Vali and Ravana

Our first story about my father, the great King Vali, begins when I was but a mere child. Kiskinda was the most peaceful and magnificent kingdom in the jungle. The birds chirped happily in the trees and all of the bears and monkeys lived in harmony.

One fine day, Vali was on his way to to the South Sea to say his daily prayers to Lord Shiva. As he walked to the shore, he saw Sage Narada flying overhead in a chariot. He kindly greeted the sage.

“Peace to you, Narada,” said Vali. “Where are you going in such a hurry today?”

“Peace to you, Vali,” replied Narada. “I am on my way to the festivities in Lanka. The demon king Ravana is hosting a grand festival to celebrate his victory over Indra. Ravana now has dominion over all of the worlds, even the gods. All bow to him and him alone now.”

“Not I,” said Vali. “Ravana has used his boons and armies to defeat those who are easily beaten. But he is no match for me, and he knows it. Ravana does not dare face me. When you see him, you may tell him that.”

Narada left and delivered this message to Ravana, who was furious when he heard what Vali had said. “That insolent monkey,” Ravana roared. “I will capture him and chain him in my palace, just like I did to Indra. I will have all of the rakshasas of my kingdom come see him and tease him. I will make him bow before me in front of everyone.”

Ravana prepared to leave and was about to summon his army when Narada asked him why he needed so many men to capture a single monkey. “The whole world will laugh at you if you take an army to a fight a monkey. It is a pity you do not know your own strength.”

Hearing this, Ravana agreed with Narada that he should challenge Vali by himself. Ravana got into his chariot Pushpaka and was quickly at the entrance of the Kiskinda kingdom. He yelled into the jungle a challenge for Vali. However, it was not Vali that emerged, but his brother Sugreeva . Sugreeva was amused to see Ravana on the doorsteps of the kingdom and challenging Vali to a duel. He told Ravana to wait for Vali to return from his prayers or, if he was so eager to fight, h
e could find Vali on the shores of the Southern Sea. 

Ravana set down his chariot on the beach quietly. There, he saw Vali saying his prayers, lost in medi
tation. To Ravana, Vali looked like a golden mountain. He was now scared to fight Vali, but he knew he could not retreat to his palace now. Then, he had an idea. With Vali distracted and his mind in prayer, Ravana could sneak up behind him and grab him by the tail.

The demon king snuck up behind Vali and got all twenty of his left hands on his large tail. The tail moved a little, formed a loop, and tied up Ravana’s hands. He grabbed the tail with his remaining free arms. The tail moved round and round over Ravana’s body, and soon the rakshasa was bound and could not move.

After several more hours, Vali stirred and looked at the captured king in his tail. “How dare you try to sneak up on a subject in prayer to his lord? Are you too scared to challenge me head on? In my daily prayers to Shiva, I travel to the three remaining oceans. You will now come with me.”

Holding Ravana’s body in his tail and his face against his armpit, Vali jumped over mountains and flew around the world until his prayers were over. After returning to Kiskinda, Vali promised to release Ravana, but only after the demon king met me, Vali’s son. He hung Ravana over my crib for me to play with.

Ravana in Angada's Cradle...Watch from beginning until 0:28

That is the story of how my father defeated and humbled Ravana, and how I first met the demon king. Please, stay and listen to my next story of
how my father came to be cursed by the Sage Matanga.  

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Author’s Note
This story is a combination of multiple sources. The main source I used was the story of Vali and Ravana from a mythological story for kids website. This version starts with Ravana and Indrajit deciding to conquer Indra and then doing so. It mentions how he ties up Indra like a monkey for everyone to see, which provided me with the motivation for wanting to do the same to Vali. Narada is the sage that comes in this version and tells Ravana of what Vali said. I had to make up the part of the meeting between Vali and Narada because in this source it tells of what Narada says to Ravana. In this source, Narada accompanies Ravana to capture Vali, but I decided to follow my second source and leave Narada out to have a one-on-one conflict with Ravana and Vali. The second source describes the motivations of both Ravana and Vali. In the first source, Vali does not even realize he has captured Ravana and only finds out later that he is there. The second source insists Vali knew what he was doing and forced Ravana to come along as his prisoner. I also mentioned the part of Ravana being put into the crib because I have a video clip that supports it, and it is a way to put Angada, my storyteller, into the story.

Image Information: Narada and Ravana
Web Source: Picasa Web Albums

Image Information: Ravana grabbing Vali's tail
Web Source: Mythological Children's Stroytales

Image Information: Vali holding Ravana in his armpit
Web Source: Banana Books


"Vali and Ravana" published by Katha. Website: 4to40

"Vali and Ravana" published by Panorama. Website: Chennaionline