Tuesday, 29 April 2014

162. Vali pronounced his last will and testament.

           Everyone there were mightily surprised to see that there was some movement, albeit very slight, from the supine body of Vali. It seemed that Vali was determined to keep himself alive for some more time. With his life-force slowing down and as a consequence respiring slowly, Vali glancing everywhere and the first person he saw was his brother Sugreeva afore him. Vali beckoned Sugreeva with a nod. Sugreeva moved very close to his brother. Vali then told him "Sugreeva, I am sorry that I treated you improperly. It seems that we two are fated to be at daggers drawn and not to share blissfulness simultaneously. My end is at hand. I, hereby, make you the sole king of this kingdom.
                "Take a good care of Angada, who is privileged for all happiness and has been brought up in all comforts. Though a boy, he is mannerly. He is more dear than my own life. As he is being deprived of me you have to foster him as your own son.
                "This admirable son of Tara will be of great succour to your triumphs and in eliminating enemies and he will be in your advance guard. This mighty and sinewy son of Tara is youthful, and I assure you that this Angada will act just like me in any battle against enemies.
                 "This daughter of Sushena, Tara is highly shrewd and very intelligent. I suggest you consult her before taking any action on any important matter.
       There is an interesting story as to how SusheNa became the father of Tara. Tara is said to be one of the outcomes from the churning of Milky Ocean by devas and asuras (See chapter 18. The legend of churning Milk Ocean.). Both Vali and Sushena wanted to marry her and they both grabbed her hands. Vali held her right hand and Sushena held her left hand and both claimed her. Then the elderly sages and gods intervened and decided that one who held her right hand was her husband and the other who held her left hand was her father. That is how Sushena  became the father of Tara.
End Comment. 
            "I give you this golden pendant, oh, Sugreeva, and you wear it." 
            Then Vali turned to his son Angada and said "From now on, Sugreeva will act as your father. Obey him as you did me. However, Sugreeva may not approve of any puerile behaviour of yours. Please therefore refrain from it. Do not reach at his unfriendly ones, nor go near his enemies. You shall be under the control of Sugreeva. Do not conduct yourself with excessive friendliness or unfriendliness, as this pair of opposites itself has a flaw, and as such you cultivate an intermediary outlook." 
           Vali was not able to hold out any longer as the arrow of Rama was taking its toll. His eyeballs which were looking at Angada started to roll up, his mouth hung open baring his horrid teeth, and his life bid adieu to his body.

Friday, 25 April 2014

161. Tara's bereavement.

               When Tara, the wife of Vali came to know that her husband, the mighty Vali was fatally wounded, she rushed out with great anguish along with her son Angada to see her husband. 
              On her way towards the field of combat she saw some vanaras looking frightened and fleeing in disorder. Tara asked them "Oh! Vanaras, why are you all running away in utter fright and desperation, leaving off your king to whom all of you are guards?" 
             They replied "When a brother caused the fall of his own brother for the sake of kingdom then we think that there is no guarantee for our lives. We are trying to preserve our lives.
            "Madam, Rama's very powerful arrow has wounded Vali fatally. We are afraid that Rama may kill all of us, too. That is why we are running away.
            "We suggest that Vali's son Angada be enthroned for Kishkindha, immediately. Once Vali's son Angada is enthroned then all the vanara forces will stand by him.
             "In case you are not inclined to do so for any reason, then your staying here is not safe. When Kishkindha becomes kingless, then Sugreeva will promptly enter our strongholds on this very day itself. Then all our lives will be at stake."
            Tara stared at those vanaras with mixed feelings. After a careful consideration she told the vanaras "Without my dear mighty and valorous husband Vali, I don't care whatever happens to my son, the kingdom or myself. I am going to fall at the feet of that great-soul, who is felled down by the arrow projected by Rama." 
            Saying thus she started to wail and convulse in agony, and slapped her head and chest with both of her hands and ran towards her fallen husband Vali.
            She saw him, who equaled Indra in battles, a violent antagonist for his adversaries and a brave one felled by a braver one, and who was like a mighty animal killed by a mightier tiger, and quietened like a black cloud at the end of a downpour.
               She saw Rama standing, abutting on his very powerful bow, and his younger brother Lakshmana by his side. She saw Sugreeva, too.

