The Ramayana of Valmiki

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

This page is entitled “tara’s advice to bali” and represents Chapter 15 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 15 - Tara’s Advice to Bali

His brother Bali, who was seated amidst his wives in the inner apartments, heard the cry of the great-hearted Sugriva and was filled with wrath. When he caught the sound of that uproar, causing terror to all beings, his feelings of lust changed to those of violent anger and, his limbs trembling with fury, he who formerly shone like gold suddenly lost his brilliance, like the sun under eclipse. Grinding his teeth, his eyes flashing with fire, he resembled a lake from which the lotuses have been uprooted. Hearing that unendurable cry, that monkey strode forth in great haste, stamping on the earth as if he wished to shatter it.

Then Tara, embracing him tenderly, once more avowed her devotion to him and, timid and troubled, addressed him in these words, the wisdom of which the future was to prove:—

“O Brave Warrior, this anger that has taken hold of you is like a raging torrent; do you abandon it, as on rising in the morning you dost throw aside a faded garland. Tomorrow at dawn, enter into combat with Sugriva, O Valiant Forest Dweller, for you dost not yet know the strength or weakness of thine enemy. That you should set out immediately does not meet with my approval. Hear while I tell you the reason why I seek to delay you!

“Formerly Sugriva, in great anger, came hither and challenged you to fight, but defeated and overwhelmed by your blows, he fled. Having been assaulted and crushed in this wise, he now returns to challenge you again, which rouses my suspicion. To roar thus in so insolent and arrogant a manner, so filled with wrath, is not done without a particular motive. To my mind, Sugriva has not returned alone but has an escort who is ready to rush to his defence; hence this cry of defiance. Sugriva is a naturally clever and sagacious monkey and will never ally himself to one whose valour has not been tried. This, O Warrior, is what I have heard from the youthful Prince Angada; take heed therefore and have a care; it is to thine advantage! He has told me all that he has heard ftom his emissaries concerning Sugriva while journeying in the forest. Two sons were born to the King of Ayodhya, full of courage, invincible in combat; they are of the House of Ikshvaku and are renowned; their names are Rama and Lakshmana.

“These two indomitable heroes have sealed a pact of friendship with Sugriva, and this ally of your brother is Rama, famed for his military exploits, the Destroyer of Enemy Hosts, who resembles the fire at the end of the world cycle. He dwells in the forest and is the supreme refuge of all the virtuous who seek his protection. He is the support of the oppressed, the unique repository of all glory and is conversant with both secular and spiritual learning; his pleasure consists in carrying out the behests of his Sire.

“As the King of the Mountains is a treasury of precious metals, so is he a mine of every good quality. It is peace and not war that you should seek with that magnanimous One, the invincible Rama, whose prowess on the battlefield is without limit. O Hero, I have no desire to oppose you, but tell you this for your good. Therefore, heed my counsel! Do not seek a quarrel with your younger brother, O Valiant Monarch. I am certain it is to thine advantage to contract a friendship with Rama. Reconcile thyself with Sugriva and put all thoughts of hatred far from you. Your younger brother is an inhabitant of the forest of amiable qualities. Whether he dwell here or there, he is bound to you from every point of view, and I do not see any like him in the world. With gifts, honours and in other ways, bind him to thyself through kindness. Abandon thine ill-will and let him in future dwell near you. The thick-necked Sugriva is a powerful, valuable and natural ally. Win back your brother’s affection; there is no other way to happiness for you here. If you dost desire to please me and recognizest my devotion to you, then in the name of affection, O My Friend, I implore you to act as I have counselled. Follow my advice which is salutary; trust me and do not give way to anger; live in peace with the son of the King of Koshala; do not quarrel with him, his valour is equal to Indra’s.”

In these words, which were full of wisdom and would have enabled him to save himself, Tara addressed Bali, but he refused to listen and, driven by the force of destiny, advanced to meet his death.

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