Rāmāyana |Kiṣkindha Kaṇḍa| Chapter 17

17. Vali Accuses Rāma

[When Rāma approaches Vali, he accuses him of going against Dharma by killing someone who was not fighting him. He further says that his meat cannot be eaten. He accuses Rāma of doing a dishonest and despicable act.]

That Vali who was an expert in war struck down by Rāma, immediately fell down like a tree which was cut. 17.1

On that earth was lying down Vali who was decorated in all limbs by gold who fell down like the flag of Indra when the ropes tying it were loosened. 17.2

When the king of groups of monkeys fell down on the earth, the earth looked like the dull sky after the moon has set. 17.3

Though he had fallen on the ground, the body of that great one had not lost its splendour, the soul the lustre and the valour had not left the body. 17.4

The divine garland given by Indra which was decorated by gold and diamonds gave the monkey chief the lustre, life and splendour. 17.5

That Valorous monkey chief with the golden necklace looked like rain cloud with border glow of the twilight. 17.6

His garland, his body and that great fatal arrow were crafted in splendour in three ways, though he had fallen down. 17.7

That arrow led that valorous one in the path to heaven as Rāma's arrow released from his bow led you to salvation. 17.8

He had fallen on the ground like a fire that was extinguished and that respectable warrior looked round him slowly and looked like king Yayāti who had fallen from heaven after exhausting his blessings and like Sun God who has fallen on earth at the time of deluge. He was unassailable like the great Indra, the fierce Shiva and Upendra. That fallen Vali who was the son of great Indra wearing a golden necklace was having a chest like lion, long hands, burning face, tawny eyes of the monkey and saw Rāma accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa approaching him. 17.9-17.12

Vali after seeing Rāma and the strong Lakṣmaṇa and spoke polite but harsh words which were according to Dharma: "You are the son of the king who is famous, pleasing to look at, born in a great family, lustrous and one who has taken the penance of good character." 17.13-17.14

"What merit did you get by killing me when I was engaged otherwise, since I was hit by your arrow when I was engrossed in another battle?" 17.15

"Rāma all the world tells that you are merciful, taking care of the welfare of people, compassionate, dispassionate, one who acts in proper time and firm in your penance." 17.16-17.17

"Oh king, control of the body, control of the mind, patience, righteousness, forbearance, truthfulness, valour are qualities of a good king as also punishing those who do a crime." 17.18

"Primarily taking in to consideration your noble qualities, I came to fight with Sugrīva though I was prevented by Tara." 17.19

"A thought came in to mind then that it would not be proper for you to attack me when I was engaged in battle with others." 17.20

"I thought that you who walk under the flag of righteousness is not a fallen soul and I did not know that you are a sinner, one who is deceitful and one who does evil deeds." 17.21

"You are in fact a sinner who walks under the guise of a good man, and I did not know that you appear covered with Dharma which is only a pretext." 17.22

"Either in your city or in your country I have not done any sin nor at any time I have not insulted you and I am only a monkey living in the forest and eating fruits and roots and I was not fighting with you but with others." 17.23-17.24

"You are a son of a king, famous and good to look at and a look at you shows that you are one who loves Dharma." 17.25

"Which person born in the Kshatriya caste who has heard Vedas and who does not have any doubt of Dharma will do such a cruel act under the guise of Dharma?" 17.26

"Oh Rāma, you are born in a royal family and are famous as the follower of Dharma and then why are you running about like a worthy person when really you are really unworthy?" 17.27

"Oh king, Conciliation, charity, patience, Dharma, Truth, honesty, valour and giving punishment to the guilty are the duties of a king." 17.28

"Oh Rāma, we are animals who wander in the forest subsisting on fruits and roots and this is our nature while you are a man." 17.29

"Normally the battle is fought for land, gold and silver and how is it that you are interested in the fruits that I have?" 17.30

"Diplomacy, discipline, reward and punishment are the duties of the king which is not a mixed up one and kings do not act only on impulse." 17.31

"You are one in whom your wishes are important, angry, not balanced and you are confused about duties of a king and shooting arrow on others." 17.32

"Oh lord of men, you are a liar and do not have faith in Dharma and do not have stable intellect. and you are drawn by the senses towards passionate acts." 17.33

"Oh son of Kākutstha clan, due to killing me who is innocent by an arrow and what will good people tell about you, who have done a despicable act?" 17.34

"Anyone who kills a king, a Brahmin, cow, living beings, atheist and one who marries before his elder sibling will go to hell." 17.35

"A gossip monger, a mean fellow, killer of a friend, one who molests the wife of his Guru would definitely go to the hell where sinners go." 17.36

"My skin is not good to wear, my hairs and bones are not of any use and my meat would not be eaten by followers of Dharma like you." 17.37

"Oh Rāghava Brahmins and Kshatriyas are permitted to eat only five nailed creatures like the porcupine, the hedgehog, alligator, rabbit and turtle." 17.38

[Another translator tells the animals a, a kind of wild rodent, a kind of wild-boar, a kind of lizard, a hare and fifthly the turtle.]

"Oh king, learned people do not even touch my skin and they also do not eat my flesh as I am five nailed. Why have you killed me who is not fit to eat?" 17.39

"Tara who is a lady who knows everything told me words which were good for me and overlooking that I have come under the grip of death." 17.40

"Oh son of Kākutstha clan, though you are a lord, you cannot protect this earth, like a wicked person cannot protect a virtuous wife." 17.41

"You are adamant, dishonest, mean, dressed up in false humility and a sinner and how did you become the son of the great soul Dasaratha." 17.42

"I have been killed by the hand of Rāma, the elephant, who has broken the chains of character and went against conventions of good people and thrown away the goad of virtue." 17.43

"You have committed an inauspicious act not suitable to the noble people and even after that you talk about such acts and move with people following Dharma." 17.44

"You have exhibited your valour on people who should be neglected while you should have exhibited it before those who offended you." 17.45

"Oh son of the king, had you directly fought a war with me, you would have today itself seen the world of dead people." 17.46

"You have killed me who cannot be defeated by keeping yourself invisible, like a drunken man killing a snake which is asleep." 17.47

"Had you met me earlier, I would have got back your Maithili within a day. Had I not been killed by you to please Sugrīva, I would have brought you Rāvaṇa by catching him in his neck." 17.48-17.49

"Even if Maithili was hidden in the Paṭala or even under the sea as per your wishes like the white horse." 17.50

"It is proper for my brother Sugrīva to get the kingdom after my death and your killing me in a war which is against Dharma is not proper." 17.51

"If it is ordained by time other people would have acted like you and if it is in your power to give me an answer do it after thinking carefully." 17.52

After telling like this to Rāma, the Vali, the son of king of devas who was shining like a Sun, with a very dried up throat suffering pain due to the arrow that hit him, kept quiet. 17.53

This is the end of Seventeenth Sarga of Kiṣkindha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.