             Going past them she reached her husband lying on the earth and obviously in great pains due to the powerful arrow in his chest.  She looked at her dear husband with tears running like a pair of streams from her eyes and fell on him and embraced him. She could not contain her deep sorrow. She started wailing fretfully with grief scorching her heart "Oh, my most dear and highly valiant lord, I have never blamed you directly or indirectly. Please talk to me. 
             "Don't you remember the pleasure trips you made with me to the sweet smelling forests from time to time? Do you want to end that by your departing? 
            "This is the result of what you did - you have snatched away Sugreeva's wife, after expelling him from Kishkindha. I tried to persuade you with an interest in your well-being and wishing your welfare, but oh, my dear, you brusquely brushed me off.
              "So far I have been kept by you as a very happy and highly contented wife and a woman. I do not know what my life would be after your departure.
                "My Angada is raised fondly, a brave one with gracefulness and one who is accustomed to comforts. I am very much perturbed to think about the predicament he may have to undergo when his paternal uncle Sugreeva gets into a fit of fury. Oh, son Angada, clearly see your father, a patron of virtue, for the last time. Oh, boy, later it is impossible to catch even a glimpse of his lordly face.
            "Please reassure your son, kiss goodbye on his forehead, and give me your parting messages. Really, Rama has not only done a great deed of hitting you down, but he also achieved indebtedness from Sugreeva, both in a single deed."
            She turned to Sugreeva and told him "Now, Sugreeva as you regain your wife Ruma, you may also take over the kingdom as your brother turned enemy is silenced." 
            She then looking at Vali and said "Oh, lord of vanaras, why don't you talk to me, the most cherished wife of yours, when I am prattling at length. By the way, the rest of your comely wives are here. Please look at them." 
            On listening Tara's lamentation the vanara females who were around became plaintive, saddened pitiably and wept piteously embracing Angada.
            Tara looking at Vali and continued "Oh, one with bracelets on your mighty arms, why are you going to an eternal abode leaving your dear son Angada? Your going away leaving such a son, who possesses best aptitudes that comes close to your abilities, and the one who always wears an exquisitely pleasant getup, is unbefitting.
           "If I have done any undesirable deed in an indiscriminate way, even in the least, I may be pardoned for that, and here I bow down at your feet."
          Tara and the other wives of Vali surrounded Vali and started weeping pitiably.
           After sometime Tara decided to self-immolate, and flounced down onto the ground where Vali was lying.
            Hanuman was terribly moved by the sorrowful sight of Tara. He decided to do something to alleviate her plight. Accordingly he neared and started consoling Tara who had fallen on the ground like a star from the sky, by saying "Living beings on doing the deeds of merit or demerit,  knowingly or unknowingly, will derive the resultant fruits of those deeds according to one's own destiny even after demise, and they shall bear them unrepentantly, may they be provident or improvident.

              "Of which lamentable one you lament while you yourself are in a lamentable state? Of which pitiable one you take pity while you yourself are in a pitiable condition? Who is pitiable by whom in these bubble like bodies?

               "You are the one with a living son, and you, as his mother, have to look after your son, Angada, and you have to think of the forthcoming activities for his well-being and for his performance of duty towards his father. Whatever has happened has happened according to destiny. Accept this as a prudent one, and perform further auspicious worldly deeds here in this world. 

                 "All the vanaras, including this son of yours Angada, now look upon you as their guardian angel. Oh, lady, inspirit these two, Sugreeva and Angada, who are searing in grief, and if you acquiesce then this Angada will take over the kingdom. Whatever duty anticipated from a male descendant towards his father, and whatever activity that is to be done presently in respect of the dying king, let them be done, and that would be a timely and prudent decision.
               "Cremation of the king of Vanaras and anointment of Angada are the present time affairs, and seeing your son invested on the throne you can obtain peace." 
               Tara replied Hanuman "Who am I either for conducting the vanara kingdom or to anoint Angada when Angada's paternal-uncle Sugreeva is close at hand? 
              "I now do not have anything important to do in this world. I thing that the only befitting thing for me to do is to join this brave and valiant husband of mine."

