Who convinced Vibheeshana to perform the last rites of Ravana?

After Rama killed Ravana in the war, Ravana’s army ran towards Lanka city with fear. Sugreeva, Angada, and their army became elated with joy and started celebrating their victory. Vibheeshana reached towards Ravana’s dead body, lying the in the mud and soaked in blood, Vibheeshana became very sad.

 

With grief, Vibheeshana said to Ravana’s dead body, “Brother, Look what has happened. As a king, you used to sleep on the most comfortable bed and now you are lying in the mud. I have always warned you that you made a mistake by abducting Sita. But because of your arrogance and lust, you never paid attention to my words. Kumbhakarna, Indrajit, and other warriors also did not listen to me and now you are experiencing the consequences.”

 

Rama consoled Vibheeshana by saying, “Ravana did not run away from the war. He fought the battle like a great warrior and he has made every effort possible to win the battle. You should not grieve for the death of such a warrior. In a war, a warrior should either kill all his enemies or get killed. Ravana was a very powerful warrior and no one could fight with him including the Devas (Gods) “.

 

Rama continued, “Ravana was a great king and he has developed his country very well and he has created a lot of wealth for his people. In his kingdom, Yajnas (sacrifices) and other rituals were conducted daily. Ravana was well educated and he has developed proficiency in several Shastras(subjects), Vedas and Vedanta. Ravana enjoyed his life with several pleasures. Since he has been killed in a well-fought war, you should honor him by performing his funeral rites. Enmity ends with death.”

 

Vibheeshana replied, “Rama, I don’t need to perform last rites for Ravana. He was cruel, cheated and he desired others’ wives. He is an enemy in the guise of a brother. People may criticise me for not performing the last rights for my brother. But when they come to that my brother is Ravana, everyone will agree that I have done the right thing. ”

 

Rama said, “Vibheeshana, Ravana was very wise, powerful but he has not followed his Dharma and he created unpleasantness for everybody. But he was a great warrior and he fought very bravely till his death. Ravana is eligible for his last rites. Perform your duty and gain glory.”

 

Vibheeshana got convinced with Rama’s words and performed the last rites of Ravana.

 

 

 

Source : Valmiki Ramayana

How did Lakshmana react when he came to know that Rama is leaving for forest?

When Lakshmana has come to know that Rama has been asked to go to the forest, he got very disappointed and came to meet Rama. Kausalya has been persuading Rama to change his decision and not go to the forest. Furious Lakshmana intervened and said, “Mother, I also do not want Rama to go to the forest. The King Dasaratha has become old and out his love for pleasures; Keikeyi influences him. I have never heard anybody talking ill of Rama, even our adversaries. Can any ethical and honest person ask his son to go to the forest without reason?”

 

Lakshmana said to his brother Rama, “Brother, I will stand by you and with my help, take over the kingdom. I will kill anybody who comes in support of Bharata, and if the people of Ayodhya are opposite to you, I will kill all of them. If our father, Dasaratha, behaves like an enemy, I will imprison him and kill him if necessary. If one becomes arrogant and loses the judgment between good and evil, he needs to be punished. On what basis, our father Dasaratha, has given the kingdom to Bharata?”

 

Kausalya got some relief with Lakshman’s words and said, “Rama! You have been a great follower of Dharma. Just like you respect your father you have respected me. If you go to a forest, I will not be able to live. As your mother, I am asking you to oppose your father and take claim to the kingdom.” Kausalya grieved miserably and cried uncontrollably.

 

Rama spoke in a soft voice, “Mother, I am not able to violate my father’s words, and I bow down in front of you to allow me to follow my father’s words. This is not a new practice that I have invented. Even in the past, Parasurama killed his mother and a sage called Kandu killed a cow to abide by father’s words. I will adhere to the age old practices that are mentioned in scriptures.”

