Rama explains to dying Vali as to why he gave such a punishment. Rama categorically explains the entire question put by Vali in the last chapter from the viewpoint of scriptures that lay down principle for Sanaatana dharma, eternal [everlasting] tradition, as well as Raja dharma, king's duty. Vali finally concludes that there is someone superior to him and thus seeks refuge in Rama.
Chapter [Sarga] 18 in Detail
iti uktah prashritam vaakyam dharma artha sahitam hitam |
parusam vaalinaa raamo nihatena vicetasaa || 4-18-1
Thus, Vali who is hit down by arrow and who is collapsing humbly spoke exacting words that contained probity, meaningfulness, and expedience, to Rama. [4-18-1]
tam nisprabham iva aadityam mukta toyam iva a.mbudam |
ukta vaakyam hari shrestham upashaa.ntam iva analam || 4-18-2
dharma artha guna sa.mpannam hari iishvaram anuttamam |
adhiksiptah tadaa raamah pashcaat vaalinam abraviit || 4-18-3
Then to him who is rendered like a lusterless sun, fizzling out like a cloud that released its water, and who became like a quenched fire, to such a best monkey and an unexcelled lord of monkeys who has just now imputed Rama with words that are abounding with righteousness and meaningfulness, Rama spoke subsequently. [4-18-3, 4]
dharmam artham ca kaamam ca samayam ca api laukikam |
avijnaaya katham baalyaat maam iha adya vigarhase || 4-18-4
"Uncaring for probity, prosperity, pleasure deriving, and even for the social conventions, now how do you rebuke me childishly in this matter? [4-18-4]
apristvaa buddhi sa.mpannaan vriddhaan aacaarya sa.mmataan |
saumya vaanara caapalyaat tvam maam vaktum iha icchasi || 4-18-5
"Un-consulted are the doyens [the senior members of a body or group] of your race that are intellectually well off and agreeable to your mentors about rights and wrongs about your deeds, oh, gentle one, how do you wish to debate with me in this matter with your primate's caprice. [4-18-5]
iksvaakuunaam iyam bhuumih sa shaila vana kaananaa |
mriga paksi manusyaanaam nigraha anugrahesu api || 4-18-6
"This earth with its mountains, woods, and forests, even along with the authority to condone or condemn the animals, birds, and humans on it belongs to Ikshvaku-s. [4-18-6]
taam paalayati dharmaatmaa bharatah satyavaan rijuh |
dharma kaama artha tattvajno nigraha anugrahe ratah || 4-18-7
"He who is virtue-souled, truth-abiding, plain-speaking, and the knower of the import of probity, pleasures, and prosperity, and the one who is concerned in controlling or condoning his subjects, that Bharata is the ruler of earth. [4-18-7]
nayah ca vinayah ca ubhau yasmin satyam ca susthitam |
vikramah ca yathaa dristah sa raajaa desha kaalavit || 4-18-8
"In whom both scrupulousness and benignancy are there, truthfulness is firmed up, and valor as evinced by scriptures is evident, and he who is the knower of time and place is the king, namely Bharata. [4-18-8]
tasya dharma krita aadeshaa vayam anye ca paarthivah |
caraamo vasudhaam kritsnaam dharma sa.mtaanam icchavah || 4-18-9
"Holding his virtuous decree desiring to keep up the continuum of righteousness, we and some other kings are wayfaring this earth in its entirety. [4-18-9]
tasmin nripati shaarduula bharate dharma vatsale |
paalayati akhilaam prithviim kah caret dharma vipriyam || 4-18-10
"While that Bharata, the kingly-tiger and a patron of virtue, is ruling the earth in its entirety, who is there to conduct himself in an unacceptable way to morality on it? [4-18-10]
te vayam maarga vibhrastam svadharme parame sthitaah |
bharata aajnaam puraskritya nigrihniimo yathaa vidhi || 4-18-11