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

160. Rama justifies his action.

                 The valiant Vali, glittering with dazzling gold ornaments was lying down like a hewed down tree. Though that great Vali fell onto the earth, and writhing in pain, his life together with his brilliance,resplendence and bravery was clinging to his body like an adhesive. That superb and gem-studded golden pendent given by Indra sustained that vanara chief's life, resplendence and brilliance. With that golden pendant around his neck, that brave Vali appeared like a black-cloud smeared with the colour of golden sunset all around its edges. Rendered incapable of any action and lying on the ground his body with that chest pendant and the arrow of Rama, looked splendorous. 
               When Vali was wondering who shot that powerful arrow clandestinely, he noticed that Rama accompanied by his brother Lakshmana was coming towards him.
        When Rama neared him, Vali spewed out  sarcastically at him "So, you are the renowned prince with pleasing looks. Tell me which kind of death I am getting now, that is when I was entangled in a conflict with another, I was being killed by you, hiding.  What merit is achieved by you in this undertaking of yours to kill someone who is facing away from you.
          "I have heard that you, Rama, are high-born, gifted with mightiness, resplendent, a pursuer of vows, mindful of mercy, a delighter in people's welfare, sympathetic, greatly enthusiastic and assertively committed in doing good deeds, knower of time-and-action, etc.
             "I was warned about you by my dear wife Tara, who tried to persuade me not to accept the challenge of Sugreeva. She smelt something fishy in that. As I have heard quite a lot about you who is a scion of the great king Ragu. Concluding that you too will have the lofty kingly characteristics, I have confronted Sugreeva ignoring Tara's persuasion.
              "When you have not appeared before me when I confronted Sugreeva, I was sure that you will not even try to hurt me while I am combating with another combatant. It seems that whatever I have heard about you are not true. Not knowing that your soul is killed and buried deep, not knowing that you are the unrighteous flag bearer of righteousness, I was concentrating my fight with Sugreeva without any thought about you.  I was absolutely unaware that you are insidious but covered well with straightforwardness.
              "I have no knowledge that you are a sinner, one in the garb of a benign soul, and explicitly mantled under the garb of probity like ash covered fire.
              "I have not committed any misdeed either in your country or in your city, nor I have taunted you; I am a vanara subsisting on fruits and tubers and always moving in forests alone; such as I am, what made you to kill me, that too clandestinely, when I was not combating with you en face, and, when I was involved with another?
             "You are renowned to be a prince with charming looks, and indications agreeable to rectitude are also seen on your body. I have not heard that anybody born in a Kshatriya family, a learned one in Vedas, thereby who is rid of ambiguities with respect to right and wrong, and who is cloaked in an air of probity, can execute such a ruthless and hateful deed like this. Though born in Raghu's dynasty and renowned as a moralist you are actually amoral, and for what purpose you run around with this moral aspect?
              "Influencing, largesse, forbearance, probity, candour, and conquering are the attributes of  kings; and also punishing the wrongdoers. But I am an animal living in forests while you are a city dweller, I live by eating fruits and tubers while you enjoy feasts and banquets, my nature is such to kill and get killed, thus you and me have no correlation. But you are a man and also a prince for humans. Such a human as you are, you resorted to this animalistic way of killing me lying in the wait, thus your action is worse than that of an animal, if not subhuman or inhuman.
                  "Territory, gold, silver and the like will be the causes for liquidating somebody. I could not fathom, by what you are decoyed into these forests of mine or in the fruits of mine.
               "It seems that you are a wrathful and capricious contriver of kingcraft, and an impetuous shoot happy archer. You do not seem to have any devotion to probity.
               "You do not have any justification for this detestable deed of killing an unoffending one with your arrow.
              "You cannot justify your killing me for my (i.e a vanara's) skin as my skin is not wearable like that of a deer or tiger etc. Similarly holy people forbid my (meaning a vanara's) hair and bones, and uneatable is my meat for your kind of reputable people.
              "You cannot justify killing me like an animal for my meat, skin etc.
              "I wonder how a son of the great king Dasharatha is so artful, felonious, knavish, disposed to a false modesty subconsciously, and an evildoer.
              "On accomplishing this sort of unpropitious and unjustified killing, which is condemned by the righteous people, what can you say when you meet the godly men?
             "Had you been in combat with me en face, oh, prince, you would have been killed by me.
             "I, Vali, renowned as unassailable one, am killed by you hiding yourself and invisible to me on the field of fight, like one bitten by a snake while he is asleep.
