Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Sugriva included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Sugrīva

Bāli and Sugrīva were brothers. Their mother was Aruṇa who once put the guise of a woman. At that time he was called by the name Aruṇī. Bāli was the son born to Indra by Aruṇī and Sugrīva was the son born to the Sun by Aruṇī. Both of them were brought up in the hermitage of Gautama. When the King of Kiṣkindhā Ṛkṣarajas died, Bāli was anointed the king of Kiṣkindhā. Sugrīva lived with Bāli, serving him. At this time Bāli engaged in a battle with the asura Dundubhi. Bāli chased Dundubhi into a cave. Placing Sugrīva at the mouth of the cave, Bāli went in. By the magic and sorcery of Dundubhi, it appeared to Sugrīva that Bāli was killed by Dundubhi. Sugrīva returned to Kiṣkindhā. Bāli who came out, followed Sugrīva to kill him due to misunderstanding. Bāli chased Sugrīva all over the world. It is mentioned in Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Kiṣkindhā Kāṇḍa, Sarga 46, that the knowledge of the lay-out of the various countries in the world that Sugrīva got in this running, helped him later, in the search for Sītā.

At last Sugrīva entered Ṛṣyamūkācala. Bāli had been once cursed that if he entered this mountain his head would be broken into pieces. Hanūmān became the minister of Sugrīva. It was during this period that Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa came by that way in search of Sītā. Sugrīva and Śrī Rāma entered into a treaty. Bāli should be killed and Kiṣkindhā should be given to Sugrīva in place of which Rāma should be helped to find out Sītā and get her back.

Śrī Rāma killed Bāli and gave Kiṣkindhā to Sugrīva, who sent monkey-armies in all directions to find out Sītā. Hanūmān found out Sītā and returned to Śrī Rāma, who fought a great battle with Rāvaṇa, in which battle Sugrīva took a prominent part. It was Kumbhakarṇa, who oppressed the monkey army much. When he caught Sugrīva, Kumbhakarṇa lost his ears and nose. Then he caught hold of the monkey warriors and Śrī Rāma cut off his hands with arrows. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 1). After the war, when Rāma and others returned to Ayodhyā, Sugrīva also accompanied them. After that Sugrīva returned to Kiṣkindhā. After a few years Candragupta, the second son of Sahasramukha Rāvaṇa, carried away the daughter of Sugrīva. Hearing this, Śrī Rāma confronted Sahasramukha Rāvaṇa, who was killed by the arrow of Sītā.

Sugrīva participated in the horse-sacrifice performed by Śrī Rāma. The control of the army was in the hands of Sugrīva, the financial affairs, with Vibhīṣaṇa and central powers, with Lakṣmaṇa. When the sacrifice was completed, Sugrīva returned to Kiṣkindhā.

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