Thursday, November 18, 2010


A primitive rule existed in Vaanar settlements where reddressal of grievance of serious nature could be settled by a duel fight to death. Sugrive had this option to get back his wife from Bali.
Ram was in the forest with a mission. 
To settle Vaanars in such a way, that kingdoms may start treating them as Humans and NOT animals as was being done till then.
Shri Ram after being awarded Vanvaas for 14 years went to live in forest along with Sita and Lakshman. The main task that these three performed there, was to find ways to settle Vaanars, teach them how to defend themselves and to live as a civilized society. 

Since Rishis and other highly skilled individuals, who had voluntarily sough Vanvaas at old age, also lived there, there was no problem in educating them and teaching them military skills. Military skills were required as they were susceptible to attacks from Rakshas and also at time from persons of civilized kingdoms who till now had refused to accept them as humans.

There are still some people who feel; in influence of some unscrupulous Gurus that Shri Ram was forced to stay in forest just because of banishment. True, but we forget that this banishment was arranged by Kaekai, her step mother, who loved and adored Ram. Ram was there on a mission. He had to settle Vaanars, the evolved humans and also destroy the setup of hatred created by combine of Rakshas and kingdoms, so that, in future a smooth transition of Vaanars into the mainstream of civilized world, could happen. Here we are going to concentrate on Ram Sugrive pact, and discuss this strategically.

After the abduction of Sita and having being informed by vanvaasis that it was none other than Ravan who had abducted her, Ram was now left with no choice except to decide the composition of the army to take on the might of Ravan. And he had some options. He could call for the army from Ayodhya, and was sure that this would also be joined by the army of Janakpuri as well as of other friendly kingdoms. They were technically equally (if not better) equipped to match Rakshas Sena of Ravan. Or to arrange for a Sena of Vaanars who had already been trained by them and could also fight the battle.

Ram was in the forest with a mission. To settle Vaanars in such a way, that kingdoms may start treating them as Humans and NOT animals as was being done till then. The battle with Ravan would be tough, and to win that war he needed the best resources.

But Ram wanted Vaanar Sena. He was sure he would win the battle even with Vaanar Sena. Ram knew that Vaanar Sena was required, but he was informed that there was a problem. The largest settlement of Vaanars, at Kishkindha, was headed by Bali, and Bali had good relation with Raven. He was told that although Bali respected and had highest regards for Ram, he would not, under any circumstances, agree to let his army be a part of Vaanar Sena to fight Ravan. He was also told that Bali had recently banished his younger brother Sugrive and had forcefully kept his wife and children. 
We can also say, without hesitation, that Bali while throwing Sugrive out of the Kishkindha kingdom, did tell Sugrive of the forest dwellers rule, that if Sugrive wanted his wife and children back, let Sugrive challenge him in a man to man combat and defeat Bali. Such rules do exist in the nascent, growing societies, and existed in North America till as recently as 300 years back.
Perhaps Ram could forge friendship wish Sugrive and ensure that Kishkindha army supported him. Here Ram had limited option. He knew that Bali would not allow his army to participate in war. So the next best option was explored. 

Ram proceeded with Lakshman to find out what Sugrive could do to help. On reaching the foot of the mountain, they were welcomed by Hanuman, the Minister of Sugrive, who took them to meet Sugrive. Obviously Sugrive was eager to help.

Here, once Shri Ram was satisfied that Sugrive was willing to give full support, they entered into a formal friendship pact. Now the dilemma that Ram faced was how best to proceed and ensure that Bali was killed and Sugrive became the king. In case he send a warning to Bali, as customary, that Bali should restore rights of Sugrive, there would be mediation, and some amicable solution would be found. This would not eliminate Bali. No purpose would be served.

The other option was that Sugrive, as per the traditions of forest dwellers or Vaanars, challenge Bali for a man to man combat. Everyone was sure Bali would gladly accept this. Sure, it was known that Bali was much superior fighter, but Sugrive was brave and tactful. Ram, Lakshman also taught him a trick or two. There was nothing more they could do.

During the ensuing combat Sugrive seem to forget whatsoever was taught to him. Soon he was running back to where Ram Lakshman were, fearing for his life. He was told to be calm, remember what was taught to him, and assured that he would win. Motivated, he went back and fought, and fought well. But once again Bali started gaining upper hand. When Ram realized that Sugrive’s body language suggested that he was about to give up, Ram, from his hiding, drove an arrow straight into the chest of Bali, mortally wounding him.
Rest, of course, is history. Now the big question? Why a Prince, a King, a Kshatriya, broke the existing Maryada by INTERFERING DECISIVELY in a man to man combat? Such things are unpardonable even today.
Please remember Ram had a better option of calling Ayodhya forces, yet because he wanted that Vaanars should get equal place in the society, he wanted Vaanar Sena. Ram knew if he won the battle against Ravan with the help of Vaanar Sena, it would be far easier for him to bring Vaanars into the mainstream. 

Secondly it was his duty to make Vaanar Samaj realize that such primitive rules, like a dual to decide who would keep the woman, only favored the powerful. 

Ram was certainly NOT gaining anything personally by killing Bali in such a fashion. And that is the reason why Ram is called Maryadapurushottam.

A person who follows Maryadas of his time is called Maryada Purush. But a person who goes beyond that, and breaks the existing Maryada SOLELY for the sake of Humanity and nation building, is called MARYADA-PURUSHOTTAM.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

A very nice analysis which accepts Ramayan is History and analysis events accepting them as history...

This is very important for modern day India, as the youths are fed up with only emotional answers, by preachers/Dharmik Pravakta of Ramayan, who want Samaaj to accept Ramayan as History but refuse to treat events as part of Human History of Treta Yug.


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