At the time of Vali's death, there was an question and answer exchange between him and Lord Ram. One of the points raised by Vali was that as he is a forest dweller, and living like animal (eat and kill like animals), there is no correlation in behavior between humans (Ram) and vanaras (Vali). So he cannot be subjected to rules that humans follow.

But my question is that if he felt so why was he and his wife Tara doing Vedic rituals? These include sandhyaa vandana, suuryopasthaana (by Vali), swasthyana (by Tara) and other daily routines of Vedas.

  • 1
    "he is a forest dwellers" - who? Rama or Vali...
    – YDS
    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:48
  • Vali. Edited question to make it more clear Nov 6, 2019 at 2:47
  • I would say that, (Its only a speculation), that the basic vedic rituals are the foundations of daily life for all sentient beings, like humans, vaanars, Gandharvas (maybe not rakshas or danavas), so these rituals can be common, however, the rules and regulations of the society itself can differ between a human and a vanar.
    – V.Aggarwal
    Nov 6, 2019 at 7:17
  • @V.Aggarwal Vali not only performed daily rituals like Sandhyavandanam, Suryopasthanam. He also did sacrifices like Naramedha. Nov 6, 2019 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


While narrating the strength of Vali, Sugreeva says

समुद्रात् पश्चिमात् पूर्वम् दक्षिणाद् अपि च उत्तरम् | क्रामति अनुदिते सूर्ये वाली व्यपगत क्लमः || ४-११-४

"Before the dawn of sun Vali unweariedly strides from western ocean to eastern, and even from southern to northern for offering water oblations to the rising sun".

While arguing with Sri Rama, even at the death bed, Vali says

वयम् वनचरा राम मृगा मूल फल अशनाः | एषा प्रकृतिर् अस्माकम् पुरुषः त्वम् नरेश्वरः || १-१७-३०

"We as animals live in forests while you are city dwellers, we live by eating fruits and tubers while you enjoy feasts and banquets, our nature is such to kill and get killed, thus you and me have no correlation. And you, even if you are a man and a prince for humans, you resorted to this animalistic way of killing me lying in the wait, thus your action is worse than that of an animal, if not subhuman or un-princely.

We have to remember that the same Vali speaks about good and bad, in the subsequent verses, indicating that he knows pretty well about Dharma. He was arguing with Sri Rama on the pretext of his animal nature, just to defend himself.

राजहा ब्रह्महा गोघ्नः चोरः प्राणिवधे रतः | नास्तिकः परिवेत्ता च सर्वे निरय गामिनः || १-१७-३६

"A regicide, a Brahman-cide, a cow-slayer, a thief, an inveterate killer, an atheist, and an younger brother who marries before his elder, all of them will go to hell.

We should also remember that following Vedic rituals is different from being strict follower of Vedic injuctions. For that mattter, the demons in the kingdom of demon king Ravana, who was embodiment of adharma, did follow Vedic rituals.

षडङ्गवेदविदुषाम् क्रतुप्रवरयाजिनाम् | शुश्राव ब्रह्मघोषान् स विरात्रे ब्रह्मरक्षसाम् || ५-१८-२

That Hanuma heard Vedic sounds early in the morning of Brahma Rakshasas well versed in six parts of Vedas and those who performed excellent sacrifices.

  • 1
    "He was arguing with Sri Rama on the pretext of his animal nature, just to defend himself." - this makes sense. Thanks Nov 16, 2019 at 12:42
  • @Carmensandiego, and Rama answered Vali using his own language - "If you are animal-istic there is nothing wrong in hunting an animal from a concealed location. If you are human-istic, there is nothing wrong in punishing a human from a concealed location"
    – ram
    Nov 19, 2019 at 22:48
  • @ram - Yes. After few readings I was able to grasp it. Sri Ram was answering on the basis of points invoked by Vali. When Vali raised animalistic nature, Sri Rama answered it accordingly and when Vali raised legal/moral grounds , Sri Rama countered it accordingly. Nov 20, 2019 at 2:14

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