 

Rama turned to Lakshmana and said, “My mother is grieving because she does not realize the value of truth. You are aware that Dharma is the ultimate and Satya (Truth) is established within Dharma. Our father’s words are established in Dharma. One who follows Dharma always abides by the promise given to the father, mother or sages. Do not think like a warrior who is in the war but think of the dharma that you have to follow”. Rama turned towards Kausalya and said, “Mother, I seek your blessings to go to the forest. I will come back after my exile, and I request all of you to follow father’s directions.”

 

Kausalya did not agree and replied, “Rama! I am also as respectable as your father for you, and I do not give you permission to go away. What is the purpose of living if you are not with me?” Lakshmana also agreed with her and nodded his head. Rama said, “Lakshmana! I know your love and affection towards me. But you are joining with mother, and you are making things difficult for me without understanding my opinion. One who establishes himself in Dharma will achieve Artha (wealth) and kama (desires). One who focuses only on artha or kama without any concern for Dharma will be hated in this world. I do not wish to sacrifice Dharma for the sake of the inferior kingdom, glory, and pleasures.”

Rama turned to his mother Kausalya and said, “Only a cruel person will not live up to the promises given to his father. King Dasaratha is alive and even for you; it is your dharma to follow his words. Please give me permission to leave for the forest.”

 

Kausalya gave her permission very reluctantly, and Rama proceeded to meet Sita to inform about his journey to a forest.

 

Source: Valmiki Ramayana

 

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

 

Ravana’s lust for sita – Sita’s refusal

On Sita’s request for having the golden deer, Rama went into the forest to catch the deer and Lakshmana stayed at home to protect Sita. After some time, they heard someone crying, “Lakshmana! Save me!” and Sita got worried about Rama. In spite of Lakshmana’s resistance, Sita demanded Lakshmana to go into the forest and help Rama. Ravana, hiding behind a tree, watched the discussion between Sita and Lakshmana and changed his form into a Sanyasi (Monk) and approached Sita.

 

Looking at the beautiful and gorgeous Sita, Ravana said, “Beautiful lady! Who are you? I have never seen such a beauty with the golden complexion, dark hair, lotus like eyes in this world. You should be living in great cities with great rooftops and beautiful gardens. What are you doing in this thick forest full of cruel animals like Lions, tigers, bears? Are you not afraid to live in this dangerous place?” As Ravana came in the form of a Sanyasi, Sita respected him and invited him to the house. Sita served him water to wash his feet, offered him a seat and food to eat. Ravana was very impressed by her behavior and decided to abduct her immediately.

 

Sita spoke in a soft voice, “Brahmana! I am Sita, the daughter of great king Janaka and wife of Rama, the great warrior from Ikshvaku Dynasty. Rama’s father, King Dasaratha, has three wives and he had given two boons to his last wife Keikeyi when she saved him in a war. When Dasaratha was about to coronate Rama as the next King, Keikeyi has asked Dasaratha to name her son Bharata as King and send Rama to forest for 14 years. Being a dutiful son and pursuer of truth, Rama decided to live in the forest to uphold the truthfulness of his father. Rama’s brother, Lakshmana and I came along with him, and we are living in Dandaka forest. Both Rama and Lakshmana have gone out for hunting, and they will be coming home anytime.” Sita enquired about Ravana by saying, “Who are you? To which dynasty do you belong? Why are you wandering in this forest alone?”

 

Ravana spoke with great pride, “Sita, I am Ravana, the king of Rakshasas I live in the great city, Lanka. I am very powerful, and nobody can defeat me in this whole world. After seeing your beauty, I lost interest in my wives. If you become my wife, you can do thousands of beautiful ladies as your servants. Come with me!” Sita became angry and said, “I have devoted myself to Rama, the follower of Dharma and powerful as a lion. How can a fox like you ever dream of having the lioness like me? Trying to get me is like trying to catch hold of fire with cotton cloth, scraping eyes with a needle and eating a razor blade. The difference between Rama and you is like the difference between an elephant and a wildcat, water from sandalwood and sewage water. You will do great harm to yourself by trying to hurt me.”

