Kishkinda Kanda 1 -  Shriram meets Sugriva

Kishkinda Kanda 1 - Shriram meets Sugriva

Kishkinda Kanda 1 - Shriram meets Sugriva

Seeing the Pampa Lake and the beauty of nature, Rama lamented sorrowfully. He remembered Sita and compared her beauty to that of nature. The brothers then left for Rishyamukha, searching for Sugriva.

Seeing the two brothers come, Sugriva was worried that they had been sent by his brother Vali. His aide, Hanuman, the son of the wind God re-assured him, and went to meet the two brothers to find out who they were. Hanuman greeted the two brothers and asked if they were Gods.

Rama then asked Lakshmana to speak affectionately with Sugriva’s aide. Lakshmana then told Hanuman everything. After hearing their story, Hanuman took them to Sugriva. He then told Sugriva that the two brothers had come seeking his friendship. Sugriva then welcomed Rama and Lakshmana.

Sugriva then told Rama that he had seen Sita being abducted and heard her cry for Rama. He then gave Rama the jewels and upper garment of Sita that she had thrown at the Vanaras. Rama then grieved seeing Sita’s ornament and asked Sugriva about the rakshasa. Sugriva then promised Rama his friendship and consoled him.

Sugriva told Rama about his enmity with his brother Vali, the king of Kishkinda. He told Rama how the demon Mayavi, son of Dundubhi, had come to Vali’s kingdom and challenged him for a duel. Accompanied by his brother Sugriva, Vali then followed Mayavai. They saw that the demon had entered a hole in the ground. Vali then asked Sugriva to stand guard and not leave from there until he returned after killing the demon. 

Sugriva waited for a very long time. After some time, he saw blood stream out from the hole. He heard the sounds of the demon roaring but could not hear Vali’s voice. Fearing that Vali was killed, Sugriva blocked the entrance to the hole with a boulder and went back to Kishkinda. Sugriva was then made the king and ruled the kingdom.

After many days, Vali returned and was furious to see Sugriva on the throne. He accused Sugriva of blocking the entrance deliberately due to his desire for the throne. Vali then threw Sugriva out of the kingdom and seized his wife. Sugriva then hid in the Rishyamukha mountains. The reason he chose this mountain was that Vali could not come there.

Once Vali had killed the demon, Dundubhi had hurled his carcass in the air. The carcass fell in Rishyamukha and disturbed the ritual of the sage Matanga. The sage had angrily cursed that whoever was responsible for this would die if they stepped into the Rishyamukha mountains. Since Vali could not enter the mountains, Sugriva hid here for safety along with his close associates.

Rama heard the story. With his toe, he picked up Dundubhi’s skeleton and sent it flying away. Sugriva said that the skeleton was light, which is why Rama could easily throw it. He said he was not sure if Rama was stronger than Vali. Rama then shot an arrow at a line of sala trees. The single arrow penetrated each of the seven trees, one by one, and came out of the last tree.

Sugriva was delighted when he saw this. He requested Rama to help him by killing Vali. Rama then embraced Sugriva, and asked him to challenge Vali for a duel. Sugriva then went to Kishkinda and challenged Vali, who came out angrily. The two brothers fought intensely. Rama was watching the two brothers with his bow in his hand. They looked so alike, he could not differentiate between Vali and Sugriva. Rama thus did not release his arrow.

The powerful Vali defeated Sugriva, making him bleed. The scared Sugriva then ran to the Rishyamukha Mountains to save himself from Vali’s wrath. 

…. to be continued