"Abiding in our own pre-eminent righteousness, and even abiding by the order of Bharata we punish him who deviated from the path of morality, according to custom. [4-18-11]
tvam tu sa.mklista dharmah ca karmanaa ca vigarhitah |
kaama ta.ntra pradhaanah ca na sthito raaja var.htmani || 4-18-12
"As for you, you brought virtue to a state of decadence, rendered yourself reprovable by your own decadent behavior, for carnality alone has become your primary doctrine, and thus you have not abided by the conduct meant to a king. [4-18-12]
jyestho bhraataa pitaa caiva yah ca vidyaam prayacchati |
trayah te pitaro jneyaa dharme ca pathi vartinah || 4-18-13
"It is to be known by him who treads the way of righteousness that he has three fatherly personages, namely his own father, his elder brother, and the one who accords education to him. [4-18-13]
yaviiyaan aatmanah putrah shisyah ca api gunoditah |
putravat te trayah ci.ntyaa dharmah caiva atra kaaranam || 4-18-14
"An younger brother, a son, and a disciple with good characteristics, these three are to be deemed as one's own sons, for such matters take base on rectitude alone. [4-18-14]
suuksmah parama dur.hjneyah sataam dharmah plava.mgama |
hridisthah sarva bhuutaanaam aatmaa veda shubhaashubham || 4-18-15
"The probity practiced by principled people is very subtle and highly imponderable, and the soul that abides in the hearts of all beings alone can differentiate between just and unjust. [4-18-15]
capalah capalaih saardham vaanaraih akrita aatmabhih |
jaatya.ndha iva jaatyandhaih ma.ntrayan draksyase nu kim || 4-18-16
"Like a blind by birth counseling with similarly blind, you being a vacillant [oscillating], on your counseling only with frantic minded vacillant monkeys, what can you really fathom about right and wrong? [4-18-16]
aham tu vyaktataam asya vacanasya braviimi te |
na hi maam kevalam rosaat tvam vigarhitum arhasi || 4-18-17
"I will clarify about the words I have said, but I tell you that it is indeed inapt of you to disdain me just out of your outrage. [4-18-17]
tat etat kaaranam pashya yat artham tvam mayaa hatah |
bhraatur var.htasi bhaaryaayaam tyaktvaa dharmam sanaatanam || 4-18-18
"Realize this reason by which I have eliminated you… you misbehaved with your brother's wife, forsaking the perpetual tradition. [4-18-18]
asya tvam dharamaanasya sugriivasya mahaatmanah |
rumaayaam vartase kaamaat snusaayaam paapa karmakrit || 4-18-19
"While the great-souled Sugreeva is still alive, you with your habit of sinful acts have lustily misbehaved with Sugreeva's wife Ruma, who should be counted as your daughter-in-law. [4-18-19]
tad vyatiitasya te dharmaat kaama vrittasya vaanara |
bhraatri bhaaryaa abhimarshe asmin dando ayam pratipaaditah || 4-18-20
"Thereby, oh, Vanara, this punishment is imposed on you, for your dissolute sinning in abusing your brother's wife, thereby for your transgression of tradition and virtue. [4-18-20]
na hi loka viruddhasya loka vrittaat apeyusah |
dandaat anyatra pashyaami nigraham hari yuuthapa || 4-18-21
"I foresee no other kind of control other than punishment to him who conducts himself contrary to the society and who is deviant of conventions. [4-18-21]
na ca te marsaye paapam kshtriyo aham kulodgatah |
aurasiim bhaginiim vaa api bhaaryaam vaa api anujasya yah || 4-18-22
pracareta narah kaamaat tasya dando vadhah smritah |
"As a Kshatriya emerged from a best dynasty I do not tolerate your wrongdoing, and the punishment to the one who lustfully indulges with his daughter, or with his sister, or with the wife of his younger brother is his elimination, as recalled from scriptures. [4-18-22, 23a]
