Kishkintha By Dr. Saroja Ramanujam..

Rama asked Lakshmana to put a garland on Sugrreva made of gajapushpa  and then said that since he could distinguish Sugreeva now he would kill Vali and asked Sugreeva to call Vali again.

There is  an inner meaning to this episode. Earlier Sugreeva did not show respect to Lakshmana when he offered a seat only to Rama. It was a bhaagavatha apachaara which is looked upon by the Lord as being even more serious offence  than bhagavathapachara. So He was taught a lesson not by Rama deliberately but as the result of his karma. When Lakshmana put the garland on him Sugreeva was blessed by the bhaaagavatha and became worthy of the grace of the Lord.

Rama’s arrow, says Valmiki, was svargamaargaprabhaavanam, gateway to heaven and aavahath parmaam gathim, got him salvation.

Vali was looking gathaarcisham iva  analam, a fire extinguished, like  Yayaathi slipped from heaven on account of his merit being exhausted,

mahendhram iva dhurdharSam upendhram iva dhussaham, unassailable like Indra and indomitable like Upendhra, that is, Vishnu who appeared as Vamana to become Thrivikrama later.

Rama saw Vali thus and went near him with Lakshmana.

Rama , assuring him that he will take care of Angadha and Thara said to him these words which he was going to expand later in Krishnavathara.

thath bhavaan dhaNDa samyogaat asmaat vigata kalmaShaH
gathaH svaam prakRthim Dharmyaam Dharma dhiShTena varthmanaa (Kish.18 62)

“By the punishment you have become free of blemish and attained your true nature.”

In Gita Krishna says, kshipram bhavathi Dharmaathmaa SaSvath shaanthim nigacChathi, one who atones for his sins becomes righteous at once by resorting to the Lord and attains peace.

This is what happened to Vali.

Now let us go to Kamban and see how he portrays this scene.

Vali was not able to take the arrow out to see who has sent it. Kamban says,

sudusaram thannai thunaikkaratthaal pattri

vaalinum kaalinum vali urappaRippaan

Kamban says,

mummai Saal ulagukku ellaam moolamandhiratthai muttrum

thammaiyE thamarkku nalgum thanipperumpadhatthai  thanE

immaiyE  ezumai nOykkum marundhinai iraaman ennum

Semmai Ser naamam thannai kaNgaLil theriyakkandaan

Vali saw the name Rama,   which was the moola manthra of all the worlds, the name of one, who is the supreme resort and  who gives Himself to the devotees and which is  the elixir for the deceases of samsara, appear before his eyes.

Thus Vali saw the nama before he saw the naami, the tsuanami which was going to submerge him in wisdom. Kamban says ‘kaNgaLil theriyakkandaan,’ meaning that he saw it with his eyes. The sinful propensities were not removed yet and the nama appeared only to the eyes and not to the heart, as a result of which he started arguing with Rama.

Vali says,

Vaaimaiyum marabum kaathu man uyir thurandha vaLLal

Thooyavan maindhanE nee bharathan mun thonRinaaye

“ You are the son of the great Dasaratha who protected his word and also his tradition and you were born before Bharatha!!”

And then he said,

dhEviyai pirindhapinnar  thigaitthanai pOlum  seigai

Perhaps you were perplexed about your action after being separated from Seetha. While speaking with scorn Vali addresses Rama as Oviyatthil ezudha oNNaa uruvatthaai, the one whose beauty could not be displayed on a painting. Such is the glory of Rama that even those who are angry with him only refer to him in glowing terms as Surpanakha did when she complained about him to Ravana.

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