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Chapter 25: The Cremation of Vali

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The Cremation of Vali


Rama hurries up Sugreeva to proceed with the funeral ceremony of Vali instead of sitting around the body and wailing endlessly. Rama tersely tells about living being's dependency on the eternal Time, Fate and the Absolute. Then Sugreeva takes charge of the situation and arranges for the monarchical funeral to Vali. At the final departure of her husband, Tara again laments. Ultimately Vali's body is committed to fire for his voyage to heavens on a remote avenue.

Chapter [Sarga] 25 in Detail

sa sugriivam ca taaraam ca sa a.ngadaam saha lakshmanah |

samaana shokah kaakutsthah saa.ntvayan idam abraviit || 4-25-1

While a similar disquiet of Sugreeva is prevailing over Rama and Lakshmana, Rama palliatively [to cover by excuses and apologies] said this to Sugreeva, and even to Tara together with Angada. [4-25-1]

na shoka paritaapena shreyasaa yujyate mritah |

yad atra ana.ntaram kaaryam tat samaadhaatum arhatha || 4-25-2

"Deceased will not derive bliss by sorrowful mourning, hence it will be appropriate to arrange for that work which is subsequent in this matter. [4-25-2]

loka vrittam anustheyam kritam vo baaspa moksanam |

na kaalaad uttaram ki.mcit karma shakyam upaasitum || 4-25-3

"Worldly observances are to be observed, thus your activity of tear-shedding this far is justifiable, it is impossible to undertake any other ritual work if time is lapsed just by weeping. [4-25-3]

niyatih kaaranam loke niyatih karma saadhanam |

niyatih sarva bhuutaanaam niyogesu iha kaaranam || 4-25-4

"Fate is the cause of all the worlds, Fate is the instrument for action, Fate is the deciding factor for motivation of all beings in these worlds. [4-25-4]

na kartaa kasyacit kashcit niyoge ca api na iishvarah |

svabhaave vartate lokah tasya kaalah paraayanam || 4-25-5

"None is an instrument in motivating someone else to do something or otherwise, none is also a controlling entity of others, and even the world functions in its own nature, and that Time is cardinal for that world. [4-25-5]

na kaalah kaalam atyeti na kaalah parihiiyate |

svabhaavam ca samaasaadya na kashcit ativartate || 4-25-6

"Time will not transcend Time, neither Time transgresses itself, and on attaining the nature endowed by Time nothing can overstep its own Fate. [4-25-6]

na kaalasya asti ba.ndhutvam na hetur na paraakramah |

na mitra jnaati sa.mbandhah kaaranam na aatmano vashah || 4-25-7

"Time has no kinship, thus it has no partiality, there is nothing instrumental to override Time, hence nothing can override it, and there are no causative factors to Time that connect through friends or relatives, hence all are equal in its viewpoint. [4-25-7]

kim tu kaala pariinaamo drastavyah saadhu pashyataa |

dharmah ca arthah ca kaamah ca kaalakrama samaahitaah || 4-25-8

"But even the mutations brought forth by Time are observable by a perceiver with a clear vision, and the virtue, wealth, pleasures are to be perceived as cumulated during the course of Time. [4-25-8]

itah svaam prakritim vaalii gatah praaptah kriyaa phalam |

saama daana artha sa.myogaih pavitram plavaga iishvara || 4-25-9

"That king of fly-jumpers Vali departed from here on attaining his own nature of subtle-soul, and he obtained pious fruits connected with his one time actions befitting to a king like, friendliness, courteousness, and forgivingness required of a king. [4-25-9]

sva dharmasya ca sa.myogaat jitah tena mahaatmanaa |

svargah parigrihiitah ca praanaan apariraksataa || 4-25-10

"That great-souled Vali did not care to safeguard his own lives in combat, and by virtue of his own rightness of a true combatant unworried of his life, he acquired heaven. [4-25-10]

esaa vai niyatih shresthaa yaam gato hari yuuthapah |

tat alam paritaapena praapta kaalam upaasyataam || 4-25-11

"Which course the commander of monkeys undertook is the choicest course of fatality, and hence, enough is this sorrowing, and let works incumbent on the present time be undertaken reverently..." So said Rama to Sugreeva. [4-25-11]

vacana ante tu raamasya laksmanah para viira haa |

avadat prashritam vaakyam sugriivam gata cetasam || 4-25-12

At the close of Rama's sentence Lakshmana, the eliminator of braving foes, spoke this courteous sentence to the disconcerted Sugreeva. [4-25-12]

