomes very difficult to win over him/her! Whereas, if the person loses his/her calmmess and steadiness, it would be very easy for the opposition to win over! Thus in this case also we see that Lord Rama is calm and silent as Vaali is putting forth his questions! Upon seeing this, people near Rama knew that he has a very long answer for all the questions!

Thus, Vaali is continuing to ask the questions to Lord Rama. We shall also wait till the next episode to see the rest of the important questions put forth by Vaali and subsequently Rama’s answers to each of the questions! 🙂

Episode 179 – Rama hits Vaali from “behind” – Vaali falls down furious!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Lord Rama motivates Sugriva to go and fight Vaali for the second time. This time Lakshmana puts a garland made of “Gaja Pushpam” on Sugriva’s neck to be as a differentiator between Vaali and Sugriva. Now as Sugriva goes again to the entrance of Kishkinta, he is all the more confident of victory owing to the immense motivation and support from Rama & Lakshmana. As he nears the entrance, he lets out a huge war cry.

We also witnessed that as Vaali prepares himself to fight Sugriva, his wife Taara stops him and tries to pacify his anger and emotions. She advises Vaali to be careful and strategise the fight, rather than going directly and getting hit. However, due to the extreme rush of emotions, arrogance and over-confidence, Vaali rejects Taara’s advice and proceeds further to the entrance of the Kishkinta palace where Sugriva was waiting. Vaali ridicules Sugriva’s repeated attempts to defeat him and he is too proud of his own strengths and powers.

Thus the war begins again – For the second time! As the war chugs along, Vaali beats up Sugriva once more! Sugriva couldn’t stand Vaali’s strength and power! However this time Rama knows the difference between Vaali and Sugriva because of the garland. The plan works perfectly now! As Rama was hiding at a corner, he takes his bow in his hand, points one sharp arrow towards Vaali and lets it go! The arrow hits Vaali at his back and that was enough! The arrow with all its speed, penetrates through Vaali’s back and chest and Vaali falls down on the ground! Vaali lets out a huge cry “Haaaaa” as he falls on the ground!

“Tatho raamo maho tejaaha aarthan dristhvaa hareeshwaram!

Sasaram veekshathe veeraha vaalino vadha kaamkshayaa!!

Tatho dhanushi sandhaaya sharamaashee vishopamam!

Koorayaamaasa tathchaapam kaala chakra vivaankthathaha!!”

From the above slokas, Vaalmiki Maharishi beautifully describes the scene wherein Rama wins over Vaali with just one pointed arrow! It was as if the arrow was exploding a huge mountain that Vaali’s body was penetrated! As Vaali falls down on the ground, all the celestial beings above the earth were in tremendous fear. They were talking to each other that Rama’s invincible powers were proved once again! Nobody has ever seen such a powerful person being hit so easily by Rama!

As Vaali falls on the ground, he tries to pull out the arrow from his body. As he does that, he spots the shabdha “Rama” written on the arrow! Upon seeing this, Vaali was stunned and shocked beyond words! He had never expected this to happen, although his beloved wife Taara advised him! He realizes his fault of not paying heed to the words of his wife! However, he was angry at Rama as to why did he try to kill him from the back!

Now here comes a very important debate – Why did Rama kill Vaali from behind? If Rama was a true warrior, he should have come in front of Vaali and fought him face to face. Rather, why did Rama take this approach to kill Vaali? Is it right or wrong? Even today, we would be able to see lot of debates in this issue only – Was Rama’s approach right or wrong in this case? – As if Vaalmiki Maharishi is going to alter his storyline based on the outcome of this useless debate! 🙂 As I’ve mentioned in the earlier episode, we are not supposed to debate things that are beyond our thinking and imagination. Instead of asking right or wrong, it is always better to ask, “Oh! I’ve not understood the significance of this particular event. Can you explain with more clarity?” All these kind of matters are unsuitable for petty debates that we do today. Why am I saying all this? I shall explain in the next episode as to why Rama took this particular approach to kill Vaali. After that, everything would be understood well. Vaalmiki Maharishi has amply presented all the descriptions in minute detail. It is upto us to understand it properly rather than debating half-baked stuff! Let’s wait till the next episode to find out more on this!