                 "I guess that you killed me to help Sugreeva whom you want to help you to find where Ravana has kept your wife. You should have assigned me for that purpose in the first instance itself, and I would have brought that evil-minded rakshash Ravana, the abductor of your wife in one day, that too without killing him in any fight, but by fastening him by neck, and I would have presented Maithili to you.
              "I would have brought your wife even if she is lodged in the deep oceanic waters or in any of the nether worlds.
              "The fact of Sugreeva's getting the kingdom after my going to heaven is proper, but the fact of your killing me in war, unrighteously, is improper.
              "Please let me know if you have any justifiable justification for killing me in the manner you did."
              After saying what he wanted, Vali was gazing at Rama with mixed sentiments. He found that Rama was looking at him with a benign smile without any trace of guilt. Rama then replied Vali serenely "My dear chap, you never cared for probity, prosperity, pleasure deriving and also for the social conventions, and as such you do not have any competence or right, moral as well as legal, to rebuke me. It is childish of you to do so in this matter.
            "I take it that your are aware that this earth with its mountains, woods and forests, along with the authority to condone or condemn the animals, birds and humans and all other animate objects on it belong to Ikshvakus.
            "At present my brother Bharata, who is very virtuous, observer of probity etc. is the ruler of this earth. 
           "While that Bharata, the tiger like ruler and a patron of virtue, is ruling the earth in its entirety, how  anyone could be allowed to conduct himself in an unacceptable way to morality on it? Abiding in our own pre-eminent righteousness, and even abiding by the order of Bharata we punish him who deviated from the path of morality, according to custom.
           "I came to know that you brought virtue to a state of decadence, rendered yourself reprovable by your own decadent behaviour. To cap it all, carnality has become your primary doctrine. And thus you have not abided by the conduct essential to a king.
            "Like a blind by birth counselling some one with similarly blind, you being a vacillant, on your counselling only with frantic minded vacillant vanaras, what can you really fathom about right and wrong?
            "I will clarify what I have said, but I tell you that it is indeed inapt of you to disdain me just out of your outrage. The principal reason for which I have eliminated you is you misbehaved with your brother's wife, forsaking the perpetual tradition.
           "While your brother Sugreeva is still alive, you with your habit of sinful acts have lustily misbehaved with Sugreeva's wife Ruma, who should be considered as your daughter-in-law.
            "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.
             "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.
             "As a Kshatriya from one of the best dynasties I do not tolerate your wrongdoing, and the punishment to the one who lustfully indulges with his daughter, or with his sister, or with the wife of his younger brother is his elimination, as recalled from scriptures. While Bharata is the lord of the land and we are his proxies adhering to his orders, and while you too have overstepped the bounds of rightness, then how can I show any leniency to you? While ruling righteously sensible Bharata punishes him who oversteps the momentous virtue, and he is poised to put down lustful ones.
             "As for us, we effectuate our brother's orders and our duty, and we stand for curbing your kind of shatterers of ethics. My association with Sugreeva is as good as that with Lakshmana; nevertheless it betided with an understanding to regain Sugreeva's wife and kingdom, and he will give succour to me.
             "I gave a promise to Sugreeva at the time of befriending him in the presence of his loyal vanaras, and how is it possible for my kind to dishonour a given promise?
             "As the ruler of the vanaras you should know that a befitting punishment is given to you, owing to all these great reasons that abound with virtue and with supreme value. In view of these the punishment given to you is considered absolutely legitimate. At any rate one whom rectitude guides has to render assistance to his friend.
            "Had you pursued rightness, you too would have done the same deed in imposing such a punishment. And what I did was in accordance with the principles stipulated in the two verses that are given to the advocacy of good conventions, which the experts of rightness have also accepted, and which are said to be coined by Manu, and I too conducted myself only as detailed in those verses of law.
            "They are  'When kings impose proper punishment on the those who have sinned, they become sinless and enter heaven as with the pious souls with good deeds.' 
            "And '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.' 
            "A king who ignores any wrong doers then he, the king himself will acquire the sin committed by the sinner. 
            "In view of the above, it would be abundantly clear that what I did was absolutely proper.
           "Oh, brave and valiant Vali, please listen to another cause, and on hearing that important cause, you, I am sure will cease to be angry at me. I had neither angst nor ire in this matter of my eliminating you. You, no doubt are aware that people capture several animals, either covertly or overtly, with snares, springes and even with numerous contrivances. Meat eating people will undeniably kill animals, either they are speedily sprinting or standing steadily, fully dismayed or undismayed, vigilant or unvigilant, and even if they are facing away, in that there is no sacrilege. In this world even the kingly sages well-versed in virtue will go on hunting, and hunting is no face to face game, and as such, oh, vanara, I felled you in combat with my arrow because you are a tree-branch animal, whether you are not combating with me or combating against me.
