The Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “the story of bali and mayavi” and represents Chapter 9 of the Kishkindha-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Kishkindha-kanda].

Chapter 9 - The Story of Bali and Mayavi

Bali is the name of my elder brother, the Scourge of his Foes. He was ever held in great esteem by my father and mother, and I, also, loved him. When his father died, he being the elder, the ministers, who thought highly of him, installed him as King of the Monkeys. During his rule over that immense empire of his ancestors, I lived in constant subjection to him, as one of his servants. On account of a woman, a great quarrel arose between Mayavi, the illustrious elder son of Dundubhi and Bali. One night, whilst others slept, Mayavi approached the gates of Kishkindha, roaring with anger and challenged Bali to fight. Roused from deep sleep by those formidable cries, my brother, unable to contain himself, went forth immediately, advancing in fury on that powerful titan in order to kill him. His wives and I tried to restrain him and I threw myself at his feet, but he repelled us all and went forth full of valour.

"Then, out of devotion, I followed him. Seeing my brother and me following within a short distance, the titan, in fear, fled in all haste. Struck with terror he ran on, but we ran even faster. The moon, that had risen, flooded the path with its light. Hidden by grass, a large hole in the ground came into view and the titan threw himself into it precipitately. We reached the edge and halted.

Bali, who was overcome with rage, his senses perturbed, said to me:—

“‘O Sugriva, remain here, without leaving the mouth of the cave, while I enter in order to engage the enemy and slay him!’

“Hearing these words I besought that Destroyer of his Foes to go no further but he, under the threat of a curse, told me not to move from there and disappeared into the cavern.

"After his entry into the cave, a whole year elapsed and I remained at my post without; I imagined him to be dead and in my affection for him was deeply distressed and a prey to fearful presentiments, reflecting: ‘I shall not see my brother again.’

“Then, for a long time, blood mixed with foam flowed from the cave and the roaring of the titan reached my ears, but I did not hear the cries of triumph that my elder brother emitted in the struggle. Thereafter on account of the various signs, I went away, thinking that my brother was dead, but first I blocked up the mouth of the cave with a rock as large as a mountain. O My Friend, overcome by sorrow, I offered up the ceremonial water for my brother and returned to Kishkindha.

“Despite mine efforts to keep the matter secret, the ministers learnt of it and having taken counsel together, they installed me as sovereign. I ruled the empire with justice, O Rama. In the meantime Bali, having slain his enemy, the titan, returned. Seeing me installed with all the insignia of royalty, his eyes became red with anger and he overwhelmed me with reproaches and bound my ministers in chains.

“Having slain his adversary, my brother returned to the city, and I, paying obeisance to that great warrior, offered him the traditional homage, but he did not respond to my cordial congratulations. I touched his feet with my forehead, O Lord, but Bali in his anger reiused to pardon me.”

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