Episode 178 – Vaali ignores Taara’s advice – Goes to fight Sugriva for the second time!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed that Sugriva goes to fight Vaali in Kishkinta, on pretext of the motivation given by Rama. However while the fight between the two brothers was going on, Rama couldn’t distinguish between the two of them owing to their exact physical similarities. Hence he was confused as to who was Vaali and who was Sugriva! Thus the plan that was made couldn’t be executed and as a result, Vaali pounds Sugriva. Eventually Sugriva had to run for his life!

Upon coming back to the Rishyamukha Mountain, a dejected and hurt Sugriva asks Rama the reason for his inaction while he was being beaten up. Rama replies that he wasn’t aware that both the brothers look alike. This time, the plan is tweaked a little bit. Lakshmana spots a unique flower by name “Gaja-Pushpam” amidst the mountains. He collects all the flowers and makes a garland out of them. At this point, Rama says, “Oh Sugriva! Wear this garland as a differentiator and now go to fight Vaali! I’ll take care of the rest!”

“Gaja pushpee vimaam kullaam pushpaashta shuba lakshanaam!

Kuru lakshmana khantebhya sugreevasya mahaathmanaha!!

Lakshmano raja pushpeenthaam dasha kante vyaveshayath!

Rishyamukhaascha dharmaathmaa kishkinthaam lakshmanaagrajaha!!”

 Thus, Lakshamna makes a garland with the “Gaja Pushpam” and puts it around the neck of Sugriva. Now Rama asks Sugriva to go and invite Vaali for a fight – For the second time! Accordingly Sugriva goes with all his confidence and courage to the entrance of Kishkinta. He makes a loud sound and asks Vaali to come out and fight him once more! He says, “Oh Vaali! I’m Sugriva again! I’m back at your doorstep to fight you once more! If you have the guts, come out and fight with me one more time!”

Vaali hears this loud sound of war cry from Sugriva and once again gets ready to fight him out! Last time he had let Sugriva escape as he fled for his life. This time he is determined to finish off Sugriva. As Vaali prepares himself and comes out of his chamber, his wife Taara stops him on his way! She warns him by saying, “Oh Vaali! Please stop! Do not go further! You are going to a wrong place. If a person who is scared of you comes again and again inviting you to fight him, there is some mystery behind this. At this juncture, your anger and swiftness wouldn’t be of any help! Please calm down and think for a moment!”

Upon hearing this from his wife, Vaali laughs at her and ridicules her advice. He replies back, “Oh Taara! When did you fall into the side of Sugriva? He is afterall a coward! At any point in time, he cannot stand in front of my powers and strength! When he came to fight me last time, I should have finished him off. However, it was my mercy with which he escaped and fled away! This time, be sure that he’s going to be history! Saying thus, Vaali tries to leave the place.

As Vaali moves forward, Taara senses that her husband is full of arrogance and over-confidence and she tries to pacify him once again. She says, “Oh Vaali! There is no doubt that your strength and power is unmatched in this world! However, please remember that Sugriva is now under the refuge of Rama! I’m sure you must have heard about the greatness of Rama and his father King Dasharata! I heard that he is in the forest and Sugriva smartly went and seeked refuge under Rama! It is only for this reason that Sugriva is not having the fear in him unlike the previous times! So please wait for a moment, strategise your plans and then go for the fight!”

As Taara explains all this, Vaali was not in a mood to listen to her advice! He replies back, “Oh Taara! I know about Rama very well! Rama would not go and develop friendship with a coward like Sugriva. You don’t worry! I shall somehow finish off Sugriva today!” Saying thus, he walks past Taara with all his fury!

Here is an important learning for corporate leadersIf there is a tough decision to be taken, it is better to listen to people who gives valuable advice and act accordingly, rather than giving room for anger and intolerance to take over!

Moreover, in a critical situation, it is always better to plan a counter-strategy to deal with the problem and look for a long-term solution, rather than going by the rush of emotions and thereby looking for a short-term solution.

Thus, Vaali encounters Sugriva at the entrance of Kishkinta and the two brothers are ready to commence their fight for the second time. What happened next? Who was the winner this time? Did Vaali’s arrogance and ignorance of Tara’s advice prove to be costly for him? Let’s wait to witness in the next episode!

