World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Vali (Ramayana)

Article Id: WHEBN0001467127
Reproduction Date:

Title: Vali (Ramayana)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rumā, Tara (Ramayana), Ramayana, Phra Lak Phra Lam, Geet Ramayan
Collection: Vanara in the Ramayana
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Vali (Ramayana)

Vali, the Monkey King killed by Rama.

In the Hindu epic Ramayana, the vanara Vali was king of Kishkindha, a son of Indra, elder brother of Sugriva and father of Angada. He was killed by Lord Rama, an Avatar of Vishnu.

Vali (Sanskrit: वाली, nominative singular of the root वालिन् (Valin) is also known as Bali in several Indian languages. His other names include Indonesian: Subali, Malay: Balya, Yuan: Bari, Thai: Phali, Lao: Palichan and Khmer: ពាលី .


  • Early life 1
  • Rama meets Sugriva 2
  • Rama-Vali battle 3
  • After Vali's death 4

Early life

Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who fought him in single-combat lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight when Vali was doing his regular Sandhyavandanam. He took Ravana in his tail and took him around all the world. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce. It is said in the Ramayana that Vali was very brave and courageous. Before dawn he used to go from the Eastern coast of sea to the Western coast and from the Northern coast of the sea to the Southern coast to pay his homage to Surya - the sun-god. He was so brave and powerful that on his way to pay homage to Surya, he used to toss the mountain peaks upward and catch them as if they were play balls. After completing the tedious task of paying homage to the sun god in all the four directions, he used to return to Kishkindha without even being tired.

Vali was husband of Tara. As one myth goes, fourteen types of gems or treasures were produced from the churning of ocean. One gem is that various Apsaras (divine nymphs) were produced and Tara was an Apsara produced from the churning of ocean. Vali who was with the devas, helping them in the churning of ocean, took Tara and married her.

Vali was very courageous this can be understood from the fact that, when Tara tried to stop him and begged him to not to go to fight Sugriva, by saying that it is God (Rama) who is helping Sugriva and has come to Sugriva's rescue; Vali replied to Tara that even if he is fighting against God he can't ignore a challenge for a fight and remain quiet. He adds that even if the caller for the fight had been his own son Angada he would still go to fight.

Vali had been known as a good and pious vanara-king, but had been too outraged to heed his brother Sugriva after he had sealed the entrance to a cave in which Vali was fighting a rakshasa named Mayavi. 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. He journeyed back to kingdom to find Sugriva ruling in his place. Sugriva tried to explain the situation to Vali, but Vali, enraged, would not listen. Vali then nearly kills Sugriva, except that Sugriva was able to escape Vali's grasp. Sugriva barely escaped from the kingdom. When Vali chased Sugriva out of his kingdom, he also claimed Sugriva's main wife, Rumā. Sugriva fled into the forest where he eventually met Rama and laxmana

Rama meets Sugriva

Wandering in the forest with his brother Laxman in search of his wife Sita - kidnapped by the rakshasa king Ravana, Rama meets the rakshasa Kabandha and kills him, freeing him from a curse. The freed Kabandha advises Rama to seek the help of Sugriva to find Sita.

Continuing on his journey, Rama meets Hanuman and is impressed by his intelligence and skills as an orator. This also boosts Rama's confidence in Sugriva. Sugriva tells him the story of how Vali became his enemy. In Sugriva's version, he is entirely innocent and Rama believes him.

Sugriva is very scared of Vali and he is full of doubts that Rama could kill him. He tells him many incredible stories of Vali's power. As proof, he shows Rama a hole in a saal tree which Vali had made in one shot. When it is Rama's turn, he penetrates 7 trees of saal in a row with 1 arrow. After going through the trees, the arrow even makes a strike on a huge rock and splits it into pieces. Sugriva is happy and says, "O Rama, you are great."

Rama asks Sugriva to challenge Vali and bring him outside Kishkindha. As Rama explains later, for 14 years he cannot enter a city. Moreover, Rama does not want any unnecessary bloodbath of Vali's army with whom he wants to maintain friendly relations. Despite this, killing Vali would not be impossible for Rama as Sugriva and Vali were identical twins. Just a few days before, Rama had killed Khar and Dushan and their army of 14,000 rakshasas.

Sugriva 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.

Rama-Vali battle

Vali and Sugriva Fighting Page from an illustrated manuscript of the Ramayana Northern India (Punjab Hills, Jammu area), ca. 1700-1710
A stone bas relief at Banteay Srei in Cambodia depicts the combat between Vali and Sugriva. In the middle, the two brothers are shown fighting. To the right, Rama fires his bow. To the left, Vali lies dying in the arms of another monkey

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, from the back of a tree.

A dying Vali told Rama, "If you are searching your wife you should have come to me for help and friendship. Whoever took Sita, be it Ravana himself, I have defeated them and would have brought them to your feet, to your mercy.

Vali asked the following questions:

  • He made my wife as widow and taken my kingdom. What was my crime? .
  • Even if I committed a crime (with my brother), what is your right to kill me? I would have helped you in getting sita, your father king dasharadha helped my father King Indra to fight against rakshyasas.
  • The third statement shows Vali's disapproval of the way Rama killed him. He says, "I was fighting with some other person and was not careful enough when you shot me."

Rama makes the following replies to Vali:

  • The younger brother should be treated like a son. Even if he made a mistake you should forgive him, especially when he promised to respect you for your whole life.
  • About his authority, he said he had permission from King Bharat to spread righteousness and punish evils. You lost your kingdom while fighting with mayavi and you no more a king how can I take your help?
  • The third argument he quoted how great kings hunted deer in the past. In fact, Vali in principle could also be kept in the category of deers (as he was a Vanara and not a Human) and a hunting king does not care whether the deer was careful or not."
Killing of Vali Monkey

After Vali's death

After death of Vali, Sugriva

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.