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Why did Rama hide behind a tree to kill Vali?

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Rama hid behind a tree and then shot an arrow to kill Vali. But why did He hide? Why did he not indulge in face-to-face war?

The answer usually given is that if Vali saw anybody, then Vali would get half strength of that person.

But is that really the reason? Is it true that if Vali had seen Rama, then Rama would have lost half of His strength to Vali and thus Vali would have won?

Or, is there some other reason?

Let me make it clear that I am not asking whether it was right on Rama's part to kill Valui hiding behind a tree. That may be a good topic but that is not the intention of this thread.

Here I only want to know what Rama did so.

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Rama hid behind a tree and then shot an arrow to kill Vali. But why did He hide? Why did he not indulge in face-to-face war?

The answer usually given is that if Vali saw anybody, then Vali would get half strength of that person.

But is that really the reason? Is it true that if Vali had seen Rama, then Rama would have lost half of His strength to Vali and thus Vali would have won?

Or, is there some other reason?

Let me make it clear that I am not asking whether it was right on Rama's part to kill Valui hiding behind a tree. That may be a good topic but that is not the intention of this thread.

Here I only want to know what Rama did so.

 

Hmm, I quite sure Rama knows it well..

 

Bolo Dasharath nandana Sri Ramachachandra ki Jai

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Mortals can never know the mind of the Supreme Lord.

There are theories and thoughts, but nobody can really understand why the Lord does what he does.

 

Lord Rama himself said that he stalked Vali like a deer.

Why?

Maybe he treated Vali like an animal because Vali enjoyed the wife of his younger brother?

 

Maybe he didn't see Vali as worthy of treatment as a royal Ksatriya in a face to face battle?

 

For some reason Lord Rama did not afford Vali the dignity of a face-to-face battle under the ksatriya code.

 

It must have had something to do with the behaviour and the mindset of Vali that he was not afforded such dignity.

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Actually Lord Ramacandra was hiding behind the tree watching the fight between Vali and Sugriva. When Sugriva was just about to be strangled by Vali, he made a desperate plea to the Lord to help and save him, as Ramacandra promised earlier. As there was no time to lose, Lord Rama shot Vali with an arrow from where He stood, behind the tree. It was not a face to face combat between them.

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Mortals can never know the mind of the Supreme Lord.

There are theories and thoughts, but nobody can really understand why the Lord does what he does.

 

A common excuse people come up with, when they cannot answer the question. In the Gita Krishna says he follows Dharma because what a great man does, others follow. He has to set an example by being the example. If an avatar has to have any meaning, his actions should be easily understood by the common public. Else, why bother with the concept? He can just wave his wand from above and fix everything he would have fixed as an avatar.

 

Rama killed Vali from hiding simply because he had not the ability to face Vali in Battle (no one did). As Vali is dying, he criticizes Rama for his shameful behavior. Rama skirts the topic and instead digresses. Anyway, in his next avatar as Krishna, he is killed by a hunter in a similar fasion to atone for that deviation from proper conduct.

 

The conclusion? His act of killing Vali from hiding was not Dharma and was incorrect. It is not an example for other to follow suit.

 

Cheers

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A common excuse people come up with, when they cannot answer the question. In the Gita Krishna says he follows Dharma because what a great man does, others follow. He has to set an example by being the example. If an avatar has to have any meaning, his actions should be easily understood by the common public. Else, why bother with the concept? He can just wave his wand from above and fix everything he would have fixed as an avatar.

 

Rama killed Vali from hiding simply because he had not the ability to face Vali in Battle (no one did). As Vali is dying, he criticizes Rama for his shameful behavior. Rama skirts the topic and instead digresses. Anyway, in his next avatar as Krishna, he is killed by a hunter in a similar fasion to atone for that deviation from proper conduct.

 

The conclusion? His act of killing Vali from hiding was not Dharma and was incorrect. It is not an example for other to follow suit.

 

 

 

Nope. You are wrong on all counts. Totally wrong.

You don't have any shastra praman to support your theory and as such it is simply produced out of your mental speculation.

Your opinion has no authority without shastra praman to support your claim.

It is just the grumblings of a finite mind.:wacko:

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The answer usually given is that if Vali saw anybody, then Vali would get half strength of that person. But is that really the reason? Is it true that if Vali had seen Rama, then Rama would have lost half of His strength to Vali and thus Vali would have won?

If Lord Rama had been seen by Vali, nothing would have happened and the benediction Vali had received would have proven false. Lord Rama never wants his devotees to be insulted for not fulfilling their promises of benediction. Rather than let the devotees have a bad name and be insulted, He allows His own name to be criticized by people like Shvu so that His devotee's name and reputation remains always protected.

 

A similar case occurs with Lord Narasimha when He kills Hiranyakashipu. He goes to so many lengths to uphold the benedicition of Brahma even though He could have killed Hiranyakashipu like a small ant.

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If Lord Rama had been seen by Vali, nothing would have happened and the benediction Vali had received would have proven false. Lord Rama never wants his devotees to be insulted for not fulfilling their promises of benediction. Rather than let the devotees have a bad name and be insulted, He allows His own name to be criticized by people like Shvu so that His devotee's name and reputation remains always protected.

it is not me, dude. Read the discussion between Rama and Vali when Vali is dying. Not a color book version of the Ramayana from iskcon you may be accustomed to, but a more authentic one that has been around for a few hunded years.

 

 

A similar case occurs with Lord Narasimha when He kills Hiranyakashipu. He goes to so many lengths to uphold the benedicition of Brahma even though He could have killed Hiranyakashipu like a small ant.

Nothing similar. Rama was a Kshatriya and had prescribed dharma to uphold and he deviated from it in the case of Vali - whether you like it or not. He had to kill Vali as that was part of his deal with Sugriva - I get you your kingdom back from Vali, you help me find my wife. But unfortunately, Vali could not be beaten in a fair game. So guess what? Rama resorts to a little trickery to get the job done. If he did not need an army to find his wife, he would have had no reason to bother with Vali.

 

Narasimha is not not a human avatar and no Dharma is prescribed for non-humans.

 

Cheers

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it is not me, dude. Read the discussion between Rama and Vali when Vali is dying. Not a color book version of the Ramayana from iskcon you may be accustomed to, but a more authentic one that has been around for a few hunded years.

 

If you read Valmiki Ramayana, you would be aware that Valmiki provides two explanations for why Rama has acted this way. And if you read Kamba Ramayana, you will find six explanations are given. So it really is more or less you and those who wish to find fault with the Lord.

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Why do atheists and Advaitins read Ramayan?

These atheists are supposed to be reading Vedanta-sutra.

 

I guess ignorant Advaitins who can't read Vedanta-sutra just read Ramayana and try to see how Lord Rama is just an ordinary human being who has been highly over-rated?

 

I guess they aren't real Advaitins or real anything except real stupid.

 

(Oh, I forgot, he is probably a Shaiva trying prove that Shiva is supreme above Rama)

 

Maybe he is not even that smart?

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>>>Rama killed Vali from hiding simply because he had not the ability to face Vali in Battle (no one did). As Vali is dying, he criticizes Rama for his shameful behavior. Rama skirts the topic and instead digresses. Anyway, in his next avatar as Krishna, he is killed by a hunter in a similar fasion to atone for that deviation from proper conduct.<<<

 

If this is true, then logic would dictate that Vishnu is not the Supreme Being since He is above Karma...unless...he allows Himself to go through the motions of Karma in order to respect his own play of Dharma and abide by the cosmic rules.

 

All life is a lesson...

 

Hari Om

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If Lord Rama had been seen by Vali, nothing would have happened and the benediction Vali had received would have proven false. Lord Rama never wants his devotees to be insulted for not fulfilling their promises of benediction.

 

As I understand, you are talking about boon to Vali that he would get half strength of the opponent whom he saw. Lord Rama was fully capable of proving this boon as wrong and thus easily kill Vali in face-to-face war. But He did not want the benediction to be proved wrong because that would have been an insult to His devotee who gave the boon to Vali(I think Lord Brahma).

This is what you are saying. Right?

But, if this is the case, then no one - not even Hanuman should have been able to defeat Vali in face-to-face war.

But after the war, Lord Rama says to Agastya muni that Hanuman was more powerful than Vali. He asks as to why Hanuman could not save Sugreev from Vali. In answer, Agastya does not say that Vali was more powerful. Rather he accepts that Hanuman was more powerful. Then, go goes on to talk about the curse Hanuman got in his childhood.

How could Hanuman be more powerful than Vali, given the boon that Vali received?

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Hanuman is an eternal associate of the Lord in Vaikuntha, so he is not at all bound by limitations such as material strength. For the sake of the Lord's lila he acts as though he is a mortal, and sometimes the Lord's yogamaya covers him so that he will even think that he is mortal. This increases his enjoyment and excitement when participating in the Lord's lila.

 

But in reality he is equally beyond the limit of a material boon granted to Vali, just as Lord Rama was. Vali was given a necklace by Indra, and that ganted him his material strength.

 

Another point I have heard, but have not taken the time to look up and confirm is that in the Ramayana it is only said that Vali gains half the strength of the opponent. It never says that the opponent is weakened to half his strength. If that is the case, then it would be possible for Vali to gain the strength of an opponent and still be weaker than the opponent.

 

As Vali would have His strength + 1/2 opponents strength

where as opponent would have 2/2 opponents strength.

 

If Vali's own strength was less than 1/2 of the opponents strength, then he would still be weaker than the opponent even after his boon is fulfilled.

 

As far as the Lord is concerned, it is impossible to copy any of his strength. Thus no such boon could have been maintained.

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Another point I have heard, but have not taken the time to look up and confirm is that in the Ramayana it is only said that Vali gains half the strength of the opponent.

I read Valmiki Translation by Gita press. It nowhere mentions about boon to Vali that he would get half the strength of his opponent if Vali saw the opponent. May be it is written in some other Ramayan(Adhyatm Ramayan perhaps?)

 

 

It never says that the opponent is weakened to half his strength. If that is the case, then it would be possible for Vali to gain the strength of an opponent and still be weaker than the opponent.

Yes, this is interesting way of looking at things. I read this in a few Internet pages.

 

 

If Vali's own strength was less than 1/2 of the opponents strength, then he would still be weaker than the opponent even after his boon is fulfilled.

 

Let

x = Vali's strength before he sees the opponent

y = opponent's strength

When Vali sees the opponent,

Vali's strength = x + y/2,

oppnent's strength = y(does not change)

For Vali's new strength < opponent's strength

x + y/2 < y

Or, x < y/2

So, it is exactly as you said. And it is quite possible for Hanuman and may be many others to have strength more than double of Vali's.

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I am a background lurker and generally appreciate your logic, but I see some problems with this one.

 

 

A common excuse people come up with, when they cannot answer the question. In the Gita Krishna says he follows Dharma because what a great man does, others follow. He has to set an example by being the example. If an avatar has to have any meaning, his actions should be easily understood by the common public. Else, why bother with the concept? He can just wave his wand from above and fix everything he would have fixed as an avatar.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

This line of thinking does not seem to apply to the below case...<o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

 

Rama killed Vali from hiding simply because he had not the ability to face Vali in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Battle</st1:place></st1:City> (no one did). As Vali is dying, he criticizes Rama for his shameful behavior. Rama skirts the topic and instead digresses. Anyway, in his next avatar as <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>, he is killed by a hunter in a similar fasion to atone for that deviation from proper conduct.
<o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

By your logic, the avatar failed to adhere to his principles. He says (as <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place>) he follows Dharma because people will copy his actions, but as Rama he deviates from the path by killing Vali from hiding. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

 

The conclusion? His act of killing Vali from hiding was not Dharma and was incorrect. It is not an example for other to follow suit.
<o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

Does not add up to your previous logic. You are now saying an avatar does not always follow Dharma which contradicts the Gita statement of an avatar always following Dharma. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

However, you are correct that the dying Vali criticizes Rama for impropriety and Rama provides a long justification on why Vali deserved to be killed, he fails to justify his act of killing Vali from hiding instead of direct combat. Rama even tells Vali he is incapable of comprehending Dharma as he is only a monkey! We are not monkeys and it is clear to us that Rama made a mistake and Vali's criticism was justified. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

Your position falters because you see Rama as an avatar and thereby you establish a link with <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> the avatar. Factually, the Ramayana does not see Rama as an avatar except in the first and last books. In the intermediate, Rama is a normal human like anyone else. Critics say when the Vaishnavas took over the Ramayana, they could not tamper with existing material as the Ramayana was already popular and was widespread. They made Rama an avatar by adding extra books to the Ramayana. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

If Rama is seen as a human, then many things from the Ramayana fall into place. When he sends Sugriva to engage Vali in combat, he fails to kill Vali the first day of the combat. He then tells Sugriva, he could not do it because both monkeys looked alike and he had no way of knowing which of them to kill. The next day, Sugriva wears an identifier to solve the problem of identification. The other common criticism about this section is in some cases the Vanaras are shown as highly evolved creatures living in palaces and nothing less than humans. Some other times, they are just monkeys living in the forest. When Vali talks to Rama, he describes himself as a monkey living and wandering in forests.

 

<o:p></o:p>

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However, you are correct that the dying Vali criticizes Rama for impropriety and Rama provides a long justification on why Vali deserved to be killed, he fails to justify his act of killing Vali from hiding instead of direct combat. Rama even tells Vali he is incapable of comprehending Dharma as he is only a monkey! We are not monkeys and it is clear to us that Rama made a mistake and Vali's criticism was justified.

We are not monkeys, but at the same time how many of us can say that we are liberated and self-realized? What Lord Rama did wasn't a mistake, it was righteous. It is explained in a Scripture (I forgot which) that when Vishnu incarnates, He does so to show the path of Dharma and to reestablish it on Earth. The Scripture further explains that He thus acts like <o:p></o:p>a human and He doesn't use His godly powers. Why? Because when Vishnu acts just like a human, man will know that they can do exactly what He did while at the same time being only a human.

 

If Vishnu used His godly powers in His avatars that are meant to teach Dharma (such as Rama and Krishna), then man will say "I can't do this. He only did it because He used His Divine Powers". However, when Vishnu does only what a man is capable of and lowers Himself to become a man, then man can know that the path of Dharma is possible for them.

 

This is why Vishnu doesn't just kill everyone at Kurukshetra as Krishna, and this is why He follows the boon of Vali and doesn't confront Vali, as a few examples. Vali's criticism of the way Lord Rama killed him is unjustified because Vali didn't understand the simple facts that I've just stated.

<o:p></o:p>

So Vishnu as His avatars meant to preach Dharma, such as Rama and Krishna, act human and hide their Divine Nature so that humans will know that they can do the exact same things that Rama and Krishna did while at the same time the ones who know and do not deny the Truth will know that they are Vishnu.

 

 

Your position falters because you see Rama as an avatar and thereby you establish a link with <st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> the avatar. Factually, the Ramayana does not see Rama as an avatar except in the first and last books. In the intermediate, Rama is a normal human like anyone else. Critics say when the Vaishnavas took over the Ramayana, they could not tamper with existing material as the Ramayana was already popular and was widespread. They made Rama an avatar by adding extra books to the Ramayana.

Can you prove this, that Vaishnavas "tampered" with the Ramayana? Experts actually say that the Valmiki Ramayana<o:p></o:p> was written by the same person, and that Vaishnavas didn't "tamper" with it in any way. Are you trying to make excuses when the facts are obvious? The facts being that the Ramayana wasn't tampered with in any way and that Rama was an avatar of Vishnu.

<o:p></o:p>

 

If Rama is seen as a human, then many things from the Ramayana fall into place. When he sends Sugriva to engage Vali in combat, he fails to kill Vali the first day of the combat. He then tells Sugriva, he could not do it because both monkeys looked alike and he had no way of knowing which of them to kill. The next day, Sugriva wears an identifier to solve the problem of identification. The other common criticism about this section is in some cases the Vanaras are shown as highly evolved creatures living in palaces and nothing less than humans. Some other times, they are just monkeys living in the forest. When Vali talks to Rama, he describes himself as a monkey living and wandering in forests.

 

<o:p></o:p>

 

See my first response.

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I see some problems with this one. ...Does not add up to your previous logic. You are now saying an avatar does not always follow Dharma which contradicts the Gita statement of an avatar always following Dharma.

 

Good catch...that was faulty logic, alright.

 

 

However, you are correct that the dying Vali criticizes Rama for impropriety and Rama provides a long justification on why Vali deserved to be killed, he fails to justify his act of killing Vali from hiding instead of direct combat. Rama even tells Vali he is incapable of comprehending Dharma as he is only a monkey!

 

Yes, I even glanced through the Kishkinda khanda again and reaffirmed that Rama does not answer Vali's question on his unfair act and instead goes into a long argument on why Vali deserved to die. If not anything else, his lack of response is evidence that his method was incorrect.

 

 

Your position falters because you see Rama as an avatar and thereby you establish a link with <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:place w:st="on">Krishna</st1:place> the avatar. Factually, the Ramayana does not see Rama as an avatar except in the first and last books...

 

That is a different topic by itself. But if the avatar concept is rejected, then the Ramayana has hardly any value at all.

 

Cheers

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I am sorry, I just realized the original question of this thread remains unanswered.

 

In the Valmiki Ramayana, it seems to be an a prioi conclusion that Sugriva will engage Vali in battle and Rama will be a sniper. No one other than poor Vali seems to have a problem with that as Sugriva does not question Rama when Rama tells him the plan. Sugriva could very well have challenged Rama about his need to avoid direct confrontation.

 

So why did Rama avoid confrontation? The question is not answered... neither before nor after Vali's killing.

 

Btw, in certain recensions of the Ramayana, Rama is a weakling and Lakshmana is the real hero.

 

Cheers

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I am sorry, I just realized the original question of this thread remains unanswered.

 

In the Valmiki Ramayana, it seems to be an a prioi conclusion that Sugriva will engage Vali in battle and Rama will be a sniper. No one other than poor Vali seems to have a problem with that as Sugriva does not question Rama when Rama tells him the plan. Sugriva could very well have challenged Rama about his need to avoid direct confrontation.

 

So why did Rama avoid confrontation? The question is not answered... neither before nor after Vali's killing.

 

Btw, in certain recensions of the Ramayana, Rama is a weakling and Lakshmana is the real hero.

 

Cheers

 

Didn't you read my post?

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