              "Kings are the bounteous benefactors of the unobtainable righteousness and propitious lifestyles, and there is no doubt about it. They are not to be harmed, also not to be reproved, not disparaged and nothing displeasing is spoken to them, as they are the divinities conducting themselves in human form on the plane of earth. I am abiding by the ethicalness practised by my father and forefathers, but you revile me without the knowledge of rightness, just by clinging to your rancour." 
              Vali was absolutely and totally convinced by the reply given by Rama. He replied Rama with adjoined palms, "Sir, I agree that what all you have said is proper, without any doubt. Indeed an ignoble cannot disprove a nobleman. Please forgive me for accusing you for impropriety etc. and with regards to the undesirable and improper words I have unwittingly spoken earlier, in that mater too it will be truly unapt of you to make me blameworthy, as I spoke them in anguish and ignorance.
              "You alone are the knower of recourses and their real nature, namely probity, prosperity, pleasure seeking, and emancipation; and you take delight in the welfare of subjects, and your faultless intellect is clear in accomplishing ends by judging the causes and effects.
              "Oh, Rama, the knower of probity, I am the one who digressed from the rightness and a forerunner among such transgressors, such as I am, give absolution even to me with words abounded with rightness." 
              Vali, with tears fully impeding his throat and with an agonised moan, and like an elephant plumped in slough continued to say slowly on keenly observing Rama  "Also, I neither worry for myself, nor for Tara, nor even for any relatives of mine, as I do for my son Angada. Right from his childhood I fondly looked after Angada, and he will be dejected after my demise, and would wither away like a lake with its water drained for a drink. He is boyish, juvenile, and the only dear son of mine, oh, Rama, as such that great-mighty son of Tara needs your protection.
               "You have firm convictions about practicable and impracticable procedures, and you alone are the protector of the good and punisher of the bad, hence treat both Sugreeva and Angada with equal compassion. Oh, lord of men, it will be apt of you to show the same kind of outlook towards Sugreeva and Angada, which you have for Bharata and Lakshmana.
               "The fault occurring from my fault of maltreating Sugreeva may not light upon that self-reproachful Tara, and it will be apt of you to see that Sugreeva does not look down on her treating her as the wife his rival. When you indeed approve someone, he certainly would be capable enough to govern any kingdom or rule the entire earth or control even the heaven itself abiding himself under your guidance and following your heart.
                "Though Tara dissuaded me I met with my brother Sugreeva in a duel as though aspiring elimination at your hand."
               Rama consoled Vali with "Oh, Vali, you need not be remorseful about your wife, son and others you leave behind, because we take care of them. Do not think that we have arbitrarily eliminated you.  And do not bother about yourself for committing sins, as we took this decision according to rightness and considerateness in your respect.
             "He who administers punishment to the punishable, and he who is punishable and gets punished, both of them will achieve the results of cause and effect, where punishment is the effect from the cause of wrongdoing, and they both thereby will not be condemned. Thereby, by virtue of the punishment you are completely divested of your blemish, and as contained in the scriptures on rightness you attained your true nature, that which is agreeable to rightness.
              "Let distress, desire and even dread that abide in your heart be discarded, you cannot possibly transcend destiny. As Angada has always been conducting himself with you, thus he will conduct himself with Sugreeva and also even with me, without doubt." 
              On hearing the agreeable and assertive words of Rama, Vali said "Oh, Rama, the lord of people, I blamed you when your arrow penetrated and rendered me imbecile. Thus I blamed you unthinkingly, for which I may please be pardoned."
             There are lots of comments by experts on Valmiki Ramayana about the way Vali was killed by Rama. I  feel that the explanation of Rama as above is quite convincing.
      I would like to add something of my own. You all know that "Om Poornamadah Poornamidam Poornat Poornamudachyate Poornasya Poornamadaya Poornamevavasishyate." That is to say in English "What is whole, this is whole; what has come out of the whole is also whole. When the whole is taken out of the whole, the whole still remains whole.
       That being so, if Rama declared himself as an opponent to Vali, then due to the power of the golden pendant of Vali, half the strength of Rama would have been transferred to Vali. Rama being the incarnation of God Vishu, his power was INFINITE. Half of INFINITY is INFINITY. Therefore, Vali would have become someone like God Vishnu and cannot be vanquished at all by anyone. I think, this is one of the reasons why Rama had to kill Vali in the way he did.


