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Bali Sugreev Battle – Meeting with Shabri – Chapter 8

Meeting with Shabri and Bali Sugreev Battle – Chapter 8

In the forest, while searching for Sita, Rama and Lakshmana encountered the demon Kabandh. His arms were each one yojana (1 Yojana =8-10 miles) long and his head was thrust into his torso. His feet were also pushed inside his body which was just a huge torso with a face in it. He used to capture the jungle animals with his long arms and devour them. He now caught hold of Rama and Lakshmana and was about to devour the duo. But they were quick and alert, and cut off his long arms, thus killing him. According to his final request, Rama and Lakshmana dug a hole and buried him in it. When they performed his final rites, he appeared as a gandharva (celestial being) and then disappeared in the sky. But before doing so, he told Rama and Lakshmana they needed to visit Shabri at the ashram of Rishi Matanga on Rishyamukh Mountain.

His arms were each one yojana (1 Yojana =8-10 miles) long and his head was thrust into his torso. His feet were also pushed inside his body which was just a huge torso with a face in it. He used to capture the jungle animals with his long arms and devour them.

So Rama and Lakshmana proceeded there immediately. Sage Matanga had been long deceased, but before quitting his earthly form, Sage Matanga had told Shabri that “You will behold the earthly form Rama, the Incarnation of Vishnu, at this very ashram”. Her faith in the promise of Sage Matanga made Shabri wait for many years for the arrival of Shri Rama. Every day, she would gather fruits and berries from the forest, taste them to check how sweet they were, and then set aside the sweet delicious ones in the event that Rama showed up that day. She did not realize that by biting the fruits, she was making them impure and unfit for offering to anyone. When Rama finally arrived at the ashram, she was overwhelmed. She welcomed him and offered him those fruits she had gathered, tasted and saved for him that day. Shri Rama ate those fruits with a smile, realizing that it was her devotion to him that had made her taste them.

 

Shabri told Rama and Lakshmana about Sugreeva, the monkey king who lived on Rishyamukh hill. She said she was sure he would be able to help them in their search for Sita. Rama and Lakshmana thanked her, then set out for the Rishyamukh hill.

Every day, she would gather fruits and berries from the forest, taste them to check how sweet they were, and then set aside the sweet delicious ones in the event that Rama showed up that day. She did not realize that by biting the fruits, she was making them impure and unfit for offering to anyone.

When Sugreeva saw the two valiant men with their bows and arrows approaching, he was filled with apprehension. He thought they might have been sent by his archenemy, his own brother Bali, to kill him. So he sent his brave minister Hanuman to find out the reason why the two young warriors were there, roaming in the forest and approaching Rishyamukh. Hanuman took the guise of a Brahmin and approached them, asking the two who they were and their reason for coming there. Rama told him about his fourteen years exile in the forest and the kidnapping of Sita. Hanuman realized that this was his Ishtdeva (personal/favorite god) Rama, and bowed down to touch his feet in veneration. He took his original vanara (monkey) form and introduced himself as the minister of Sugreeva, the very one they sought. Then he placed the two princes on his shoulders and with a leap reached the top of the Rishyamukh hill where Sugreeva was living.

When Sugreeva saw the two valiant men with their bows and arrows approaching, he was filled with apprehension. He thought they might have been sent by his archenemy, his own brother Bali, to kill him. So he sent his brave minister Hanuman to find out the reason why the two young warriors were there, roaming in the forest and approaching Rishyamukh. Hanuman took the guise of a Brahmin and approached them, asking the two who they were and their reason for coming there.

Rama told Sugreeva his story, and Sugreeva in turn told him about his older brother Bali and the reason for their animosity. Bali had gone to kill a demon hiding in a cave, and asked Sugreeva to keep watch, bidding him wait for at least a month outside the cave before giving up on him. Bali did not return after the month was up, so Sugreeva placed a large rock over the mouth of the cave, to imprison the demon he had assumed had killed Bali. He further related how, when he returned to Kishkindha, the capital and reported Bali’s death, the Vanara subjects crowned him, Sugreeva, as King.