bharatah tu mahiipaalo vayam tu aadesha vartinah || 4-18-23
tvam ca dharmaat atikraantah katham shakyam upeksitum |
While Bharata is the lord of land and we are his proxies adhering to his orders, and while you too have overstepped the bounds of rightness, then how is it possible to be lenient? [4-18-25b, 24a]
guru dharma vyatikraantam praajno dharmena paalayan || 4-18-24
bharatah kaama yuktaanaam nigrahe paryavasthitah |
"While ruling righteously sensible Bharata punishes him who oversteps the momentous virtue, and he is poised to put down lustful ones. [4-18-24b, 25a]
vayam tu bharata aadesham vidhim kritvaa hariishvara |
tvat vidhaan bhinna maryaadaan nigrahiitum vyavasthitaah || 4-18-25
"As for us, oh, monkey's lord, we effectuate [effect] our brother's orders and our duty, and we stand for curbing your kind of shatterers of ethics. [4-18-25b, c]
sugriivena ca me sakhyam laksmanena yathaa tathaa |
daara raajya nimittam ca nihshreyasakarah sa me || 4-18-26
"My association with Sugreeva is as good as that with Lakshmana, nevertheless it betided with an understanding to regain Sugreeva's wife and kingdom, and he will give succor [relief] to me. [4-18-26]
pratijnaa ca mayaa dattaa tadaa vaanara sa.mnidhau |
pratijnaa ca katham shakyaa mat vidhena anaveksitum || 4-18-27
"I gave a promise to Sugreeva at the time of befriending him in the presence of vanara-s, and how is it possible for my kind to dishonour a given promise? [4-18-27]
tat ebhih kaaranaih sarvair mahadbhih dharma sa.mhitaih |
shaasanam tava yat yuktam tat bhavaan anumanyataam || 4-18-28
"Thereby you have to infer that a befitting punishment is given to you, owing to all these great reasons that abound with virtue and with supreme value. [4-18-28]
sarvathaa dharma iti eva drastavyah tava nigrahah |
vayasyasya upakartavyam dharmam eva anupashyataa || 4-18-29
"Anywise, you have to regard the punishment given to you is legitimate, and he whom rectitude guides has to render assistance to his friend, in any event. [4-18-29]
shakyam tvayaa api tat kaaryam dharmam eva anuvartataa |
shruuyate manunaa giitau shlokau caaritra vatsalau ||
grihiitau dharma kushalaih tathaa tat caritam mayaaa || 4-18-30
"Had you pursued rightness you too would have done the same deed in imposing such a punishment, and we hear two verses that are given to the advocacy of good conventions, which the experts of rightness have also accepted, and which are said to be coined by Manu, and I too conducted myself only as detailed in those verses of law. [4-18-30]
raajabhih dhrita dandaah ca kritvaa paapaani maanavaah |
nirmalaah svargam aayaanti santah sukritino yathaa || 4-18-31
“‘When kings impose proper punishment on the humans who have sinned, they become sinless and enter heaven as with the pious souls with good deeds.' So says one verse of Manu. [4-18-31]
shasanaat vaa api mokshaat vaa stenah paapaat pramucyate |
raajaa tu ashaasan paapasya tad aapnoti kilbisam || 4-18-32
“‘Either by punishment or by clemency a thief will be absolved from sin, but the king who does not impose proper punishment will derive the blot of that sin.' So says the other verse of Manu. [4-18-32]
aaryena mama maandhaatraa vyasanam ghoram iipsitam |
shramanena krite paape yathaa paapam kritam tvayaa || 4-18-33
"When a renouncer has committed sin like that of the one committed by you, my venerable ancestor Mandhaata has given punishment which he desired. [4-18-33]
anyaih api kritam paapam pramattaih vasudhaa adhipaih |
praayashcittam ca kurvanti tena tat shaamyate rajah || 4-18-34
