Vali (Ramayana)

Vali (Ramayana)

In the Hindu epic Ramayana, the vanara Vali (Sanskrit: वाली, Malay: Subali, Thai: Pali Thirat) was king of Kishkindha, a son of Indra and the elder brother of Sugriva. He was killed by Rama, an avatar of Vishnu.

He was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his/her strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight when vali was doing his regular shiva puja. He took Ravana in his tail and took around all worlds. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce.

Vali had been known as a good and pious vanara-king, but had been too outraged to listen to his brother Sugriva after his brother had sealed the entrance to a cave in which Vali was fighting a rakshasa. Sugriva had mistaken the blood flowing out of the cave to be his brother's, blocked the entrance to the cave with a boulder and left for Kishkindha, assuming that his brother was dead. When Vali had emerged victorious over the rakshasa, he had found that the entrance to the cave was blocked (not a problem for his strength), and had then discovered Sugriva ruling in his place.

An enraged Vali also learned that Sugriva had married his "widowed" wifeFact|date=February 2007. Sugriva tried to explain the situation to Vali, but Vali would not listen. Vali banished Sugriva from the kingdom, and held the latter's wife captive in his own palace. Sugriva fled into the forest, where he met and formed an alliance with Rama. Rama had been travelling the length of India in search of his kidnapped wife, Sita. Sugriva asked Rama's help in return for his help in defeating Ravana and rescuing Sita. The two hatched a plan to topple Vali from the throne. Sugriva challenged Vali to a fight. When Vali sallied forth to meet the challenge, Rama emerged from the forest to shoot and kill him with an arrow. Thus, Sugriva was able to recapture the kingdom and to lead the monkey army in the service of Rama.

Rama's slaying of Vali had a special significance.At the beginning Vali argued with Lord Rama, why he had to kill him this way.Rama explained to him about the various purusharthas and showed him his Vishvarupa, and granted him moksha.Vali was then convinced and also asked his son Angada to stand by his uncle Sugriva and assist in the divine work of lord Rama.

Vali's son, Angada, joined Sri Ram's army and was given important responsibilities in Rama's war against Ravana.

External links

* [ Mahabharata, Book III: Vana Parva, Section 278] : online text for the section of the Mahabharata describing Rama's alliance with Sugriva and the killing of Vali.
* [ Ramayana, Book IV, Canto 16] : online text for the section of the Ramayana of Valmiki describing Vali's death at the hands of Rama.
* [ Photographs of a bas relief] at the temple of Banteay Srei in Cambodia depicting the combat between Vali and Sugriva.

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