Friday, 11 April 2014

159. The fall of Vali.

        As Vali was very arrogantly confident of his own prowess and was also impounded by fatality, was not in a mood to even consider the advice of his dear better half. Even the Tara's face that shined like the lord of the stars (i.e. the Moon) did not make him to consider her advice. As the prompting of fate was so strong, Vali dauntingly told his wife "He is no doubt an younger brother to me but at this moment an adversary. Oh, pretty-faced Tara, how can I stoop to tolerate him when he kept on raving frenetically. Does it not occur to you that it would be tantamount to cowardice to remain hidden inside the house when a brave and highly valiant warrior like me is challenged? I am incapable of ignoring that dumbly Sugreeva's bawling commotion desiring a brawling duel. Also, you need not worry about Raghava. I have heard about him. He is said to be highly diligent and knower of virtue and as such he cannot allow himself to commit any sin.
             "My dear queen, please return with all these females. I truly thank you for your advise. Do not worry. I intent to retaliate Sugreeva only to drive him and his arrogance out. As he is firmed up for a combat, I will indeed have to effectuate his desire by caning him with trees and thrashing him with fists. On being roughed up in that manner he would meekly run away with his tail between his legs like a dog.
             "He cannot match me even in my sleep. Oh, Tara, you have offered your helping suggestion and you have shown all your friendliness to me. I thank you very much for that. I shall return to you after easily driving out that brother of mine." 
             Tara then hugged and circumabulated Vali, as an honour to the brave husband. Then she, who is an hymnodist performed a hymnal bon voyage wishing triumph to Vali, and returned to her palace chambers along with the other females, disoriented by her own sadness.
              Then Vali emerged out hissing like an infuriated great snake, marched to his doom. When the imprudent Vali with golden pendant saw Sugreeva, he was surprised to note that  his brother Sugreeva in golden-ochre hue, was tightening his girdle cloth signalling that he was all set for the fight. Vali also noticed that his brother was now wearing an air of self-confidence and was blazing like fiery-fire. Vali also tightened his girdle cloth. On nearing Sugreeva, Vali told him "My lad, see my mighty clenched fist.  It will unclench only after I pitch this on you at full speed." 
           Then the duel between the brothers started with a mighty hit by Vali.  That made Sugreeva to stream blood in torrents. Enraged by this Sugreeva instantly uprooted a saala tree and thrashed the limbs of Vali as with the thunderbolt thrashing a great mountain. This thwacking made Vali stagger and made him look like a tossing ship in an ocean filled with heavy load of merchandise and brimming with merchants, on the brink of wrecking.
           The fight was going on for some time. But Vali being more powerful, the mighty son of the sun, Sugreeva started to regress and was becoming retardant in aggression. Nevertheless he continued to hold on with difficulty on the hope that Rama would soon save him. Seeing Sugreeva loosing his grip, Rama decided to end his agony. Locking a powerful arrow in his bow, Rama shot it at Vali. Hearing the blast of the bowstring the lordly birds and animals were panicked and they all fled.
           The arrow released by Raghava had the boom of the thunderbolt's thunderclap and like the flashes of a lightning pierced the chest of Vali. Hit by that fleeting arrow that highly magnificent and intrepid lord of vanaras, Vali fell onto the plane of earth.
           Like the flag raised in honour of Indra during the month of ashvin on a full-moon day, thrown onto the earth along with its flagstaff after the festival, Vali with depleted energy and dissipated vitality slowly fell onto the ground, and with tears and a blocked throat, moaned piteously.
This indra dhvaja ustava, festival of Indra's flagstaff will be undertaken after the sixth lunar month of year, usually after summer in order to appease Indra to cause rains. On full-moon day in Ashvayuja month [October-November] this will be performed and after the ritual the flag/flagstaff will be thrown to ground.
End Comment.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