 

Ravana said, “I am that Ravana, who the entire world including the devatas fears. I have defeated Kubera and captured all his wealth. Even the Sun and Air are scared of me, and they create a pleasant atmosphere around me. My city, Lanka, is situated in the midst of the ocean with all the riches and big buildings that are covered with gold and the pathways are decorated with stones and diamonds. When you live a luxurious life with me there, you will not think of any other place or Rama. Dasaratha has decided to make Bharata as Rama does not have the courage to fight. Instead of fighting for his kingdom, Rama is wandering around in forests like a monk. He is very ordinary and cannot fight with even my finger also. What can you achieve with him?”

 

Sita angrily responded by saying, “If you try to harm me, you will not be able to live. Rama will come and destroy you and your kingdom”. Ravana became impatient, and he has taken his original form and said, ”Perhaps, you have never heard of my strength because of your mad love towards Rama. I can split the sun also into two with my arrows, and I can take any form I wish.” By shouting like that Ravana proceeded to abduct Sita.

 

Source: Valmiki Ramayana

 

Did Sita and Rama argue over going to forest?

On the day of the Rama’s coronation ceremony, Dasaratha has informed Rama that he has agreed to grant two wishes of his wife, Keikeyi. Dasaratha asked his son Rama to live in the forest for 14 years, and Bharata will be coronated as the King. Rama happily agreed to follow the orders of his father. Rama took the blessings of his father Dasaratha and his mothers.

 

Unaware of the happenings, Sita was very excited to get ready for the ceremony and offered prayers. Looking at her excitement, sudden grief overcame Rama, and he informed Sita that he is going to live in the forest. Rama said, “When I am gone, please take interested in religious practices and fasting. Pay respect to my three mothers and father. Treat Bharata and Satrughna as your brothers and sons. Bharata is our King and the head of our family. Do not displease him.”

 

After hearing Rama’s words, Sita became angry out of love and said, “What are you saying? For any woman, father, son, mother or self are not the real companion and only husband the true companion. Even in heaven, I would like to stay when you are not with me. When you are on a difficult journey that is full of obstacles and thorns, I will accompany you and support you. I will live in the forest with you eating roots and fruits only and doing all religious practices regularly. I am aware that you can protect me from animals in the forest.“

 

Rama tried to persuade Sita by saying, “Living in the forest is not easy. I am thinking about your well-being, and I am advising you not to come to the forest. Wild animals wander around the forest and attack, humans. Rivers and streams are filled with dangerous crocodiles. Pathways are covered with thorns and creepers and can cause harm. There will not be proper sleep as we will have to gather some leafs and sleep on it. There will not be proper food, and you have to sustain by eating fruits and roots. One need to show restraint in thought, food and practice daily prayers three times a day. Living in the forest is going to be tough for you. I advise you to listen to me and stay in Ayodhya.”

 

Sita was distressed to hear these words and she spoke very slowly with tears, “I understand the challenges of living in a forest. Where is the cause for fear of wild animals like tigers, jackals when you are near me? Besides, when I was young one of our astrologers predicted and told my father, Janaka that I would live in forests. From that moment onwards, I have always been excited and waiting for an opportunity to live in the forest. Why are you not willing to take me to forest? You are my Lord, and I am your devotee. We feel alive in pleasure and pain, and we share joy and sorrows. Even scriptures say that a woman, given away by parents over water in a marriage, belongs to the husband event after death”.

 

Sita continued, “If you do not want to take me to the forest, I am willing to die by taking poison. Why has fear overtaken you? Did my father marry me to a great warrior with courage or a woman in the form of a man? It is improper for you to go to the forest without taking me. Please take me along with you. When I walk with you, even the thorns will feel like cotton and the dust raised by the wind feels like sandal dust. I will not demand anything and fruits and roots that you give me will feel like nectar. I will not remember my father’s house and annoy you. Your companionship is heaven for me, and when you are not with me, it is a hell. I cannot bear your separation even for a moment. I will kill myself if you do not take me” and Sita wept uncontrollably and cried loudly.