"Such sin is acquired even by other kings who are unobservant in imposing proper punishment, and those kings had to make amends for it at appropriate time, by that propitiation they used to mitigate that filth of that sin. [4-18-34]
tat alam paritaapena dharmatah parikalpitah |
vadho vaanarashaarduula na vayam sva vashe sthitaah || 4-18-35
"Thereby, enough with your annoyance, oh, tigerly Vanara, as your elimination is devised righteously, and we too are not independent. [4-18-35]
shrunu ca api aparam bhuuyah kaaranam haripu.ngava |
tat shrutvaa hi mahat viira na manyum kartum arhasi || 4-18-36
"Oh, brave and best one among monkeys, further listen to another cause, and on listening that important cause you will not be infuriated. [4-18-36]
na me tatra manastaapo na manyuh haripu.ngava |
vaaguraabhih ca paashaih ca kuutaih ca vividhaih naraah || 4-18-37
praticchannaah ca drishyaah ca grihnanti subahuun mrigaan |
"I have neither angst nor ire in this matter of my eliminating you, or, your reviling me, oh, best monkey, but listen to the other point I wish to make clear. People will be capturing several animals, either covertly [secret] or overtly [open to view], with snares, springs and even with numerous contrivances. [4-18-37, 38a]
pradhaavitaan vaa vitrastaan visrabdhaan ativisthitaan || 4-18-38
pramattaan apramattaan vaa naraa maamsa ashino bhrisham |
vidhyanti vimukhaam ca api na ca doso atra vidyate || 4-18-39
"Meat eating people will undeniably kill animals, either they are speedily sprinting or standing steadily, fully dismayed or undismayed, vigilant or unvigilant, and even if they are facing away, in that there is no sacrilege. [4-18-38b, 39]
yaanti raajarsayah ca atra mrigayaam dharma kovidaah |
tasmaat tvam nihato yuddhe mayaa baanena vaanara |
ayudhyan pratiyudhyan vaa yasmaat shaakhaa mrigo hi asi || 4-18-40
"In this world even the kingly sages well-versed in virtue will go on hunting, and hunting is no face to face game, as such, oh, Vanara, therefore I felled you in combat with my arrow because you are a tree-branch animal, whether you are not combating with me or combating against me. [4-18-40]
durlabhasya ca dharmasya jiivitasya shubhasya ca |
raajaano vaanarashrestha pradaataaro na samshayah || 4-18-41
"Kings are the bounteous benefactors of the unobtainable righteousness and propitious lifestyles, oh, best Vanara, no doubt about it. [4-18-41]
taan na hi.msyaat na ca aakroshen na aaksipen na apriyam vadet |
devaa maanusa ruupena caranti ete mahii tale || 4-18-42
"They the kings are not to be harmed, also not to be reproved, not disparaged and nothing displeasing is spoken to them, as they are the divinities conducting themselves in human form on the plane of earth. [4-18-42]
tvam tu dharmam avijnaaya kevalam rosam aasthitah |
viduusayasi maam dharme pitri paitaamahe sthitam || 4-18-43
"I am abiding by the ethicalness practiced by my father and forefathers, but you revile me without the knowledge of rightness, just by clinging to your rancor." Thus said Rama to dying Vali. [4-18-43]
evam uktah tu raamena vaalii pravyathito bhrisham |
na dosam raaghave dadhyau dharme adhigata nishchayah || 4-18-44
Vali is much distressed at heart of hearts when Rama has said categorically in that way, whereby, deriving certitude about rightness he found no incorrectness with Rama. [4-18-44]
pratyuvaaca tato raamam praa.njalir vaanareshvarah |
yat tvam aattha narashrestha tat thathaa eva na atra samshayah || 4-18-45
That lord of Vanara-s then replied Rama with adjoined palms, "oh, best one among men, what all you have said is that way proper, undoubtedly. [4-18-45]
prativaktum prakriste hi na apakristah tu shak.hnuyaat |