158 The sagacious advice of Tara.

               Vali wondered how and why Sugreeva, who after being thoroughly thrashed by him some time ago, was now blaring so loudly calling him for a duel once again. Sugreeva's outcry seemed to be shuddering everyone in the palace of Vali. Noting this his insolence declined to some extent. However, his anger overpowered all other sentiments in him. He then came out of  his chambers thumping his feet as though to shatter the earth.
               He then found his dear wife Tara before him. Tara with a face that always showed goodwill and amity hugged him.  Looking at her face, Vali noticed fear and bewilderment in that lovely face. She told him "Oh my brave hubby, you better shed that anger on your face. It is most unbecoming of you to wear such an angry face. 
             "Oh, my dear, I suggest you fight with him tomorrow morning when you will be fresh and would have got rid of this ugly anger on your face
           "Your rushing without pausing to think does not seem to augurs well for us. Please listen carefully why I am trying to dissuade you now. Sugreeva challenged you for a duel sometime earlier and you obliged him and rendered him as a nonentity. Somehow he eluded further beating and ran away. Has it occurred to you why he has now come again and throwing a challenge so ferociously. 
           "Did you notice the arrogance, confidence, conceit, presumption, bluster, hubris and pomposity in his shout this time? There must be strong reasons for that. Let me tell you something else in this connection. Our dear son Angada told me what he gathered some information in this regard from our spies.
           "A couple of princes of Ikshvaku dynasty, sons of the king of Ayodhya, called Rama and Lakshmana were seen with Sugreeva. It seems that those princes are now allied with Sugreeva.
           "It is understood that the elder one, Rama is well renowned as a warrior and is said to be unconquerable.
           "Oh my dear dauntless hubby, please think over calmly about what I am going to tell you. You should know that I always will tell you only what is beneficial to you. Your anger with Sugreeva does not seem to be reasonable. What he did perhaps was with good intentions without any malice against you whatsoever. Oh, king, pardon Sugreeva magnanimously. He will then surely  and happily bury any ill feeling against you and will again become your most affectionate and faithful brother as well as a follower. To remove any iota of doubt in his mind about your intentions, he may be decorously and quickly anointed as prince regent.  Completely destroy all hostility to your own younger brother.
              "Sugreeva is your younger brother and as such you should be keen on him. He continues to be your brother even when he is residing in Rishyamuka. Even now he is your brother.
               "Remember up to the time you went chasing that rakshash Dhunudbi, Sugreeva was considered by you as a most affectionate brother. That boisterously voiced Sugreeva is indisputably your brother, and hence brace yourself with the fondness of brotherhood, as there is no other way out to you.
             "It will definitely not be infra dig for you to show mercy for your own brother. It is needless for me to tell you that the quality of mercy is not strained, it drops as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; it blesses both the giver and the taker.
             "Be graceful and it behoves you to listen to my small but expedient talk. Following up rancour is unbecoming of you, more so if it is towards your own brother. Let me reiterate that it does not seem to be prudent for you to go to encounter Sugreeva now as he seems to be under the protection of that mighty Rama."