Episode 177 – Rama sends Sugriva to fight Vaali!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed a very important and a unique happening wherein Lord Rama was put to test by Sugriva so as to ensure that he had all the capabilities to defeat Vaali. Accordingly Rama was up for the test and subsequently we also witnessed how Rama cleared both the tests of Sugriva successfully! Now the entire Vaanara group was overwhelmed with the indomitable strength and power of Lord Rama and was confident that he would be the one who can take on the strength of Vaali. The plan was made!

“Shaala buddhischa chiksheba koorayancha ravairdishaaha!

Vikthvaan kaalaangiriprasthvam saptha bhoomir viveshaha!!

Raamasya sharavegena vismayam paramam gathaha!

Alankaarena veshena pramaanena gathena cha!!”

Thus, Sugriva gets ready to fight out Vaali. He takes his “Gatha” (A weapon commonly used during warfare) and dresses himself with his armour and sets out to the entrance of Kishkinta. He lets out a huge cry, inviting Vaali to fight him out! He says, “Oh Vaali! This is Sugriva here at the entrance of Kishkinta! I’ve come here to wage a war with you. If you have the guts, come outside the palace and fight with me! Let’s settle our scores today and see who wins!” Upon hearing this from his brother Sugriva, Vaali was furious and he gets ready to fight the war and take up Sugriva’s challenge!

The war begins! Vaali and Sugriva start fighting like two wild cats! The fight becomes so intense as every minute passes by! However, Sugriva couldn’t stand the immense strength of Vaali and thus gets beaten up heavily. As time passes by, Sugriva loses his strength to hit back at Vaali.

As this was happening, Rama was hiding from a corner and watching the entire fight. (Even today we can see this place, by name “Chintaamani” near Hospet/Hampi in the Indian state of Karnataka. If we visit that place we can see that if we stand at the place where Rama was hiding, we can see the place where the Sugriva-Vaali fight took place, however if we go to the other side, we cannot see the place where Rama was hiding!) However, due to the identical appearance of both Sugriva and Vaali, Rama couldn’t differentiate between the two! He was confused as to who is Sugriva and who is Vaali and thus stood there without interfering! Rama was scared if he would end up killing Sugriva by mistake, instead of Vaali!

Thus, Sugriva gives it up at one point of time and runs away from that area. He comes back to his hiding place at Rishyamukha Mountain, sits near Rama and asks him, “Oh Rama! I was happily staying at Rishyamukha Mountain! You came to me and accepted me as your friend, assured me that you would kill Vaali and reinstate me as the king of the Vaanaras. Now see what you have done! If this would have been the case, you needn’t have done all this!” 🙂

Rama was equally speechless and didn’t know how to console Sugriva! What happened next? How did Rama handle this tricky situation? Let’s wait and witness in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 176 – Sugriva puts Lord Rama to test!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Sugriva is explaining to Rama and Lakshmana in minute detail regarding the past happenings that he had experienced with his elder brother Vaali, and subsequently about the immense strength and invincible powers that Vaali possesses. Rama and Lakshmana listen to the entire narration carefully and thus both Rama and Sugriva plan a strategy to kill Vaali.

As Sugriva was narrating the entire story, he suddenly has a doubt within himself and thinks, “Oh! I’m narrating all this without even knowing what is this Rama capable of! He says that he would finish Vaali off, but that is not so easy as he thinks! Hence, I need to test Rama’s capabilities before letting him fight with Vaali!” Thinking thus, he expresses this wish to Rama! Upon hearing this from Sugriva, Rama was amused within himself and gets ready for the “test”! Lakshmana was equally surprised, as he has never seen anybody daring to test Rama’s strength till date!

Now, Sugriva points out to this “Dundubhi’s shareeram” (Shareeram means dead body) and says, “Oh Rama! If you really possess the required strength to take on Vaali, try to kick this dead body and show your strength to us! It was this same dead body that Vaali was able to kick for a long distance easily with his powers!” Upon hearing this from Sugriva, Rama accepts the challenge and he kicks the body with all his strength. The body flies away and falls after travelling a long distance!