yat ayuktam mayaa puurvam pramaadaat vaakyam apriyam || 4-18-46
tatra api khalu maam dosam kartum na arhasi raaghava |
"Indeed an ignoble cannot disprove a nobleman, Raghava, and with regards to the undesirable and improper words I have unwittingly spoken earlier, in that mater too it will be truly unapt of you to make me blameworthy, as I spoke them in anguish and ignorance. [4-18-46, 47a]
tvam hi dristaartha tattvajnah prajaanaam ca hite ratah |
kaarya kaarana siddhau ca prasannaa buddhih avyayaa || 4-18-47
"You alone are the knower of recourses and their real nature, namely probity, prosperity, pleasure seeking, and emancipation; dharma, artha, kaama, moksha; and you take delight in the welfare of subjects, and your faultless intellect is clear in accomplishing ends by judging the causes and effects. [4-18-47b, c]
maam api avagatam dharmaat vyatikraanta puraskritam |
dharma sa.mhitayaa vaacaa dharmajna paripaalaya || 4-18-48
"Oh, Rama, the knower of probity, I am the one who digressed from the rightness and a forerunner among such transgressors, such as I am, give absolution even to me with words abounded with rightness." Vali is thus saying to Rama. [4-18-48]
baaspa sa.mruddha kanthah tu vaalii sa aarta ravah shanaih |
uvaaca raamam sa.mpreksya pa.nkalagna iva dvipah || 4-18-49
Vali who like an elephant plumped in slough continued to say slowly, with tears fully impeding his throat and with an agonized moan, on keenly observing Rama. [4-18-49]
na ca aatmaanam aham shoce na taaraam na api baandhavaan |
yathaa putram gunashrestham a.ngadam kanakaa.ngadam || 4-18-50
"Also, I neither worry for myself, nor for Tara, nor even for any relatives of mine, as I do for my son Angada, the best-virtuous one with golden bicep-lets. [4-18-50]
sa mama adarshanaat diino baalyaat prabhriti laalitah |
tataaka iva piitaa.mbuh upashosam gamisyati || 4-18-51
"Right from his childhood I fondly looked after Angada, and he will be dejected when he sees me no more, and he withers away like a lake with its water drained for a drink. [4-18-51]
baalah ca akritabuddhih ca eka putrah ca me priyah |
taareyo raama bhavataa rakshaniiyo mahaabalah || 4-18-52
"He is boyish, juvenile, and the only dear son of mine, oh, Rama, as such that great-mighty son of Tara needs your protection. [4-18-52]
sugriive ca angade caiva vidhatsva matim uttamaam |
tvam hi goptaa ca shaastaa ca kaaryaakaarya vidhau sthitah || 4-18-53
"You have firm convictions about practicable and impracticable procedures, and you alone are the protector of the good and punisher of the bad, hence treat both Sugreeva and Angada with equal compassion. [4-18-53]
yaa te narapate vrittih bharate laksmane ca yaa |
sugriive ca a.ngade raajan taam ci.ntayitum arhasi || 4-18-54
"Oh, lord of men, it will be apt of you to show the same kind of outlook towards Sugreeva, oh, king, even towards Angada, which you have for Bharata and Lakshmana. [4-18-54]
mat dosa krita dosaam taam yathaa taaraam tapasviniim |
sugriivo na avamanyeta tathaa avasthaatum arhasi || 4-18-55
"The fault occurring from my fault of maltreating Sugreeva may not light upon that self-reproachful Tara, and it will be apt of you to see that Sugreeva will not look down on her treating her as the wife his rival. [4-18-55]
tvayaa hi anugrihiitena shakyam raajyam upaasitum |
tvat vashe vartamaanena tava citta anuvartinaa || 4-18-56
shakyam divam ca aarjayitum vasudhaam ca api shaasitum |
"When you indeed approve someone, he is capable enough to govern the kingdom, abiding himself under your control and following your heart, why a kingdom, he can rule the earth, why earth, he can even achieve the heaven itself. [4-18-56, 57a]