 

Rama embraced her in his arms and said, “Sita, I do not wish to live even in heaven when you are not with me, and there is no fear in me. I am going to forest to honor my father’s vow to my mother, Keikeyi. Father, mother, and teacher, are equal to God and servicing them is more important than performing prayers to Gods.

But without knowing your opinion, I did not want to take you to Forest. Accompany me to the forest help me in my journey. Let us start the preparations for our journey and donate our wealth to the deserved ones.”

 

Sita became delighted with Rama’s words and started their preparations for their journey.

 

Source: Valmiki Ramayana

 

Was Rama unnecessarily violent? Sita’s doubt

Rama, Lakshmana and Sita reached Dandaka forest and met several rishis who practiced severe penances. They met several rishis who have been meditating only by consuming water or air as food, some rishis preferred meditating in neck deep water and some rishis reciting mantras with fire around them. Rama arrived the hermitage of Sarabhanga rishi and got his blessings. When Rama was speaking to Sarabhanga Rishi, several rishis approached Rama and said, “Rama! We all have heard about your valor and your commitment to adhere to dharma. We came here to apprise you about the great danger that we have from Rakshas and seek your protection.”

 

Rishis said, “Rama! Go and see the riverside of Pampa, Mandakini and the surroundings of Mount Chitrakuta and you will find heaps on bones. We are here to meditate and realize the truth and we do several yagnas for the benefit of the society. But Rakshasas are disturbing our practices and they are killing us. Please protect us from these rakshasas”. Rama replied, “Please do not request me. You have the power to command me. I came to live in forest to honor my father’s promise. But I have got a great opportunity to serve great sages like you by killing the Rakshasas.“

 

Rama, Lakshmana and Sita moved forward in the forest in search of a dwelling. On their way, Sita said to Rama in friendly words, “We came to Dandaka forest not live like a Kshatriya (Warrior) but to live ordinary life. Now, you and lakshmana are carrying weapons and you have promised to kill Rakshasas. An honorable man should not indulge in three things – Lying, desire for women and killing without any enmity. I am aware that you do not lie nor you have desire for other women. But with the best intensions to save the sages, you have promised that you will kill rakshasas. Our situation reminds me of an old story.”

 

Sita continued, “There was a sage who was meditating to realize the truth. Indra, the lord of the Devas, came to visit the sage to test his sincerity. Indra gave a great sword to the sage and asked him to keep it safe. The sage was very excited to see Indra and happily obliged. After that, the sage’s attention was always around the sword. Wherever he went, event to get roots and fruits, he always carried the sword. Finally, his meditation was not successful as the sage kept thinking about the sword all the time. I know that you know all the dharmas and you are very wise. Is it appropriate to carry arms and kill the rakshasas without any enmity?”

 

Rama looked Sita with great affection and said, “Your friendly and wise words indicate the legacy and upbringing of your great father, Janaka. The scriptures say, a Kshatriya’s (warrior) weapons should ensure that there are no tears and misery. These sages have been doing great sacrifices and meditating. They have come to my refuge as the rakshasas are eating them alive and causing great distrubances. Though the sages are capable of obstructing these rakshasas, they do not wish to fight and preserve their energies for higher purpose. I have given my word to the sages that I will protect them”.

 

Rama continued, “You know that truth is dear to me. After giving my word, I cannot abandon my responsibilities. In pursuit of my responsibilities, I may lose Lakshmana or I may lose you. As long as I am alive, I am incapable of not keeping up my words. You have always been a great pursuer of dharma along with me. Your words of caution are very appropriate and you are dearer to me than my life.”

 

Sita realized the nature of dharma through Rama and they continued their journey through the forest.

