Values for Life:
A person’s success in life depends upon the company he keeps.
As Hanuman was walking towards Sugreev, carrying Sri Ram and Lakshman, Hanuman told Sugreev, “Remove all your worries from heart. With Sri Ram and Lakshman on your side, there is nothing for you to worry in this whole world. Come and sue for friendship with them.” As everybody made himself comfortable, Lakshman narrated their story in detail. Hearing this Sugreev assured: “I shall seek and find out Sita wherever she is. I shall also work as your lieutenant to eliminate your foe. Don’t worry. Make sure that Ravan and his entire tribes are done to death. One day I had seen something strange. As we were sitting in group and discussing some future plans, we heard a loud noise from the sky and raised our heads. Ravan was aviating in his viman with a lady who was crying aloud. As there was none to protect her she was helplessly chanting ‘Ram…Ram…’ When the viman reached above us, the lady binding with a piece of cloth threw down all her ornaments. I have preserved the same. I shall show it to you just now.”
Saying this he bade one of his men to fetch the bundle. When it was brought in, Sugreev opened the bundle and showed the ornaments to Sri Ram. Beholding it, Ram could not control his sorrow and started crying. Lakshman and Sugreev tried to appease Sri Ram and assured him that soon Ravan will be done away and Sita will be with him. Sri Ram too promised Sugreev that he would help in killing Bali, his arch rival.
The next day Sugreev decided to make clash with Bali. Before departure, Sri Ram adorned a garland around the neck of Sugreev. Sri Ram armed with bow and arrow with Lakshman and Sugreev’s ministers waited in the woods. Sugreev again went to the palace gate of Bali and roared: “Bali come out and fight. No hero sits home closing doors when a rival challenges for fight. Come; let me see your prowess.”
Bali, as usual, bubbled up. Right then Tara came forward and prevented him placing her hand vertically. She pleaded: “No, don’t go. My inner sense tells me that there is danger in store for you. How could Sugreev who was miserably defeated yesterday come again and invoke you to fight? Certainly there should be some one behind him.”
“What are you speaking?” Bali’s reply was a counter question. “Who is to support Sugreev and who is to oppose me? Don’t worry about anything. Go to interiors and live happily. Killing the enemy, I shall come back soon.”
Tara fell at his feet and with supplicant hands entreated again: “Please listen to my words carefully and then decide. One day when Angada went to the forest for hunting, he heard news that Ram and Sugreev entered into mutual agreement of helping each other. Ram would kill Bali and reinstate Sugreev as king and in return Sugreev would send his force to search Sita and help Ram to kill Ravan. My son Angada heard this and told me. Please don’t go.” “Dear one,” said Bali,”when the enemy shouts at the door step, can any brave fighter sit quite? Leave me.” And Bali galloped as rage incarnate.
The fight that ensued between the two brothers was so terrible that even the gods from above came down to watch it. Sri Ram was again in confusion. While Sugreev had a garland that Ram decorated, Bali also had another. However Sri Ram could make out who was Sugreev because of his entreating look.
Ram took the Mahendra arrow from his quiver and taking aim darted it against Bali. It pierced his chest and Bali fell down. Sri Ram asked Sugreev to perform all the last rites to Bali in the deserving style and as per the scriptures along with Angada. Sri Ram told Sugreev:“Govern the country well and increase prosperity and bounty. Coronate Angada as Yuvaraja and look after him. Enjoy the royal comforts for four months, until the monsoon subsides. Thereafter send the vanar force all around to search for Sita. I shall, along with Lakshman, pull on days on the hills.”
KK Shanmukhan ( To be concluded )