tvatah aham vadham aakaa.nkshayan vaaryamaano api taarayaa || 4-18-57
sugriivena saha bhraataa dvandva yuddham upaagatam |
iti uktvaa vaanaro raamam viraraama hariishvarah || 4-18-58
"Though Tara dissuaded me I met with my brother Sugreeva in a duel as though aspiring elimination at your hand...” On saying thus to Rama that Vanara, Vali the lord of monkeys' paused for a while. [4-18-57b, 58]
sa tam aashvaasayat raamo vaalinam vyakta darshanam |
saadhu sammatayaa vaacaa dharma tattvaartdha yuktayaa || 4-18-59
Rama consoled Vali with words that are agreeable to savants and that contain the essence and meaning of rightness, while Vali is with an evincible perspective of righteousness by now. And Rama spoke to Vali this way. [4-18-59]
na samtaapah tvayaa kaaryam etat artham plava.ngama |
na vayam bhavataa ci.ntyaa na api aatmaa harisattama |
vayam bhavat vishesena dharmatah krita nishcayaah || 4-18-60
"Oh, fly-jumper, you need not be remorseful about your wife, son and others you leave behind, because we take care of them... nor you should bother about us thinking that we have arbitrarily eliminated you, nor necessarily bother about yourself for committing sins, as we took this decision according to rightness and considerateness in your respect. [4-18-60]
dandye yah paatayet dandam dandyo yah ca api dandyate |
kaarya kaarana siddhaarthau ubhau tau na avasiidatah || 4-18-61
"He who administers punishment to the punishable, and he who is punishable and gets punished, both of them will achieve the results of cause and effect, where punishment is the effect from the cause of wrongdoing, and they both thereby will not be condemned. [4-18-61]
tat bhavaan danda samyogaat asmaat vigata kalmasah |
gatah svaam prakritim dhar.hmyaam dharma distena vartmanaa || 4-18-62
"Thereby, by virtue of the punishment you are completely divested of your blemish, and as contained in the scriptures on rightness you attained your true nature, that which is agreeable to rightness. [4-18-62]
tyaja shokam ca moham ca bhayam ca hridaye sthitam |
tvayaa vidhaanam haryagrya na shakyam ativartitum || 4-18-63
"Let distress, desire and even dread that abide in your heart be discarded, oh, monkey's supreme, you cannot possibly transcend destiny. [4-18-63]
yathaa tvayi a.ngado nityam vartate vaanareshvarah |
tathaa vartate sugriivo mayi ca api na sa.mshayah || 4-18-64
"As Angada has always been conducting himself with you, thus he will conduct himself with Sugreeva and also even with me, without doubt." Thus Rama spoke to Vali. [4-18-64]
sa tasya vaakyam madhuram mahaatmanah
samaahitam dharma pathaanuvartinah |
nishamya raamasya ranaavamardino
vacah suyuktam nijagaada vaanarah || 4-18-65
On hearing the agreeable and assertive words of that great-souled Rama, who is the treader on the path of rightness and an absolute crusher of enemies in war, Vali, the Vanara, spoke these well-disposed words to Rama. [4-18-65]
sharaabhitaptena vicetasaa mayaa
praduusitah tvam yad ajaanataa vibho |
idam mahendropama bhiima vikrama
prasaaditah tvam ksama me nareshvara || 4-18-66
"Oh, lord, oh, tremendously braving one, oh, Rama, the lord of people, I blamed you when your arrow sweltered and rendered me imbecile, thus I blamed you unthinkingly for which I may please be pardoned, I appease you for the same. [4-18-66]
iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye kiskindha kaande astadashah sargah
Thus, this is the 18th chapter in Kishkindha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.
Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate