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.


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