 

Meanwhile Bali had in fact killed the demon but had not been able to find his way out before the month was up. He managed to escape from the cave, and came back to Kishkindha. He had assumed that Sugreeva was trying to steal his throne, and so had become his mortal enemy. Bali had even taken away Sugreeva’s wife Roma, while he went after him relentlessly, to kill him. Sugreeva had escaped, but Bali followed him everywhere, close at heel. Finally Sugreeva had realized that the only place he would be safe would be at Rishyamukh hill where Bali would not go, thanks to a curse that had been put on him by Sage Matanga long ago. Hence, Sugreeva and his followers had settled down at Rishyamukh, safe from the wrath of Bali. When he heard this story of Sugreeva’s, Rama promised him that he would kill Bali and get Roma back together with Sugreeva. Rama and Sugreeva forged a bond of friendship and alliance, and with fire as their witness, they took an oath to help each other.

Meanwhile Bali had in fact killed the demon but had not been able to find his way out before the month was up. He managed to escape from the cave, and came back to Kishkindha. He had assumed that Sugreeva was trying to steal his throne, and so had become his mortal enemy. Bali had even taken away Sugreeva’s wife Roma, while he went after him relentlessly, to kill him. Sugreeva had escaped, but Bali followed him everywhere, close at heel.

Sugreeva gave Rama the ornaments that Sita had thrown down while she was being carried away in Ravana’s aerial chariot, and Rama recognized them as Sita’s jewels and was filled with sorrow. Sugreeva promised him that he would help him search for Sita with his entire army of monkeys. But he was not convinced that Rama would be able to kill Bali, who was extremely strong and difficult to defeat.

 

As challenged by Sugreeva, Rama pierced seven palm trees with a single arrow. The he lifted the huge carcass of the demon Dundubhi by the toe and flung it far into the ocean.

 

Sugreeva was now convinced of Rama’s prowess. At Rama’s suggestion, Sugreeva challenged Bali to a wrestling match thus began the Bali Sugreev battle. Bali’s wife Tara tried to warn him that the Vishnu avatar Rama was now an ally of Sugreeva, and that was why he had issued the challenge. Bali did not listen to her, and agreed to fight Sugreeva in one-to-one combat. However, Sugreeva could not match the tremendous strength of Bali and so lost the first round. He came back to Rama, dejected, who told him that he could not fire at Bali as the two brothers were very identical in their looks, and he could not tell them apart, thus he dared not shoot. Rama then placed a garland around Sugreeva’s neck, so that he could tell the two apart, and sent him back to fight another round. The second bout began. Concealed behind a grove of trees, Rama aimed an arrow and felled Bali, and Sugreeva reclaimed his wife and the kingdom. Thus concluded the Bali Sugreev battle. 

 

 

Shri Ram and Laxman set out in search of Sita, on the way Ram encountered demon Kabandh.Shri Ram and Laxman reach Rishi Matang’s ashram where Ram meets Shabri, who offers Ram, berries to eat, which she had meticulously collected after tasting each and every berry for her Lord Ram.Shabri informs Ram about Sugreev and his whereabouts, and tells Ram that he can take help of Sugreev to find Sita.Sugreev sends his minister Hanuman in disguise of a Brahmin to check on them, Ram provides information to Hanuman about his excile and Sita being abducted by Ravan.Hanuman is overwhelmed to know that the person in question is his God, Shri Ram, Hanuman lays down with reverence in Ram’s feet and pays respect, thereafter carries Ram and Laxman on his shoulders and takes them up to Sugreev Ram tells Sugreev about Sita’s kidnap by Ravan, and Sugreev also informs about how his rival brother Bali had taken away his wife Roma and how he became the king. Both Ram and Sugreev take oath and decide to help each other. On Ram’s advice Sugreev challenges Bali to have a wrestling contest, but Bali had a boon of receiving half of his opponents physical strength who ever challenged him, which in turn would make Bali stronger,as a result Sugreev could not defeat Bali and goes back to Ram highly disappointed, Ram tells Sugreev they both look alike therefore was unable to shoot the arrow on Bali, once again Bali and Sugreev have a contest, this time Ram adorns a chain in Sugreev’s neck to discriminate him from Bali. Ram hides behind the bushes and kills Bali by shooting him with the arrow. Consequently Sugreev gets back his kingdom and his wife Roma. Website : https://www.sagarworld.com Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/sagarworldmu… Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/sagar.world

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