Saturday, 5 April 2014

157. Sugreeva chalenges Vali again.

                 When they reached the fringe of the Mt. Rishyamuka area all rested in the thickets of forest trees. After a few minutes of rest Rama looked at Sugreeva and nodded with a smile. Then Sugreeva, the forest lover with a tumultuous voice assumed tremendous fury and looking at his followers and nodded. And they all got up. Then Sugreeva got up, too and addressed Rama "My dear pal, I am now going again to fight a duel with Vali. This time it will be to the bitter end. My chum, please do not forget this time your promise regarding the elimination of Vali."
           Rama replied with a smile "My dear chap, I surely will execute my promise this time. However, please do not forget to remember not to lose the creeper-garland that Lakshmana plucked out and garlanded you. I hereby reiterate that this creeper-garland of gaja-flowers alone is your identification and perhaps your lifeline, too. By the way, mate, you are shining forth with this creeper-garland laced at your neck like the night time sun with a garland of stars!
              "Oh My dear fellow, today will be the day you will be released from the fear of Vali. And today is the last day for Vali."
              The voice and the words of Rama gave Sugreeva a tremendous confidence. With great joy and overflowing happiness, he blared a gruesome blare as though to completely rend the sky. That blare marred the serenity of cows and they started running helter-skelter like the well-born ladies who were mishandled by invaders due to the misrule of their own king. Likewise the deer were hurriedly fleeing like war horses whose riders were killed, and the birds in the sky were falling on the ground like planets or stars when their merit diminished.
               Sugreeva, the son of Sun, who was well-known for cloud like thundering, and whose vigour was now reinforced and his bravery very much boosted by Rama, then promptly released an oceanic roar like an ocean with splashing waves drifted by gales. He was positive that his roaring call for duel would definitely have been heard by Vali.
              And it did.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

156. Saptajana hermitage.

                             Sugreeva accompanied by Rama walked briskly with more confidence.  Lakshmana strode ahead of them. The other vanaras like Hanuman, the dauntless Nala and Neela, and the captain of vanaras' captains (it is clear now that the ranks like Major, Colonel, Brigadier, General, Field Marshal etc. were not there in those days) Tara of great energy followed them. They moved on looking at the trees that are drooping with the weight of their flowers, and at he rivers that were carrying pleasant water while themselves were coursing towards ocean.
                On their way they observed lakes glistening forth with gem-like waters without slime, and with lotus buds in the the various stages of blossoming.
               Those lakes were reverberant with Karandavas, Saarasas, Swans, Vanjulas and other waterfowls, and also with Chakravaakas and other birds. They had seen doughty deer grazing gracefully the soft grass blades everywhere, somewhere, moving here and there in the forest and elsewhere standing. They had also seen the forest elephants that had white tusks for their ornaments and that were moving in herds, and which were the dangerous enemies of lakes as they destroy the lakebeds. Also seen were the vigorous and elephantine monkeys that were like mobile mountains, begrimed with dust, and bellowing on the mountain ridges.
                Rama noticed a clump of forest trees which seemed to be somewhat different from the other clumps he had seen earlier. He therefore became curious and asked Sugreeva 
"This cluster of trees surrounded with plantain trees is like an accumulation of thick clouds, and this is shining forth like a cloudscape in the sky. Has it happened just like that without any specific reason?  In case it has any special significance, then I would like to know the same. Could you please oblige me in this regard?"
                 Sugreeva nodded and said "Raghava, this extensive hermitage with abundant gardens and dainty tubers, fruits and plenty of water is a weary remover. There were hermits named sapta jana (meaning 'Seven Persons'), who avowedly decided to keep their heads downward and legs up, all the time. And they always reclined in water. Their diet was air alone and that too once in seven days. Keeping themselves unwaveringly in that way, they practised their asceticism for seven hundred years and went to heavens with their bodies. (Poor Trisanku  did not know this, obviously. - If you do not remember Trisanku then read 3. TRISANKUThis hermitage that has encircling trees for its compound wall has become highly unassailable even for Indra together with all gods and demons. Birds and other forest moving animals forbear this hermitage. Any one unknowingly enters in it do not return.
               "There one can enjoy very melodious music. Such lovely instrumental tunes, and also the sounds of ornaments are audible, too. Those things apart, one can feel a divine fragrance too. Glowing ritual-fires can be seen there, and their thick and ochry coloured smoke looking like reddish-brown pigeons flying slowly towards the treetops. When that smoke mantles the tree tops the trees look like mountains of gems overlaid with clusters of clouds.
              "I consider it to be imperative for all of us to offer salutations, determinedly and adjoining palms, addressing the sages called Seven Persons. Those who offer salutations to those sages with contemplated souls will be free from bodily trauma in the least."
              Then Rama along with Lakshmana, Sugreeva and others worshipped those sages and proceeded ahead feeling light at heart.