Seeing this, Sugriva was satisfied, but was still not convinced! He thinks to himself, “Ha! Rama was able to kick this dead body to far off distance! Fine! But now this dead body has decayed and lost everything in it! Whereas when Vaali kicked it, it was too heavy with all the flesh and blood in it! Hence I should give Rama another test! As Sugriva’s thoughts were running this way, Rama understood what was going on and he knew that he had to prepare himself for another test! 🙂

Sugriva now spots a bunch of “Saala-Vrikshaas”, which were nothing but a set of seven tall trees. Pointing out to them he asks Rama, “Oh Rama! You can see in front of you, seven huge trees! Our Vaali had once destroyed each tree with just one arrow! Can you try and replicate what Vaali had done?” Hearing this from Sugriva, Rama thinks within himself again, “Fine! I can do that! I can use one arrow for pulling down one tree! But what if Sugriva is still not convinced? How many tests should I take?” 🙂 Thinking thus, Rama replies back to Sugriva, “Oh Sugriva! I shall do something different here! You said Vaali destroyed one tree with one arrow isn’t it? Now let me destroy all the seven trees at one shot with just one arrow! Now this would be a proof to you that I can take on Vaali!”

Saying thus, Rama takes his bow and arrow, sends one sharp arrow towards all the seven trees that were in line. As the arrow is released from the bow, all the seven trees were destroyed one after the other and eventually fall down on the ground!

Upon seeing this, the entire group of Vaanaras was shell-shocked! Sugriva was is in awe and became speechless! So were Jaambavaan, Angadha and Hanuman! They surround Rama and praise his valor! Now, Sugriva and the Vaanaras were completely convinced that Rama has all the capabilities and strength to take on Vaali single-handedly and defeat him!

What happened next? What was the plot to kill Vaali? Did Vaali fall into the trap? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!

Episode 175 – Sugriva explains about Vaali to Rama & Lakshmana – Story of Maayaavi and Dundhubi!!!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama is aggrieved upon seeing the ornaments that Sita had thrown while being abducted by Ravana. Upon hearing the confirmation from the Vanaras that Ravana was the person who had abducted Sita, Rama becomes extremely furious and vows in front of everyone that he would be the one who would certainly put an end to Ravana for what he has done to his beloved wife!

Now moving on, Rama and Sugriva decide upon an action plan for the near future – The first objective would be to kill Vaali and instate Sugriva as the king of the Vaanaras. The second objective would be that the Vaanaras would help Rama and Lakshmana to search and find Sita and subsequently be of help in killing Ravana to relieve Sita from his clutches.

“Tathaha prahrishta vadanaha sugreevo lakshmanaagraje!

Vairasya kaaranam tathvam aakhyaath upachakrame!!”

Here is where Sugriva is narrating to Rama and Lakshmana the historical background of the Vaanaras. Everyone might know this story and hence I’m keeping it a little brief at the moment. There was this demon by name “Maayaavi”. He had once come to fight with Vaali and subsequently Vaali fought with Maayaavi inside a cave. Sugriva was waiting at the entrance of the cave as his brother Vaali and Maayaavi. After sometime there was a stream of blood that started flowing out from the cave. Terrified to see blood flowing out, Sugriva thinks that his brother Vaali has lost his life to Maayaavi and thus closes the cave with a huge rock, so as to prevent Maayaavi to come out of the cave. Once Sugriva returns to the kingdom with all the dejection, the ministers request Sugriva to succeed Vaali to the throne because the kingdom shouldn’t be without a king. Hence, Sugriva assumes the throne and starts ruling Kishkinta.

However, after a few months, Vaali manages to come out of the cave unhurt! On the contrary, it was Maayaavi who was killed by Vaali and it was Maayaavi’s blood that has flown out of the cave! Sugriva has clearly misunderstood the entire situation! Eventually when Vaali comes back to Kishkinta, he was shocked to see Sugriva sitting on the throne. He becomes terribly furious upon seeing this. However, Sugriva immediately comes down from the throne and submits the kingdom back to his brother. But Vaali was not in a mood to accept Sugriva’s request. He started abusing Sugriva and chased him out of the kingdom. Moreover, to inflict more insult on Sugriva, Vaali abducted his wife Ruma in the process. It is thus, Sugriva and his small group of Vaanaras (including Hanuman) were hiding at the Rishyamukha mountain when Rama and Lakshmana came along!

There is another story as to why Sugriva was hiding in this particular Rishyamukha Mountain. There was another demon by name “Dundhubi”. Vaali eventually killed him during the fight and his dead body was lying near the palace of Kishkinta. Upon seeing the dead body lying there, Vaali wanted to dispose it off and thus he kicked the body with his foot with all his strength. Unfortunately for Vaali, the body flew away and landed right in front of Sage Mathanga’s ashram located at this Rishyamukha Mountain. On seeing a dead body being thrown at him by Vaali, Mathanga Maharishi got furious and inflicted a curse on Vaali that his head would burst away if he sets his foot on this Rishyamukha Mountain! It is for this reason that Vaali doesn’t come to this place and Sugriva knowing this story, is purposefully hiding at this Rishyamukha Mountain!

Listening to all this, Rama and Lakshmana were surprised with the strength and valor of Vaali and the way in which Sugriva was insulted by Vaali. Hence the plan was made to kill Vaali at any cost. At this point, Sugriva was a bit puzzled! He was not sure if Rama would be able to defeat Vaali, given his extreme power and boons obtained by him and hence he wants to test Rama’s capabilities to handle Vaali. What does he do? How did Sugriva test Rama? Did Rama pass the test? Let’s witness this interesting phase in the next episode! 🙂

Episode 174 – Sugriva shows Sita’s ornaments to Rama!

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In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama and Lakshmana make friends with Sugriva and the Vaanaras as Hanuman formally introduces to everyone. As Rama and Sugriva pledged friendship with each other with the fire, the entire Vaanara community was very happy and celebrated the event. Subsequently Rama and Sugriva sit down together and are about to discuss each other’s problems in more detail.

As they sit down, the beauty of Lord Rama moves Sugriva and he is unable to take his eyes off Rama’s face! Sugriva and Rama thus start talking about the various possibilities as to how Vaali could be defeated. Sugriva explains to Rama about the strengths of Vaali and how dangerous an enemy he is! He narrates to Rama as to how he was chased away by Vaali and how Vaali abducted his wife Taara. Upon hearing this from his dear friend Sugriva, tears rolled down Lord Rama’s eyes! He felt sorry for what had happened to Sugriva and he thus pledged in front of the Vaanaras and Sugriva that Vaali would be killed at any cost, for all the mistakes that he had committed to his brother. Upon hearing this from Lord Rama, the Vaanaras were extremely happy and also had a new sense of security for their life. (It should be remembered at this point that the lives of Sugriva and his supporters are in great danger from Vaali!)

After this discussion was over, Sugriva was eager to listen to Rama’s story and how could he be of help to put Rama’s problems to an end. At this point, Lakshmana explains to Sugriva and the Vaanaras as to how he and Rama were residing in the “Dhandakaaranya” forest for the past thirteen years and towards the end of their “Vana Vaasa” (Exile life) the demon king Ravana abducted Sita and carried her away to an unknown location. Lakshmana also narrated how he and Rama walked all their way down through the banks of River Godaavari and reached this place of Sugriva. As he narrated the entire story, both Rama and Lakshmana were in tears of sorrow and Rama was missing Sita more and more every minute!

As Sugriva was listening to the story of Rama and Lakshmana, he suddenly remembered something – There were a set of ornaments that he and the other Vaanaras had discovered fallen in nearby vicinity! Suddenly Sugriva has a doubt if Sita might have thrown those ornaments down while she was being abducted! So he asks Hanuman to quickly bring those ornaments and show it to Rama and Lakshmana.

Upon hearing this from Sugriva, Rama was surprised and shocked! He exclaimed to Sugriva by saying, “Oh Sugriva! This is really surprising and miraculous to know! Please bring the ornaments immediately!” Accordingly, Hanuman brings those ornaments to Rama and Lakshmana and asks Lord Rama if he can identify them! As Hanuman opens the bundle of ornaments, Rama’s eyes were fully in tears and he wasn’t able to see them! Hence he requests Lakshmana to check if he could identify any of them.

Now, Hanuman opens the bundle and shows each of the ornaments to Lakshmana – A necklace, a set of bangles, a ring that is suited to wear around the hips, etc. As Lakshmana was looking at each of the ornament, he couldn’t identify any of them. Hanuman was surprised by this and Lakshmana replies, “Oh Hanuman and Sugriva! I’ve never seen Sita’s hands! I’ve never seen Sita’s face this closely to identify ornaments! All I do everyday is worship her divine feet! Hence, I know only those ornaments that she wears in her feet! So, please show me those ornaments if any!”

“Naaham jaanaami keyure naaham jaanaami kundale!

Nuupurekthamapi jaanaami nithyam paadaara vindanaath!!”

