Posts

How to deal with friendship? Hanuma’s advice that saved Sugraiva’s life

After Vali’s death, Rama has coroneted Sugriva as the king of Kishkindha Kingdom. Sugriva thanked Rama and promised Rama that he will assemble a great army to fight Ravana as soon as the rainy season is over. Since Rama has taken a vow that he will not live in any city, he lived on the Prasavana mountain along with Lakshmana. While Rama was waiting, Sugriva engrossed himself in pleasures and comforts of his kingship. He indulged himself with women day in and day out and delegated his responsibilities to able ministers.

 

Hanuma has observed this and advised Sugriva that, “Now you have acquired your kingdom back and you still have the duty to fulfill your promise to assemble the army. Your kingdom will flourish only if you treat your friends very amicably and address their needs punctually. A king needs to pay attention to his finances, army, friends and his own atman (self). A king who does not addresses his friend’s needs on time, and over indulges in personal comforts will receive lot of adversity. When you delay in acting on addressing a friends’ need, it is as good as not acting at all”.

 

Hanuma continued, “Rama is a great warrior and he is capable of attacking Ravana alone. Rama values his friendship greatly and he has proved it already by saving your life from your brother and made you as a King. Please do not wait till Rama comes back and remind you to act on your promise. Invest your energies in pursuing Rama’s objectives and command the army to assemble here quickly”. Sugriva thanked Hanuma and ordered immediately to assemble a massive army and prepare for the fight.

 

The rainy season was over and Rama still did not get any communication from Sugriva on how to proceed to Lanka. Rama became very anguished and said to Lakshmana, “Four months of rainy season feels like hundred years for me. I don’t know how Sita is and without her I am not able to enjoy this beautiful nature as well. Sugriva has used me to get his kingdom back and he is indulging in the worthless pleasures and forgot his promises.” Rama asked Lakshmana to go to Kishkindha and remind Sugriva about his promise. “Tell Sugriva that I have killed Vali with one arrow and if Sugriva does not abide by his words, I can kill Sugriva and his dynasty as well”. Lakshmana became very angry and said “I will kill Sugriva right away and will lead and an army under the leadership of Angada to search Sita”. But Rama asked Lakshmana to have patience and only warn Sugriva and not act in haste.

 

When furious Lakshmana entered Kishkindha, some of the informers informed Sugriva about Lakshmana’s visit. Sugriva came to Hanuma and said, “ I have never spoken ill of Rama or Lakshmana and I don’t know why Lakshmana is angry with me. Some of my rivals may have created a bad impression about me to Rama. Why don’t you go to Lakshmana and pacify him”. Hanuma replied, “Rama must be upset and he must have sent Lakshmana to remind you about your promise. You have been ecstatic about your kingdom and you have not noticed that the rainy season is over. If Rama is annoyed, it is not good for you and your kingdom. You have been a great friend and you already ordered the entire army to be assembled. I don’t foresee any other way except apologizing to Lakshmana for the delay. If He uses any harsh words, please endure it as Rama is anguished.”

 

Sugriva apologized to Lakshmana and they all went to the Prasavana Mountain to display the great army that he has assembled to fight the war.

 

Source : Valmiki ramayana

 

Did Rama make a mistake by killing Vali from behind the tree?

Sugriva challenged his brother into a fight to regain his lost kingdom and his wife. Rama, hiding behind a tree, watched the great fight between Vali and Sugriva. Rama released an arrow from his bow with great force, it has pierced Vali’s heart. Vali fell on the ground like a big tree and lost consciousness for a brief time. Seeing him fall, Rama and Lakshmana approached Vali to pay respects to him before his death. Regaining his consciousness, Vali saw Rama and realized that it was Rama’s arrow that has hurt him.