kuru tvam asya sugriiva preta kaaryam ana.ntaram |

taaraa angadaabhyaam sahito vaalino dahanam prati || 4-25-13

"Sugreeva, you attend to the funeral rites, to be performed subsequently along with those two, Tara and Angada, and arrange for the cremation of Vali. [4-25-13]

samaajnaapaya kaasthaani shuskaani ca bahuuni ca |

candanaani ca divyaani vaali sa.mskaara kaaranaat || 4-25-14

"Order at once for substantial dry firewood, likewise for finest sandalwood, for the purpose of the cremation of Vali. [4-25-14]

samaashvaasaya diinam tvam a.ngadam diina cetasam |

maa bhuuh baalisha buddhih tvam tvat adhiinam idam puram || 4-25-15

"Bolster up that miserable Angada who is heartbroken, you too should not become frivolous in thinking as this city Kishkindha is now dependant on you. [4-25-15]

angadah tu aanayet maalyam vastraani vividhaani ca |

ghritam tailam atho gandhaan yat ca atra samana.ntaram || 4-25-16

"Let Angada bring wreaths, different cloths, ghee, oils, as well perfumes and other items that are consequently useful in funeral. [4-25-16]

tvam taara shibikaam shiighram aadaaya aagaccha sa.mbhramaat |

tvaraa gunavatii yuktaa hi asmin kaale vishesatah || 4-25-17

"And Lt. Tara, you go quickly and come readily fetching a palanquin of the dead, for dispatch is a merit, which is truly worthwhile, especially at these times. [4-25-17]

sajjii bhavantu plavagaah shibika vaahana ucitaah |

samarthaa balinah caiva nir.hharisyanti vaalinam || 4-25-18

"Let suitable, proficient and sturdy Vanara-s be at the ready as the bearers of the litter of the dead to carry away Vali." Thus said Lakshmana to Sugreeva. [4-25-18]

evam uktvaa tu sugriivam sumitra aananda vardhanah |

tasthau bhraatri samiipastho laksmanah para viirahaa || 4-25-19

Speaking thus to Sugreeva that enhancer of his mother Sumitra's delight and the eliminator of braving foes, Lakshmana stepped off and stayed behind his brother Rama. [4-25-19]

laksmanasya vacah shrutvaa taarah sa.mbhraanta maanasah |

pravivesha guhaam shiighram shibikaa aasakta maanasah || 4-25-20

On hearing the words of Lakshmana Lt. Tara's mood became hectic and he fleetly entered Kishkindha with his mood firmed up to get the litter of the dead. [4-25-20]

aadaaya shibikaam taarah sa tu paryaapayat punah |

vaanaraih uhyamaanaam taam shuuraih udvahana ucitaih || 4-25-21

Lt. Tara came back in a trice fetching that litter of the dead, getting it carried by gritty and suitable Vanara-s. [4-25-21]

divyaam bhadra aasana yutaam shibikaam sya.ndana upamam |

pakshi karmabhih aacitraam druma karma vibhuusitaam || 4-25-22

acitaam citra pattiibhih sunivistaam sama.ntatah |

vimaanam iva siddhaanaam jaala vaata aayaana aayutaam || 4-25-23

suniyuktaanaam vishaalaam ca sukritaam shilpibhih kritaat |

daaru parvatakopetaam caaru karma pariskritaam || 4-25-24

vara aabharana haaraih ca citra maalya upashobhitaam |

guhaagahana sa.mcchannaam rakta candana bhuusitaam || 4-25-25

puspa oghaih samabhicchannaam padma maalaabhih eva ca |

taruna aaditya varnaabhih bhraajamaanabhih aavritaam || 4-25-26

That palanquin is having a majestic throne and in similarity it is like a divine chariot which is adorned and beautified with figurines of birds and trees in high relief. From all over it is well set in with strikingly carved figures of foot soldiers, and it is like an aircraft of the gifted souls, namely Siddha-s, with grills and ventilators. Well seamed-in are its parts and also spacious it is, and well crafted by the crafty craftsmen it has wooden play-hills carved in its walls, and finishing touches with a fine artistry of polishing are given to that palanquin. It is elaborated with best ornaments and strings of pearls, gems, beads and the like, and even with amazing flowery-tassels. Its cabin's roof is covered with an ornamental woodcraft of red-sandalwood. It is well covered over with lots of flowers, and in its shade it is like a tender sun, while garlands of red-lotuses are further brightening it. And Lt. Tara brought such a litter of the dead. [4-25-22, 23, 24, 25, 26]

iidrishii shibikaam dristvaa ramo lakshmanam abraviit |

kshipram viniiyataam valii preta kaaryam vidhiiyataam || 4-25-27

On seeing such a sort of palanquin Rama said to Lakshmana, "Let Vali be taken away quickly and funeral ceremony be undertaken." [4-25-27]

tato vaalinam udyamya sugriivah shibikaam tadaa |

aaropayata vikroshan a.ngadena saha eva tu || 4-25-28

Thereafter Sugreeva along with Angada and others lifted up and then lodged Vali in the litter of the dead squalling woefully. [4-25-28]

aaropya shibikaam caiva vaalinam gata jiivitam |

ala.nkaaraih ca vividhaih maalyaih vastraih ca bhuusitam || 4-25-29

aajnaapayat tadaa raajaa sugriivah plavaga iishvarah |

aur.hdhva dehikam aaryasya kriyataam anuruupatah || 4-25-30

Thus setting that deceased Vali who is diversely decorated and adorned with garlands and cloths onto the palanquin, then Sugreeva, the king of best fly-jumpers, has ordered, "let the funeral ceremony of this noble brother of mine be undertaken, befitting to his magnificence... [4-25-29, 30]

vishraanayanto ratnaani vividhaani bahuuni ca |

agratah plavagaa yaantu shibikaa tad ana.ntaram || 4-25-31

"Let the Vanara-s proceed in van strewing various gems plentifully, and the palanquin afterward... [4-25-31]

raajnaam riddhi vishesaa hi drishyante bhuvi yaadrishaah |

taadrishaih iha kurvantu vaanaraa bhratriu sat kriyaam || 4-25-32

"In which way the grandiose of monarchical opulence will be conspicuous on earth when kings decease, in a similar way the Vanara-s have to immortalize lord Vali now," Sugreeva ordered monkeys in that way. [4-25-32]

taadrisham vaalinah kshipram praakurvan aur.hdhvadaihikam |

angadam parirabhya aashu taara prabhritayah tathaa || 4-25-33

kroshantah prayayuh sarve vaanaraa hata baandhavaah |

On performing services to the dead in the same way as ordered by Sugreeva, then all of those Vanara-s like Lt. Tara and others, have promptly started out hemming round Angada, keening over their dead relative Vali. [4-25-33, 34a]

tatah pranihitaah sarvaa vaanaryo asya vashaanugaah || 4-25-34

cukrushuh viira viira iti bhuuyah kroshantii taah priyam |

Then all the female adherents of Vali came together and wept saying, 'oh, brave one, oh, brave one...' and they repeatedly wept thus for their departed dear. [4-25-34b, 35a]

taaraa prabhritayah sarvaa vaanaryo hata baandhava || 4-25-35

anujagmuh ca bhartaaram krosha.ntyah karuna svanaah |

Lady Tara and all other female Vanara-s, whose husband is dead, followed the funeral procession wailing in a pathetic tone. [4-25-35b, 36a]

taasaam rudita shabdena vaanariinaam vana a.ntare || 4-25-36

vanaani girayah caiva vikrosha.nti iva sarvatah |

With the din of wailing of those Vanara females in the interiors of the forest, that forest along with its hillocks appeared to be wailing noisily. [4-25-36b, 37a]

puline giri nadyaah tu vivikte jala sa.mvrite || 4-25-37

citaam cakruh subahavo vaanaraa vana caarinah |

Many Vanara-s have arranged a funeral pile on an unpopulated sandy isle, around which brooks from the cascades of hills are encircling. [4-25-37b, 38a]

avaropya tatah skandhaat shibikaam vaanarottamaah || 4-25-38

tasthuh ekaa.ntam aashritya sarve shoka paraayanaah |

All of those best Vanara-s then lifted down that palanquin from their shoulders and stood aside weltered in melancholy. [4-25-38b, 39a]

tatah taaraa patim dristvaa shibikaa tala shaayinam || 4-25-39

aaropya a.nke shirah tasya vilalaapa suduhkhitaa |

Lady Tara on seeing at her husband Vali recumbent on the bier of the litter of the dead, she then brought his head onto her lap, and wailed painfully. [4-25-39b, 40a]

haa vaanara mahaaraaja haa naatha maam vatsala || 4-25-40

haa mahaarhah mahaabaaho haa mama priya pashya maam |

janam na pashyasi imam tvam kasmaat shoka abhipiiditam || 4-25-41

"O, great king of monkeys... o, my consort... my dear... o, meritorious one, o, mighty one, o, my dear... see me... why do not you see this grief-stricken creature, that is me... [4-25-40b, 41]

prahristam iha te vaktram gata asoh api maanada |

asta arka sama varnam ca drishyate jiivato yathaa || 4-25-42

"Though your lives have gone your face is appearing to be highly enchanting as if it has a similar dazzle of the sun on dusking mountain, as it had when you were alive. [4-25-42]

esa tvaam raama ruupena kaalah karsati vaanara |

yena sma vidhavaah sarvaah kritaa eka isunaa rane || 4-25-43

"Time-god in the mien of this Rama is hauling you away, oh, Vanara, on rendering all of us as widows by flinging a single arrow in the fight. [4-25-43]

imaah taah tava raajendra vaanaryo aplavagaah tava|

paadaih vikristam adhvaanam aagataah kim na budhyase || 4-25-44

tava istaa nanu caiva imaa bhaaryaah candra nibha aananaah |

"These are those female Vanara-s of yours, oh, best king, unable to come by leaping and jumping as they are wont to, they have come treading a much lengthy way of yours, why do not you mind them? They with their faces like moonshine are your cherished wives, isn't it! [4-25-44]

idaaniim na iiksase kasmaat sugriivam plavaga iishvaram || 4-25-45

ete hi sacivaa raajan taara prabhritayah tava |

pura vaasi janah ca ayam parivaarya visiidati || 4-25-46

"What for you are not seeing the lord of fly-jumpers Sugreeva, and these Lt. Tara and others are all your ministers, oh, king, and even the people dwelling in Kishkindha city have gathered around you and sinking down, why do not you mind them? [4-25-45b, 46]

visarjaya enaan sacivaan yathaa ucitam arindama |

tatah kriidaamahe sarvaa vanesu madanotkataah || 4-25-47

"Bid adieu to these ministers as usual, oh, enemy subjugator, then we all can sport fully wander in the woods in voluptuousness." Thus Tara mourned for Vali. [4-25-47]

evam vilapatiim taaraam pati shoka pariivritaam |

utthaapayanti sma tadaa vaanaryah shoka karshitaah || 4-25-48

While Tara is enwrapped in the grief for her husband and wailing that way, then other female Vanara-s, who are equally haggard by grief have lifted her up and took her away from the body of Vali. [4-25-48]

sugriivena tatah saardham a.ngadah pitaram rudan |

citaam aaropayaamaasa shokena abhipluta indriyah || 4-25-49

Angada wailing along with Sugreeva, started to mount his father's body onto pyre in an involuntary way, as his senses are deluged under grief. [4-25-49]

tato agnim vidhivat dattvaa so apasavyam cakaara ha |

pitaram diirgham adhvaanam prasthitam vyaakula indriyah || 4-25-50

On giving fire to the pyre procedurally, then Angada with dismayed senses performed circumambulations in an anticlockwise direction to his father, who is voyaging on a remote avenue. [4-25-50]

samskritya vaalinam tam tu vidhivat plavagarsabhaah |

aajagmuh udakam kartum nadiim shubha jalaam shivaam || 4-25-51

On cremating Vali procedurally those best fly-jumpers arrived at the propitious river with auspicious waters to offer water oblations to the departed soul. [4-25-51]

tatah te sahitaah tatra hi sah a.ngadam sthaapya ca agratah |

sugriiva taaraa sahitaah sisicuh vaanaraa jalam || 4-25-52

Those Vanara-s on coming together along with Sugreeva and Lady Tara, and then locating Angada in their front, they have offered water oblations to the soul of Vali. [4-25-52]

sugriivena eva diinena diino bhuutvaa mahaabalah |

samaana shokah kaakutsthah preta kaaryaani akaarayat || 4-25-53

He whose sadness evened up with that of Sugreeva, and who became one with Sugreeva in haplessness, that great mighty Rama effectuated the funeral rites of Vali. [4-25-53]

tato atha tam vaalinam agrya paurusam

prakaasham ikshvaaku vara isunaa hatam |

pradiipya diipta agni sama ojasam tadaa

sa lakshmanam raamam upeyavaan harih || 4-25-54

On cremating Vali of lofty aplomb and manifest-renown and whom the arrow of that Rama, the best of Ikshvaku dynasty has eliminated, Sugreeva then approached that Rama, who is with Lakshmana at his side, and whose flair equals a flaming fire. [4-25-54]

iti vaalmiiki raamaayane aadi kaavye kiskindha kaande pa.nca vi.mshah sargah

Thus, this is the 25th chapter in Kishkindha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate




Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (2000). Kishkindha Kanda - The Empire of Holy Monkeys.


Merriam-Webster. (2007). At (2007). At

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