 Thus from the above sloka, Valmiki Maharishi emotionally describes Lakshmana’s ardent devotion towards Goddess Sita Devi and from this we can understand the depth of devotion Lakshmana had for Lord Rama and Goddess Sita and how selflessly he was of service to both of them!

It was at this point, Sugriva and Hanuman find out the “Nuupura” (The ornament that is worn in the feet) and show it to Rama and Lakshmana, and Lakshmana was immediately able to identify it and finalized that all these ornaments were of Sita’s only! It was also clear to them that Ravana – the demon king abducted Sita! Upon hearing this, Lord Rama became extremely furious! His anger knew no bounds! He lets out a huge scream of frustration and pledges in front of all the Vanaras that he would be the person who will put an end to Ravana and free the world from his attocricies!

Seeing his hero Rama getting so angry and frustrated with grief, Hanuman couldn’t hold on! He goes and falls on the feet of Lord Rama and tries to pacify him. Hanuman pledges to Rama and says, “OH my Lord! Please calm down! We are all here to help you find your beloved Sita! Please do not worry! All your sufferings have come to an end!”

Upon hearing this, Rama starts crying uncontrollably as Lakshmana looks on! For today, let us wait till Rama cools down a bit. We shall witness in the next episode as to what happened next!

Episode 173 – Hanuman nurtures friendship between Rama and Sugriva!!!

rama-sita

In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama has concluded his praise for Hanuman’s speech and asks Lakshmana to reply to him with adequate care and respect. As we had already seen, the main reason why Lord Rama is placing so much emphasis to bring out the significance of Hanuman is because, Hanuman is considered to be the “Aachaarya” or the “Supreme Master” (Guru).

As Lakshmana completes his introduction about himself and his brother Rama, Hanuman is very happy to hear it and his love for Rama started increasing exponentially from there on! He decides that from this point, he would be a “Rama-Dasa” or “Rama-Bhaktha”! Thus, Hanuman carries both Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders and takes them to the place where Sugriva is living.

 

“Sahi raajyaajya vibrashtaha krutha vairascha vaali naa!

Kritha kaaro vanesthrasthaha bhraathraa vinikrutho disham!!”

 

Thus from the above sloka, Hanuman does the mutual introduction between Rama and Sugriva. He says, “Oh Sugriva! Here is Rama, son of King Dasharata of the great Ikshvaaku Dynasty in Ayodhya! Both of you are almost in the same situation wherein you have lost your wife to your brother Vaali and similarly Rama has lost his wife to the demon king Ravana. Hence here is an opportunity for both of you to be of help to each other and reclaim each other’s wives! Hence I think both of you should become good friends and solve each other’s problems.”

Thus by saying this, Hanuman fulfills the role of a minister. He thus enables both Sugriva and Rama to come together on the same platform.

“Bhikshu roopam parithyajya vaanaram roopamaashrithaha!

Drishtamaaroktha thou veerau jagaama kapi kunjaraha!!”

 Thus saying all the above, Hanuman finally takes his original form of a monkey. It should be remembered that Hanuman had changed his form like a “Bhikshu” or a “Sanyaasin” while talking with Rama and Lakshmana for the first time, owing to the fear for Vaali.

Thus when Sugriva sees Lord Rama and while he listens to the entire story from Hanuman, Sugriva is equally impressed and proposes to Rama that he wants to be a good friend to him. Rama too accepts Sugriva’s request and both hold each other’s hands. They bring up a fire and promise to each other in front of the fire that both of them would be friends for life!

“Gruhyathaam paaninaam paanihi mariyaadhaa gadhyathaam dhruvaa!

Samprishtam anaahastham peedayaamaasa paaninaa!!”

Thus both Rama and Sugriva hold each other’s hands and come around the fire to take the pledge. While taking the pledge, Rama assures Sugriva that he would kill whoever has abducted his wife and re-instate Sugriva as the king of the Vaanaraas. In turn, Sugriva assures Rama that he would be of immense help in finding out the whereabouts of Sita and also to fight Ravana to bring her back.

Now, Sugriva and Rama have become very good friends and now they sit down with each other to listen to each other’s stories and background in a deeper detail. As Rama sits near Sugriva, Sugriva was carried away by Rama’s beautiful face and he admires Rama without even winking his eyes for a moment! For today we shall let Sugriva admire Rama, and in the next episode we shall witness the events that took place further!