 

Source : valmiki ramayana

 

Essential qualities of a winner – learn from Hanuman

In search of Sita, who was abducted by Ravana, Hanuman has decided that he will fly through the skies over the ocean. Hanuman said to other monkeys, “Like an arrow released by Rama, I will go to Lanka with great speed and search for Sita. If I do not see her there, I will go to heaven and look for her there. If I do not find Sita in heaven, I will tie Ravana with chains and bring him here. I will either return to Sita or the entire Lanka along with Ravana”.

 

He joined his two palms and saluted Indra, Vayu, Brahma and other devatas and increased his size of the body multifold. With the pressure caused by his size, there was a great disturbance on the Mount Mahendra. Creatures living in the forest shrieked in horrifying tones and snakes spewed fire. Ascetics residing in the mountain flew away from there. Vindhyadharas along with their women tried to run away from their places to hide from destruction. Then they all heard a voice from the sky, “ Hanuma has taken up an impossible task of crossing the ocean for the sake of Rama.” Everybody looked up to the skies wishing good for Hanuma.

 

With a body like a mountain, Hanuman flew into the air with high energy and speed and caused the great disturbance in the sky and ocean. On seeing him fly, Devas, Gandharvas, and danavas showered flowers on him. Sagara (the got off the ocean) thought, “Hanuma has taken up an impossible task for Rama. Rama’s dynasty is responsible for my well being today. I need to help Hanuman”. Sagara went to the gold mountain Mainaka and said, “Mainaka, you have been positioned here as an obstacle for asuras. You have the capability to rise and grow wide. I request you to rise so that Hanuma can take rest on you”.

 

Mainaka rose like a sun clearing the clouds, shining in the gold color in the middle of the ocean. Hanuman saw the mountain from a distance and thought that it is an obstacle for him. Hanuman hit the mountain with his chest with great speed and the mountain fell. Mainaka rose in a human form with folded hands and said, “Hanuma, Please come and take rest on my peeks. Rama’s ancestors developed this ocean. As per the traditions, when we take a service, we need to return service. Sagara wants to do a service for you. I also have taken a favor from your father. I would request you to take rest for a while, enjoy the great food and sweets”. Hanuma replied, ” Please consider that your service is done. It is time to perform my duty. I have taken a vow that I will not rest and neglect my duty and the day is also passing.” Hanuma touched Mainaka’s hand with affection and flew into the sky.

 

Devas and Gandharvas were very happy to see Hanuman flying with great speed. They wanted to test his strength, courage, and intelligence. Devas and Gandharvas requested Surasa, the mother of Nagas, “please create an obstacle for Hanuman. We want to see whether he will win over you or suffer from sorrow”. The serpent mother rose up in the middle of the ocean with a horrible appearance obstructed Hanuma, and said, “You have been offered as my food today, and I want to eat you. Enter my mouth now”. Hanuma folded his hands and said, “I am going on Rama’s task to find sita. Once I find Sita, I will come back, and you can eat me. For now, please let me go”. Surasa rejected Hanuman’s request and said, “you cannot overpower me. You have to enter my mouth now”. Hanuma became angry and increased his size by ten times and Surasa also increased her size of the mouth accordingly. Hanuman increased it to 20 times, and Surasa made her mouth also that long. Hanuma increased his size to 60 times and Surasa responded. The wise hanuma immediately reduced his size to a thumb went inside Surasa’s mouth and quickly came back. He said to Surasa, “My respects to you. Please leave me now as I have entered your mouth. I will go and find Sita”. Seeing this, Devas and Gandharvas became very happy and showered their wishes.

 

A demon named Simhika, who resides in the ocean, saw Hanuman flying on the see by a large size. Simhika has the power to catch anybody by attracting their shadow. When Simhika attracted Hanuman’s shadow, Hanuma realized that he is not able to fly faster and a great force is pulling him back. He then saw Simhika in the middle of the ocean, enlarged her size enough to eat Hanuman. Simhika ran towards Hanuman to capture him. The wise Hanuma contracted his body size and fell into the mouth. With his sharp nails, he killed Simhika by cutting her internal organs. He came out of Simhika with the speed of thought.

 

Seeing Simhika killed by Hanuman, devas said, “Hanuman! You have displayed great abilities. A person will never fail in his goal if he has courage, vision, intellect, and skill. Go ahead and accomplish your goal.” Hanuman regained his speed and reached the shores of Lanka. Hanuma thought that he would attract unnecessary attention if he lands on Lanka with this great size. He contracted his size and landed on Lanka without anybody noticing him.

 

Source: Valmiki Ramayana

 

After death, do your ancestors have any relevance to your life? Rama’s view

After Dasaratha has expired, Bharata returned to Ayodhya and realized that Rama, Lakshmana and Sita have been sent to forest for 14 years. Bharata refused to accept the crown and he went to the forest to persuade Rama to return back to Ayodhya and accept the kingship. Along with Bharata, his council of ministers, family members, Rishis, brahmanas and several other people from Ayodhya reached the forest. Bharata, his mother Kaikeyi and several others unsuccessfully tried to persuade Rama to return back.

 

Jabala, very well read Brahmana, tried to persuade Rama by saying, “Rama! You are an intelligent man. Do not speak like a common man. Why are you still worried about the promise that is given to your dead father? Every creature is born alone and dies alone. No one belongs to another and relationships like mother and father have no meaning. The father is only the seed of the being that is developed in the mother’s womb. Dasaratha is none to you and he is gone. Do not suffer by thinking about him. ”

 

Jabala continued, “I pity the people who do not spend their wealth in getting physical comforts and waste it. I don’t understand the logic of sraddha. People say Sraddha is important and the food you offer will be useful for the dead person in his after life journey. How can a dead man eat? If the food eaten here reaches another’s body, why cant people eat on behalf of their friends who are going on a distant journey? Practices like performing sacrifices, giving gifts, renunciation are established by wiser people to exploit others and take their wealth. “

 

Jabala said, “Listen to me. There is nothing beyond this universe. Give precedence to what you see and do not waste your time on what is beyond your knowledge. Honor the judgment of wise people and accept the kingdom. Return back to Ayodhya and enjoy the wealth”

 

After listening to Jabali’s words peacefully, Rama replied, “Your words are like a dish that looks very good from outside but un healthy. A person with bad conduct, unruly behavior can never get respect. Our conduct itself indicates our history. A king’s behavior and conduct has a great influence on the conduct of his people. The root of kingship does not lie in cruelty but it lies in the truth (satyam). When I am dishonest and follow adharma, how can I advice my people to follow good conduct? People fear of a person whose speaks untruth as they fear a snake”

 

 

Rama continued, “Truth (Satyam) is the god(Iswara) and there is nothing higher than adhering to truth. Practices like Renunciation, Gifts, sacrifices that are laid out in scriptures are rooted in the truth. There is no higher purpose in this world than following truth. Depending on your adherence to truth, you can get control over the world, develop a race, attain heaven or sink into hell. Prosperity and fame cause a man to deviate from the path of truth.

 

My father has always been truthful. I made the promise to my father infront of Kaikeyi. I cannot abandon my words after my father’s death. I will follow the truth and honor my promise and I will not deviate from truth because of forgetfulness or pride. I will continue my life journey in the forest by remaining pure in my mind and body, controlling my senses to external pleasures, offering prayers to devatas(gods) and ancestors. You words may sound very logical and wishful but they are unworthy. ”

 

 

Jabali said, “Rama! I am a follower of the truth and the practices mentioned in scriptures. I used these arguments only to persuade you to return back to Ayodhya.” Rishi Vasishta said, “Rama! Jabali is only trying to convince you. He is a great follower of truth”.

 

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.