 

Vali, very sarcastically said, “Rama! I have been told that you come from a great dynasty, you have studied all scriptures, you are merciful, truthful, committed to doing good deeds and have great judgment of time and action. But what have you done? You are a king and you should fight me in a battle. Instead, you attacked me without even facing me. You are an amoral person who was born in such a great family. Your dharma is like straw covering a well. Deep inside, you are not an amoral person and you are focused on material gains“

 

Vali continued, “Why did you kill me? I have not done any sin like killing cows, theft, and killing friends. I have not done any misdeed in your country. I live in forests and I live by eating fruits and roots. Our nature is to kill and get killed. But you live in great cities; still, you killed me like an animal. You didn’t follow the high standards that need to follow by a king. Did you kill me to gain friendship of Sugriva so that you can fight Ravana? You could have just asked me and I would have brought the evil minded Ravana in front of you with out any fight. How can you justify killing me? You couldn’t adhere to the great traditions of your family.”

 

Rama patiently heard him and replied, “Vali! You are childishly rebuking me and you are not qualified to discuss dharma with me. You have always aspired for prosperity, material pleasures and never cared for Dharma and even social conventions. You have not spent time with wise men and elders of your race to learn judging right and wrong. This land belongs to Ikshvaku race and my brother Bharata is the king of this land. As a family member of the kind, I have a duty to enforce his rul and punish people who are not following the dharma”

 

Rama continued, “While your brother Sugriva is alive, you have misbehaved with his wife, Ruma. An elder brother is like father and siste in law is like daughter. I do not tolerate your wrongdoing; I have given you the same punishment that is mentioned in scriptures for people who behave lustfully with their daughters, sisters. When Sugriva met me and asked me for my friendship, I promised him that I would reinstate him back as king. By killing you, I have honored my word. I come from King’s dynasty and I have right to hunting and it is not a face-to-face game. Since, you are an animal, I have not sinned by killing you from the side of a tree. I do not have any anger or benefit to kill you. I eliminated you because it is my duty”

Vali realized and said,”Rama! What you said is proper. You have great knowledge and you know the real nature of dharma. I have digressed from my dharma and please give me absolution from my mistakes” and closed his eyes peacefully.

Sorrow from Death – Rama’s advice to Vali’s wife Tara

When Rama killed Vali in the battle, all monkeys were terrified and ran back to the Kishkindha and told Valia’s wife Tara, “O Queen, your husband has been killed by Rama. Please direct the ministers to close down the gates of Kishkindha and protect your son Angada”. On hearing this, Tara became and very sad and cried that, “What interest I have in this kingdom when my husband is killed. I want to die along with my husband” and she ran towards Vali.

 

When she saw Vali’s dead body covered with blood and dust, she cried uncontrollably. Tara looked at Rama and said, “Oh Rama!! You killed my husband because my husband has not followed his dharma. I cannot live without my husband. Even in heaven, I am not happy if my husband is not with me. Ravana has abducted your wife and you know how separation from loved ones can cause grief. Please kill me also with the same arrow.”

 

Rama consoled Tara by saying, “why are you grieving foolishly? Who is your husband? Is it Vali’s body or his atman? If Vali’s body is your husband, it is still lying here. Then why are you crying? This body is composed of five elements (space, Air, water, earth and fire) and is produced by time and action (karma). This body is unintelligent and it is bound to decay. The intelligence comes from the Atman. It is neither male nor female. It is neither born nor dies. It is all pervading and everlasting.”

 

Tara asked Rama, “When the body is unintelligent like wood and the atman is all pervading, who is causing the pain and pleasure? Where do they come from?” Rama replied saying, “Your sense of identification comes from ahankara and when ahankara is superimposes the atman, it causes the bondage. A crystal is colorless but when it is brought near a colorful object red or blue, the crystal also takes the color of red or blue. The mind is incapable of knowing the true atman. Instead it can only recognize its creation thoughts, the unintelligent body. As long as the mind is focused towards external things that are perishable there is duality – birth & death, pleasure & pain. When the mind is directed towards the everlasting, exuberant atman, you realize the truth and you will not have any sorrow”.

 

After Rama’s discourse, Tara left all the sorrow and bowed in front of Rama and thanked him.